Macca’s dodgy knee stops Hong Kong comeback

Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman’s hopes of playing football again have been dashed after he revealed a knee injury means he’s unfit to resume playing again.

Steve was in Hong Kong on Tuesday at a press conference for Hong Kong Rangers, where he spoke of the possibility that he could play for them on Thursday in the Senior Challenge Shield against South China. It wasn’t to be though.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Macca said: “With the injuries I have got, I don't think I can play. I would have loved to have played in this game. Unfortunately, it can't happen.”

Hong Kong Rangers’ chairman is Carson Yeung Ka-shing, a friend of McManaman. He explained that the player was injured in England and just could not risk playing in this game: “There's always a chance that Steve will return here and play an exhibition match. He really wanted to play but he hurt his knee in training in Liverpool and rather than risk making his injury worse, he should rest."

McManaman played for the Liverpool legends side that faced Celtic recently in Glasgow for Kenny Dalglish’s wife Marina’s charity. He says that game gave him a taste for football again, and that he wants to get back playing again at some point – for fun: “I think so, but not in a professional capacity. I played a couple of months ago for the old Liverpool team. That's something I really enjoyed. Certainly, I will play more games but not in a professional capacity like these young boys. Whether I can play is another thing because you need to do some serious training. It's nice to be a fan rather than a player.”

His move to Real Madrid, one of the first Bosmans, saw him earn a huge contract rather than Liverpool get the money as a transfer fee. He saw the contract out right to the end despite occasional attempts by Real to offload him. He doesn’t really need the money to get playing again, and doesn’t want it to take his life over again: “Life has been very good for me. Football has been very good to me. Football has consumed my life since I was seventeen. Every day you think about football and every day you prepare for the next game. It's nice to step back and travel and see lot's of people. I can see more of my family and spend more time with my wife and young child.”

Continue reading Macca’s dodgy knee stops Hong Kong comeback

Stop the BBC from employing a malicious liar

You may have read elsewhere recently that Kelvin MacKenzie,
editor of The S*n at the time of the Hillsborough disaster and the
"man" responsible for those despicable lies printed under the
headline screaming "The Truth", said he still wasn't sorry for those
lies he peddled.

He claimed he only apologised after the disaster because he
was made to. Even by the low standards that have always been set by the likes
of The S*n, he is a disgrace.

We decided not to report the story on here because it was quite
widely reported elsewhere, especially in the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post, and
felt that MacKenzie probably gets off on all this publicity. He seems to enjoy
hurting people.

The S*n have recently decided to re-employ him, proving
their shallow and half-hearted apology following on from criticism of Wayne
Rooney's exclusive with them was nothing more than another sham.

Now, after a summer of being forced to read complaint after
complaint about employing MacKenzie, the BBC have decided to give him a show on
Christmas day. They think it's acceptable to use public money to employ a
self-confessed liar who seems to enjoy hurting the public who'll be paying him
for that day's work. The show is to be broadcast on Five Live.

He pulled out of Question Time last night after hearing that
some Liverpool supporters would be in the
audience. He is not just a liar, but a cowardly one too.

If you are a Red for some reason unfamiliar with why we
boycott The S*n and despise its chief liar of the day, Kelvin MacKenzie, please
read the article "Don't Buy the Sun" from the links on the left. You
should never, as a Red, ever read or buy that rag.

An online petition has been started to try and persuade the
BBC to re-think their decision to employ this liar. Please take less than a
minute to sign it – you can find it at

Although it takes more than a minute, you can also raise a
complaint on the BBC's website at:

Another alternative is to write to Points of View by
emailing or you can telephone
them on 0870 908 3199.

Continue reading Stop the BBC from employing a malicious liar

Kenny: Brilliant Moores acting for good of LFC

Liverpool legend – and I don't use that word lightly in his case – Kenny Dalglish has sent a message to supporters that Liverpool are being sold to the right people for the right reasons. Liverpool look set to be taken over by DIC in a deal said to be worth over £400m and some Reds have been concerned that this signals the end of Liverpool as we know it.

Kenny says that David Moores would not be even considering selling the club to DIC if he didn't think it was in the club's best interests. He said: "Fans will be seeking a wee bit of comfort at the moment, but I believe they can rest assured that David Moores would not be selling it to anyone unless he was absolutely convinced they were the right sort of people and it was the right thing to do. He will be acting in the best interests of Liverpool Football Club – not himself. You can be sure of that."

Kenny's time as manager came to an end before David Moores became chairman, but his close ties to the club have remained all along, and he knows first-hand just how important Moores has been to the club: "I have said before that he has been a brilliant chairman for the club and as far as I'm concerned the supporters can trust his judgement on this. He has supported all of the managers he has had and put his hand in his pocket to provide them with the money for players they wanted. But because he is quiet and doesn't seek the limelight, he doesn't get the plaudits he deserves."

Kenny says he'd like to see Moore and chief executive Rick Parry kept involved in the running of the club to help the transition run smoothly: "I think it is really important for anyone coming in that David Moores and Rick Parry would be staying there to provide that stability."

With Moores preferring to stay out of the limelight it has been Rick Parry who has been seen to be doing the work of finding an investor, with frequent flights to find the right person. Kenny says Parry also wouldn't want to see the club fall into the wrong hands: "If Rick Parry, like the chairman, thinks this is the right deal then it will be right. Obviously the club needs funds for a new stadium and this would provide the funds for it. The new owners will also know that Liverpool have a great man at the helm in Rafa Benitez."

And he had a message for the potential new owners: "They will be buying a great club – one which is ready made to be taken forward smoothly."

Continue reading Kenny: Brilliant Moores acting for good of LFC

Xabi: Tough tie for Reds whoever it is

The final group games were played in the Champions League last night meaning the identities of all 16 teams through to the knockout stages are now known. Liverpool had already confirmed first place in their group before this week’s games, but now the three other English teams have joined them in that post of group winners. That means Liverpool can be drawn against any of the second-placed teams, with the exception of Group C runners-up PSV Eindhoven.

The eight group winners were Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Valencia, Lyon, Manchester United, Arsenal and AC Milan. That leaves some quite tough sides in second place.

The second-placed teams were Barcelona, Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Roma, Real Madrid, Celtic, Porto and Lille.

The draw will be made at 11am on Friday of next week at UEFA’s headquarters. The ties themselves aren’t actually to be played until 20/21 February and 6/7 March. The first-placed teams get to play the second leg at home.

Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso isn’t going to expect anything less than a difficult tie whoever Liverpool get in the draw: “We know whoever we get in the next round will be really tough but it will also be exciting. You can see the teams who will be involved and how strong those who finished in second are. We'll have to be ready.”

Some might feel that the two potential Spanish opponents would be the most difficult to play against, but Xabi says that although they’ll be tough, Liverpool are capable of winning: “Real or Barcelona could be the next game, but we've played a few games in Spain in the last few years and always won there, so if we meet either of those clubs we'll know it will be a massive game for the club, but we'll see.”

In some ways, according to Xabi, playing against the teams seen as most difficult could be to Liverpool’s advantage: “When we won in 2005, we were never favourites in any game we played, and depending on the draw that maybe the case again, which could suit us. It was definitely good the year we won it when everyone thought we would lose to Juve and then Chelsea and Milan. I hope that would be a good omen for us. I would prefer to avoid Barcelona at this stage and maybe leave them until the semi-final or final. But you only have to look at the teams we could get to realise it is going to be very tough, no matter what.”

Xabi doesn’t want any complacency to come from the team if they are drawn against one of the “lesser” teams in the next round: “We are confident in ourselves, but we have to be careful after what happened last season. We thought we had landed an easy draw against Benfica, but it didn't turn out that way.”

He went on: “We showed, two seasons ago, that we can be a match for anyone. We had Juventus in the quarter-finals and Chelsea in the semis and still got through. You always have to beat the best to win this competition, so we must make sure we are ready for the challenge.”

Manager Rafael Benítez also says the draw will be tough, irrespective of who is drawn out as our opposition: “It will be difficult now because they are all top teams. Last season we drew Benfica and everyone said it would be easy, but we lost.”

Continue reading Xabi: Tough tie for Reds whoever it is

Xabi: Happy with investment news – but don’t forget traditions

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed that the squad are delighted with the news that DIC are set to bring investment to Anfield. If the deal goes ahead it will bring new funds for the new stadium plus money to spend on the pitch. Xabi said: “The investment seems very close now, and we are all really happy about it. It looks like they will bring good things to the club, and money to help develop the club. That can only be good for us. They seem to have positive plans, like making sure the new stadium is built and providing funds for strengthening the team.”

What is important to Xabi is that they do things the way that Liverpool fans would expect: “It should enable us to take the next step forward, but it has to be done in the right way. Liverpool have always had respect for their traditions, and that should continue. You notice how proud everyone is here of all the years they have played for the club and won things. It would be great to develop the team with this investment but also to respect Liverpool's great tradition.”

Like his boss Rafael Benítez, Xabi is enormously respectful of the traditions at the club, traditions he came to recognise very quickly: “I have only been here a couple of years, but I have seen how everyone is so proud of the history and tradition. The club tries to maintain that, and I hope it will continue to be the case. We must respect that; that is very important. You can think about the future, but it is important, also, not to forget about the past. Don't forget all the tradition here. This club must not be allowed to lose its identity.”

So, like many (if not all) Reds, Xabi feels this investment deal would be ideal for Liverpool FC. Liverpool need it to move forward, and it seems this deal can be – but must be – done without rewriting the club’s values: “This is a great club, and we need to look at the best ways of moving forward. If we can get that balance right, it will benefit everyone, the players, the club and the supporters.”

Continue reading Xabi: Happy with investment news – but don’t forget traditions

Jerzy prepares to say goodbye

Liverpool travelled to Turkey yesterday for tonight's formality game against Galatasaray at the Ataturk Stadium with a few big names missing from the passenger list.

The club's Chairman and Chief Executive, David Moores and Rick Parry, stayed behind so that they could deal with the commencement of DIC's scrutiny of the Liverpool accounts. If that goes to plan, Liverpool will start the next phase of the Champions League under new ownership.

Liverpool are already through to the next phase having qualified with two games to spare, and having assured top spot in their last game. Tonight's game is meaningless for both sides, so Rafael Benitez has decided to rest some his big-name players too. Captain Steven Gerrard, defenders Sami Hyypia and Steve Finnan and goalkeeper Pepe Reina have all been given a much-needed break. In their places travel youngsters Danny Guthrie, Stephen Darby, Lee Peltier, Paul Anderson and David Martyn.

Reina's absence means that Jerzy Dudek gets a rare chance to play between the sticks, and it could be his last appearance for the club. Dudek was the hero in May 2005 when Liverpool won the Champions League against AC Milan, his antics in the penalty shoot-out never to be forgotten. After that though his career changed. Rafael Benitez bought Pepe Reina in a deal that had already been agreed before the final, and Dudek dropped back to the Reds number two. So when Rafa told him he'd be playing in place of Reina in this game he was delighted, especially given the venue: "Since I heard from the boss saying I will play, I've been thinking I should kiss the penalty spot, the grass and the post. I think every Liverpool player should do that. It will be a fantastic feeling for me to go back to Istanbul. We are playing for nothing, but it will mean a lot to me.

It will be a totally different atmosphere tonight but Jerzy isn't bothered: "I will always remember this stadium because it was so important for all of us who played that night. I'd love to play there every week. It will also mean a lot to all the supporters because all the memories will come back. When you're on the pitch, you're focused on what's happening and don't really think what it all means. I'm sure during the game it will be the same, but before it we will go through all those emotions again. I don't know if we'll ever see that kind of game again. It was crazy. I'm the luckiest goalkeeper in the world. In life you must take the opportunities to progress."

Some might have thought Dudek would be downhearted at how his career has changed since that glorious night, but he's actually just grateful for what he's achieved so far: "I will always consider myself a success because I've done what I wanted to do, which was to play football and achieve things. Playing for Liverpool was something I'd never imagined. I've done this, so I feel happy and lucky."

His friends have all wondered how he's been able to accept being Liverpool's substitute goalkeeper for the past two seasons, but he says that he has his reasons: "I have spoken to all my closest friends over the last two years and told them it was better for me to stay at Liverpool in order to keep the emotion, the memory and the fantastic achievement of that night. Of course, I still have to think about my future. For one year, this was okay, but now I'm at an age where I need to be playing." With that in mind he says he'll be having talks with the boss to decide what happens next: "After this game I will be speaking to Rafa Benitez about my future because I don't think I can stay in this situation for long. The most enjoyable part of this game is to play, not sit on the bench and watch. I want to be a professional football player, not a professional football supporter. In January we will have to decide because my contract is almost finished."

As for that night, a year-and-a-half ago, does he find himself playing it back all the time? "I never watch the full DVD of the final, but I've watched the penalties once. My father keeps asking me, how did you make those saves? I keep saying I don't know."

It would be ideal if Jerzy got a chance to bid farewell to the club in a game at Anfield, but that's looking increasingly unlikely, unless Rafa decides to choose him for the Arsenal league cup game in a fortnight. Istanbul is the next best thing.

Continue reading Jerzy prepares to say goodbye

Reds confirm exclusive negotations with DIC

Following on from the Chief Executive of Dubai International Capital's announcement that they had started exclusive negotiations to take over Liverpool FC, the club have now followed suit.

In an announcement on the official site the company was effectively introduced to fans. The announcement made clear that no deal had been agreed.

Rick Parry was quoted as saying: "This is the latest step on the road of finding the long-term
investment that the Club needs. DIC is a potential investor with the
resources and philosophy that we believe could make them an ideal

Legally Liverpool and DIC have to be careful to follow the rules to the letter, but it does seem likely that this deal will be agreed very soon. Parry thinks they will be the right type of investors for the club: "Already they have demonstrated a full understanding of, and
respect for, the club’s heritage and values. We also believe they share
our passion for success."

Parry says that the new stadium is something that DIC feel is important and also says the deal has to include provision for bringing about success on the field: "On the pitch, Liverpool remains focused on winning
and, here again, this is all about doing a deal that gives us the
long-term resources to do that."

The announcement in full:

Liverpool Football Club today confirms that it has entered into a period of exclusive negotiations with Dubai International Capital ('DIC') about a possible investment in the club.

No deal has yet been agreed and the detail of any transaction which may or may not include a formal offer by DIC for Liverpool Football Club is still to be confirmed.
The Club aims to keep Liverpool shareholders and supporters fully informed and will make a further statement as soon as possible.
DIC is the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, which owns and manages a diversified portfolio of companies operating in the fields of leisure, healthcare, technology, finance, real estate, research, education, tourism, energy and communications. DIC has a strong track record in both the leisure sector and in the UK. In 2005, for example, it bought Tussauds, the largest operator of visitor attractions in Europe, for $1.5bn. It also owns the Travelodge hotel group. Its parent company owns various London hotels, including the Carlton Tower.
Rick Parry, Chief Executive of Liverpool, said: "This is the latest step on the road of finding the long-term investment that the Club needs. DIC is a potential investor with the resources and philosophy that we believe could make them an ideal partner. Already they have demonstrated a full understanding of, and respect for, the club’s heritage and values. We also believe they share our passion for success. In particular, DIC believes in investing in the businesses it acquires. This is very important in terms of the proposed new stadium, which is key to plans for the regeneration of the local community. On the pitch, Liverpool remains focused on winning and, here again, this is all about doing a deal that gives us the long-term resources to do that."
Dealing Disclosure Requirements
Under the provisions of Rule 8.3 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Code”), if any person is, or becomes, “interested” (directly or indirectly) in 1% or more of any class of “relevant securities” of DIC or of Liverpool, all “dealings” in any “relevant securities” of that company (including by means of an option in respect of, or a derivative referenced to, any such “relevant securities”) must be publicly disclosed by no later than 3.30pm (London time) on the London business day following the date of the relevant transaction. This requirement will continue until the date on which the offer becomes, or is declared, unconditional as to acceptances, lapses or is otherwise withdrawn or on which the “offer period” otherwise ends. If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire an “interest” in “relevant securities” of DIC or of Liverpool, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.
Under the provisions of Rule 8.1 of the Code, all “dealings” in “relevant securities” of DIC or of Liverpool by Liverpool or by DIC or by any of their respective “associates”, must be disclosed by no later than 12.00 noon (London time) on the London business day following the date of the relevant transaction.
A disclosure table, giving details of the companies in whose “relevant securities” “dealings” should be disclosed, and the number of such securities in issue, can be found on the Takeover Panel’s website at
“Interests in securities” arise, in summary, when a person has long economic exposure, whether conditional or absolute, to changes in the price of securities. In particular, a person will be treated as having an “interest” by virtue of the ownership or control of securities, or by virtue of any option in respect of, or derivative referenced to, securities. Terms in quotation marks are defined in the Code, which can also be found on the Panel’s website. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you are required to disclose a “dealing” under Rule 8, you should consult the Panel.

Continue reading Reds confirm exclusive negotations with DIC

Dubai International confirm Reds investment hopes

After months of speculation and made-up stories, even as recently as yesterday in some of the Sundays, it has been officially confirmed who it is that wants to buy Liverpool FC.

The name of the interested party is Dubai International Capital, who we wish were actually called International Capital Dubai. They aren't though, meaning that Liverpool fans will have to face endless DIC jokes if the deal does go through. For now though, it is still just an "if".

The amount needed to buy Liverpool is being quoted everywhere as £450m, but no figures were mentioned in the announcements by DIC. It was DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari who confirmed that his group were now starting to look at the club's accounts. Speaking to Bloomberg, DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari said "Liverpool's investment requirements are well publicised. We hope we can agree a deal that will provide us with the opportunity to fund its needs both on and off the pitch."

A process known as "due diligence" has now begun, and gives DIC the exclusive rights to study the books at the club. This is where DIC' advisors get the chance to see for themselves if what they've been told so far about the club is true.

Everything else is pretty much just speculation. The figure of £450m is widely quoted, and is said by many reports to include £200m to fund the building of the new stadium. A figure often quoted is of Liverpool having £80m debt although many argue that this is not a true figure at all.

DIC also own the Tussauds Group, the Travelodge chain and is a third-owner of the London Eye and are ultimately owned by the rulers of Dubai, the Maktoum family. The head of the family is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and as well as ruling Dubai he is also Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates. He is said to be the world's fifth richest man, quite some way ahead of Chelsea's Roman Abramovich.

The family is well known internationally for their Godolphin horse stables and are said to be genuine sports fans. The chief executive of DIC, Mr al-Ansari, is said to be a Liverpool fan himself.

Meetings were said to be taking place recently with all those who had shown an interest in buying the club, but the Dubai bid was the one that was good enough to get this access to the books. If no hitches are encountered on the way it is expected that Liverpool will be in the hands of their new owners for the turn of the year.

Continue reading Dubai International confirm Reds investment hopes

Gunners again for Reds in FA Cup 3rd round

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has been made this afternoon and The Reds have been handed a home draw against Arsenal.

Liverpool are of course the current holders of the cup, and are playing the team that won it the year before. The game is scheduled for the weekend of January 6th and 7th. Everton also got a home draw (against Blackburn) so one of the two will have to play on Sunday. It's pretty unlikely that the Liverpool match won't be selected to be televised.

Liverpool have already been beaten 3-0 in the league this season by Arsenal, but that was away from home in the Liverpool spell where they couldn't win or score away from home.

This fixture is at home – as is the Carling Cup tie between the two which is in two weeks on December 19th. By the time the season's over these two sides will know a lot about each other.

Full Draw:

Blackpool v Aldershot or Basingstoke
Barnet v Colchester
Sheff Utd v Swansea
Reading v Burnley
Portsmouth v Wigan
Mansfield or Doncaster v Bolton
West Ham v Brighton
Leicester v Fulham
Derby v Wrexham
Wolves v Oldham
Bury or Chester v Ipswich
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Sheff Wed v Man City
Tamworth v Norwich
Salisbury or Nottm For v Charlton
Cardiff v Tottenham
Preston v Sunderland
Liverpool v Arsenal
Bristol Rovers or Bournemouth v Hereford
Watford v Stockport
Crystal Palace v Swindon
Bristol City v Coventry
Peterborough v Plymouth
QPR v Luton
Southend v Barnsley
West Brom v Leeds
Hull v Middlesbrough
Birmingham v Newcastle
Torquay or Leyton Orient v Southampton
Everton v Blackburn
Chelsea v Macclesfield
Stoke v Bradford or Millwall

Continue reading Gunners again for Reds in FA Cup 3rd round