Tonight at half time – Go and Go Now!

Sons of Shankly / Spirit of ShanklySince DIC made their statement yesterday everything you hear suggests Liverpool’s supporters want, en masse, to make their feelings known about what they want the current owners to do. Go, and go now. It’s clear that tonight’s game against West Ham is a terrific opportunity. So let’s do this:

15 minutes of solid protest from the minute the half time whistle goes. Wherever you are in the ground, make your voice heard.

Every single one of you has to share the responsibility to join in. Don’t wait for others to take the lead, don’t feel self conscious. Get involved, get rowdy. Let’s stand together.

Those of you who feel that it’s hard to get the message out, those of you who feel it’s hard to educate people, well have another go now, be emphatic:

  • They said they wouldn’t do a Glazer and buy the club with its own money. They have. We’ll be paying off 30m a year for them to own our club.
  • They said there would be a spade in the ground within 60 days of taking over. Still no start date for the stadium. And they still haven’t secured the money to buy it.
  • They said they’d back our traditions and way of doing things. They offered the manager’s job to Jurgen Klinsmann and then discussed it publicly
  • They haven’t spent a penny of their own money – all the signings are on the never never. When does the never never end?
  • For this investment of theirs to work they need us to finish fourth year in, year out and get the stadium built. Success for Kop Holdings and success for LFC are not the same thing.

If you feel people need educating, people in your work, your school, your boozer, your house, print that out and give it to them. Talk to them. Tell them why you are so angry, tell them why we need change. No one is saying DIC will be perfect but it’ll be fresh start, a chance to move this football club which we all love forward.

Hicks and Gillett dragged this club through the mud and have wasted a year of our time. It ends now. They should go now.

Tonight. Half time. Tell Hicks and Gillett exactly that.

Spirit of Shankly.

Hicks says No. We say GO!

hicks-gillett.jpgLiverpool chairmen Tom Hicks and George Gillett have been given the ideal opportunity. The opportunity to walk away, to do the right thing. They wanted a profit; they’ve been offered a profit. They can say ‘Yes’ for their own benefit and for our benefit.

But will they?

Al-Ansari talks about Tom Hicks’ valuation of the club being ‘in dreamland’; Mr Hicks is further in dreamland if he thinks he will ever be accepted at LFC. He’s a rich man, a business man, but surely, being as rich as he is, he wants to be able to enjoy his investments. If he tries to grin and bear it then it emphasises what we already know – he’s only in it for one reason: the money and the money alone.

George Gillett’s silence speaks volumes. He’s no longer interested or charming us. He wants to get out with the maximum possible profit. Well it’s time to either get out of hiding or get out of our club, Mr Gillett.

Will they do the right thing, and leave? They aren’t wanted, they surely know that. To stay – and turn down an offer for the club that can hopefully take us out of this sorry mess we find ourselves in – is what we all want. Cash is what they want and they have been offered millions for wasting a year of our time.

If they say ‘No’ it goes against the wishes of virtually every supporter. So they wouldn’t be listening to fans. This would be their clearest indication that they don’t care about the fans. They want to cash in on us, they want to sell the “Kop” brand but when it comes right down to it, the much acclaimed 12th Man has his opinions tossed aside so they can greedily wring every last penny out of the club.

Regardless you’ve been, we’ve all been, given an opportunity – if they reject the offer, take the opportunity at the West Ham game to make it known we will not take this lying down.

If they say nothing take the opportunity to hammer home your wishes as Liverpool supporters. They’ve given us the chance to make our point, DIC have given them the chance to leave with a modicum of grace and a hefty profit.

Take the chance – let the world know what you want.

Spirit Of Shankly

Bid rejected but Liverpool talks go on into night

It was reported earlier today that Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett had until midnight tonight to accept an offer from Dubai International Capital for their shares in the club, after which the offer would be withdrawn, but it now seems the deadline related to a response as opposed to an acceptance. One report says talks are going on into the evening.

Reports overnight said a formal offer was made by DIC last Wednesday, but no response had been received from the US duo. This morning came confirmation of talks by DIC’s chairman Sameer al-Ansari, the first acknowledgement in public from DIC. After that it was reported by the Echo that DIC had given Hicks and Gillett until midnight to accept the offer, or they would end negotiations.

Later in the day the Associated Press claimed they’d been told Tom Hicks had rejected the offer. Which would suggest DIC would then be walking away. However DIC had already said, via a spokesperson, that no timescale applied to the talks.

Now we get some clarification and it seems wires had been slightly crossed. The owners had been sitting on the offer for almost a week and DIC wanted an answer, one way or the other, before midnight. Without that the deal would be off. Continue reading Bid rejected but Liverpool talks go on into night

Report: Hicks and Gillett reject DIC offer

The saga surrounding Liverpool’s ownership situation is still ongoing, with the US press now up and about and reporting the story too. Liverpool’s current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, were offered £400m last Wednesday by Dubai International Capital for the club according to reports, and further reports claimed a midnight deadline to accept the offer. Reports claimed no response either way from either owner had been received for the club.

US press agency that Associated Press have now claimed to have information that the bid was rejected. They report: “Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. have rejected Dubai International Capital’s bid for the Premier League club, The Associated Press has learned. The £400million offer was immediately turned down, a person involved with the negotiations told the AP. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.”

That of course suggest an anomaly in the earlier stories. They claimed the offer was made six days ago and by this morning had still not had a response, yet this report says it was “immediately” rejected.

DIC won’t confirm LFC deadline report

Further to earlier reports, Dubai International Capital are now denying having put a deadline of midnight on their offer for Liverpool FC.

Earlier reports said that DIC had made an offer last Wednesday of £400m for LFC, representing a profit of £25m each for current owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Then DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari gave the first admission from DIC that they’d been trying to buy into the Reds: “It’s no secret that we have been in discussions with the current owners,” he said. “It’s not easy because the owners are in dreamland about valuations at the moment.” He later confirmed it was not both owners any more, as one of them “had come out of dreamland”.

Later came a report in the Liverpool Echo that spoke of a deadline of midnight. But a DIC spokesperson, Jehad Saleh, would not confirm anything more than the previously stated admission that talks were taking place. No admission of an offer, no mention of a price, and a claim that no deadlines had been set. Saleh said: “No figures have been (publicly) mentioned, and talks are ongoing. No timeline has been set on the talks.” Continue reading DIC won’t confirm LFC deadline report

DIC: Accept £400m by midnight or we’re off

It looks like D-day for Liverpool. “D” for decision, not “DIC”. A decision on where the club’s future lies. And the options on the table now seem to be more limited than previously thought. More to the point, the options won’t all be there after midnight tonight.

DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari confirmed interest in buying the club earlier today: “It’s no secret that we have been in discussions with the current owners. It’s not easy because the owners are in dreamland about valuations at the moment.” He later clarified his definition of “owners” plural, saying that one of them “had come out of dreamland” now. He didn’t say which one, but it’s not hard to guess who he meant.

This was the first time that DIC had publicly admitted to their interest, although they’ve been making it known off the record for some time, as reading most newspapers will prove. The comments followed on from a story overnight that Amanda Staveley, a senior partner of London-based private equity organisation PCP, had made a formal offer on behalf of DIC to buy the club from the current owners. Continue reading DIC: Accept £400m by midnight or we’re off

DIC admit Liverpool FC takeover talks

Dubai International Capital have confirmed for the first time that they have been in discussions with Liverpool’s current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett about a possible takeover. Until now we’ve had to rely on off-the-record admissions of interest and have not been able to read any direct quotes, but DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari has now admitted the interest.

He said: “It’s no secret that we have been in discussions with the current owners. It’s not easy because the owners are in dreamland about valuations at the moment.”

Al-Ansari was later pressed about his statement referring to both owners being in “dreamland” and explained that in fact one of the duo “had come out of dreamland” but declined to name which one. But dreamland or not, it’s known that Gillett wants out and Hicks is determined to stay. However the implication of al-Ansari’s words is that Hicks has named a price – just a rather large one.

Whether the valuations have been at “dreamland” level or not is a matter of opinion of course, and neither owner is obliged to sell purely because it’s the best offer on the table. Their decision has to be based on whether selling at the best available price is more profitable to them in the long run than holding on and waiting for possible future revenue increases to kick in.

Some reports claim DIC only want control of the club, requiring them to one way or another acquire part of Hicks’ share as well as all of Gillett’s, but Hicks also wants control of the club rather than be a minority partner to DIC.

Result – Bolton 1 Liverpool 3

Barclays Premier League – March 2nd 2008 – Result

Bolton 1 Liverpool 3
Cohen 79 Jaaskelainen 12 (og), Babel 60, Aurelio 75
   

Bolton 1 Liverpool 3

Reaction:

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: “It was a good game and great performance of the team. We worked hard, played well and created chances so I am pleased. We had some problems at free-kicks but after this we controlled the game.

“We were trying to pass the ball and go forward and we had two or three clear chances. The idea was to have a good game and get the three points.”

“Every win is important but especially now with it being so close in the fight for fourth position. You need to put the other teams around you under pressure and we have done that today. As we have a game in hand, it depends on what we do. You do not need to see the table every day. If we can win against West Ham, then we can go into the Newcastle game and the Champions League match with Inter with more confidence. It is really important that we keep winning.”

“It was disappointing for him (Jaaskelainen, Bolton keeper and scorer of a bizarre own goal) but good for us. Sometimes these things happen and we went on to play well after a difficult opening few minutes. I said before the match that the team was really concentrated and was training well. In the first five minutes when we had problems with their free-kicks but after that I think the team played well. We were trying to keep the ball because we knew it would be more physical if we didn’t keep possession, so the idea was to play with a high tempo.”

“I think it was a good game for him (Babel, scorer after 60 minutes). He had plenty of space and he could get in behind defenders, he could go into one-on-one situations. They had to keep an eye on Torres and Gerrard and it gave Babel more freedom.”

Bolton boss Gary Megson: “We did well initially. The first goal can be vital and it took the wind out of our sails. We had to change and got caught trying to go forward. We got picked off rather too easily. If we feel sorry for ourselves then we will sink but if we roll our sleeves up we will get out of this trouble.

“Jussi is a fantastic goalkeeper. He made two great saves after that. He has held his hands up but these balls move quite a bit in the air and it came back and hit him in the face. Continue reading Result – Bolton 1 Liverpool 3

Teams: Bolton v Reds – Carra back as right back

Rafa Benitez recalls Jamie Carragher after his suspension last week against Middlesbrough but he’s going to play right-back not his favourite position but as a professional he knows he’s got to accept whatever role he gets from his manager. Martin Skrtel gets a recall too and will play in the centre of defence alongside Sami Hyypia.

Xabi Alonso’s back in midfield which is the third of the three changes Rafa has made today. He’ll play alongside Javier Mascherano with Gerrard expected to play the much more of a free role he’s had recently.

Liverpool desperately need all three points – not an easy task given Liverpool’s difficulties this season and the fact that Bolton’s ground is far from Rafa’s favourite hunting ground. A win today would give them the chance to make fourth place their own in midweek if they could win their game-in-hand against West Ham. Two games in hand going into the game, Liverpool are sixth.

Bolton: 22 Jaaskelainen, 15 Steinsson, 31 O’Brien, 33 Cahill, 11 Gardner, 24 O’Brien, 8 Campo, 4 Nolan, 21 Diouf, 14 Davies, 32 Taylor
Subs: 26 Al Habsi, 5 Meite, 7 Giannakopoulos, 25 Cohen, 47 Rasiak

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 37 Skrtel, 12 Aurelio, 14 Alonso, 20 Mascherano, 8 Gerrard, 19 Babel, 18 Kuyt, 9 Torres
Subs: 40 Martin, 6 Riise, 11 Benayoun, 15 Crouch, 17 Arbeloa

Referee: Phil Dowd

Report: Hicks may dilute Rangers / Stars holding to hang onto Reds

An article syndicated throughout the US press overnight claims that Tom Hicks is looking to refinance the whole of his sports empire as part of a bid to take over full control at Anfield. The implication is that he’s so determined to hang onto Liverpool Football Club that he might just allow other investors to get a stake in everything he does in sport.

His 50% shareholding in the Reds is just one part of his sports empire, as well as the Reds he owns the Texas Rangers (baseball), Dallas Stars (ice hockey) and Mesquite Championship Rodeo (rodeo, unsurprisingly) amongst other interests including stadia. All of these come under the umbrella of the Hicks Sports Group, previously called Southwest Sports Group. The name change helps avoid stories like this default on a $135m loan by this Hicks sports group  appear when searching on Hicks’ activities in sport. Continue reading Report: Hicks may dilute Rangers / Stars holding to hang onto Reds