|Liverpool's New Kit Sparks Hillsborough Controversy|
|Football / Soccer|
Friday, 11 May 2012 18:25
The launch of Liverpool's new home shirt for the 2012-13 Premier League season has angered families of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster.
Liverpool's first shirt to be designed by American company Warrior was revealed on Friday, and while fans have welcomed the design, some have been left unhappy with the decision to move the eternal flames honouring the dead from the front to the back of the shirt.
Liverpool met with the seven members of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) committee, but other groups were not consulted by the club.
The Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC), which acts for a number of families in addition to fighting for the truth behind the tragic events that took place at Hillsborough on April 15th 1989, said the club had been "insensitive".
A HJC statement read: "We have noted that the Hillsborough flames and '96' will now appear on the back of the shirt 'after consultation with family members'.
"We can confirm that no bereaved families of the HJC were contacted or consulted. The first we were aware of this was via the minutes of the Supporters' Committee March meeting. Once again LFC has chosen to ignore the HJC and their families.
"The continued refusal of the club to acknowledge the HJC is insensitive, divisive and deplorable - 96 is more than a number. LFC would do well to remember that."
Liverpool responded quickly, with a spokesman saying: "The club consulted with the HFSG committee and shared a number of alternative designs which were considered.
"The committee selected a design, which includes the number 96 to recognise those who lost their lives. Nobody has more respect for the 96 and their families than this football club."
The row has threatened to taint the launch of the kit, which marks the start of Liverpool's six-year deal with Warrior which is worth £25million a year.