Nothing changes in Reds ownership battles

An interesting article appeared this morning in the Independent relating to Dubai International Capital’s interest in taking over at Anfield. It was the first one in a while, after what had been a never-ending flurry of stories that hit their peak when Tom Hicks announced all talks were off after a meeting in Dubai two weeks ago. The reply to that was a claim in the Liverpool Echo that talks had been called off because Hicks had refused to consider the idea of a fan representative being given a vote on the board. The claim had come without any quotes, but with a strong suggestion that it had been made via the DIC camp, and saw Hicks issue a strong denial about the truth of it.

Then it went quiet.

Behind the scenes little was being said. DIC seemed to suggest privately that they were confident they had the legal footing to launch a challenge to Hicks’ veto. Yet people inside the club suggested that not only had Gillett not accepted the offer which Hicks was supposedly vetoing, no offer had even been made. And Hicks had not changed his stance that he was close to finding minority investors to join him at Anfield, taking a majority share himself. DIC didn’t ever confirm officially that they had insisted on a fan being given a voting seat on the board, but the SoS (Spirit of Shankly) supporter’s union stated they hadn’t been approached on the matter; it seems it was never any more than an attempt to use the emotions of the supporters yet again as a means of attacking Hicks and drumming up more support for DIC. Except most fans saw through it, and perhaps it did DIC more harm than good, more fans opening their eyes to the way they’ve been used in recent months.

Liverpool’s seven-game run came to an end on Sunday, in controversial circumstances in terms of how the referee handled the game, but also showing how much more Liverpool’s owners need to invest in the squad. Perhaps that was seen as an ideal opportunity for DIC to remind Liverpool fans they were still in the background, they were still interested, and in what has at times been like an election campaign once again hinting “vote for us and we’ll buy you more players”.

The Independent article was headlined confidently from a DIC point of view: “DIC to seal £400m deal for Liverpool in ‘three to four weeks'”. But Liverpool fans are learning more and more to ignore the headlines and analyse whatever sits below.

Two reporters had worked on this story, Jason Burt and Ian Herbert, but it contains little more than speculation, and a reminder that DIC really are still interested, and still confident of winning this battle. In quotes, the story gives “three to four weeks” as the timescale for DIC’s success, saying a “source close to the proposed deal” told them this, and that it was a bid for full control of the club. Note it said full control, not 100% ownership.

The reporters claimed they were told DIC were confident of doing the deal for £400m, which works out at a far lower figure than what would have given George Gillett the £80m profit from leaks of two weeks ago. The £400m figure would give Gillett and Hicks a share of £50m profit, or £25m each. Reports varied two weeks ago on how much Gillett was supposedly going to make, but all insisted by then that it was at least £40m now, with up to £40m tied to future club success. That’s a full sale price of £430m to £510m dependent on which figure – if any – was true.

As well as the £400m figure, the reporters claimed they had been told, again in quotes, a “third party” investor was being sought by DIC to take on a minority stake. Nothing was said about who this third-party investor might be, whether they were already in agreement with DIC, or how much exactly their minority interest would be. There has been some speculation that Share Liverpool could be getting a chunk, but that is purely speculation. Previous claims coming from the “sources close to the negotiations” had said Hicks was willing to become a minority shareholder himself, and this has been speculated again today, but it remains nothing more than speculation.

Despite the article saying Gillett is “believed to already have an agreement in place (for DIC) to buy his share” this also remains as speculation, with people in the club claiming no such agreement exists as yet. The article claims DIC are “confident that Tom Hicks… is now close to agreeing to sell to them”.

The debt run up by the club since takeover means it now requires a bid of £350m to pay off the loans alone. It matters little that the club was sold for far less than that a year ago, Hicks and Gillett are not going to sell at a loss, leaving themselves saddled with part of that debt. More to the point, they want a profit for their troubles and £400m remains at the low-end of what they would sell for. They know that if the club can get through the next four years or so until the planned new stadium is bringing all its extra money in, alongside improved TV money and better exploitation of the commercial side of the club, profits should be substantial. DIC know this too, of course, and no doubt feel they can do more to increase those profits.

The source in the Independent article was quoted as saying: “It’s not a cheap deal and Hicks is holding out but there is confidence that it will now finally happen.”

And that’s what it boils down to. DIC are confident. They feel they’ve got Hicks backing into a corner and given time he’ll finally give in. But Hicks seems to be far less worried than DIC would like. Confidence is good in the football world, and no doubt is good in the business world. But confidence alone isn’t enough.

Adding more to the story, it seems the Independent had been told DIC’s Sameer Al-Ansari, the Liverpool-supporting Chairman of the Dubai group, plans to involve other “investment vehicles” in its plans for Anfield as part of a scheme to raise its profile, mentioning a possibility of hotel group Jumeirah being used as part of the new stadium development. The claims reported for some time now of DIC’s intention to review the club’s operations from top to bottom are repeated.

More speculation in the article comes in the shape of a claim that “the reason for the apparent confidence now could be that several of Hicks’ loans are due for refinancing within two or three months. This may be the trigger for his main lender – believed to be JP Morgan – to force him back into talks with DIC and accept its offer for Liverpool.”

This again causes some concern. It is of course possible that the reporters have scoured old press releases and other documents, in turn finding that loans announced in the past genuinely are due for renewal in the next few months. It could be just speculation by the reporters. But if it’s not then where has this information come from? Would Tom Hicks, his family or his staff be likely to reveal such vital information to anyone outside their own circle, let alone reporters for the Independent? Would JP Morgan be willing to breach client confidentiality and wreck their reputation by feeding such vital “facts” to the same paper? Would someone trying to unsettle Hicks as much as possible be willing to make up such “facts” in order to help their cause?

It may well be that Hicks has got loans due for refinancing before the summer, and in the current financial climate it would be no surprise if he was worried about how the refinancing would work out. But this smacks more of wishful thinking than fact.

More insight into that comes from the next couple of sentences in the article: “The full level of the Texan’s debt is unclear. But DIC sources believe he has been hit badly by the state of the financial markets in the United States, which has seen the value of assets which he has borrowed heavily against drop – in some cases by between 30 and 50 per cent.” So DIC – or sources from DIC – are guessing just how much Hicks has been hurt by the financial troubles in the US. In two sentences they admit they don’t know how much debt Hicks is in, yet claim to know he’s borrowed heavily against his various assets. It’s not an uneducated guess – the initial purchase of LFC came completely from borrowed money and the values of many US assets have fallen – but it really is just a guess.

We’ve seen the Klinsmann admissions contradict statements and newspaper quotes from Hicks, and anyone with a knowledge of how to use Google and a spare couple of hours can find endless ‘evidence’ against Hicks from days of old. Even if taken with a pinch of salt it’s often pretty damning. But how much of what has been said in recent months about Hicks has come from the guesses of those feeding information to reporters on behalf of DIC?

The article in the Independent states rather obviously that if Hicks isn’t able to get new finance deals in place when any of his loans become due then the existing lender becomes the owner of any assets that were down as security. It seems that the reporters have spoken to someone who is playing on the perceived difficulties in Gillett and Hicks’ bid for refinancing of their LFC debt in January and the growing mess in the US markets. It’s been said for some time that Gillett was the main reason from a financial point of view that refinancing was difficult – he had far fewer assets with which to guarantee his half of the loan. It’s also been said for some time that the other main difficulty was down to other board members blocking the attempts to load all of the £350m debt onto the club. The other factor in the delays was in terms of the type of finance package on offer – in this case not exactly the best one.

But how much trouble will Hicks really have when it comes to refinancing? Despite the worries in the US it seems unlikely he would be refused new finance point blank. They aren’t necessarily going to be the best finance deals he’s ever signed up to, and he may have to settle for shorter-term deals than he’d like, perhaps having to add more assets as security – but if he wants new finance he’ll get it.

If the dollar drops against the pound then his share of Liverpool FC increases in value in terms of dollars. At two dollars to the pound his half of LFC before any profit would be worth $350m. If the dollar went as far as 210 cents to the pound his half would be worth $367.5m. Nobody can predict how the markets will go, how low they’ll fall or how long they’ll take to recover, and how the dollar’s value will rise or fall over that period, but it could be argued that holding tightly to his only non-dollar investment for a little while longer would be wise. The difficulty of course comes when the LFC finance deal is due for renewal, when the assets required by the UK banks for security on his half of the £245m debt not on LFC’s books are likely to be worth less money. But for now he might well be able to sit far more comfortably than DIC seem to be assuming.

Liverpool fans want the ownership situation resolving now, before we get any closer to the next transfer window, before we find ourselves creeping into another season. If big changes are afoot, thanks to a change in control, it’s far better it happens before the new season kicks off. But those who are trying to get control of the club are more concerned with getting a deal done on their terms, and that means we may spend the summer in limbo with Gillett and Hicks supposedly join owners but not willing to speak to each other.

The article tells us little, other than showing DIC’s interest remains as strong as it was before Hicks announced all talks were off. It speculates on how precarious Tom Hicks’ financial situation could be, but bases that on the state of finance in the US as a whole rather than on anything that is known about the state of Hicks’ finances. Tom Hicks has not changed his stance – he intends to be a majority owner of LFC and has minority shareholders lined up to help him achieve that. All in all – nothing has changed.

48 thoughts on “Nothing changes in Reds ownership battles”

  1. I agree with Jim’s assessment of this situation. We’re nowhere near to DIC taking control of LFC. DIC or no DIC, we need to qualify for the Champions League next season to aspire for more transfer funds in the close season.

    As last Sunday’s match against Man U showed, we’re some way from reaching the standard the team with Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez and Nani have set. We can only reach that standard if we can buy quality players of the same calibre. Can’t see this happening with Hicks at the helm.

    Perhaps time would prove us wrong but I don’t hold much hope.

  2. I was angered when I first read this piece but restrained from posting until I gave it some time and read it again……….    ………..   …………   ………..   …………   ……….. The title and the last sentence say it all “Nothing changes………..all in all nothing has changed” Which beggars the question. How do you produce 23 odd paragraphs of what has descended in the last couple of articles on this subject into subtle propoganda for Tom Hicks and against DIC. On no evidence whatsoever DIC are tried and convicted of every leak and sly output whilst Poor old Tom is defended from any motivation other than the well being of LFC again on no evidence but speculation………     ……..      ……… A banker friend who reads this blog but doesn’t post found the dismissal of the problems LBO’s are experiencing in the US right now as particularly ill-informed. Thanks for the memories Jim this was once the most balanced source of debate on our ownership.

  3. I often see it stated that a £400m price means a £50m (joint) profit, but I don’t think that is right.  G&H did arrange a loan of £350m in January, but that money has not been ploughed into the club.  Not yet, anyway.

    I hope the money has not even been drawn down yet, because, if it has, it hasnt been spent on LFC (conveniently, we do not have planning permission).

    So if G&H receive £400m cash, then they will have much less than £350m to repay to the banks.

    The other possibility is a much more worrying one.  ie that they have drawn down the capital, but spent it elsewhere.  In that scenario, then G&H would indeed have to repay £350m (plus interest) to the banks.  However, their profit would still be greater than £50m as it would include the diverted funds too.

  4. I have to say that I barely read the whole post, unusually, because I couldn’t really see where the article was going. So on that I point I’m at one with John.

    However, John, I think we should cut Jim some slack: every journalist/blogger is allowed one erroneous article in a hundred.

    I read Jin’s article as going over old ground ie both Hicks and DICs are jostling for position and the fans ear.

    Hicks has said what it wants: majority ownership. No more, no less.

    DIC said it won’t pay over the odds and wants majority, if not total, ownership.

    I think DIC knows about Hicks difficulties from Gillett, his former friendly-colleague, which allows their PR people to brief The Independents journalists about his position.

    I think Hicks is doing everything possible to leverage other partners into buying into the club on the basis that there’s money to be made (with Sky TV cash and international markets such as Asia yet to be fulfilled.) But as has been said before, he’s not an ideal partner, particularly majority one, and the animosity from fans is enough to scare most investors away.

    So, has nothing changed? I think not – because in the world of business and football nothing ever remains the same.

    So what has changed? The American market is a little choppy (although the Dow Jones showed signs of bouncing back (a little) today). The Club is doing better than a few weeks ago by progressing in the Champions League and looking like the team most likely for next years Champions League qualifying 4th spot. The fans are a little quieter (although there’s still plenty of time for things to go wrong.) Rafa’s able to concentrate on football (although after Bennett’s petulance and Masch out-of-character but polite pursuit of the man in black- he may have other issues on his mind again.) And perhaps the biggest change of all is that Hicks has finally learnt to shut-up by not releasing things to his American friends (although you wonder how long this will last for!)

    So where next for the ownership of the Club? Well, who knows! But I’d rather the journalists keep writing, keep publishing their stories and allow us a mini-insight into the shenanigans behind the scenes. Thus enabling us to debate freely on this blog what next for our great club.

    I don’t trust Hicks – but it’s clear others are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – albeit wrongly in my view.

    I’m not sure I trust DIC either. But as I’ve not got the cash to buy the club myself, I’d like to keep knowing what has or hasn’t changed so that I can keep the pressure going with my fellow reds.

    John, I do think Bankers can get things wrong – as we’ve seen in America lately and some of the unreported redundancies happening in the City. Remember not everyone in the US is reeling………though, my personal view is that Hicks is up against it as is Gillett.

    Jim, I do wonder whether your straddling whether Hicks is an altogether bad guy for the club or not. I’d like it if you’d give us a (current) insight into where you really stand on Hicks or DICs now we’ve got a yawn break for the friendly internationals?

  5. I am still in favour of DIC, they of course will bring their own problems to the table. But as investors, and in the spirit of Shankly…not interferring in the ‘Holy Trinity’, i believe they will be a steadier and healthier investor group than the other two. Therefore i still believe they are the right group to take us forward, i just wish this would be sorted by the summer at the latest, we can’t have another season like this one.

  6. The independent are anti-LFC

    This blog piece tells us nothing

    I’ve wasted my time twice today.

  7. John, you’ve written some great posts on here and we’ve exchanged a few, and i agree with you to a degree, but maybe you’re being a little harsh on Jim. I mean, objectivity is a difficult thing to try and permeate this wall of mess with.

    Maybe it’s a case of the truth hurts to a degree. I’d personally find it very surprising if DIC hadn’t tried to use the press to their advantage just as Hicks has. Actually my opinion of them would go down if they hadn’t pursued all avenues to help them takeover.

    But Jim, the negative undertones directed at DIC… Well ok, say they have used the press, so what? Lets not lose sight of what really matters here. What is essential, absolutely critical, are the intentions of either our current owners or the would be owners. I think we know what we make of the former, but if the latter do (and this remains unfounded until proved otherwise) genuinely have our best interests at heart hand in hand with their own, which lets face it, realistically, is the best we can hope for, then who cares if they have feed information to get us on their side. Let’s face it, they’ve got a long way to go before they equal ‘Snoogy Doogy’ and ‘The best stadium in the world’.

    To be honest this whole affair has become, to state the obvious, so protracted, i’m starting to lose interest. Not to say i don’t care, i’ll probably still google ‘liverpool dic’ in google news every lunch hour, but the best i can say is lets fight as we have fought, protest as we have protested, and forget the all the bullshit that comes out until the day it is sorted once and for all… Then again, isn’t that what Jim was saying?

  8. Hey Jim Boardman

    What’s this shit all about, why r you stiring the mud, what do you really want, what r this stupid assesment your doing?
    We already know all about these, and you r creating a sort of confusion with your article ,if your not sure just shut your big mouth and let the things turn around.
    Personally am for the good benefit of the club and clearly the americans don’t have the cash to run the club.its been since 2004 we haven’t won at manchester. we couln’t afford to buy christiano ronaldo for 4million Euro in 2004 or 2003, we could’t afford to buy sergio aguero 15million euro in 2006. we did’nt challenge for the title for about 20years, we have lost our class in the previous years, all these due to Rick Parry, Phil Thompson and the liverpool board who has been like a rat and who has been cracking this beautiful team in a piece of scrap, its humilliating when you think how much we fans endured this and how long we’vw been wanting  our lost glory,
    DIC are running in for the benefit of the club,We are the one to back them if not people like you creating confusion amongst fans will only delay the american parasite to get hold on the club and the time frame will just as long as you could have imagined,
    Please just shut up and let things turn around , you r not the only one to care for the club,

    For your info, if the article was pure speculation , the baldhead hicks would have denied the speculation, Yet the silence is ongoing and DIC are preparing the lethal attack, SHHHH!!!!Don’t make any noise man ,@ least don’t be a Hypocrite, cause i think you’ll be the first one to jump if you hear that DIC are offering  more than 100 Million to sign players and begin the new stadium


  9. I do not understand the difficulties Hicks faces with his other LBOs in the US.

    But as a standalone investment he’d be crazy to let LFC go.

    LBOs are typically arranged against asset values. But as the financial markets have shown asset values can drop, rapidly.  But with the appreciating Euro assets such as Gerrard, Mascherano and Torres are only appreciating in value. A Euro50m bid for Gerrard is worth at least 10% more in Sterling than it was say a couple of months ago.

    Furthermore its the rich cash flow of Liverpool with the escalating domestic tv rights, champions league earnings, proper commercial exploitation of the club’s image rights and a 40,000 home crowd each week that can now be used to leverage debt.

    Hicks can ride through 4 years of abject mediocrity on the pitch and it doesnt take too much to have a chance of 4th as Moyes is showing.  And once the stadium is built then Hicks is quids in.

    And he has an incredible safety net.  DIC waiting in the wings to take it off his hands if it starts to go a little wrong.

    This one has a long way to run yet. 

  10. Good article, Jim.

    Yes, despite the newspaper article, there is precious new.  

    Hicks is someone we want to leave ASAP, but DIC are no angels themselves.   I for one, have not been overly impressed by their use of the media.  That is not the ‘Liverpool way’ by any thinking.  Indeed, in business, it is not the done thing (to conduct negotiations and give updates in the media). 
    DIC are our best bet as things stand.  But we’re now in the world of big business.  And this is an awful wakeup call for our once proudly owned family club.

  11. I appreciate the job Jim has put in here with all the updates and info put in to us… and to add more to it, as I stand, living in Dubai, I have never heard a source inside the city claim that DIC are approaching Liverpool FC by any chance, all the news in that regard have come from the UK which makes it even harder to take.

    The way I see it is that, the UK press had a powerful claim to be the one with the "ball in their court" since the Klinsmann affair, but they complately blown the whole idea out of propertions and didn’t even win the Liverpool supporters in any way possible. Add more to it, the US press haven’t put in any lead to what this whole mess is about, and neither did the press here in the UAE! It’s only the UK press who’s giving feedbacks and suggestive qoutes on that regard, and most of it… just as usuall is pure speculations, speculations which they build assumptinos and Facts "would you believe it" about where is the position of us the Red supporters…

    It’s a difficult time that’s for sure, but honestly, I can’t see it going any longer, something’s gonna happen soon, it might surprise many of us, as much as the Klinsmann story did, but still it will bring further speculations to all of this and hopefully bring an end to all this shit we had to live through.

    Whereas matters on the field at the time being sound aweful after a defeat to the scumbags, I totally believe that next season will be a totally different one. Considering that Gerrard, Carragher, Crouch & Agger will all be out of any action during the entire summer, and considering Spain’s unimpressive results in the Euros which might bring back our Spanish lads, it can be a very relaxing time for everyone, to put an end to all the crap we had to deal with for 18 years and bring #19 back home where it should be… Many of you might argue that we have been on a downfall considering our results against the top 3, but to score 99 goals in all competition is not an easy feat in which ever way you wanna call it, considering our top score was 84 in a season where we won the FA Cup! YNWA

  12. Football pitches are littered with chairmen/owners thoroughly despised by the clubs’ fans: for every Randy Lerner there are a dozen Freddy Shepperds, David Golds, Ken Bates or Glazers (let alone the bewildering Mike Ashleys of the world). While David Moores for all those years may not have printed a mint of money in his garage to give over for transfers, he was generally appreciated for his commitment and belief in the values of Liverpool and for the dignity accorded to the club and its fans.

    My point? We all want what is best for the club in both the short-term and long run, and I have to wonder how much of this debate about whether DIC is the better option would be happening if H&G had deeper pockets. We would still actively hate them for being lying evil bumbling duplicitous snivelling idiots, but the edge of our hatred would be dulled by all that cash coming through for transfers and a stadium. It’s not a pretty truth, but it is accurate.

    My point again? I’ll sell my football soul to DIC, even if they’ve manipulated the fans’ affections and the media just as much as H&G have tried to do, because they will make this club work, both on and off the pitch, with a big enough war chest to do battle (or at least keep up) with Arsenal and the-other-two- teams-whose-names-I-can’t-even-write-down-I- despise-them-so-much. If they have true supporters at the helm…if they don’t load debt on the club and instead invest in the transfer market…if they commit to the vision of our manager…well, they can manipulate me all they want.

  13. lfc are in a mess and it makes me want to correct if im wrong but were dic not in due dilligence when parry and moores suddenly decided that the yanks were a better proposition for the we see that the yanks are talk and no trousers why are dic suddenly messiahs,i dont buy it moores and parry should tell why they thought the yanks were better there has got to be reason they didnt trust them.Lfc need a shake up from top to bottom anyone watching what is comically called grandslam sunday saw that manu are miles ahead of us its not even fuuny

  14. John Steele »
    I wrote this, eventually, after reading John’s comment below. I wrote it before I read any others. It’s a long one I’m afraid, but there’s so much to say to try and explain my stance. I’ll read the later comments now too.
    But let me get this clear – I’m not backing Hicks by saying that there’s a possibility he really has got a chance of buying out Gillett. I’m not saying DIC should clear off because they fed stories to the press that were not exactly true.
    If Hicks proves everyone wrong and finds the money, reduces the interest payments and gets us some decent transfer funds as we move towards the new stadium then we’ll have much less to complain about. But it remains a big “if”. Which is how it stands with DIC. Nothing we’ve been told about their intentions is on the record. So let’s open our eyes, our ears and our minds and stop these wealthy people from playing with us like puppets. Let’s have some honesty.
    Anyway, here’s my reply to John…
    I’m disappointed you feel that way about this article, because I feel you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. My writing obviously wasn’t clear enough and so you read something that I don’t feel was there.
    I’ve tried to write a reply about eight times now, I keep scrapping them because they get too long. I’ll try again. Perhaps that’s why the original article is so long – there’s a lot to explain.
    I know you’re smart enough to realise that evidence of who leaked what is never going to be forthcoming. If you could get the mobile phone records of certain individuals then maybe you’d have enough proof – but you aren’t going to get that.
    DIC have employed a PR firm to liaise with the press. Their job isn’t to release statements on behalf of DIC, it’s literally to talk to the press. None of what they say ever has the name of the person saying it alongside it. But they are feeding information to the press. I can’t prove it to you, so it’s a case of taking my word for it, but you’ll probably be able to get the same word from others too.
    Even if I didn’t know which people were leaking items to the media I’d have been suspicious of the David Prentice story. It was labelled “exclusive” and was written by him because Tony Barrett was in Milan. Tony would probably have grilled the informant a little more than Prentice did, but Barrett’s a passionate Kopite and with all due respect Prentice is a bluenose filling in for an absent colleague. Prentice would have made up a “DIC want to Groundshare” story if he’d wanted to make anything up, so it was obviously fed by someone. It was in relation to a meeting held in Dubai between DIC representatives and Hicks representatives. It followed the printing of a confidential email from Hicks to al-Ansari in the papers on the Saturday. That email was ok to be copied to other members of the DIC team involved in negotiations for LFC, but the fact it left that circle adds more weight to the evidence of how DIC are using the press to serve their needs.
    In my view the leaked email was a useful leak, it finally ended the cloak and dagger denials over talks. It also, in my view, suggested talks were far less advanced than had been suggested repeatedly before.
    Unfortunately, we’ve got to accept that DIC have made heavy use of the media to get their views across but have rarely allowed themselves to be quoted and in turn held to anything of note.
    This article wasn’t in any way shape or form propaganda for one “side” over another. We’ve been lied to repeatedly in the last 15 months or so, and very few people involved in the takeover can hold their heads up and say they haven’t at least been economical with the truth at one stage or other.
    One set of lies finally brought pretty much the whole fanbase down against Hicks and Gillett when the Klinsmann admission was made. Prior to that a lot of fans had suspected there had already been lies, but most were clinging on in vain hope that the lies were from the papers not the owners. That revelation opened the floodgates as we all reviewed past statements and more and more old articles were found putting the owners in an increasingly bad light. They brought all of that upon themselves.
    For many fans, the fact we were lied to, shareholders were lied to and the manager was lied to is in itself enough to end any relationship with the owners. Don’t get me wrong, if they’d been honest they still would have struggled to get away with what they did, but some respect may have been due for being honest. Being honest by admitting to having lied repeatedly (the Klinsmann revelations) is unfortunately not quite the same as being honest from the off. Would there have been an outburst from Rafa if he’d been told the truth about the transfer budget from the off? The lies are what pissed most of us off.
    And this is where I start to get slightly uncomfortable with DIC. The story in the Echo was untrue. The Echo reported in good faith what they’d been told, but it was untrue. Tom Hicks issued a denial. DIC said nothing. I started personally to feel we were being played like puppets. Here we are demanding the removal of one set of liars, but were we jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
    I’m prepared to accept that the supporter board member story was a mixture of Chinese whispers and a lack of thinking before speaking. That’s being pretty kind about it, I’m sure most would agree. It sounds like a blatant lie designed to boost feelings for DIC and knock another nail into the Hicks coffin. If I can let DIC off for that should I also let Hicks off when he does something similar? I can’t really let anyone off if they don’t tell me they made a mistake, so neither of them are off the hook for quickfire misleading responses to difficult questions.
    And overall I think we deserve honesty, and the chance to make our own minds up. DIC don’t need to interfere as much as they have if they want fans to dislike Tom Hicks and George Gillett. They have done that already, all by themselves.
    The article asked what had changed – well what has changed? Is this the start of another media battle between DIC and Hicks?
    The fact remains that Tom Hicks has not accepted any offer from DIC to buy his half of the club. As far as I can tell, no official offer has been made to either owner, and there are contradictory claims over whether or not Gillett has accepted any kind of offer in principal.
    DIC maintain their stance that they want to buy the whole club, and that they feel it’s only a matter of time before Hicks gives in. They are basing that on their estimates of how close Hicks is to being in big financial trouble.
    Hicks still hasn’t produced any evidence to say he’ll be able to find these minority investors he’s mentioned. He’s still not elaborated on how he could possibly allow the club to find the money it needs to compete for the next few years with all the debt to deal with. But unfortunately that proves nothing.
    There are hundreds of people in the world richer than Hicks – if he found just one or two of them willing to chip in for his attempts to buy out more of LFC then that would end DIC’s hopes of buying out Gillett. It’s taking an age to find them – is that because they don’t exist, or because they are wary of the markets, or because they want more time to consider it? Nobody knows, but we still can’t write that possibility off.
    Nobody truly knows the state of Hicks’ finances. Is it not possible that all of his US loans are set for review in two-to-three years rather than two-to-three months? If so, what does it matter, really, how the value of his assets has fallen? As long as the various businesses making the loan payments can still do so the banks really aren’t going to be paying much attention to it. Unless they’ve some clause in their agreements saying otherwise, or suspect some foul play, they can’t demand a fresh valuation on the assets. In two to three years the markets may well have recovered with a bit to spare, who knows?
    If we’re painting Hicks as a ruthless individual only interested in money, we’ve got to stop thinking emotionally about how he is planning to play this game.
    If his financial troubles are as bad as is suggested, why is he still here? Why is he still playing this game of bluff? Is it possible the troubles aren’t as severe for him as they are for others?
    How much of Hicks’ empire really is based on debt? How much is based on his own equity? How much have his individual assets depreciated since he took out any debt based on those assets?
    You friend from the banking industry has no doubt seen and heard of endless problems for LBOs, but is it possible he’s only seeing and hearing about those who had stretched themselves most, or had been due to have their loans reviewed?
    Hicks has shown no evidence of having the means to get rid of Gillett, fight off DIC and take us into that new stadium. Others have shown evidence that suggests he can’t, but it’s not actually directly related to Hicks, but to similar types of investor and to the state of the US and world markets.
    Hicks has also showed no evidence of giving in. Yet DIC seem to be basing their strategy on Hicks having to give in sooner or later. What if he doesn’t have to give in? What if he really has got something up his sleeve?
    We hear talk of DIC launching legal bids to block the Hicks veto – what happened to those bids? We hear talk of a 90 day period where Hicks can block DIC’s attempts to buy Gillett out – but what happened to an offer to kick that 90-day period off?
    I am far too cynical to accept that Tom Hicks is still here because he thinks he can help us to get number 19. Which is why I found your remarks disappointing. I think he’s heard loud and clear from the supporters that he better disappear if he isn’t going to at least try and help us get number 19, but hearing and acting aren’t the same thing. So, seriously, why is he still here?
    I genuinely believe that he feels confident he can raise the funds and get us into the new stadium. That doesn’t mean he can raise the funds, or that he will raise the funds, or that he’ll be good for the club if he does. It means he is confident – in my view – that he can raise those funds.
    This means DIC will either have to put an offer in that Hicks would struggle to turn down, or we’ll have to wait and see whether Hicks’ confidence or DIC’s confidence is closer to reality. And that could take a year or more.
    To sum up:
    • I don’t know if Hicks has the money and backers or not – but it’s wrong to dismiss out of hand that he might have. He’s confident he can do it, but is that a front, and are his own advisors as confident?
    • Hicks is staying around – in my view – because he feels that by the time the stadium opens he’ll be raking it in.
    • Hicks might have to change his approach if the US markets continue as they are, but nobody knows the state of his finances. Some LBOs will be in more of a mess than others, I’m sure your banking friend would agree with that.
    • I can see DIC aren’t going to make much of an improved offer, not that they seem to have made any offer at all yet. If Hicks is bluffing, is it time he lowered his demands? How long does he have time-wise before he has to sell?
    • I can’t give you any evidence of who leaks what – but after a while you start to see a pattern, you start to see clues as to which individual is doing the leaking.
    • If my articles now suggest that Hicks is possibly not in as much of a financial mess as we all thought, and that DIC are not the honourable folk we painted them as, is that not actually more balanced than before? At one point my articles were pretty close to 100% anti-Hicks/Gillett, 100% pro-DIC.
    • Suggesting Hicks has possibly not got the financial issues we thought he had does not make him an ideal owner all of a sudden. It doesn’t even come close to it. But if he does win this battle, we’ve got a choice of trying to engage him, or standing by grumbling and leaving him to do what he wants. Maybe we’d be able to turn him into a better owner if not an ideal one. But he’s got a long way to go before we’re at that stage.
    • Suggesting DIC have been treating fans like puppets by indirectly making misleading claims of their own to rouse the fans does not make them unsuitable owners either. But it does mean we’ve got to be wary, or cautious, and not allow ourselves to be taken in by the same kind of situation as 13 months ago.
    So, again, sorry John for making you angry, but I’m not now hoping to see Hicks take over instead of DIC. I’m just not sure I fully trust DIC any more either.
    If anything I’m issuing a challenge to all interested parties – if you want to own us you’ve got to find the money, however much that is. But if you want our support you’ve got find a way of earning our support. Without our support you’ll fail. And if you lie to us, you’ll lose our support. Be honest, or be gone!

  15. Michael Q »

    The £350m is made up of £245m at the holding company level, £105m on the club’s books. In theory the £105m is made up of £60m for the stadium to be given a start, £45m for transfers and running costs. There is confusion over how much of that £45m actually will be spent on the transfers, and how much has already been spent on bank fees.

    It gets quite confusing as to how the figures all work out – unfortunately we’ve only been given a certain amount of info and the rest comes from speculation by experts, some of whom are impartial, some of whom aren’t.

    Regarding planning permission, the council messed up when granting permission for the July version of the stadium and so the club has been able to put the revisions in without it having to go through the full process it might otherwise have had to. Search the Daily Post website for info.

  16. midalnds-red »

    It’s hard to explain my stance on Hicks and DIC really. Hicks has a lot of making up to do considering the various incidents he played a part in from takeover onwards, and in the back of your mind you can never remove the worries of the Corinthians situation in Brazil and all the others that happened before we were on the Hicks scene.

    I’ve got doubts about DIC that I didn’t have two months ago. But that’s because I want us run by somebody who will be honest with us. The stuff about supporter representation really riled me, I can’t fully explain on here why it did, but it got me thinking. How many more of the leaked snippets have been lies? Are we not capable of making our own minds up without being fed nonsense designed to stir up our anger?

    Can we let DIC off for lying but not Hicks? I don’t know really. Lying can be ok if it’s for the right reasons!

    I know that despite the fears about the US markets there’s a strong possibility Hicks could hold out until Christmas without panicking. I dread to think how the summer would pan out then.

    Both parties have a lot to prove.
    DIC have the money and nothing to prove in that respect, but they’d have to prove their intentions were as honourable as we all thought, they’d have to show us how they intended to fund their purchase, how much would be in debt, how much in equity, who the debt would actually belong to and so on.
    Hicks has far more to prove. He needs to prove he’s got the money, and to show us how our fears of doing a Leeds if we finish 5th are unfounded. He needs to explain how he sees things panning out. Honestly. He probably needs to go back over some of the decisions of the past year and either point out he was following the lead of Gillett or at least point out how he’s now worked out what he should have done.

    Overall I think it will be a disaster if we end the season without an ownership change. Rather than spinning this out, Hicks needs to get those investors to commit and buy Gillett out before the end of the season. He’s blocking any other deals from going through. If he can’t then he should step aside. If he can then he needs to be sure he’s going to be able to stop the protests by way of his actions. Any claims he cares about the club will feel more hollow than ever if we have a summer of inaction.

    If DIC care as much for the club as they want us to believe then it’s time to review their approach. Is Hicks in as much financial trouble as they think? What if he’s not? Is there more they can do to win the battle?

    At the moment it feels the only differences between the two is that one is known to have money, the other is assumed to be in money trouble. One has perhaps told a couple of lies and stirred things up, the other has told what seems to be a catalogue of lies.

    I’m as confused as ever, but actions speak louder than words and it’s about bloody time we had some!

  17. Martin »

    I think what I’m getting at is that lying to us is not on. It’s not a case of the ones who lie least deserve our trust. Just let’s have some honesty for once.

    And let’s see an end to this stand-off. Hicks has been on the edge of going under for how long now? I’d like DIC to consider the possibility that he may not be. Their strategy seems to be based on waiting for Hicks to go under, undermining him until he can no longer hold them off. I can’t say he doesn’t deserve that, given the last 13 months, but it does worry me that he’s stronger than they think.

    That said, if Hicks has got the means to get full control he should hurry it along.

  18. Comon DIC »


    Re Ronaldo, we could afford him allegedly, we just wouldn’t agree to his wage demands. Which were lower than Anthony Le Tallec’s!

    But if DIC are the right people to take us over, do we want them to think we’ll just let them do as we please, or do we want them to see that we won’t allow them to be as bad in the same or other ways as Hicks and Gillett?

    We’ve all got our views, I think we’ve got to ensure DIC realise that we are watching them closely.

    It’s time for action isn’t it?

  19. StMichel »

    I think what you’ve written explains a hell of a lot about why Hicks wants to stay on board. He may not have a choice in the end if the financial issues in the US force his hand, but if he thinks he can ride this out it’s easy to see why he’s prepared to try.

    He might be completely wrong about how the figures will all add up, but I think you’ve explained what it is he thinks those figures will come to..

  20. Julie (Toronto) »

    Some good points Julie.

    If our next owners bring us a real chance of number 19 then we’ll soon accept them, that’s really what it all boils down to. Ideally we’ll be self-sufficient in a few years’ time, but for now we need extra money pumping in.

    The issue the new owners would have would be if they told us they’d pump the money in and then didn’t.

    It’s not just a case of how different things would be had G&H had more money, I wonder how different they’d be if they’d started to be more honest from the off.

  21. scouse reg »

    You’ve got a good question there.

    In fact there are a number of questions relating to what has changed in the time between the two periods of interest.

  22. Fair play to you Jim. Regardless of whether anyone agrees with your position or not – you’re a very good man to spend the time responding.

    Not only that but we have some great contributions from John Steele, Anfielder, Julie, Bassam etc. which makes this blog a must read for me.

    Keep up the questions and debating guys, the time for D-Day on our ownership is fast coming.

    PS – Don’t like these rumours about Rafa being sort by Barcelona and Real Madrid emerging at a time when decision making within our club seems so paralysed. Rafa must stay…..he’s got unfinished business!

  23. Jim. I’m humbled you took so much time and trouble. My sincere thanks………….       ………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… A bit of background. Since I retired, early fortunately, I have been able to indulge my passion for Liverpool Football Club both in terms of match days and, via a macbook and broadband, filling in the horrible hiatus between matches trawling the forums (fora?) and blogs for reds related output. When the realisation took hold of what a mess we were in under the H&G “custodianship” I wanted an involvement. Your articles were a haven of informative prose without side where developments and possible interpretations of them were laid out with, it seemed to me anyway, the sole intention to inform. Your success could be guaged by the sophistication, with odd exceptions, of the comment you attracted. I certainly gained a lot and learned a lot from the interaction with the articles and respondents. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..       ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… This last article left me with the impression for the first time that I was being preached to, that a particular slant on events was being sold. Just one incidence. That DIC are messing with our (fans) heads. What is wrong with DIC, who are locked in a struggle with a tough savvy business operator, using classic dog eat dog tactics to achieve their objective? They may well consider it superfluous to worry about fan attitudes until they succeed knowing they can easily win friends and influence people once they are in. They certainly must know what not to do………  ………………….  ……………………  ……………………  ……………….. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… One thing the protracted nature of this issue has surely effected is that there can be very few fans left who believe that DIC are the answer to life and everything. Why then hammer away at the Hicks is not as bad as he is painted – DIC have to be watched line? The consensus on RAWK and YNWA about the likely source of this last leak is that it came from J P Morgan who were tasked by Hicks with the job of leveraging his US sporting interests to drum up finance or partners to acquire Gilletts’ shareholding. This makes as much sense as pinning it on DIC who have no input?………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Sorry to bang away again, it is your site when all is said and done, I hope this ownership issue can get resolved sooner rather than later as I hear from other sources that effective decision making within the club is currently problematic with as many factions in play as between us fans. I do hope that one is idle gossip though. Once again I really appreciate your considerate response, a more temperate one than mine the tone of which I apologise for.

  24. What a load of kack. No one here knows if any of the stories regarding DIC and Hicks are true or not its just speculation in the press to sell papers and to get website hits yet everyone runs round like headless chickens claiming this and claiming that. The sources are never revealed so no one can prove or disprove anything which means the journo’s can write pretty much anything they like. Not one paper or journo correctly revealed that DIC  had put an offer on the table, it took almost a week for that to come to light. Since when did Jim become the owner of Liverpool? I can’t see the point in slating him or holding him up as some kind of messiah it seems to me its his views or his take on the current situation nothing more yet some of the posters here seem to think its him that will make the final decision. Does Jims views have any influence on the outcome of this saga? I would say 100% no so why get so worked up over his comments and views? No one forces you to read the site or the posts, take them with a pinch of salt. Until we get actual factual news from either Hicks or Dic we are pissing in the wind and even then at least one of them is prone to tell lies.

    The impression I get from this site is that originally Jim leant towards DIC but now seems to favour Hicks slightly  but who cares? Thats my opinion just like all the articles are Jims. At least our views are allowed to be posted here theres plenty of other sites that would remove your views if they didnt agree with what you are posting.
    No one knows if DIC are going to be any better for us, no one knows if they will spend money or not all we can do is wait and see. As I have said in previous postings we are irrelevant to Hicks and DIC and anyone who thinks any different is deluded.

  25. Blimey, I feel like we’ve all just gone through a riotous fractious and sometimes angry group therapy session here and come out the other side feeling a bit more conciliatory and appreciative of each other’s opinions. I’d suggest a group hug, but what with distance considerations and all…

    Thanks, Jim, for taking the time to foster this debate and also provide individual responses, We’re an opinionated bunch and, if nothing else, fora (yes, John, correct!) prove just how committed and deeply felt our passions for this club truly are.

    I seem to be wearing my cynical coat today, but the likelihood of ever being told the truth about what is and isn’t happening with the club right now seems to me slim to none. That’s not to say that we should just lay down and take what comes, nor should we give up debate and discussion. But after a year and a half of being humiliated in the press and on the pitch because of lies, lies, lies and more lies, what I want more than anything for Liverpool is to become a well-run above-board club that treats its fans with respect and its football opponents like fodder for our steamroll to Number 19.

  26. ps: as an indication, perhaps, of DIC indulging in a bit of retail therapy, there was a story in the Independent today about Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum buying the biggest horse racing operation in Australia for £500m. While the (former) owners of the operation had no intention of selling up, they said that the Sheikh "..made us an offer impossible to turn down, an offer we couldn’t refuse."

    pps: the story in the Independent about DIC securing a deal to buy Liverpool in three to four weeks was the top-read story on in the Independent’s sports section for two days and still sits at number 4. Whether the story is true or not, it has certainly garnered a whole lot of interest.

  27. Anyway guys, back to football for a minute…..

    They charge Mascherano but leave Cole alone. Have I missed something!!

  28. Down to the ref’s match report midlands. Bennett must have included the Masch’s tardiness in leaving the field after being red-carded. No second thoughts for him then having viewed the video-tape!

  29. Thanks for your comments again Jim. I echo the positive sentiments of many above.

    I actually think it’s a great thing that you’re seeking to challenge the obvious and bring a bit of objectivity back to the table. If we had all taken that attitude 13 months ago maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now, but i guess thats human nature isn’t it?

    I guess what i am saying is that we all want DIC to takeover, just to rid us of our current evil, but it is important to learn from our mistakes and be more considered in our views.

    Keep up the good work and well done on taking the time to reply to everyone… I honestly wonder where you get the time?!

  30. Seems Mascherano is being punished twice, maybe three times.

    a) the booking and subsequent sending off – and failure to walk immediately
    b) the public out-cry
    c) for bennett and riley messing up the Cole  incident when he should have been sent-off…..and lampard, terry and drogba should have found themselves in a smilar boat based on video footage.

    Not saying Mascherano doesn’t deserve  to be reprimanded but I hope, looking ahead, the standards been set!

  31. Thanks all again for replying…

    I enjoy the fact that people are willing to come on here and put their own views into the mix, their own interpretations. Sometimes something that was staring me in the face hasn’t hit me until someone replied and pointed it out – I’m sure I’m not alone in that. One day we’ll all look back and laugh. Won’t we?

    We’re all completely fed-up now though, I think that’s safe to say. Sunday’s result and everything that surrounded it was so disappointing, and amongst the many factors to blame in our defeat was that realisation we really need to improve our squad. But we probably can’t, thanks to this mess.

    I’m not saying Hicks is now the one to go for over DIC. I’m saying we don’t know! If I had to make a snap decision I’d have to say DIC as things stand, purely on the basis that we know they’ve got the means to fund the purchase debt free. But having the means doesn’t mean they have the will to do it that way. In fact if it was my decision (thankfully it’s not) I’d have a long list of questions I’d want to see answered – with proof – first. I’d be guessing if I said which one would get most of the questions right!

    It’s not our choice though, so our role is to watch them carefully and make sure they know we’re watching. Maybe SoS will be given an opportunity to put forward our minimum requirements, to get some assurances, and get them record. If SoS are as strong as they look set to be, any breaking of those assurances could be the prompt for a boycott that stretches much further than any of the recent water-testing ones!

    Who said back to football? My understanding is that Bennett did put Mascherano’s refusal to leave the field into his match report, so the FA can now review it using video evidence. But Cole’s actions can’t be reviewed because FIFA don’t allow yellow cards to be looked at again either for removal or being increased to reds, unless there’s a case of mistaken identity.

    I can accept Mascherano’s actions after the red being reviewed, because he should have left the pitch straight away, no matter how bemused he was about the red. But Bennett’s actions should be reviewed too. If the previous incidents of swearing were a factor in the red, then why wasn’t he sent off for those incidents, rather than for asking “what’s happening”? How many other players in that game committed so-called acts of dissent that were on par with what Torres did and what Mascherano did for the second yellow? It keeps being said that Bennett acted because of some crackdown on dissent, or to be more accurate a crackdown on just about any approaches to the ref. So what happened on the Saturday – I didn’t see any games that day, didn’t watch MOTD, but am I right in saying every incident of speaking to the ref was punished with a yellow? Reducing my sarcasm level a little, was every incident of swearing at the ref punished? Back to Bennett, why did United players get taken to one side and warned about tackles rather than being booked? What did Ferdinand say to the ref after being booked for kicking the ball away (which in itself wasn’t really a bookable offence anyway)?

    And it’s now Wednesday, but where’s the statement from the FA clarifying for the supporters that new strictness is in place for dissent?

    Personally I’d say giving Mascherano an extra two-match ban is fair – but Bennett should be taken off the top list for refs for a far longer period.

  32. has anybody forgot the abuse fefuon dished out after being dumped by portsmouth to the ref on that day? his outburst was derogatory to the referee the man and his ability to referee. yet again though its liverpool the scapegoat

  33. I have read fantastic posts from Jim Boardman,fantastic posts from John Steele. i have read alot of views from many Reds fans and i always like to read them but as Martin  stated earlier,this is becoming so protracted that people are almost just not caring anymore. Is this something Hicks is wanting? to just hold on until we all just give up? The Bullish American attitude we all hear about?
    Regarding the way DIC use the press, does anybody think DIC would be such excellant business men if they didnt know how to use the media? Look at the Glazers. they say nothing ever and no one says a damn thing about their near Billion dollar debt on Manure.Because they are winning league titles, we are not, the media rubs it in constantly.They have a world class team in many areas, we have world class in a couple. the media enjoy whipping us into a frenzy and sit back and enjoy watching us lose games. no matter we won 7 on the bounce, lets rip into Liverpool beacause they lost to Utd on Sunday. We lost to Barnsley,we were ridiculed, Chelsea lose to Barnsley, nothing.The media is a very powerful tool and a lot of these media reporters are not fans of Liverpool and elight in writng shit just to upset the supporters. If DIC are using them to gain control of the club, well, thats how the Yanks gained control. thats how Steve Morgan tried to buy us.As for "thats not the liverpool way of doing things" im afraid that belief is the reason Liverpool have been left behind. how did we fall so far from being the Champions we once were to scrapping for 4th with a crap side like Everton? Manure hadnt won the league for 26 years, did they ever get the media abuse we are getting today? The media dictates what happens and DIC are probably right in using them. We have to realise that business runs football, our feelings are a distant second, sorry if ive touched on more than i originally started to write about, the media has got to me once again!

  34. Jim, regarding the DIC fan-on-the-board thing, do you know something we don’t?  It really seems to have got to you.  Personally I didn’t take it at all seriously when I heard it, and certainly don’t see it as a significant strike against DIC.  I took it as rubbish made up by someone in the media, not believing for one moment that fan representation would really be invited to join the board.  In fact I’d be concerned if it was!

  35. Some good posts… unfortunately sport has become a business. I am not a business person, I am a Liverpool fan. I do not like the way football is becoming “industrialised” but it is a sad reallity.
    Using logic I (and others) should turn to other things.. but I (we) cant.. the fact is we love our club and unfortunately now more than ever to be truly great on the pitch you need to have the finances available to spend on the best players.. (even more so as we head forward into a potentially more competitive market).
    In my opinion.. in order to obtain the best players you need “Mr Sugar Daddy” or a sound business structure to sustain good returns (for both reinvestment and shareholder dividends).
    Unlike many other EPL clubs Liverpool FC has great potential to become a fantastic business.. resulting in large profits and continued on-field success.
    Liverpool has numerous advantages over other EPL clubs in terms of potential as a successful business.. primarily because of a huge fan base due to historical success.
    I believe in order to take LFC forward as a club and business it is too risky to use “luck” and hold out over the next years hoping that one day things will come good. Even if the club rode the storm and in 6 years time Liverpool was profitable as a business that time of potential under achievement will have a hard impact on the global support base and therefore a negative impact on “potential business”.
    With my limited knowledge.. it would appear that in order for LFC to see its maximum potential the investment in the team is just as important as the investment in a stadium. Based on stories we are led to believe Hicks is struggling to invest into the stadium let alone the squad.
    Surely for Hicks to make the most out of his initial investment he needs a minority partner who has huge sums to invest.. but
    unfortunately EPL is not your standard “US style franchise”.. Miami Dolphins have just had a shocking season but they will still be in the top mix next season.. the fact is Hicks will struggle to find a minority shareholder willing to invest the huge sums of money required when so much is at stake.
    The press rumour mill probably rolls on because they too like myself cant understand why a “respected” businessman not only turns down an opportunity for himself but also the supporters of a club whom he has delivered so many “promises”

  36. Jim

    Your reply to me refers to £60m for "stadium" and £45m for "transfers". 

    Yes.  That is what I was referring to in my post.  ie if G&H are paid £400m, then it does not necessarily represent a "mere" £50m profit.  Their profit could be anything up to £155m less bank charges and interest.

    I was just pointing out that the most recent reports of a £400m price for the whole club are not necessarily inconsistent with the earlier reports about the profit G alone would make.

    (I’m not trying to prove that all, or any, of the reports are true.)

    As for the stadium: yep, I know.  I was just observing that it’s rather convenient for G&H that they cannot start construction at present.   They have borrowed money against LFC, and claimed that they need that money for the stadium. 

    When they took over, there was planning permission.  Currently there is not.  If there was planning permission in place, then supporters would be expecting to see the borrowed money used to start building the stadium.

  37. On Thursday, George Gillett gave a very interesting interview live on-air on Toronto sports radio station Fan590. The 15-minute interview can be heard at (just follow the links).

    One of the co-interviewers is Stephen Brunt, chief sportswriter for the Globe and Mail (Canada’s most respected national newspaper). Brunt did a lengthy print interview with Gillett last fall which painted a very sympathetic portrait of him and his intentions for Liverpool (Brunt is a highly respected sportswriter and it was largely based on this interview that I formed hopeful opinions of Gillett).

    While he never mentions Hicks by name (referring to him only as his partner), Gillett certainly makes clear his feelings about how things have panned out during his co-ownership tenure (at one point, he condemns Hicks’s actions citing the problem "when your public persona becomes more important than the facts"). He talks about some of the back-and-forth negotiations with DIC and said the bulk of the angry phone calls and emails he’s received from Liverpool supporters has directly referred to fans’ anger at the possibility he might sell one percent of his shares to Hicks. This I believe.

    Take a listen. The first part is about the prospect of him setting up a MLS franchise in Montreal and the last 90 seconds is about what’s going on with the Montreal Canadiens this season, but everything in between is about LFC. Oh, and he confirms that he and his son Foster will be at the Arsenal match this week (I’m assuming he’s referring to the CL match on Wednesday).

  38. Finally Gillett speaks!

    Now things will get interesting.

    Let’s hear what Hicks has to say in response. But whatever he says it’s clear that the ‘anti-hicks’ line is not a figment of our imagination or media speculation but it’s a fact.

    Hicks has alot of explaning to do. I look forward to hearing it.


  39. Gillett and Hicks an imaginary dialogue:    George: “ Gee Tom I’ve spoken to the fans, I’ve been with some of the ex-players and Foster has direct experience of the club day to day business and I got to tell you man we got to invest big. The one thing those guys want is the Premier league soon! and they want to compete at the top every season.”……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Tom. “Man have you any handle of how much you are talking about?”……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… George. “It is going to take £60-80m to get the three topline players needed to get the squad up to par with ManU, then we need £30-40m each season after that to keep up the challenge. We do have a problem though, Rafa! According to Foster some in the club think he will never win the Premier League He only seems interested in success in the CL as that enhances his European pedigree. I wouldn’t want to give him big money he will blow it on players for the CL we got to look at someone who is less of a maverick and will do as we say!”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Tom. “George man you just don’t seem to get it, forget all that big spending. We got to get these guys to tread water for 4/5 years until we get the new stadium built. Then we can sell the club for in excess of £1 billion! man it’s pure gain! Did you see those punters in Istanbul? And there are 20,000 more who can’t get season tickets. Jeez, these suckers will troop through the turnstiles whatever the results! We can keep them happy with zero input  and top four finishes until we get the stadium going. We tell Rafa he has to generate his own cash from player sales to fund any buys and what about all these kids he’s bought? They can be brought on and they will be good for the wage bill.”……………………………………………………………………………………  George: “I have to tell you Tom that ain’t going to cut it. The club will lose touch with ManU and could even fall back further. Where does that leave us?” Tom, “That leaves us out man with a big fat wad. What you don’t seem to get is that the business of LFC is business not sporting achievement, all that can wait until some sucker comes in and buys us out pays off the debt and is ready to lose his shirt.”……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. All imaginary, of course but given comments recently made on Canadian radio by Gillett about DIC having funding to take the club forward I think it is a plausible scenario.

  40. Been trying to write an article all day since hearing the GG interview first thing (thanks to Julie for the link). I’ve had a busy day with other issues to sort out, I’ve had loads on for some reason – typical really. I’ve found it difficult to write the article without it sounding like it’s all pro-Hicks.

    Add to that various bits and pieces that I’ve heard or that have crossed my mind over the course just of today and it’s been difficult to get it right.

    Gillett’s interview was always going to lead to one type of headline, and we’re already seeing that.

    Flicking around the channels on the radio in the car earlier and all the news bulletins mentioned the interview, and mentioned death threats. The front of the Echo: “I’ve had death threats from fans”. Tomorrow’s papers will be far worse, then we’ve got the Sunday’s to look forward to. The weekend we play the team whose fans call us “murderers” we’ve got one of our own joint-owners accusing us of the same. Has he reported any of those threats to the police? I doubt it.

    I also wonder where he’s got this idea that most Liverpool fans think highly of him. I’ve tried hard to think of anyone who actually rates him anything higher than mediocre.

    Anyway, just wanted to pop in and explain why there’s been no article on this issue. If I’d had a transcript this morning there’d have been a very angry article on it, I’ve calmed down to some extent now…

    And John – very good post! Have you bugged their earliest meetings?

    MR – regarding a response from Hicks there won’t be one. I imagine he wanted to get straight onto SSN and tell them straight just where GG’s account differed to his, but I understand they’ve decided to refrain from giving any statement to the press.

  41. I was disappointed (as, I am sure, the regular visitors of this fascinating site are) not to have been treated to an in-depth textual analysis of the GG interview by Jim, but I’m sure it will come! I disagree with Jim in one small respect: I do think most Liverpool fans (including me) despise GG substantially less than Thicks for one obvious reason: GG is willing to go and leave LFC alone, whilst the tall Texan is clinging to the club like a leech to a blood-filled creature, and, on top of it all, he has made GG’s craving to go and get screwed somewhere else well-nigh impossible! Two very good reasons for disliking GG less that TH! One thing in this rambling interview I find extremely intriguing: the small fellow seems  to say (or have I misunderstood what he meant?) that, as he cannot sell, he considers buying more into the club! Anyone has got a clue what this means? Would he consider buying Hicks? He clearly does not have the financial muscle to do that!?

  42. Be re-assured George Gillett is gone, gone, gone. The interview is contradictory – when he says he can’t put his wife through this and then suggests buying more of the clubs shares (though he doesn’t have the money).

    The interview is self promoting – when he talks about receiving 2000 emails every day with 95% saying get Hicks out of our club and effectively nothing negative about him. He is essentially looking to be the good cop and Hicks the bad ‘un. He gets my vote to be the good cop if he gets on his bike out of our club.

    I hope at some point Hicks does respond because I can’t see how he can leave the comment – to paraphrase – he ‘talks up his position up in public while doing something totally different in private’. Effectively calling him a two-faced liar. Almost libellous, I would have thought.

    I think the interview also confirms that Gillett has been leaking information to DICs – about his position and that of Hicks.

    This insight into the world of big business is intriguing. But I wish it not upon our club.

    Thanks Moores and Parry aka Laurel and Hardy for ‘another fine mess they got us into’!

  43. I thought he was hinting that he is now master of his own fate as far as Hicks is concerned? I also found the juxtaposition of these two quotes amazing: "Frankly I don’t think it’s fair for me to put my family in that kind of danger""So instead of thinking about selling I might think about buying"What? he gets death threats from the fans so he might increase his shareholding?What does he mean when he says DIC would have been good? Strange use of the past tense.

  44. I can’t see DIC backing off, unless Gillett shows unwilling or the American credit market alters to improve Hicks’ position to make the deal prohibitive.

    I do think, however, that is this deal was down to PR – Gillett would win hands down. If it’s down to delivery both of them aren’t worth a dime.

    Hope we win on Sunday, without Mr. Bascombe telling us on Sunday of morning of a NoW exclusive that Hicks has signed a 100% deal with the Club. God forbid!

  45. Before I offer up my two cents’/pence worth, I’ll supply a bit of idiomatic background on the "would have been good" comment from John. I’ve been told this usage of "would" is an Eastern Canada/US expression (kind of like all us Canadians say "eh" at the end of every sentence, eh). I myself do it – would/did you like/want to kick Hicks’s ass into the Mersey?…instead of do you want to kick Hicks’s ass into the Mersey? It imposes a past-tense on the question that isn’t a reflection of the intention. If Gillett (who I think was born in Minnesota) is afflicted with this case of would-itis, then you could interpret his comment, "DIC would have been good," as "DIC are good." Make of that what you will, eh.

    I have no doubt that Gillett chose to break his silence because he trusts Stephen Brunt, one of the co-interviewers, who followed Gillett to Liverpool last fall and interviewed him at Melwood. As for the seeming contradiction between saying that his wife was scared and maybe as a response he should buy up shares from Hicks…that didn’t strike me as odd – according to him, the middle of the night phone calls are threatening him and his family if he sells up to Hicks, not because of his involvement with the club. If he bought out Hicks, his logic seems to be that the threats/phone calls would stop. And as much as the “death threat” headlines are cringe-worthy, Jim, all you have to do is read some of the more virulent fan sites for proof that some supporters have been advocating this kind of aggressive action for some time – who truly knows how often it happens, but I’d bet it’s true.

    Because he doesn’t exhibit Hicks’s swaggering arrogance, I (perhaps naively) think he’s not such a vile creature from the deep as the Texan. The gauntlet has been thrown down, though, in this interview  – like midlands red said, Hicks has to respond now and this may ignite the sale issue and speed up the next round of negotiations (whatever they are, and whomever they’re between). Honestly, I don’t see how Gillett has the brass to buy the whole club – if he did, he wouldn’t have brought Hicks in to begin with. I suspect his proposal to bring an MLS team to Montreal is based on the assumption that he’ll soon be pocketing about $400million US/CDN courtesy of DIC. He’ll hold out for the best (read: greediest) deal he can get, but he has made it pretty clear that this deal won’t be with his current business partner.

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