The Mighty Red Debate: Are Liverpool losing their authenticity?

The decision to allow the club’s “mascot” Mighty Red on the pitch at Anfield on matchdays has caused a stir this week, with fans divided over whether it matters or not – but it’s not really about the mascot per se.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, June 21, 2014: Barry Cowan with Liverpool FC mascot Mighty Red on a visit to Anfield during Day Three of the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When “Mighty Red” was first introduced two years, it was done “to help engage with kids at community events”. He wouldn’t be seen prancing around Anfield on a matchday.

The club have now changed his role, with his first matchday appearance being against Southampton, assisting the club’s actual young mascot for the game.

Liverpool is a club that, traditionally, haven’t had a “mascot”. So is the move to allow Mighty Red to be part of the matchday environment going against tradition? Does it really matter?

Are Liverpool now becoming just another generic club, with comedy mascot and all?

Of course, it seems pretty daft that we’re even having this debate, but this isn’t really about a mascot, it’s about what the mascot represents – a break from traditions, a move towards becoming just another club, eroding what was unique about the club.

Liverpool were the last Premier League side to have a scoreboard, Liverpool didn’t have a mascot until now on matchdays, Liverpool don’t play music after a goal. Those things made Liverpool, and Anfield, that little more special, authentic and unique.

Arsenal, Man United et al. have a mascot. Why should we do like them?

The club, and those who think that it’s much ado about nothing, claim that the mascot is “for the kids” – but which kid grows up remembering a matchday mascot when they just watched their actual idols, Steven Gerrard and co, on the pitch in front of them?

The traditional matchday experience, and why Anfield is so revered worldwide, has no gimmicks – just the fans, the pitch and players that you love to watch and sing about.

Let’s be honest, it’s not really “for the kids” it’s just another commercial gimmick to make the club more like all the other modern clubs out there.

Perhaps this isn’t about Mighty Red, it’s about what it represents; a devaluing of the club’s traditions and removal of another thing that made Liverpool that more unique.

Nobody cares about Mighty Red either way, the kids or the adults, but people do care about Liverpool preserving their traditions and being unique, authentic and special.

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