Drogheda United, New York Cosmos and Ballsgrove Scroats have emerged as early favourites in the race to sign Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Gerrard announced late last night that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. While coy on his preferred destination, there were enough ‘come and get me’ signals in his statement for the two Drogheda clubs to act.
Explaining his decision, Gerrard said:
“My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over.
“This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.”
A statement from Anfield read:
“No decision on his new club has been made yet, but he will continue his career outside the United Kingdom and at a side that will not bring him into direct competition with Liverpool.”
For many it seems like a no brainer. The similarities between Drogheda and Liverpool are plenteous. Both port cities have long been marginalised and forgotten, suffering from high unemployment and a lack of opportunities. Both cities have developed linguistically distinct accents that are generally kept off national television where possible. Liverpool’s proud musical tradition includes The Beatles and Frankie Goes to Hollywood while Drogheda moulded a rebellious Johnny Logan into a double Eurovision winner.
The Drogs and the Scroats are quietly confident of landing the scouse captain’s scrawl. Close friends of Gerrard have long spoken of his frustration at not winning a league title and of his desire to live abroad and experience a new culture. Drogheda seems the perfect fit.
Ballsgrove coach Toblerone Hodgkins hopes that his side’s excellent start to the Drawda and District League will sway Gerrard. He is realistic about capturing the European Cup winning captain long term but hopes that a couple of months as the fulcrum of a title winning side might persuade him to stay for longer.
“We’re only two points off Newfield Godfreys at the moment and with the league running until September, Stevie G could be the catalyst that takes us over the line and keeps him trim over the summer.”
Gerrard first came to Hodgkins’s attention after he was cleared of affray in a bar despite video evidence showing Mr. Gerrard striking a man thrice in the face without physical provocation. Gerrard maintained that he felt he was about to be struck so acted accordingly.
“After seeing him use and get away with the old Meath adage of getting your retaliation in first I thought to myself ‘If he ever comes on the maaket, he’d be brilliant for those away games in Laytown and Bettystown.’ And now he has and here we are.”
Scroats CEO Flangery Hodgkins has also gone on record saying that Gerrard would be offered free accommodation in Ballsgrove as well as free milk, an important cultural tradition for scousers. Local businessmen are chipping in too by putting together a proposal that would see Mr. Gerrard’s favourite artist, Phil Collins play fortnightly at his residence in Ballsgrove. All these perks are on top of a competitive wage and the free labour of all Ballsgrove residents.
“Lourdes? The Luurdes Chuurch! Snap!”
Drogheda United’s package is just as appealing. Chairman Ciaran Kierans helicoptered to Liverpool early this morning armed with the best power point presentation the club has ever produced. Kierans feels that the Drogs would be an attractive proposition for the Liverpool legend. The Scotch Hall Experience is famous the county over for being a WAG magnet while the newly opened Educate Together schools provide excellent education facilities for foreigners with children. Once Kierans heard that one of Mr. Gerrard’s children is called Lourdes he was convinced that Drogheda United had to act.
Kierans admits that while Drogheda may not have the razzmatazz of New York on a Friday night, it is certainly not far behind.
“If it’s night life you’re after sure nothing beats The Black Bull. Anyone who is anyone does be there, drinking in polo necks”.
He is confident that a financial package of the sort that overreached the club in the Celtic Tiger boom will entice Stevie G.
Gerrard is in no particular rush to make a decision and is currently weighing up offers from a multitude of clubs.