Last season, after 30 years, Liverpool Football Club won the Premier League. However, despite a good start this season, my beloved Liverpool are now languishing in sixth with defensive injuries piled up, a strike force failing to make the magic happen and a midfield that looks lost for ideas.
There are many varied reasons for why Liverpool are in this mess, but the one I tend to look to most is we failed to fix the roof when the sun was shining. Sure we added Thiago and Jota, but we failed to address other issues in the squad and we are now paying for not pushing ahead when we had the advantage.
By now, you may be wondering what this has to do with the Isle of Man. So let me explain.
On Monday, Boris laid out his plan to open up the UK by the end of June, dependent on the number of Covid cases and how the vaccine rollout is going. Then on Tuesday, Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said the gov expects to publish its exit strategy for the island very shortly.
Boris laid out a plan which is cautiously optimistic, but he has the public planning the mother of all national hangovers and gives England fans the chance to dream of being there to witness Football Coming Home in the summer as London hosts the finals of the Euros.
I just fear we won’t see this from the Manx gov. I agree we have to prioritise lives above all else, but we have to be realistic and recognise we must reopen our doors at the earliest opportunity or else we risk losing the advantage we had when the UK was locked down and we were enjoying our new Manx normal.
The island does not want or need a history lesson when this document is published about when we shut down and why blah blah blah, it needs a blueprint for success. We need to know how the gov is going to open the borders, if necessary first just to allow friends and family over for a visit. But once the most vulnerable people are vaccinated, then I firmly believe we need to be ready to lower the drawbridge.
We need to know how the gov has used the months it has had to prepare to encourage businesses and workers to move to the island. We need to know how we are going to attract tourists and how we can prove to our young people that the Isle of Man is ready to change and become a place that has a lot to offer for them socially and economically.
This week the organisers of Reading and Leeds Fest confirmed their plans for this August by tweeting LET’S GO and Creamfields has already sold out. Imagine how we’d look if the UK is holding festivals with teenagers making questionable decisions, smoking questionable things and just enjoying themselves after a really shitty year and ours can’t even get on the boat to go to it.
To do this, we need to make sure that when Boris prepares to fire the starting pistol, we are ready to fly out of the traps or even jump the gun, otherwise we risk missing a golden opportunity. We have spent months basking in success as the UK dithered in lockdown, if we get this wrong, then we won’t get a second chance. In other words, we can’t do a Liverpool and not build on our achievements.