Why Is Heritage Controversial And Debated?


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Aidan McCartney answered
Heritage is a hotly debated and fiercely controversial subject at times. This is due to different people having different opinions, adding value and tradition where another group would view the same thing as worthless and standing in the way of progress, although the differing opinions are not always necessarily at either extreme of the spectrum. There could be a number of viewpoints where each party thinks their ideas and beliefs are equally valid.

In order to illustrate this argument, we can cite the recent example of the leveraged buy-out (LBO) in 2007, of Liverpool Football Club by U.S Business tycoons Tom Hicks and George Gillett. As shrewd, profit making businessmen, the pair, it could be ascertained from their actions, while running the club looked upon it as they did any other business investment; a working proposition with a solid reputation and great untapped marketing potential with an extremely loyal customer base.

During their time as owners of Liverpool F.C, Tom Hicks likened the club to a previous LBO he'd done with Weetabix, stating that the buyers of the Weetabix cereal paid for his purchase of the Weetabix company, and it was going to be the same situation with the soccer club. To Tom Hicks especially, LBO's were a common business practise and he could not see the difference between the two situations, but there was a difference.

Unlike Weetabix, Liverpool's 'customers' were heavily invested emotionally in the heritage of their club. For many it was a legacy passed down through generations. However, where Liverpool's fans saw their stadium as a spiritual home brimming with history, Hicks and Gillett could only see bricks and mortar. Where the supporters perceived themselves as a family, the owners only saw brand-loyal consumers. Where the supporters loved and revered the soccer players who wore their shirt, the two businessmen could only see saleable assets.

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