George Gillett turns down DIC’s offer, but talks go on. Tom Hicks hears that DIC’s latest offer to Gillett is for a £40m, maybe even £80m profit. Suddenly Hicks wants to talk, and won’t stand in DIC’s way if they want to buy Gillett’s share.
Then Hicks issues a denial, saying not only is he unwilling to sell his share, he also wants to block DIC from buying all of Gillett’s share.
It’s another day in the soap opera that is being made of Liverpool FC’s future.
To put it bluntly, George and Tom like each other far more than most Liverpool fans like either of them. And George and Tom are said to hate each other now.
Who cares about being liked though? You don’t become dollar billionaires by being liked, you often get there by ruining lives, causing heartache, bringing misery. You buy companies, make people redundant, sell the trademarks, make a profit, disappear. You make promises, break them, disappear. You do what you can get away with, take your money, leave the mess behind, and disappear.
For some reason, Tom Hicks and George Gillett just won’t take their money and disappear. Actually Gillett has disappeared, but we get news that he’s speaking from his sick bed with instructions to his people on how far to push DIC for more money. Quite why Gillett is holding on and risking the bid being withdrawn is hard to see, he’s the least wealthy of the two owners and stands to be inconvenienced most if DIC back out and leave the childish 60-odd-year-olds to fight it out with each other. Even £25m profit is not to be sniffed at by someone whose contribution has been to use none of his own money and to wear Liverpool scarves occasionally whilst making promises he can’t keep and flashing dollar bills he probably borrowed too. But £40m, or £80m if some reports are to be believed? To turn that down is pure greed and will help ensure that when his obituary is written his children and grandchildren will read about how their privileged lives came about due to George Gillett Junior’s ability to ruin lives and break hearts.
The reports overnight were that Hicks had seen how much DIC were offering Gillett and had finally relented. He would not stop Gillett’s sale, and more to the point he wanted a piece of the action himself. Except he’d not been offered the £40m or more that Gillett had been offered. He was going to have to accept the £25m. But when he woke up this morning he didn’t like seeing it all in black and white, and so acted quickly.
That Sky Sports News “breaking news” yellow ticker lit up. Anyone turning on and catching the last three words may have celebrated loudly – “Gillett sells his stake”. Put the champagne down – the rest of the sentence was “Tom Hicks intends to retain control of Liverpool even if George Gillett sells his stake.” Someone ought to tell Mr Hicks that he doesn’t actually have control of Liverpool yet. He has joint control. But he’s sticking to his line now that he intends to get control if GG sells by buying part of his share.
Last night Liverpool fans protested again against the owners. Unlike recent protests, this one happened at half-time. Previous protests had been held back until after matches had finished, as some fans were worried that the protests could distract the players from their fight to get back into form. Well much like the story of half-time renditions of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” inspiring the Reds to the their 3-goal comeback, Liverpool seemed to be inspired by the half-time chants of “You lying bastards, get out of our club”, and scored three goals in the second half. They were already performing well, but the result perhaps shows that protests won’t stop the players performing. And unless Hicks can prove something about how he can get us comfortably through to the end of the first season in a new stadium, the protests will never end.
The vast majority of Liverpool supporters want both Hicks and Gillett out. And the protests could well spread to the US and include attempts to disrupt their business interests there. Their reputations are in tatters here, and will be in their home towns too if either remains on board.