Statistician Ged Rea (author of among others: Liverpool FC - The Ultimate book of stats and facts 1892-2001) answered our news report: "The Official LFC site got it wrong".
Here is his post:
First let me congratulate you on an excellent website. However, I must take you to task over your headline of today (15th Oct) "The Official LFC site got it wrong".
You state that Saturday will not be LFC's 4000th League game as it does not include the 1939/40 season. It is widely recognised by most, including the Association of Football Statisticians and the Football League, that as that season was aborted all fixtures relating to it do not count for statistical purposes (in the same way that the 1989 F.A.Cup Semi-Final on that horrific day does not count).
Therefore there was no mistake made-the milestone is reached against Fulham. It was me that supplied the information to the club website (after consultation and agreement on this question with Eric Doig) and though it is right and proper for those games to be recognised as they took place they do not, and should not count, when collating statistics.
I do though appreciate that all stats are open to interpretation. Let's hope we are all celebrating many more milestones in the near future.
Our response to the esteemed mr. Rea is:
We respect your comments and we will include a note from now on on our site that these games are not counted as such by the "Association of football statisticians". If they are not official games as such surely they should not count towards player totals (as in several esteemed sources). We will though say that in all fairness that a note on the three games should have been included for the official site's article to be precise, to remove all doubt because I know there were a lot of disgruntled voices around us about that it was the 4000th game was simply wrong. END of RESPONSE
Note from LFChistory: We will change stats for relevant players who played in these three games and include a note saying those 3 games are not considered valid by "Association of football statisticians". They are though included in most LFC books in stats vs. other teams and in individual player stats with a note akin to Brian Pead's Complete record (The record includes a game played in the aborted 1939-40 season.)
Our regards to the Official site that when they published a report a few days later about Liverpool 2000th home game vs. Charlton they included a note saying: "This tally does not include the 1939-40 season which was aborted after three games. That season does not qualify for statistical purposes."
I wonder what prompted that, maybe our suggestion that we sent to mr. Rea before the article was published by mr. Paul Eaton, on Liverpoolfc.tv's staff: "We will though say that in all fairness that a note on the three games should have been included for the official site's article to be precise, to remove all doubt."
LFC fans might be a bit freaked out by our attention to detail but this a LFChistory site and we deal with stats first and foremost. We are happy that Ged Rea himself (his contribution to the recording of Liverpool FC's history over the years has been amazing) answered our observation, suggesting he keeps a watchful eye over LFC stats as we do at LFChistory.