As well as branding UEFA's William Gaillard a "clown",
Liverpool's co-owner Tom Hicks has been hinting that new signings are on the
He spoke about Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher's
contracts being agreed bar the legalities prior to the Athens final, saying
that the club were not willing to announce the agreement until the lawyers had written-up
and scrutinised the small-print. "The deal was done
before the game at Athens," he said, "but we couldn't talk about it publicly because
the lawyers were preparing all the paperwork. We all knew that before Athens
this was going to happen and I am just happy it is now official."
He knows how highly Reds supporters rate the duo: "Our
fans view Steven and Carra as their two favourite players, they are both local
boys and are local men and are leaders. They are our captains and are still in
the prime of their careers."
Liverpool supporters have had a mixed time of things of
late. Ticketing problems for the Champions League final and UEFA's declaration
that it was all our fault have been added to doubts that Rafa will be given the
funds he was promised for the players he wants to buy. Add to that perceived
delays in getting new deals agreed for Pepe Reina and Xabi Alonso and Reds fans
are getting jittery.
Hicks tried to pacify the supporters, hinting that work was
being done behind the scenes: "I would say to fans 'just be patient', because
we're talking to Rafa often. Rick Parry is in charge of getting the contracts
negotiated, we have lawyers working on it and I think the
fans are going to like the outcome. Maybe we'll hear something in the
Unfortunately it wasn't clear whether Hicks was referring to
the signings of existing players – still very important but surely not a
difficult process if the players are happy to stay – or if he was referring to brand-new
signings. One player we are certainly speaking to – through the correct
channels – is Florent Malouda of Lyon and it is likely that is who Hicks is
Hicks certainly feels the work being done this summer will
give the club a good chance of challenging for the title. In the interview for
Sky Sports News he also said: "Our goal is to play good football all year next year.
I think in the Premiership you have to be so consistent and we lost far too many
games on the road – particularly to lesser teams – and I think that's the goal
going into next season. To try to win those games we haven't been winning in
the Premiership and give ‘Manchester U' a good run for their money."