WHEN it comes to feuds and football fall-outs it seems we just can’t have too much of a bad thing.
Redknapp and Mandaric, Ferdinand and Terry, Evra and Suarez give us a glimpse of the dark side of football’s ever-brightening star.
The clueless Redknapp in court on tax-evasion, the spineless hand-shake ban at Loftus Road to spare Anton Ferdinand and John Terry in the wake of racism charges against the England captain, and the white-hot hate-fest at Anfield for similar reasons.
Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round seemed to be about little else, and understandably so.
These issues actually are bigger than even football’s over-inflated sense of its own importance though no-one but a bigot believes that Liverpool is a racist football club.
No rational mind thinks they would knowingly condone racism from any of their players.
But that is exactly what they appeared to do.
Theirs was an ill-conceived and counter-productive position in backing Luis Suarez after he admitted using racist language to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
A position that, despite protestations to the contrary, will have given the idiots just that bit more confidence to spout their hatred.
Like the buffoon in Anfield’s Centenary Stand captured for all the world to ridicule doing his monkey grimace on YouTube.
Of course his days at Anfield are numbered, and that number is zero.
He’ll be out of there quicker than Fernando Torres’ agent after signing the Chelsea deal but if he’s a season ticket holder they shouldn’t ban him from the ground.
They should let him go to the next home game and be subjected to the ridicule and vilification of the people he sits next to.
The people who will feel he has taken their great club down to his own pitiful level.
Just as the head of RBS Stephen Hester currently personnifies the iniquities of capitalism after his £963,000 bonus farce, that sad scouser will personify racism in football for years to come.
Though both sets of problems will endure long after those two individuals are off the front pages, we love a scapegoat.
The Liverpool fan’s ridiculous playground-idiot gestures were nothing to do with the club’s cack-handed stance on Louis Suarez.
But the club’s position gave him chance to vent that vileness, a chance he otherwise may not have had.
There is more to it of course.
Anyone who thinks their club’s fans are above bad behaviour should think again.
Imagine if the situation had occurred between the two Sheffield clubs or one of them and Leeds United.
Do you think large sections of any club’s fans would have NOT booed, harangued and verbally hammered any player in the Patrice Evra role playing against their team?
The bear-pit atmosphere of those and many other rivalries is poisonous at best of times.
And this is the worst of times in terms of football hatreds.
No doubt there will have been black scousers booing Patrice Evra for all they were worth. Evra’s getting their player banned by his complaint means he is a threat to their team.
In those moments during games the strength of triballoyalties will be, for many, far stronger than racial rationality.