Bill blasts FA’s banqueting show


Tuesday, October 13 – 1970
Liverpool manager Bill Shankly yesterday exploded at the tradition that players must attend after-match banquets and banned two of his team from the one that follows tonight’s Under-23 international.

Shankly never went to banquets when he was a Scottish international. In seventeen years as manager he has never allowed his players to attend them when the club is abroad, or staged them at Liverpool.

After protesting to the FA non-smoking, non-drinking Shankly explained why Larry Lloyd and Ray Clemence will return straight home instead of dining in style after playing against West Germany at Leicester.
I am not trying to tell the FA their business, but I don’t think they should encourage footballers to go to late night banquets in midweek at a time when they should be going home to bed.
I understand at first that there was to be no banquet after this game, but when I discovered that one was laid on I was shocked.

We at Liverpool will help England in every way possible on their road to the World Cup in 1974. We will help the other British Soccer nations as well, provided our players are fit when required.
But we don’t want them to be going to late night banquets in mid-week. The social side and playing sides of football don’t go hand in hand.
I don’t see how banquets have anything to do with football. I can’t and never could see any sense in them.
I don’t want them sitting up late at a banquet tomorrow night and I think it is wrong for anybody to encourage them to do so. That is why our players will be coming straight home.”

Everton, are among other clubs not happy about players attending banquets, and their centre forward Joe Royle, will be travelling straight back to Merseyside after tonight’s game.
(Daily Mail, 14-10-1970)

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