And so, Luis Suarez is staying at Liverpool because of the fans. That the fans are still more or less the same bunch of people as when he declared a week ago that he was desperate to leave appears to have escaped him.
Indeed, even if his declaration is genuine, it makes no logical sense, because the affection some Liverpool fans still hold for him could only have diminished in the time between the end of last season and today. Then again, logically a man probably shouldn't bite someone on the arm in front of a dozen TV cameras, so we can probably assume that logic and Mr Suarez are not close pals.
Of course though, the idea that the love of the Kop has persuaded Suarez that his family and the Champions League aren't that important after all, and he can put up with the sniping of the press as long as he hears his name sung to the tune of a Depeche Mode song every fortnight, is ludicrous. Suarez is staying because Liverpool have told him, in no uncertain terms, that he won't be sold, so he'd better just get on with it.
One hopes that the majority of Liverpool fans will not swallow this. Doing things 'for the fans' is, for the most part, one of the most empty and meaningless statements a player can make, particularly when it comes to transfers and so forth. It is PR fluff, and since PR is basically designed to put an acceptable public face on a given situation, you can assume it is usually weapons-grade bullsh*t.
It happens everywhere, too. Kelvin Wilson signed for Nottingham Forest this summer from Celtic, a move which, on the face of things, seems strange. Wilson played in Celtic's Champions League qualifier last week, he appeared in the Nou Camp last season, he is more or less guaranteed a title medal and would play in front of 45,000 at Celtic Park every other week. Indeed, he left Forest two years ago to pursue such loftier ambitions. However, his family lives in Nottingham and he wanted to move closer to them - a perfectly understandable motivation for a move.
And yet, in his first interview with the Forest website, he was asked if there was another reason for his return to the City Ground. He momentarily looked confused, as if the actual reason wasn't good enough, then vaguely panicked, before settling on the old favourite: "The fans."
It was an easy thing to say, and it's completely understandable when a footballer resorts to platitudes, for obvious reasons, but the statement was utterly meaningless. Especially when discussing Forest fans, who are generally fickle even by football standards and frequently boo the team off when they're drawing at half-time. To think the crowd at the City Ground is an upgrade to that at Paradise is...well, a little optimistic.
Sure, certain players could and have struck up a sort of 'bond' with a group of fans (particularly the increasingly rare home-town hero), and the odd player has cited a lack of support from the crowd as a reason for leaving a club (see Cole, Ashley) but by and large groups of fans are homogenous masses, and are generally predictable. Sorry kids - you are not a unique snowflake.
Agreeing with Harry Redknapp is not something that comes easily to us, but he recently stated that fans would cheer for Saddam Hussein if he scored a few goals. And that's largely true - fans will forgive more or less anything for performance on the pitch, and Suarez himself is Exhibit A in that particular instance.
So it follows that if a player performs for Club A, then performs at a similar standard for Club B, he will receive a similar amount of love and support from both sets of gathered hordes. Groups of fans are fairly interchangeable, emotions fluctuating with the fortunes of their club.
You'll struggle to find a club where, at some point this season, a manager, player or chairman won't have described their fans as 'the best in the world'. Obviously that can't be true of everyone - the people saying it do so because a) it's good PR and b) those particular fans are cheering for them.
So, while the charming, intelligent and if I may say so very attractive readership of Football365 probably already know this, the next time someone says they're doing this 'for the fans', smile, treat it as a fluffy platitude and then completely ignore it.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter.