Rafa demands answers over Parry role

Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Blackburn was a welcome but short-lived distraction from the hapenings off the field that have made the headlines far too much in this past few days.

Events at Anfield are coming to a head with various reports coming out of ultimatums having been issued by one unhappy member of Liverpool’s staff.

We had two weeks of relative peace following the breakdown of the brief talks in Dubai between Hicks Sports Group and Dubai International Capital. Supporters speculated on what might be happening behind the scenes but in truth very little was.

Then one Thursday night George Gillett came out of his cave to announce the end of his hibernation time. He growled a lot about his relationship with Tom Hicks, and the battle was back on. He also promised he’d be at the Emirates for the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Rick Parry followed this on the Sunday, saying that he was hoping to see some progress that week in the ownership situation.

On the Wednesday a story about the Hicks party taking 16 of the 20 tickets, and Gillett’s group taking the other four, saw a genuine chance that Rick Parry and David Moores would be unable to sit in their privileged seats at the Emirates. In the end the Hicks group gave some of their tickets back and the seats were made available. But not everyone in the total party of twenty sat down to eat together. And George Gillett didn’t appear anyway, claiming to have been snowed in back in Vail, Colorado, or Chicago, depending on which version of events was meant to be believed. His son Foster, who works out of the same office, did make the game, and rumours spread that Gillett hadn’t really got stuck back home at all.

Tom Hicks attended the Saturday league game, again at the Emirates, before heading back to the US for a big day out there that saw him criticised by some for not being in two places at once. His son Tom Jnr stayed behind. By Tuesday George Gillett had managed to beat the snow and after spending most of the day rebuking Liverpool staff on the day of his and his son’s first visit to Anfield this year he sat with Rick Parry – who had been with him in his earlier meetings – to watch the memorable second leg against Arsenal.

Wednesday was spent celebrating a memorable night, then all hell broke loose.

In short, a letter was sent to Rick Parry, requesting he resign. The news of the letter broke on Sky Sports News at 4pm, a good few hours after Parry’s secretary would have received the letter, which wasn’t only sent by snail mail. It was copied to the other board members too.

Parry claimed he knew nothing of the letter until after his family sent him a text about it at some point after 4pm. No explanation was given as to why his secretary hadn’t phoned him on his mobile – the one he got those claimed texts on – or if she had, why he’d not bothered to answer it.

Hicks was widely condemned for the letter, by Rick Parry claiming to be upset, and George Gillett claiming to have been upset and also not to have actually seen it. Mentions of not washing dirty linen in public were spat out as ever.

That was on Friday, and by the end of Friday the Echo website announced they had an exclusive interview planned for the following day with David Moores. It was the first time he’d spoken out about the problems since the first rumbling of discontent began, and it took something that upset Rick Parry to make him speak out.

On Sunday, today, we began with more details of what had been said in the letter, with Tom Hicks explaining what had happened from his point of view, along with a claim in the News of the World that Jurgen Klinsmann had warned what could only really be either Rick Parry or George Gillett about Tom Hicks sending details of a Rafa Benítez target to him by email. And it could only really be either Parry or Gillett who actually fed that story to the News of the World.

Then we had the game. And after the game Rafa had something to say on the record. He said: “Off the pitch, I am surprised at things I have read. I need some clarification about a meeting with a lot of people that I did not know about.” He was referring to the Klinsmann meeting. “I will talk with the board about this – as soon as possible, today or tomorrow. I need to resolve questions and I want some answers. I want to clarify things. I am really calm – but I want answers.”

We already knew of course that Jurgen Klinsmann was met by Tom Hicks and Rick Parry last November with a view to him becoming manager of LFC in place of the Spaniard. But Parry’s presence at the meeting had never been made public before. And that’s was Rafa said had upset him: “I need to talk to the board to clarify things. I was surprised about a meeting with another manager. What concerned me was the people who were in the meeting.”

Clearly it’s next to impossible for Rafa and Parry to remain at the same club long term, given the long list of differences between them. It’s believed that Rafa is sufficiently concerned that should his concerns not be addressed with more than just words that he may act himself.

144 thoughts on “Rafa demands answers over Parry role”

  1. Might have been a good idea to wait until about 6pm Dallas time before posting Dawg. By then it would be midnight UK time and at least the end in this time-zone of what is an important day every year for Liverpool fans.

    The site you linked to seems to have broken itself somehow, because old Associated Presss stories are showing up in Google News as though new.

    That article is old.

  2. Texas Dawg, perhaps if you had enough decency to respect the significance of today instead of posting articles from March 4, 2008, other posters here might actually give your comments more consideration than something to be scraped off the bottom of our shoes.

  3. Now it’s gone midnight i’d like to make a comment…

    Will people just calm down a bit regarding Jim’s posts!

    I’m not saying i agree with everything that been written and i agree that the articles at times have seemed surprisingly biased towards Hicks, but i don’t believe that Jim is posting anything other than his own opinion based on what he has learnt. If you want, call his opinion b*llocks, but theres a difference between disagreeing with what he’s written as an opinion and insinuating, no, downright telling him that he’s in Hick’s pocket as if Hicks has got his hand on Jim’s shoulder whilst he’s writing these articles. And how would you expect someone who has Liverpools best interests at heart to react when being repeatedly accused of that?!

    It seems to have got to the stage where anything Jim says is seen as Hicks-loving and i dont think thats true, if you read whats been written and don’t view it as anything thats not 100% against Hicks is therefore 100% in support of Hicks, and look at it objectively.

    I literally hate Hicks, but i’m starting to hate the lack of rational thinking on this site even more!

  4. I find it disappointing the extent to which a number of comments on this site have descended into personal abuse.

    When messages are conveyed with emotion, often its the emotion that gets through and not the words. In fact most people who see over the top emotion will reject the rest of the message out of hand. As for personal attacks, even more so. How can someone expect a reader to give them any kind of credibility when their comments are full of personal attacks? Ironically the people suffering the most from personal attacks are probably those that make them, because they are so self damaging. I expect most readers will be inclined to disregard any future comments from those sources because they quickly learn they’re not worth reading, much less responding to. So if people can’t say anything constructive, maybe they shouldn’t say anything at all.

    In general it has been the intelligent discussion on this site rather than foul-mouthed tirades and slanging matches that have separated it from other public forums. Let’s keep it that way.

  5. Hicks is going for the big push this week, his aim is to split the board wide open using Rafa and to get his own man on the board in place of Parry. Whether you support Hicks or not. if he gets control of the club all should be aware that he will load it with £500m debt. And in spite of Hicks backing of the manager I cannot see Rafa staying especially if he gets an offer from Real Madrid.
    Goodbye to the Liverpool we have all known and loved.

  6. Jim, yesterday was not a day for dealing with anything but that appalling Hillsborough tragedy. I want to record that over the years I have assiduously read all that has been written on those events but I have rarely been as moved as I was in reading your superb treatise on the tragedy and its aftermath. The brief video was new to me and heartrending in itself but you encapsulated the shock, loss and outrage we justifiably felt at the time and which reasserts itself so readily each year the anniversary comes around. I’ve insisted that both my sons, who were toddlers at the time, now study your article as they could find no better way to understand the significance of the occasion to the family and what their sad excuse for an old man is on about 24/7 on this great football club. For that article a profound thank you.

    Sadly we did not wake up this morning to any amelioration of our club’s mess. I also note that texas-dawg saw fit to bang his drum yesterday. As an avid reader of the blog he cannot claim ignorance of yesterday’s significance. You have taken me to task for writing in anger, fair enough, but we all have our particular degree of involvement or separation from those events and I have my reasons. As an instance, I can understand and engage amicably with those who argue that to maintain a boycott against an inanimate object such as a newspaper is irrational yet I find it impossible to hold my tongue if I see an obvious red fan reading the rag in question That is not actually all I wanted to say on his posting but frankly you wouldn’t print it. By the way, two of his posts are timed at 2.54 and 2.58pm. He couldn’t have got nearer if he tried.

    As fellow fans and emotional stakeholders we try to make sense of what continues to blight the non-playing week. Airing of opinions, access to other sources of insight and information help in the process and sites like yours are vital in that process. Since the issues involved are far from trivial and the standpoint of fans as diverse as their backgrounds, dispute is probably inevitable. You have taken time recently to depart from a concentration on the internal happenings of the club to comment on the internal workings of the blog. I have taken advantage of your hospitality here by airing my comparatively uninformed views on the issues you have raised or commented on and you have where you have seen fit taken me to task. One of the milder accusations made in your recent response Jim is exaggeration or embellishment. I’ll readily admit that it is hard sometimes for us to tread the fine line between passion and hyperbole. We should, perhaps, be allowed some leeway since we are not as in your case producing articles for dissemination, nor are we, as is the case from texas, producing comments for amusement or provocation. We, I certainly, type on the fly reacting to the stimulation of the current article or to the comments it produces. The speed of events recently hardly affords time for review or reflection, the articles and comments come thick and fast.

    Taking this business of exaggeration to support a point, I feel that currently the “case” against Rick Parry and that for Tom Hicks has been overstated. By way of examples:

    The Klinsmann business and Rick Parry.

    When this news came out the fans’ reaction was one of complete incredulity not about the fact that there was a succession plan being discussed but at the name of Klinsmann. How could anyone who had the least knowledge of this club or English football consider Klinsmann as a suitable replacement for Rafa Benitez? Rick Parry’s name never came up in fans protest posts on the subject nor was he quizzed on it because it was assumed, I’ve no doubt, that the CEO who effectively recruited both Gerard Houllier to succeed Roy Evans and subsequently Rafa Benitez to succeed Houllier could not have supported the appointment of such a complete rookie. Yet the credence given to Rick Parry on here when accused by Tom Hicks of being one of the prime movers is – Nil! Hicks version and his assertion that he was merely a facilitator – supported without challenge.

    The letter inviting Rick Parry to resign.

    If there is a documented case of Rick Parry ever having been caught uttering an untruth to the media or in private briefings I am unaware of it. Yet this unimpeached integrity counts for nothing when he states on camera and for the record that he learned of the contents from family members. Again the credence afforded him on here – nil. Hicks or his son have elsewhere been assumed to have had a hand in getting the contents of the missive wide publicity but on here, it seems, concentration is on the dubiousness of Parrys’ case. Then there is the accusation of gross incompetence alleged by Hicks in the letter. The various heads of criticism are supplemented on here by references to the derisory nicknames some fans have for Rick Parry. Embellishment? Exaggeration in order to prove a point? Pot Kettle Black?

    So what,it might be said, Parry has only himself to blame, he was at the meetings with Klinsmann, hasn’t he screwed up and cost us the chance to be as big as Man U in marketing and merchandising and lost us transfer after transfer target. What apart from assumption and gossip is the evidence for this and is it challenged by you in the interests of balance? Not that I can read.

    I believe there is another view that in fairness and the interests of balance should have been put. Those are the only reasons I intercede on Rick Parry’s behalf as I am not a hypocrite and do believe he has not been a patch on Peter Robinson as the club’s main interface with the world outside the club and indeed with the fans. My antipathy however is based on what I know to be the case over issues like the ticketing fiasco and the lack of communication for long periods on the stadium.

    So what could have been offered to counter the “exaggerated” case against him? On Klinsmann people close to Parry are said to protest that he was ordered to the meeting in New York. We don’t know what the agenda for the meeting was or whether it was formally set up and minuted. If you believe what is flying around on this more will come out eventually, who knows? My point is, it is entirely logical and indeed acceptable for a succession plan to be considered at that stage and by such a senior gathering. It is surely within the responsibilities of the CEO to have in place a contingency plan should a serving key official resign or need to be replaced. I heard no criticism of our CEO when the succession of Roy Evans by GH and GH by RB was smoothly handled, it being obvious the the succeeding manager had to have been approached while the incumbent was still at his desk.

    And what might have pushed succession planning to the fore? Results at the time of the Klinsmann approach were more than satisfactory and hope remained that we could put in a challenge for the Premier League title. There was a vocal minority of fans anti-Rafa because of “rotation”, still is for that matter albeit less vocal recently, but there is no suggestion that this figured in either of the joint-owners’ or Parry’s thinking. So logically there are two issues which could have impacted: first the possibility existed of an early exit from the Champion’s League and second there were renewed rumours of an approach from Real Madrid to Rafa. In my view the first is a weak argument and would have been low in Parry’s evaluation of risk. The teams in the group were eminently beatable and Rafa’s track record in Europe gave grounds for optimism that we would eventually progress. The second point was though, worthy of consideration by Parry and he will have been conscious of the coincidence of the appearance of such stories at times when Rafa’s stock at the club needed a fillip. So a fair argument is possible that Rick Parry was acting prudently in making sure the contingency plans were up to date.

    How to put a case up to counter the transfer and marketing accusations is, I’ll concede, more problematical. All I can offer is a similar unsubstantiated opinion to the “Parry cost us Ronaldo, Malouda and Walcott” stuff taken as proven fact by some fans. Despite the funding problems of the late Moores era Gerard Houllier was generally able to obtain all of the players he targeted. Rick Parry was instrumental in obtaining the signatures of Diouf and Diao before those players took part to good effect in the World Cup that summer. Their subsequent failure and the setback the waste of valuable funds represented cannot be laid at Rick Parry’s door . Gerard Houllier must take responsibility for that summer of lost opportunity. The cumulative effect of those purchases and the clubs’ inability to raise additional revenues without recourse to the private wealth of David Moores could not have made Rick Parry’s job easy when it came to fulfilling promises made to Rafa Benitez when he was appointed (by Parry it should be remembered).

    Rafa Benitez did not openly express any dissatisfaction with the funding made available until the comments after the Athens defeat. Those comments were pointed clearly at the american co-owners and when they were repeated at the time of the mid-season transfer window, Tom Hicks reacted famously and Rafa lost the deals for a senior player plus two frees from South America that he had targeted. none of this was due to prevarication on Parry’s part. The money was not going to be made available nor was any preparatory work allowed until the co-owners flew in for their end of year visit. Subsequently Sissoko was sold, for silly money some say (kudos to Parry?) and Skrtl obtained with change from the Sissoko proceeds.

    The Mascherano affair is still open to question. Rafa claimed all was well and terms had been agreed from as early as November but the deal was signed off much later after the official transfer window had closed. Was that down to sluggishness or lack of ability on Parry’s part? Or, was it due to the fact that the co-owners, having already fallen out with each other, would not sanction the fee, leaving Parry to perform financial gymnastics to sort out the portion of the overall fee payable to Joorabchian. I know what I believe and it does no discredit to Parry.

    So what are we left with to justify the charges against Parry. We signed Pennant instead of Malouda? We don’t sell enough shirts in the Far East? We’ve only opened one shop outside Liverpool? On the other hand we successfully transferred Torres and Babel in, deals arranged by Parry with the new owners only involved in signing the cheques. It doesn’t add up to grounds for instant dismissal in my view nor for the “he goes or I go” stance Rafa is said to be adopting. So those are my grounds for viewing the references to Parry as exaggerated. I feel the same about the case for viewing Tom Hicks in a new light, it relies too heavily on the nice noises emanating from him, the motives for which are not examined. That case also credits Hicks for all of the mischief laid at the door of either or both of Gillett and DIC. Gillett will sell, just not to Hicks. He wants out, I want him out that will do for me. Continually restating his culpability in this sorry mess is an embellishment which does not support any case for Hicks’ continued ownership.

    On DIC I believe what I hear from them until there are grounds for taking what they say as suspect. Their remarks have been terse but understated and in the case of Sameer Al Ansari’s comments when losing out in that first bout of bidding, commendable. They want to own our club, they are prepared to pay a premium price to obtain it. I believe their readiness to pay such a price is not evidence of deviousness but of the value they place in having the club within their portfolio and the increase they can produce in the intrinsic value of the club over time. It’s a leap of faith maybe but I am convinced. I also believe that DIC will take the hit for that over-valuation and will not burden the club with responsibility for provision of security or for direct or indirect payment of the interest on any but the normal working borrowings of the club. This means that the club will be, in contrast to the LBO situation, free of the obligation to service the many millions of pounds involved in the actual acquisition. Since I believe the club will not be so burdened, whether DIC raise the money externally or bring it in from Dubai is irrelevant.

    In my view Tom Hicks also believes that DIC will, if given the opportunity, structure a purchase on the lines I suggest and consequently, to counter the effect of this on fans should it be confirmed,I expect him to offer fans the carrot of a transition, over time, from the LBO funding setup to a more orthodox arrangement involving the repayment of debts. This will be a hollow promise in my view because of his unwillingness to contribute personally and the impossibility of getting new investors to absorb the financial hit I described above. It will sound good but it will never happen. We were never able to trade with the profit margins capable of producing the surpluses necessary to do all that will be required; fund the necessary squad improvements, repay principle, pay interest on the debt directly on the club’s books and finally pay a sufficient dividend to the shareholder’s so as to enable them to satisfy the interest on the other debts. The future income streams which will come from better marketing etc won’t suffice and the kind of ticket price increase which would be necessary to produce a sufficient margin would not be tolerated, here bear in mind the contribution from increased capacity should the existing stadium design proceed will not come on stream fully for 4/5 years. If all this is true, you may argue, how could he raise the finance needed? The lenders involved are only concerned with the clubs’ ability to meet interest payments which are a prior call on trading profit. Whether we could then satisfy the needs for players etc. would not come into their thinking.

    So that Jim is where am going to leave it. You have set out the difficulties facing the blog with the current increase in activity and the temper of some of the exchanges. I recognise myself in much of what you take issue with so will take a voluntary early bath and confine myself to observer status. We hold the same things dear about our club Jim and both know the indefatigable spirit of the average Red will prevail in the end and with that thought I’ll wish you and the blog all the best.

  7. John, I agree with your comments. It is a shame that you will no longer be providing your take on this blog.

    I have previously said that the balance that drew me to this blog /site has gone. I am no longer going to post messages on this blog.

    Best of luck everyone, I really hope that the nightmare ends soon and normality is restored to our beloved club.

    YNWA.

  8. They should all go – Gillett, Hicks, Parry, & Benitez. Lets be fair, we’re a shambolic rabble off the pitch, and boring and uninspiring on the pitch. We were lucky against Inter with the first goal mis-hit by the misfit kuyt. We were also lucky against Arsenal – those two penalty decisions could easily have gone the other way.

    We need a CEO who can provide direction off the pitch and a manager who can provide direction on the pitch.

  9. John,

    I appreciate you taking the time to write all that. I hope you’re still around reading it, so here’s my fairly quick reply, which doesn’t do justice to the time you’ve taken to post that.

    And that leads me to a good point – in an ideal world the time taken to write an article is quite long, because I always try to go and check my facts where I am talking about facts. But making a comment is often a very quick act, as you say. Throwing up answers in the form of comments, or posting on forums, I know that more often than not we all post our recollections of the facts, and even when we aren’t angry or emotional we can get things wrong, purely out of gaps in our memories. We post like we would speak in the pub, and when we’re in the pub we don’t have access to Google (unless we’re that cheating team on the next table on quiz night).

    I think it’s possible that I’ve read your comments as deliberate twisting of the facts when in fact it’s never been deliberate.

    Take Rick Parry. Somebody please! (The old ones are the best). I probably could go through your post above and piece by piece find arguments against some of it, agree with others, back you to the hilt on yet more of it. It might be we argue over whether he told a lie, or hid a fact, or just used carefully chosen words, and whether all of those are bad or not.

    And so we go on, you trying to defend someone you clearly have more respect for than I, me trying to show that he’s not necessarily deserving of that respect. Then, in the middle of this, someone points out that we might actually be getting upset about Rick Parry at the wrong time, that whether he’s good or bad isn’t important now. And that brings its own arguments!

    And that’s why a forum was needed here rather than just a commenting system. These arguments are valid, one day soon I hope we’re all having disagreements over which of Alonso or Lucas should be first choice next to Mascherano, rather than disagreements on subjects few of us actually understand the finer points of. (Your knowledge of the world of finance is far greater than mine is, most of us had never heard of LBO until recently.)

    Also with a forum we’ve got a quickly-accessible way of finding where we’ve had similar arguments or provided similar evidence.

    And that “evidence” is so useful. I’m not just talking about quotes from Parry and statements from Hicks, I’m talking about where we might all have discussed the true meaning of either of those. Where we’ve had people putting a link to an article from 3 years ago that we’ve all then discussed and added more links to. That’s how it should be.

    I’ll be sad if you don’t post again to be honest.

    We’ve all got quite heated and I think we all know why. We care.

    The last thing I think we need is “sides” and “camps” amongst our own. We should all be in one camp, but none of us, not one of us, has the right to decide what the group opinion has to be.

    But if we can argue our corners without resorting to abuse and accusations I think we’ve all got a good chance of meeting in the middle somewhere.

    Thanks for your kind words about the Hillsborough article. I don’t mind admitting that I shed a lot of tears writing it and more still at the service. I also had time to reflect.

    I actually thought of the 96 stood watching us all in disbelief. Arguing amongst ourselves. Hard to explain, it was this moment when I saw we had all been fighting with each other in an increasingly damaging way, and they have been stood there watching us all along. It’s just that it took until yesterday, the anniversary, the articles, the videos, the service, for us to notice that they were actually watching us.

    I don’t know what the answers are, and I don’t pretend to think I’m right, but I know we should all be civil with each other. Let’s get back to arguing again!

    You’ll notice I tried to not touch on the actual specifics of your post in relation to the players in this game, that’s not out of ignorance or a feeling that the points aren’t valid. I just wanted to get this (so-called fairly quick) response back to you on your decision. I hope you change your mind, but I fully understand if you don’t.

  10. “They want to own our club, they are prepared to pay a premium price to obtain it. ”

    And Tom Hicks wants to own it even more than that. Right, John?

  11. “The site you linked to seems to have broken itself somehow, because old Associated Presss stories are showing up in Google News as though new.

    That article is old.”

    My bad, Jim, and I realized the mistake shortly after posting it. I thought news of a new offer was on the tape when I saw the headline. Oops.

  12. John,
    I read you’re posts and I read Jims,
    and it’s brilliant that you two don’t always
    agree.

    In fact right after reading Jims I’ll usually go,
    what has John got to say about it?

    You have to come back!
    YNWA.

  13. I think it was midlands-red who said that oftentimes here we act like a big racous family, squabbling, not always seeing eye to eye, but confident that when it comes down to the basics, we’re all sitting around the dining room table for the same reason: because we care so much about this club.

    If I wanted to follow or participate in a site where everyone had the same opinion, I’d go back to xxx (no need to trash another fansite here) where if you didn’t agree with the moderators, you got abuse, ignored or banned. Exchange of thoughtful, articulate ideas is what drew me here and selfishly I’d be really disappointed if that changed.

    The blessing given to us by the 96 souls yesterday was a chance to pause, reflect and consider. So, please Jim, John, raju and all of us who’ve been caught up the current maelstrom, let’s keep talking.

  14. How about we all just for one week not mention Hicks or Gillett. Lets talk football, thats what we love, thats what we are all reading on here for,thats what we all get excited or nervous about come saturday, Football is the religion, not what a couple of greedy bastards from the USA are trying to line their pockets with, lets not give those two pieces of crap the slightest bit of our energies and thoughts,ive watched the Hillsborough programme on LFCTV a couple times now and it made me realsie no matter what greedy piece of crap is in charge, this is OUR club, OUR feelings,OUR memories, so from this minute until next wednesday,i would like to see if we could go on without mentioning any of the headaches currently at our club

  15. I am astonished by the posts on here lately. has Hicks jnr paid you off or what.
    Do you NOT remember that our season was going well untill the reading match when rafa heard he was going to be sacked if he didnt progress in the champions league!
    He knew that the yanks had no money for transfers, he put pressure on them so they went to replace him with klinsmann.
    Hicks has aligned himself with Rafa Because he knows RAFA has massive support.
    What about hicks statments that liverpool will throw off money for his teams in the US.
    He dosent care about our club all he sees id dollars

    COME ON GUYS ! ARE YOU STUPID !

  16. I concur with Jofrad and John Steele and also with the earlier comments by Leanne and Stephen.

    Whatever Parry’s past errors (I’ve slated him plenty of times myself) I do not consider him dishonourable. Nor do I see any rational basis for concluding that Parry “betrayed Rafa” merely by attending a meeting 5 months ago which his bosses Hicks and Gillett instructed him to attend. I suggest people take a look back in time to Hicks’s comments and body language towards Rafa back in November and December if they want to understand who the “brains” behind the Klinsman affair really was. This was definitely not Parry it was Hicks.

    The reasons why Hicks wants to demonize Parry and get him out of the Club by the end of May should be quite obvious to anyone who is really paying attention…………and lets face it….. those reasons have stuff all to do with transfers or with Rafa who is just being used by Hicks.

    I’ve heard a lot of non Liverpool fans say our Club seems to be ripping itself apart but when I speak to other Reds there is an incredible degree of unanimity among us all about what (or more accurately who) is the number one problem at the Club and what needs to happen. Jim has told us above that there is “no way we can stop him (ie. Hicks) taking over” and that its “out of our hands” but Jim is wrong about this. Hicks is desperate and this latest attempt to involve Rafa (and us the fans) is close to being a last throw of the dice. Instead of letting Hicks and his surrogates play us like violins, we should be looking carefully at the real reasons why Hicks is engaging in these destructive tactics at such a crucial time and hold firm against those tactics. It appears that one of the effects of Rafa finding out about Hicks’s ongoing contact with Klinsman has been to remind him what kind of man Hicks really is and this can only be a good thing.

    Moving onto a separate issue……….Martin you are wrong when you say that Jim is just doing no more than stating his opinion in his pieces. With the greatest of respect to Jim he is purporting to state or imply as fact things which are often little more than heavily slanted speculation or opinion, exaggerating certain things while underplaying or completely ignoring other obviously relevant points (usually about Hicks), which could, and should be made in any balanced article. This means the overall impression as to the facts is distorted and heavily slanted in one direction. This is not, and should never be confused with, merely stating an opinion.

    Jim, it is hypocritical to write inflammatory, pointedly one sided pieces (commenting in the most negative way possible on certain people’s actions and motives while letting others away more or less scot free) and then come across all wounded when someone turns the spotlight back on you and your reasons for doing this, by offering perfectly valid criticism or commentary on your writing. You may not like the criticisms of your writing but most of it (not all of it but most) seems to me fair comment which you have invited. As far as accusations go you’ve been making more of them recently than anyone. I’m sure someone like John for example doesn’t much like being accused of telling lies when he has done nothing of the kind. This is just one of a number of accusations you’ve made in lashing out at those who dare to criticize you for what seem like perfectly valid reasons. If you really want people to calm down it might not be a bad idea to start practising what you preach.

    You do make a valid point about not censoring your site and I give you credit for this. I really hope Stephen, John and Raju continue with their posts and comments because they contribute a lot to the calibre of debate on this site. Its imperative, now more than ever, that fans be able to engage in robust debate re the issues affecting our Club. If Istanbul taught us anything its that when we put our minds and voices together we can always affect the outcome.

  17. Anfielder, you said this bit:

    Jim has told us above that there is “no way we can stop him (ie. Hicks) taking over” and that its “out of our hands” but Jim is wrong about this. Hicks is desperate and this latest attempt to involve Rafa (and us the fans) is close to being a last throw of the dice.

    I’m prepared to accept I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time either, but I genuinely don’t see what that is wrong. We’re hopefully all a bit calmer now and so hopefully we can have some answers to questions like this: How can we stop him, why is it not out of our hands?

    It’s not like a penalty shoot-out where we can shout and scream and encourage, suck the ball into the net. It feels like an election campaign at times, but it isn’t, we can’t persuade the voters.

    Separating what you want from what you can have, do you not think it’s out of our hands? If not, why?

    We’ve got two home games left, the Chelsea CL 1st leg, and the Man City game on the last day. Not many opportunities to protest, if that’s how to stop him.

    Jim, it is hypocritical to write inflammatory, pointedly one sided pieces (commenting in the most negative way possible on certain people’s actions and motives while letting others away more or less scot free) and then come across all wounded when someone turns the spotlight back on you and your reasons for doing this, by offering perfectly valid criticism or commentary on your writing. You may not like the criticisms of your writing but most of it (not all of it but most) seems to me fair comment which you have invited.

    Well I’ll not write another epic on why I have spoken the way I have, or why I find it odd that my one-sided posting earlier in the year went without much criticism. I don’t think there’s any point in you showing me examples now, but if later articles are as one-sided as you say, then please explain why. But make sure, please, that it really is one-sided, not just against your views. That’s not aimed at you, it’s aimed out there in general.

  18. Tom Hicks on Sky TV today
    “I am planning to make him (Gillett) a very attractive offer. If I had a majority on it (the board), I could put more capital in. WHERE FROM ??
    “My goal is take all the debt off the club except the working capital needed and get the permanent financing totally in place for the stadium. FINANCING FROM WHERE ??
    “I want the finances of the club to be secure. I want to be the majority owner of a group that buys the club and I have got a 25-year track record of being a very successful investor around the world. WHAT GROUP ??
    “The fans don’t like the fact that we borrowed a lot of money to buy the club but I will fix that.” WITH WHAT ??
    Sounds like Mr Hicks intends to bring in other “investors” into the club with himself as Big Chief.

    This man is a walking, talking PR machine. If he wants to convince people of his good intentions he’s got to come up with something more than this. I also got the impression that rather like someone else from Texas not a million miles from here, he’s not exactly over endowed with the grey matter.

    Hicks admitted that he could not visit Liverpool at the moment so when and where is the next board meeting going to take place ? (and when was the last one ?). More alarm bells for Rafa, Spain must seem very tempting at present.

  19. I didn’t see the interview but I read about it on Sky. I also expect Jim will put something up sooner or later which I look forward to reading. But from several of the comments I quickly read on Sky it looks like Hicks’ message might be getting some support – by no means from everyone, but a little bit here and there anyway.

    The way I currently see it is Rafa must stay. If Rafa and Parry can’t work together and one of them must go, then as far as I’m concerned its so long Rick. Also this ownership debacle must end now, right away, as soon as possible. To say 50:50 ownership isn’t working is the understatement of the century. We need to have one person calling the shots, and we need it to happen now, however that’s worked out in practice.

    Our priority now has to be unity at the club and for Rafa to stay.

  20. Hicks today on Sky TV

    “If George doesn’t sell – because I am not going to sell – I guess we stay in this position that we are in.”

    This is where we are and will stay until someone owns more than 50% of the club. Forget all about unity because Hicks indicates he will not sway until he gets his own way whether Rafa stays or not. As it stands the club is on the way to ruin, the only hope is that if he hasn’t got further financial backers he is bluffing, Texas bullshit from a Texas ****hole.

  21. What I am trying to understand and hopefully some of you knowledgable people out there can help me on this one but;

    Why is Hicks so worried about our CEO’s performance over the last 10 years at this very moment in time? Surely there are far more pressing matters at hand such as the ownership crisis at the club.

    Would it not make more sense to Hicks to go about his business of pulling together his investors, assuming control of the club and then fire Parry in a more low key dignified matter that is in line with the history and heritage of LFC.

    Or is the reason Hicks is doing interviews like the one on Sky and making a point of airing boardroom grievences a tactic to further destablise the future of the club and send it into complete anarchy?

    It just seems very co-incidental that with just over a month left where Hicks / Gilette can veto each others sale of their shares in the club that Rafa gets wind of Parrys involvement in the Klinsmann affair and Hicks chooses it as an appropriate time to sack Rick Parry.

    Hicks timing alone with this interview , (2 days after the Hilsborough anniversary and less than a week before a champions league semi final) is evidence enough for me that he does not have the best interest of this club at heart and again he is preying on the fans love for Benitez along with their distrust in Parry as a mean to help him secure majority contol at the club.

    I will never support any Hick led regime at LFC

  22. Spot on Juan (!)

    As I said before, Parry is indeed a poor CEO and yes, he has failed in many ways., and yes he should be replaced. BUT…. However true Hick’s words, he is speaking now for political/ power reasons, not for the good of the club. I am pretty sure Rafa is smart enough to know this too.

    I don’t know about anyone else but my respect for Benitez has grown and grown over recent times. He is the only one I trust out of the lot of them. Maybe it’s because he behaves with dignity and integrity amidst this circus. I really hope he stays.

  23. I’ve written about it now, eventually.

    Just to respond here quickly…

    Jofrad: Board meetings don’t always take place at Anfield, so they can call one just about anywhere. New York would probably suit the owners, they’ve met there at least twice now (one to see Klinsmann, one to discuss the stadium plans).

    Lots of good questions there. All can be answered with actions better than words I think.

    Hop: I noticed earlier on that those getting in touch with the channel did so in a mixed way. I didn’t count or anything, but it was a close call of pro-hicks, anti-hicks, somewhere in the middle. If that’s a true reflection on the balance of the messages they got then it’s different to the feeling we’ve all got that the massive majority are completely against Hicks. But Sky probably took a selection of each view, rather than something that equated to the balance in their email inbox.

    Some people seem to be preparing to call for Rafa’s head, it’s still only vague rumblings, but it’s there nonetheless. Of course Rafa can’t come out in public and say what he really thinks, or explain why he thinks that. So he’ll be judged ‘for sure’ on what people perceive.

    Jofrad again: If Hicks gets the money and Gillett refuses to sell I think we will be stuck as we are, and I think that’s probably more damaging than anything Hicks could do under sole ownership. Personally I think Gillett needs to hold his hands up, name his price and accept an offer from Hicks if it’s forthcoming. Likewise if Hicks knows he can’t match the offer, and that DIC can, he needs to step aside as soon he realises he can’t match the offer.

    Juan: Hicks obviously doesn’t like the way that Parry is helping to spread negativity towards him to fans and probably players. Well, I can’t see him liking it anyway. Whether he’s telling the truth or not in what he’s saying is up to us all to decide, I think it’s safe to say there’s a mixture at least. Even so, even if Parry had kept out of it those issues are still a problem, and Parry would at least need to demonstrate his plans to resolve them.

    I genuinely don’t think we can read any more into it than that. Certainly I also think that if Hicks wanted to let Rafa know about Parry’s role in the Klinsmann interviews he’d have done it already, face to face or by phone or whatever.

    I don’t actually believe these claims that the board is structured so that Moores and Parry have voting rights. They can interfere in blocking finance because the banks set their own conditions for granting finance. But I don’t think sacking Parry and making the board “3-3” is actually something that would or could happen. Add to that, the “3-2” board as it would supposedly be the second Parry was sacked could appoint its own replacement, Hicks would still be outvoted. He certainly couldn’t put his own man in place. That’s my take anyway.

    The timing is I think again a petty way of attacking him on this occasion. If he’s wrong to say it at all then timing is irrelevant. But if he is entitled to say this then when is there a good time?

    I’m hoping to hear some good arguments here and elsewhere today, and some responses from those discussed by Hicks. I hope they are good arguments, not ones that distract us!

  24. Spot on SJ !
    Dignity and integrity is what Rafa has and what Hicks would not begin to understand. But how do we get rid of Him ??

  25. Juan – I don’t know.

    Except.. I hope it is the case is that Hicks cannot get the finacial backing he is banging on about getting (hence maybe this outburst to garner favour) – and DIC move in.

    I just think that if you are indeed working so successfully behind the scenes to arrange financial backing, you don’t need to go on telly posturing.

  26. Jim,
    a) Where is Hicks going to get the finance from to buy out Gillett ?
    b) Hicks knows he can’t match any offer from DIC and he has indicated he will not “step aside”, this is the crux of the problem.
    Its all very well expanding on what people should do, its what they will do that matters.

  27. If there’s any truth in what Hicks is saying about Parry and its not all just for political expedience, then the timing is also as Hicks says. Basically that if they want to improve on their transfer performance during the summer then they need to have Parry out of the way. Rafa has already said (I think?) that he wants full control over transfers and doesn’t want Parry’s, or anyone else’s, intervention.

  28. If Hicks is so fond of publicity,
    then it’s up to the fans to publicly
    respond to his latest b*llshit.

  29. Someone said: “I just think that if you are indeed working so successfully behind the scenes to arrange financial backing, you don’t need to go on telly posturing.”

    My reading is that Hicks believes he has secured the necessary backing and he’s trying to force Gillett into selling to him. That’s why he’s doing his best to paint Gillett as the villain now, and show his solidarity with Rafa. He believes that if Gillett continues to back Parry over Rafa then the majority of fans will not be impressed. I think he’s trying to create a position for Gillett where its obvious he just has nothing to gain any more by holding on to his shares, especially if there’s a good offer on the table from Hicks.

    As for the 6 weeks or 90 days period or whatever it is where one owner has first refusal on the other’s share, as far as I’m aware that’s just speculation and neither Hicks nor Gillett has ever confirmed that there’s any clock ticking in that sense. Can somebody please confirm or correct that?

  30. I’m not sure you could call Hick’s a PR machine (until his latest attempts to destablise the board perhaps).

    The quotes of his I’ve seen are short capitalised black and white statements, like ‘NO 50:50 PARTNERSHIPS’ or ‘NO SELL’ etc. There’s no PR there, it’s just him mouthing off. Which would fit the bully-boy impression of Hick’s as a CEO. He’s not going to waste time on time-consuming and costly PR, he just barks a few comments into the phone and slams it down JR style. Watching the video clip of the Hicks interview is borderline farce, with the burning fire, LFC mug etc.

    The excessive PR stunts in the run up to the present situation of all out boardroom war doesn’t look to have come from the Hick’s camp…….or maybe that’s just very good PR!

  31. “My goal is take all the debt off the club except the working capital needed and get the permanent financing totally in place for the stadium. FINANCING FROM WHERE ??”

    Maybe from the same people that recently gave him $550M in a blank check IPO.

  32. “a) Where is Hicks going to get the finance from to buy out Gillett ?”

    Investors, investment banks, etc.

    “b) Hicks knows he can’t match any offer from DIC”

    Hilarious. You act like you know anything about what each can offer.

  33. “My reading is that Hicks believes he has secured the necessary backing and he’s trying to force Gillett into selling to him. That’s why he’s doing his best to paint Gillett as the villain now, and show his solidarity with Rafa.”

    Nicely done, Hop. You once again prove to be much sharper than Jofrad.

  34. If Hicks borrows anymore money to buy out Gillett he will load the club with the debt. Investors do not lend money without it being repaid. Hicks is fully stretched already, I await his offer for Gillett’s share of Liverpool with great interest.
    DIC could buy out Tom Hicks 1000 over. Sheik Mohammed is one of the 5 richest men in the world and has not been affected by the “credit crunch.

  35. “DIC could buy out Tom Hicks 1000 over. Sheik Mohammed is one of the 5 richest men in the world and has not been affected by the “credit crunch.”

    DIC is not Sheik Mohammed. DIC is a private equity fund with investors that demand returns on their money. DIC is constrained by these demands.

  36. As you say investors demand returns on their money which is why Hicks will load the club with debt. If you remember he promised not to do this when he bought Liverpool but broke that promise with 9 months.

    But look at this:-

    “Dubai International Capital Private Equity is focused on secondary buy-outs and acquisitions of market leading companies in Europe and North America with a proven strategy and a robust management team.

    Some of this division’s major investments include:

    * The acquisition of Tussauds Group for £800 million, a leading operator of visitor attraction and theme parks, which was later merged with Blackstone’s Merlin Entertainments Group in 2007. Dubai International Capital retains a 20 percent shareholding in the combined Tussauds-Merlin Group
    * The acquisition of Doncasters for £700 million and the follow-on acquisition of FastenTech for US$492 million to create a leading player in global precision engineering for the industrial gas turbine, aerospace, specialist automotive and other industries
    * The £675 million secondary buyout of Travelodge, a leading budget hotel chain
    * The €850m acquisition of Mauser, a world leader in industrial packaging”

    Tom Hicks is an upstart compared with these people.

  37. “As you say investors demand returns on their money which is why Hicks will load the club with debt.”

    With DIC you’d have a club 100% owned by a private equity fund answering to investors. With Hicks and investors (if he brings any in), you’d have a club still largely held by a private owner (with different motivations than just a return for the fund’s investors).

    “But look at this…”

    Good Wikipediaing, Jofrad, but keep going…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Capital

  38. Maybe from the same people that recently gave him $550M in a blank check IPO

    Eh? I thought a blank cheque was blank? What people? Surely they are investors then ? (ref “if he brings any in”) Or did he find a senile 96 year old zillionaire wandering around Dallas and get him to sign a cheque for him?

    You have to give us details not just …. that.

  39. I repeat Tom Hicks is just an upstart compared with DIC. The chairman of DIC has been a fan of the club since he attended Liverpool University in the 70’s and moreover he understands both the club and English football culture which Hicks patently does not.
    And what exactly are his “different motivations”? I shudder to think. If they’re love for the club, you must be joking. Nobody who loved Liverpool would drag the good name of the club through the mud in the full glare of the world’s media as Hicks has.
    Oh and when is going to attend another home match ?? I thought Texans were fearless, he’s not afraid of 40,000 Scousers is he ?
    Different motivations – My Arse ! (you wouldn’t understand that)

  40. “Eh? I thought a blank cheque was blank? What people? Surely they are investors then ? (ref “if he brings any in”) Or did he find a senile 96 year old zillionaire wandering around Dallas and get him to sign a cheque for him?

    You have to give us details not just …. that.”

    The point is that he recently raised $550M in a blank check IPO. So if he can do that, it seems reasonable to think he could raise money to make Gillett an offer or to invest in the club. Raising money for Hicks hasn’t been as hard (even lately) as some around here think it has been.

    “And what exactly are his “different motivations”?”

    Owning a great club and winning with it. As I’ve said before. DIC’s leaders would want to win as well but more because they have to meet a bottom-line for their investors.

    “Oh and when is going to attend another home match ??”

    He’ll be at the Chelsea game next week.

  41. In other words his motivation is the same as everyone else.
    If you think DIC are more desperate for a return on their investment than Tom Hicks then you’re living in a fantasy world. DIC know this country very well and have huge investments here. I’d be interested to find out who apart from the Dubai Government in its various forms, are DIC’s investors.
    Why did Hicks promise not to load the club with debt then do just that ?? Why should we believe him now he is saying he will lighten the club’s debt ??
    In his “interview” today Hicks admitted he cannot attend home matches so he must have changed his mind. I’m really looking foward to his face in the Directors Box.

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