Fleetwood head coach Joey Barton admits things got so bad at boyhood club Everton his own son began supporting Liverpool.
While that led to the former Manchester City, Newcastle and Marseille midfielder “disowning” his eldest child, the tide has started to turn since Carlo Ancelotti arrived to have the Toffees taken seriously again.
Eight-year-old Cassius is gradually starting to come around to his dad’s way of thinking now, but Barton admits years of disappointment and dreadful football had its impact.
“I have a household of young Evertonians with my kids, they have to support Everton like me – no choice,” said the 38-year-old, whose side host a second-string Everton team in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
“My eldest son did try to get away and have a Mo Salah shirt for a while.
“It is hard to get him not to support Liverpool when they have (Sadio) Mane, Salah and (Roberto) Firmino and all his mates are singing the songs, they are going to European Cup finals.
“I think ‘You know what mate, I don’t want to burden you with this load that I’ve got off my dad of being forced to be an Evertonian and never going and winning major trophies’.
“I said ‘Look mate I’m not going to force you’. I couldn’t give him a rational argument to support Everton.
“It was tough, there was some bad footy we were playing under Marco Silva and I couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel.
“I thought ‘Liverpool are on the verge of dominating the league, Europe again’.”
But within the space of nine months, Ancelotti has reignited Barton’s love of the club and he hopes his son will follow suit.
“Now it’s really exciting times for Evertonians because – for the first time in a while – we are being taken seriously again,” he added.
“That is due to Carlo Ancelotti and the credibility he brings with his presence.
“I’m hoping this stadium (Bramley-Moore Dock) comes along and Ancelotti puts us back in the top tier.
“I’m trying to convince my lad of that – he’s not buying it. To be honest, when you see Liverpool make the signings that they make, you can’t begrudge him it.
“I’m just hoping that the blue blood comes through in the end and brings him back to the righteous side.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.