The Sun printed their latest slandering of the people of Liverpool earliest this month, and unsurprisingly, Kelvin MacKenzie could be relied upon to deliver the smear.
Perhaps unfairly, I have always judged Ross Barkley as one of our dimmest footballers. There is something about the lack of reflection in his eyes which makes me certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home.
I get a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo. The physique is magnificent but it’s the eyes that tell the story.
The reality is that at £60,000 a week and being both thick and single, he is an attractive catch in the Liverpool area, where the only men with similar pay packets are drug dealers and are therefore not at nightclubs, as they are often guests of Her Majesty.
The Sun suspended MacKenzie, published an apology to Barkley, and Everton followed Liverpool's example by banning the newspaper from access to Goodison Park and their training ground.
UEFA, however, will allow the newspaper to defy these bans, reports Jack de Menezes of the Independent. The European governing body decides on the accreditation for Champions League and Europa League games, and the Independent say that UEFA will allow journalists from The Sun access to the respective grounds. Liverpool and Everton are on course to qualify for European competition - Everton pretty much guaranteed Europa League qualification, Liverpool look increasingly determined to join them - it will mean that the ban can be defied on European nights.
Elsewhere, relative to the rest of both club's games, the Football Writers' Association has called on both clubs to reconsider their ban of The Sun:
The Football Writers’ Association is concerned by the recent bans imposed on The Sun by Liverpool FC and Everton FC.
While the FWA understands the upset caused by the presence and views of columnist Kelvin MacKenzie, the organisation feels that its members, the football journalists, are being unfairly punished for actions which have nothing to do with them.
The FWA has always believed in the fundamental principle that all of its members have a right to carry out their jobs and should not be banned because of the actions of others.
Following discussions at National Committee level, we believe the clubs should reconsider these bans and work with the FWA and Premier League to resolve the situation.
Kelvin MacKenzie, however, remains unrepentant regarding the column that led to his suspension. He claims ignorance over the fact that Ross Barkley is of mixed race, while he says that Sun readers are 100-1 in his favour. He wrote in The Spectator:
Actually, I and every football fan I had ever met believed Barkley to be white. Unluckily for me, but luckily for my enemies in the north-west, that was not entirely true. It emerged that although Barkley looked white, his grandfather was half-Nigerian.
The reality is that had I known of his family tree I would never have made the comparison, but since I am a columnist and not a researcher on Who Do You Think You Are? I didn’t know, and have yet to meet anybody who did. Including the Sun sports editor.
See Also: James McClean Reveals The Two Appalling Incidents With Sunderland Fans Which Led To His Leaving The Club