End of the season, not the end of the world

One of the worst seasons in Liverpool’s history off the field has now ended in pretty awful circumstances on it.

Liverpool’s last two league games make no difference to their position, which is stuck in fourth place as the team not quite up there with the top three, pretty much how it’s been for too long now.

One way or another the ownership situation needs to be resolved and Liverpool need to stop being in the headlines because of stupid spats and spin.

Liverpool went into this game knowing one goal from them would give them the confidence and sap Chelsea’s. Chelsea scored first in a first half that they’d dominated. But when Liverpool took over the second half and got an equaliser it looked like Liverpool could do it, could get a second goal and get through.

But it was Liverpool’s stuffing that got knocked out of them. Extra time came along and a Chelsea goal was disallowed, fairly, for offside. But seconds later Chelsea were in front. Hyypia brought down Ballack in the box, and with Frank Lampard on the field there weren’t going to be arguments between the German and Didier Drogba over who was going to take it. Lampard, still mourning his mother’s death sent Reina the wrong way.

Hyypia himself should have got a penalty. Replays showed him clearly brought down in the box, with the referee raising the whistle to mouth as if to award the penalty, before fulfilling Rafa’s prophecy about him being something of a homer.

When Drogba got his second it was all over. 3-1 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate, Liverpool couldn’t come back.

Ryan Babel’s goal three-and-a-half minutes from time raised faint hopes – at 4-3 a single goal from Liverpool would see them through – but Fernando Torres, scorer of Liverpool’s first, top scorer at the club in his first season, was on the bench.

The five minutes of stoppage time in the first game had ended with an own goal from Riise that made this tie have a different complexion to what it would have had, but there was no such length of time to be added onto any of the four halves played tonight.

A lot of fans were worried about trouble in Moscow had Liverpool got through to play there against their bitter rivals Manchester United, but none of those fans actually wanted their team not to get through. To picture “big ears” in the hands of Didier Drogba or Christiano Ronaldo isn’t something that sits easy in the mind in any way shape or form. Chelsea v Barcelona would have been far easier to watch.

Replays showed a player offside for Drogba’s opener, Sami Hyypia should have been given a penalty to make up for the one he gave away, but Liverpool know these things happen, they know they’ve got to find something to make up for nights where the referee and his officials make mistakes.

Bad luck played a part too in other ways. Martin Skrtel put a brilliant tackle in on Didier Drogba early in the game and didn’t recover. He was replaced by Hyypia, who wouldn’t have been on the pitch to give the penalty away otherwise. And using a sub early in the game limited Rafa’s options for tactical changes.

But Rafa’s choices with the options he had seemed strange to say the least.

With two subs left to make, and a need to score, Ryan Babel would have expected to be next on, but instead it was Jermaine Pennant, on for Yossi Benayoun who was one of Liverpool’s brightest players, and the provider of the Fernando Torres goal that finally broke that duck for Rafa’s sides at this ground.

It went to extra time, 1-1 the only score that could have made that happen, and Liverpool just needed one goal to surely put Chelsea out. At 2-1 to Liverpool Chelsea would have needed to score twice to knock the Reds out. Surely it was a good time to go for the jugular. But Rafa waited until Chelsea scored before making the change that everyone expected him to make well before the end of normal time. Or at least half of the change everyone expected.

Babel has pace, skill, and with 99 minutes less playing time on the night energy. Give him the ball, he causes chaos, and if he doesn’t score himself Torres is there to do it for him. Not from the bench he’s not.

Rafa may have a good reason for it, but injuries aside it’s difficult to work out what it was. None of the players tonight needed to worry about playing again for three weeks; they could give it their all and push themselves to the limits, anything to get us through. Instead none of our players now need worry about playing again – in a Liverpool shirt at least – until August.

The players worked hard and in the main played well. Carra had one of those European moments we love him for where he just throws everything into stopping an opponent score. Skrtel was doing well until that injury, and Hyypia, penalty apart, couldn’t be faulted. Arbeloa did as much as anyone could expect of him and Riise took a step or two towards making up for that gaffe last week.

Mascherano was immense as ever, and whether it was his outstanding display that made Alonso seem below par or not isn’t easy to see, not without looking back at the game again without the emotional mental blocks to seeing what really happened. And who wants to look back at the game again?

Dirk Kuyt worked hard, it would be cruel to fault him, and Yossi had a very good game, as he generally does for about half of the games he’s selected for. Torres kept going and going all night (until he was hooked off) and deserved that goal. Gerrard seemed to drift out of the game for long periods, but Gerrard drifting out of a game is still a very good player. Jermaine Pennant didn’t have the impact he’d had on Saturday; Babel’s time on the field was far too short to be enough. He was given 21 minutes out of 120 minutes, and scored after eighteen minutes of being on.

But to throw the book at Rafa now for some strange substitutions isn’t on.  A summer of recriminations over why he did what he did isn’t fair. This man got us to the semi-finals and this man will get us to many more if he’s given the almost unconditional support from the fans and the board that he deserves.

Forget the ownership mess – for now, you’ll soon be hearing little else again – and think about what Rafa has done this season with the players he had.

They are good players. The best goalkeeper in league, arguably. Three central midfielders that most other top flight clubs would fight hard to get. A forward who turns the rest of Europe green.

Failure to find top-class out-and-out wide players means Rafa’s 4-2-3-1 formation could be described as a forced decision as much as a masterstroke. But it’s worked, on the whole, and unless Rafa wants to vary the tactics over the course of next season maybe there’s no need to go looking for elusive wingers any more.

And varying the tactics is something Rafa needs to think carefully about. The rotation policy is often criticised far more than it should be, but Rafa seemed to admit to himself after the FA Cup exit that it wasn’t needed quite as much as he’d always thought.

Rumours of key players falling out with Rafa have surfaced over and over again through the course of the season, but as with most of the rumours that have plagued this season may well have been exaggerated. If Rafa’s staying, as seems certain, those players need to think about their futures. If they can’t work under Rafa, they need to find new clubs, however much of a wrench it might be. We do not want to go into a new season with any more backstabbing underhanded double-dealing at our club. We’re better off with the money their sales would attract, and a chance to build a strong squad that’s in unison with each other and with the coaches.

And after struggling to get his own way for four years Rafa has to decide if he’s got the control he wants as we go into the new season. He deserves far more control than he’s had, in terms of how his budget is handled.

Up until now, Rafa has never really had a budget as such. He’s not had a net spending figure thrown at him, leaving him to decide who to hire or fire.

Give Rafa an annual budget to spend on all the staff he needs to do his job. One big figure that covers all of his staff – playing or coaching. If he wants a winger and a full-back, and he can’t get the winger’s price down low enough to help him afford the full-back he has in mind then it should be up to him to decide what to do. Find a different winger, or a different full-back. Or sell a squad player to help him get both.

If he wants to sack a coach, but pay him gardening leave so he doesn’t go elsewhere, that should be his choice. It’s his budget and his decision on whether stopping the coach going to a rival is more important than spending that bit of the wage bill on a replacement.

And talking of budgets, Rafa needs to be clear that he’s happy with what he’s given. He needs to ensure whoever is in charge is giving him as much of what he needs as they can. And then he needs to be sure he’s not going to be grumbling in November about a lack of funds.

We start the season with a manager who has clear targets, targets clear to the fans too, and a manager who feels he has no excuse not to reach them.

At first glance we’ve not made progress at all this season. We will finish one place lower in the league, and we finished one stage further back in Europe. But in fact we’ve got two points more than we finished last season with, and with two games to go. We’re currently eleven points from the top compared to a gap of 21 points last season. And in the Champions League going out 4-3 on aggregate in extra time at the semi-final stage is as close as it gets to going into the final after a penalty shoot-out.

There can be no complaints about the Champions League run. The frustration comes from looking at the league table. Eleven points off the top, and some of the stupid points we dropped. In fact take Saturday’s draw into consideration with us using a low-strength side and we could argue we would be nine points off the top had it mattered.

We have drawn 13 games out of the 36 played so far. Manchester United have actually lost one game more than we have. Chelsea and Arsenal have only lost one game less than us.

We dropped three points at Reading because with George Gillett planning to wait in Marseille ready to give Rafa the push the manager sacrificed the points. Gillett went to Marseille, but we won, and the owners’ plan went on permanent hold. That was the first league defeat of the season, and to give Reading some credit they may still have won even if Rafa hadn’t been distracted, but it has to be seen as points dropped. The next league game was at home to Manchester United and a lacklustre side lost a lacklustre game, two league defeats in a row.

A good win over Portsmouth was soon forgotten as Liverpool scraped a 2-1 win over Derby. Derby have been so bad this season that they might break Premier League records for it, and we nearly dropped two points, a 90th minute goal sparing our blushes. But how we blushed after that. We drew, in successive games, against Manchester City, Wigan, Middlesbrough and Villa. Then we lost against West Ham. That run of four draws and a defeat alone cost us 11 points – the gap from us to the top. (In the middle of all of this was the revelation in the Echo from Tom Hicks about Jurgen Klinsmann.)

The next game saw us go 57 minutes at 0-0 against a team in the relegation zone at that time, before three goals flattered us and disappointed Sunderland.

The next game was a draw, but for once it was at least acceptable, 0-0 against Chelsea. It was just after this we went out of the FA Cup and Rafa pretty much ended his rotation for the season. Seven wins in a row in the League and Champions League followed, broken only by that 3-0 defeat to Steve Bennett.

The results from mid-December to mid-February were awful, and ended our chances of challenging for the league. It’s only now that we can see how close we could have been.

Rather than point the blame in one direction, everyone needs to look back and think what part they played in the slump.

Whether it’s new owners learning from other people’s mistakes or new owners learning from their own mistakes we can’t have another situation like the one that burst out in November. If you want to sack the manager, make sure it’s for the right reasons. If you can’t be honest with supporters about your reasons for sacking him then you probably shouldn’t be sacking him. If you can be honest, and you feel it’s justified – just get it done.

Don’t allow factions to develop at the club at any level. It isn’t just the playing squad that needs to work well together as a team. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion and it’s healthier for the club if some opinions do differ, but disagreeing shouldn’t mean major fall-outs. If you aren’t acting for the good of the club then you probably should leave, and that applies from top to bottom. We shouldn’t have a situation where the two halves of the one vote don’t get along at all, to the point of not speaking, ever again. 50:50 ownership has to be an experiment consigned to the club museum’s “failure” display, next to joint managers and a long list of players that aren’t worth mentioning in an article about the current squad.

Rafa isn’t immune from criticism, but it should be constructive. People certainly shouldn’t be suggesting in mid-March that the December to February run was a deliberate ploy on Rafa’s part to somehow get what he wanted from the ownership mess. He’s not as innocent as we’d like to think, but he’s not that bad.

Season 2008-09 should be subtitled “No excuses”. There better not be any, or a need for any.

Whoever is in control of the club better be there because they want silverware as well as pieces of silver. Whoever is managing the club should be doing so because they believe they have given us realistic expectations, expectations they endeavour to smash. All the players should be behind their manager 100% – if not they shouldn’t be there.

As close as we got to a having a memorable season for the right reasons, as much as we managed to make a slight improvement in the league, as close as we came to another Champions League final, we have to remember that those ahead of us won’t be standing still this summer. Get the ownership mess fixed now and make sure we’re not left to fall behind.

As bad as it feels tonight we’ve got a hell of a lot to look forward to, or at least a hell of a lot to try and look forward to.

Thanks to Rafa and his men for giving us some good times in amongst the depressingly bad. And here’s to more good times to come.

357 thoughts on “End of the season, not the end of the world”

  1. Anfielder – Attack is the best form of defence, and subsequently I admire your attack. I think that as a solicitor you should understand better than anyone else the reason that people may have thought why didn’t they feel any need to divulge the fact that you where aquainted with three other people on this site. You have a go at Jim fair play but you bud sound like you are so far up your own backside that it makes me want to vomit. Jim didn’t say that their was a conspiracy it was me, I said it to only be taken with a pinch of salt. You preach above about how jim is paranoid and how he is spending hours comming up with a load of bollocks to come to a single conclusion, but how long did it take you to come up with the mish mash of bollocks above to make people believe that you are some sort of suedo intelectual that you obviously believe youself to be. You have come up with some shit about free speach in defence of the fact you didn’t disclose the fact the you where aquainted with three other people on the site, yet you will still not step back and say that I understand how you may have taken that news the wrong way Jim. You have launched into a torrent of abuse of Jim while you are obviously so full of yourself you seem to see yourself of a higher order to Jim that you need not accept what Jim said and offered any explanation to why except for a load of counter arguments in your defence. You are probably one of those gobshites down south who voted for the gobshite Boris Johnson to be London Mayor. You are the most obnoxious twat that I have ever had the mispleasure to come across in my life. Get back up your own backside and learn some manners you horrible self righteous cunt, and go support Man U because they are right up your street you arrogant prik.

  2. Martin: I’ll even spring for a “Dumbledore” hat from the official Harry Potter merchandise line if it’ll help you along any.

  3. Dont worry Jim…

    Anyway football:

    I hate Richard Keys. He’s just criticised Benitez for spending a lot of money but not winning the league. £88mil net over 4 seasons. How much have Man U and Chelsea spent net in that period? He inherited an inferior squad than those two and spent less so how could he realistically have been expected to win the league?!

  4. I was all set to reply to Anfielder’s earlier post with a quick pointer to him about how a yahoo.nz email address had been used by “Jimmy” and “Redman” from the same office IP address that he uses. Anfielder also has a yahoo.nz email address.

    I was also going to point out that “Leanne” had used the exact same business IP address – which is actually a UK government IP address.

    And that the link between “Leanne”, “Ellery” and “Anfielder” was that they’d all used the same “home” IP addresses.

    I was going to point out the coincidence of “Anfielder” being called “Jimmy”, but it being odd that the “Jimmy” who posted from his workplace, also a Liverpool fan, also with a yahoo.nz email address, wasn’t him.

    And I was going to remind him that I’d said earlier that I was happy to leave it.

    I hadn’t spent hours on the earlier post, it took perhaps 15 minutes to pull all the posts out and write something about them briefly.

    And I actually thought “Anfielder” had perhaps just forgotten he’d used his own name – “Jimmy” some time back before settling on “Anfielder”. It’s not like it matters much. I’m sure others on here have used more than one username over time. So to respond to the “bullshit” accusation I went looking for the posts.

    But if having two Liverpool-supporting Yahoo-using New Zealand lawyers called Jimmy working in the same office was a coincidence I wasn’t too sure about what I spotted next.

    The sad thing is – I was all set to let this go. I said so in my last post – let’s leave it. And other than being accused of “bullshit” I would have taken his word.

    It was as I read through the old comments from Jimmy I saw more coincidences.

    It’s only a little coincidence. But it’s still a coincidence. I’m not one to pull people up on grammar or punctuation so don’t assume that’s what this is about. But most people put a question mark immediately at the end of a sentence without a space before it. For example: Don’t they? I think so!

    But I noticed as I looked back at these comments that a few of these housemates / workmates all punctuate in the same way. A few comments have a space and then two or three question marks, or two or three exclamation marks at the end of a sentence. And a lot of them also use a row of dots……………….to link two points together.

    It’s like a signature almost. Other might leave a space before a question mark or use a row of dots, but nobody else (almost) does both.

    Here’s a selection of comments from “Redman”, “Jimmy”, “Leanne”, “Ellery” and “Anfielder”.

    Redman – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200801242798/how-reds-owners-mislead-fans-over-transfer-funding.html/#comment-823 said The choice is simple. Do we unite now to force out Hicks or just let the club go the same way as Leeds ?? (Space and two question marks).

    Jimmy – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200802072832/rafa-torres-doubtful-hicks-im-going-to-meddle-more.html/#comment-1083 Hicks’s sums just do not add up !!! (Space then three exclamation marks).

    Anfielder – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200803042892/report-hicks-and-gillett-reject-dic-offer.html/#comment-1465 does it too – Good call Toshackrises !!………Quite apart from my earlier comments (Space before the exclamation marks then the row of full stops.)

    Jimmy again – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200802062827/parry-please-try-to-ignore-the-mess.html/#comment-1082 Contrary to Mike’s comment merely providing part of the security for part of a loan (for his own f**king takeover !!) and then lumping that debt onto the club in breach of clearcut assurances not to do this doesn’t earn Hicks any credit at all with me or any other sane person. (Space and two exclamation marks).

    Anfielder has the same style – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-1998 – in this post. Here’s a newsflash Jim…….we have been winning things……….. but just not with the frequency we got used to back in the golden years and think this Club is capable of under the right direction. Therefore if we did continue to win occasional trophies under Hicks why would we attribute those trophies to him ?? The rows of dots and the space before the two exclamation marks. In the same post we’ve got somehow going to help the Club win trophies ?? and a little later we have still had to publicly hawk us around the Banks with a begging bowl merely to refinance the loan !! Our Club debt is already bigger than Arsenal’s even though they’ve already built their stadium and we haven’t even begun work on ours !! – consecutive sentences ending that way. In fact that particular comment is full of those examples, and the long rows of dots used to link two points.

    He also – and remember “Anfielder” tells us he’s a lawyer – makes what might be construed as a threatening post towards “Texas Dawg”. http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-1992 Well Texas Dawg…….You’re obviously a brave man writing these provocative words from the safety and anonymity of Texas. If you’re really so enamoured with Hicks (ie. yourself) then why don’t you come on down to the Kop next Tuesday night with a banner or some chants restating that Hicks is going to be owner for the next 15 years ??? If you do I promise you’ll get something more substantial to think about than mere “threats”. As brave as a “lawyer” using multiple identities? More abuse, rows of dots, and spaces before punctuation here too – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-1984
    http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200803312933/parry-victim-of-numbers-game.html/#comment-1941

    And many of the posts are so anti-Texas, anti-American, you wonder if the poster is upset about Liverpool FC or just suffering from a deep-seated hatred of America. One example: http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200803092907/shut-up-and-concentrate-on-negotiating.html/#comment-1619 Hicks will be laughing at this soft and polite mentality. He couldn’t care less about being unpopular with fans unless it affects or threatens to affect the bottom line financially. How will a one off half time protest achieve this ?? Americans don’t get subtlety and they don’t respond to polite requests to leave either. The attitude towards Hicks should be the same one adopted by those guys who chased his shithead son out of the Sandon. If I had been there Hicks’s son would have been running for his life and no mistake. Again, there’s an implication of what “Anfielder” would do in a way that’s hardly something a lawyer should be threatening. Especially a lawyer working where he works.

    Does the style in this comment – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804082939/gillett-fancies-a-pint-for-his-trouble.html/#comment-2193 – have a familiar look to it? Jim, mate, over the last month and a half or so you have completely lost the plot. The only thing that’s obvious from your posts is that you want Hicks to assume complete control of the Club………. but the arguments you’ve been advancing (and lets face it most of them are just pure speculation framed in the most favourable way possible to Hicks) do not stack up to any kind of examination or analysis. Hicks will take this Club over the financial cliff if he gets control. This is why virtually 100% of fans want him out. Gillett is merely a by product of Hicks. If we can get rid of Hicks then we also get rid of Gillett too but the converse does not apply. What part of this equation is too difficult for you to understand ??? Posted from the “work” address. But posted by “Leanne”.

    Anfielder again – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200803102910/hicks-statement-dic-talks-have-ended.html/#comment-1648 Surely by now Hicks must realize that the Club’s “loyal and passionate supporters” all unanimously want him to f**k off and die somewhere………preferably quietly !!!….therefore by even making this statement the only logical inference is that Hicks is perfectly happy rubbing our noses in it.

    Anfielder making accusations – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2501 God forbid that anyone should think Jim Boardman is in Hicks’s camp after yet another blatantly one sided post like this !!!! That long reply, filled with anti-US comments and more accusations – and of course those peculiarities of punctuation – ends with this: Rafa has the ability to take us back to where we rightfully belong. This is no doubt the criteria Rafa would want to be judged on.
    It was also “Anfielder” who posted this: http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200802172857/report-hicks-softening-where-dic-concerned.html/#comment-1194 Come on Jim……I give you a lot of credit for your articles but your defence of Rafa just doesn’t wash any more. He has absolutely no personal relationship with any of the players and seems hopelessly unable to motivate them. You talk about him not having enough money and fair enough he hasn’t had absurd sums to spend like Mourinho and Ferguson but he has still spent an awful lot of money on dross. Arsene Wenger got Fabregas, Adebayor, Flamini and numerous others for virtually nothing by having sound judgement about players. Rafa’s judgment is shocking. He paid £10 million for Kuyt who is embarrassingly bad (no pace and the first touch of an African elephant). Also I don’t think its fair to look at the Barnsley game as one off and try to rationalize it as a one off bit of bad luck. Since Benfica in early 2006 we have repeatedly been on top during games but failed to score because our attacking players (with the obvious exception of Torres) are woeful. I would have loved Rafa to succeed at Liverpool and supported him without reservation until I became convinced that he far too conservative to ever create a great team. Having said all of the above I still believe our first priority must be getting rid of Hicks and Gillett. Rafa and Rick Parry however have both outlived their time.

    This was posted from “home” by “Leanne” – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2535 – It starts with Well said Stephen, Jofrad, Anfielder and John Steele. Nothing like a pat on the back eh? It goes on: Jim, for God’s sake will you sort it out because your pieces have become embarrassing to read lately. You can’t seriously expect to write such inflammatory, one sided pieces and then when other people object to this accuse them all of not being open-minded to your point of view. Whatever Parry’s past shortcomings are I don’t believe he has it in for Rafa and even if he did attend a meeting 5 months ago with Hicks, Gillett and Klinsman then so what ???

    An hour after that one from “Leanne” came this one from “Ellery Jackson”, an early appearance – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2541 Jim, pardon me for pointing out the obvious but your pieces are full of personal attacks and commentary (which in my humble opinion is often over the top) on Parry, Moores, & DIC among others. You are quite happy to think and write the worst about lifelong Liverpool supporters on the flimsiest of basis but seem unable to find a bad word to say about Hicks, Texas Dawg, Modus Operandi (and God knows how many other people Hicks has got working on this sight). Pardon us all if this seems just a tad hypocritical and suspicious. “Ellery” wants to compare Hicks to Hitler: However still you persist with the arrogant assumption that we’re all brainwashed and that you and your Texan friends are the only ones with open minds. The only thing that seems obvious is your desire to help Hicks achieve full ownership of the Club. The argument set out in your last paragraph above is basically the same one used by those who collaborated with the Nazis during the War and is basically a tacit justification as to why you’re being so submissive towards Hicks (which of course in itself contradicts your contention that you’re being even handed). You may genuinely believe submission to the likes of Hicks is the right view to take but so did the collaborators. That didn’t make them right and it didn’t make those who argued against them wrong either.

    “Ellery” back again within twenty minutes – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2544 – to stir things a little more: Good call Stephen. For a man who seems to have a very thin skin Jim sure doesn’t mind dishing out the abuse to others.

    Another ten minutes and surprise surprise, “Ellery” finds he’s got to put a space before the double question marks: http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2545 Edward, what is there to clear up between Rafa and Parry ?? I think Leanne’s post sums up the situation perfectly. Parry attended a meeting that happened 5 months ago with Hicks, Gillett & Klinsman on the instructions of Hicks and Gillett. The problem here is Hicks and Gillett. The air at the Club will never be clear as long as they are still around. Why should Parry have to apologize for doing what his job required him to do 5 months ago ?? – And what do you know, he’s only praising “Leanne” at the same time.

    Later on the same evening and “Ellery” is using those rows of dots – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2552 Edward the long drawn out saga re Masch’s transfer was not because of Parry……………It was because of Hicks’s reluctance to release any more of the RBS loan monies.

    “Leanne” was back again later – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2579 Nice try Dawg…………….but I don’t think anyone is really in the mood to swallow your bullshit today …………………which really makes it just like every other day

    And “Anfielder” was soon back again to stir up some trouble – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804132947/rafa-demands-answers-over-parry-role.html/#comment-2609 – and oh yes, big up “Leanne” again: I concur with Jofrad and John Steele and also with the earlier comments by Leanne and Stephen. A lot more criticism including this: 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.

    I won’t cut and past the content of this comment – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804172952/hicks-on-gillett-klinsmann-parry-rafa-and-finance.html/#comment-2728 – it’s far too long, but it’s yet another full-on attack on me, with a lot of opinion on how the US election system works. Oh, and lots of dots and space-prefixed question marks.

    “Ellery” was back soon after to actually criticise himself. I mean to criticise “Anfielder”. But only slightly – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804172952/hicks-on-gillett-klinsmann-parry-rafa-and-finance.html/#comment-2763 Excellent post by Anfielder. My only criticism is that you didn’t use the word “bullshit” enough times in describing the appropriate response to Hicks and his comments.

    This post from “Anfielder” is quite funny now looking at the other comments I’ve just been reading – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804172952/hicks-on-gillett-klinsmann-parry-rafa-and-finance.html/#comment-2802 As usual your defence basically consists of dismissing anyone who dares to tell you a few home truths about your writing as some mindless, angry ranter who doesn’t have an open mind to your point of view. “Anfielder” – a ranter? Why would anyone think that? And not unusually, the response to the fact there might be some questions that could have even a little impact on his arguments? Your reply post raises a huge number of points and questions I would love to respond to but, unlike you, I don’t do this for a living and simply do not have the time to address them all right now in the way I would like. Cop out?

    Another funny one – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804172952/hicks-on-gillett-klinsmann-parry-rafa-and-finance.html/#comment-2811 Jim, maybe its just me but part of the problem seems to arise from you wearing two different hats at the same time. Hmmm. Wearing two hats? What would a “Jimmy” calling himself “Leanne” be wearing? And more of the question-mark-thing.

    During a calmer “Leanne” moment we still get that punctuation oddity – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804202958/anyone-would-think-a-big-game-was-coming-up.html/#comment-2866 Sorry Julie, those were your questions I was answering not Stephen’s. I really should go and have a lie down !!!

    “Leanne” doesn’t like Dawg either remember – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804222962/cl-result-reds-1-chelsea-1.html/#comment-3212 Someone earlier speculated (probably accurately) that Dawg is some spotty kid who likes shooting off his mouth…………………but the one thing you can safely assume from his comments about the legal situation is that he’s no lawyer !!!

    “Ellery” was back again soon enough – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-3933 – but didn’t make the punctuation slip. Just the agenda: Jim, I’m completely with Stephen on this. You seem to regard it as some kind of challenge to see how far you can twist everything to make Hicks look as good as possible and DIC look as bad as possible.

    But “Ellery” forgot himself soon enough – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-3949 – because he uses those dots and an excuse not to answer question he finds difficult – Jim I could give you about a thousand examples if I had the time to go back over the last two months and pick through your commentaries and then the further time to set out in writing whats wrong with each one of them…………………but since I don’t I’ll just use that last comment of yours asking who spilled the beans about the Klinsman affair. And again another of those ‘facts’ without proof: You must be blind, deaf and dumb if you haven’t figured out the answer to this one yet. The obvious answer is because no one will lend Hicks another £20 million !!!…………and (in case you hadn’t noticed) Hicks is no flash Harry when it comes to using his own (apparently quite limited) money.

    That was at 10.56pm, “Leanne” arrived at 11.30pm as the tag partner – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-3954 – and “Leanne” was angry now – Therefore what possible advantage does LFC get out of having Hicks as owner above DIC ??? ……………..and unless you can come up with a convincing answer to that question then why (I keep asking myself) does someone like yourself who surely must want whats best for the Club keep pushing the case so hard for Hicks over DIC ??? Why do you want Hicks as owner when there is an alternative who (even in the worst case scenario) couldn’t possibly suck as badly as Hicks ??

    Before “Ellery” was back again at 11.12pm: – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-3997 – to have a go at Dawg again – Texas Dawg – I sincerely hope the Dallas Stars win the Stanley cup …………………………but only so that it’ll encourage you to piss off for a while and give us all some quality Yank free time to consider how to get rid of your scumbag boss

    And another 12 minutes passed before “anfielder” came back – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-3998 Leanne, you’re wasting your time expecting Jim to answer your questions because even if you do assume the absolute worst about DIC (as Jim wants us all to do) there still isn’t any good answer to your question……………………..and Jim knows it.

    Not too much later on we saw “Leanne” make a return – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4006 Well there you have it folks !!!…………….When Jim was asked the direct question “what possible benefit could there be to LFC in having Hicks as owner above DIC” the best answer he could come up with was “I have no idea”. I wonder if I’m alone in thinking this is just not a good enough answer.
    Jim – I think we’ll just to make up our own minds as to whether you’re fairly applying the same level of scrutiny and scepticism to Hicks as you are to DIC.

    Yes “Leanne” – I think we will make our own minds up about things.

    Here’s “Elleray” – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4010 No Leanne you’re definitely not alone if you consider Jim’s answer to your question piss poor. and Isn’t it just possible that perhaps a good proportion (if not all) of whats written about Hicks is right on the money and that some of those journalists you keep criticizing out there are doing their job better than you’re doing yours ????

    And “Ellery” was again comparing what I did to his beloved US – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4016 Jim, in the US they call what you’re doing negative campaigning. Basically it means that when one candidate is so discredited (ie. Hicks) that few, if any, constructive or believable arguments can be made in their favour they (and those who support them) focus all their energies into throwing dirt at the other candidate. This is all in the hope that when they are finished voters will be so afraid of the other candidate they will be prepared to go with the first one in spite of his record. Its sometimes called the politics of fear and you’re an expert at it. What do they call somebody using multiple identities in these campaigns?

    Then “Leanne” returned – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4017 Well Jim, pardon me all over the place if I’ve dared to actually reach a few adverse conclusions about Hicks based on his track record to date. and You say I’m blinded by anger and hatred but theres nothing blind or irrational about hating someone who gives you enough reasons to do this. I happen to give a shit about the Club which means I can’t sit around and be all mellow like you while someone I consider fundamentally wrong for the Club threatens its long term viability. I took a lot of time responding to that particular point. But “Leanne” only believes one person is right I suspect: You say you don’t think Hicks would be better than DIC…………………….. but the fact remains that you are definitely not giving DIC a fair crack of the whip in comparison to Hicks. Ellery and others are absolutely right about this.

    Then we had that gap after I asked why these people all had the same IP address, and the excuses that came back were acceptable enough to me.

    “Leanne” at 9.53pm – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4050 and at 9.58pm: http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4052

    After someone on this IP address spent much of the night looking back through old posts we got an appearance from “Anfielder” at 10.12pm. http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4062 – which included this – Jim, if we were trying to do something “sinister” as you suggest it would be easy enough to use different IP addresses. The reality is we’ve been openly using the same IP addresses for a longtime and you’ve had no problem with this until yesterday when we all got passionate about the same issue (adverse to you) at the same time. If people don’t agree with Ellery or Leanne they don’t have to so no-one’s arm is being twisted here.

    And there was this from “Anfielder” shortly afterwards – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200805012974/end-of-the-season-not-the-end-of-the-world.html/#comment-4072 You finish up by saying you want Leanne to come back and answer your questions. Mate wake up !! Leanne, in the last 24 hours has gone from thinking you’re a tortured but basically decent soul who just needs help to open his eyes to thinking you’re Anthony Perkins’s character from “pscyho”. The mood she’s in now I wouldn’t hold your breath for a reply from her anytime soon. You’d best go and sit and talk to “Leanne” then hadn’t you “Jimmy” / “Anfielder” whatever it was.

    On another IP address used quite commonly too, by “Anfielder” / “Leanne” / “Ellery”.
    “Leanne” – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-2015 Wow !!! Great post earlier by Anfielder. It took me ages to read this but I’m glad for the comprehensive refresher course. The thought of Hicks makes my blood boil but he seems to enjoy making us all feel powerless. Dawg, you’re a typical arrogant, loudmouth, ignorant Yank and by strange coincidence so is your Mr Hicks. There certainly is plenty of Anti-Americanism in the World right now and people like you and him are the cause of it. You have failed utterly to convince anyone with your drivel and have simply reminded us of who our real enemy is.
    “Leanne” – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-2023 Guess your sweet irony is lost on all of us over here Dawg since no one knows what you’re talking about. But since you want to make fun of names………… isn’t it a bit redundant for a Texan to add the word “Dawg” on the end of his when all Texans are dogs by definition ??

    “Ellery Jackson” (later the same morning) – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-2026 John you’re wasting your time trying to reason with this embarrassing clown. Guys like this are only capable of learing the hard way. Dawg…like most people I think you are either Hicks, Hicks’s son or one of his paid employees. Whoever you are you’re labouring under the sad illusion that any of us care what a greedy prick like Hicks wants or likes. These matters mean nothing to us. Hicks may have temporarily gained 50% of the shares by his deceipt but Liverpool Football Club always has, and always will, belong to us. If Hicks and his family insist on trying to cling on beyond the end of this season then what happened to his son at the Sandon will be just the beginning. There will be no place to hide and they will need a team of bodyguards around them constantly just to stay alive over here. I know you don’t believe us when we say this………….. but thats only because you’re too stupid to understand the passions you and Hicks are playing with.

    “Ellery” again – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-2050 Dawg……no one believes your utterly predictable denials but quite apart from this we all know any gutless wimp can make provocative comments online while hiding behind a phoney pseudynom. I think its fair to say from the feedback that with the sole exception of Jim Boardman no-one else has found your arguments even slightly persuasive so you’ve failed totally in that respect and now your drivel has become tiresome and boring. However fear not…..because your comments have served a useful purpose. At a time when most of us have been focussed on events on the field you’ve helped forcefully remind us all what a cancer Hicks really is. You can now go back, like a faithful messenger boy, to your boss/father/whatever and tell him that the “loyal and passionate fans” he referred to recently all still want him to fuck off and die somewhere…….preferably quietly. I’m sure he’ll probably be too dumb to do this voluntarily of course………but there are other ways to excise a cancer than asking it politely to leave.

    “Leanne” now, who knows a lot more about the Dallas press than most of us – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804022935/cl-result-arsenal-1-liverpool-1-qf-1st-leg.html/#comment-2055 Incidentally everyone…the article Dawg has given a link to above praising Hicks are from the Dallas News. This is a newspaper with a reputation in the United States about equivalent to our Sun……….and I mean the Sun with Rob Beasley not Chris Bascombe. I’ve read some of the articles from this paper regarding the US election and they are laughably childish, basically non-stop over the top spin with no substance to support any of it…………………….where have we seen this before ????

    “Ellery” was soon back, with more of his unbacked-up opinion: http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804102942/parry-asked-to-resign-as-dic-claim-they-cant-afford-lfc-price.html/#comment-2244 Jim, this nauseating garbage you’ve been churning out lately in support of Hicks would really be more appropriate to Pravda or maybe the Sun…………………….You and this “Texas Dawg” should really get a room somewhere !!! Methinks “Ellery” has the same room as “Leanne” and “Anfielder” and “Jimmy”.

    I love this one from “Leanne” aimed at Dawg – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804082939/gillett-fancies-a-pint-for-his-trouble.html/#comment-2251 Your denials of being a Hicks stooge are about as believable as OJ Simpson’s denials of being a murderer………………. but the problem for you is that we are not the OJ Simpson jury. Liverpool fans come naturally equipped with excellent bullshit detectors !! You’re telling me we do “Leanne”.

    “Ellery” with his interest in the Nazi way of doing things – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804102942/parry-asked-to-resign-as-dic-claim-they-cant-afford-lfc-price.html/#comment-2361 Sorry Jim Boardman but you long ago ceased to have any credibility for me. I know you like to portray yourself as “objective” but your pro-Hicks rants over the last couple of months have not even been worthy of the brain dead Texan himself and are more like something Joseph Goebbels would have written. Sad…………very sad !!!!

    And it wouldn’t be “Anfielder” without a get-out whenever a point was hard for him to argue with – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804122944/the-alternative-side-to-the-lfc-ownership-mess.html/#comment-2431 im, I’m dying to respond to your latest post but I know I simply won’t have the time to do so over the next couple of days. There are so many points I take issue with that it would take me hours to properly respond to them. Suffice to say at this stage I’ve read all your recent posts very carefully and I think many of the comments you’re stating as either fact or virtual fact are anything but and many of your arguments simply don’t stack up to any kind of close scrutiny. Obvious and highly compelling counter arguments exist to most, if not all, of your points but for some reason you don’t seem interested in giving them any airplay. I find it astonishingly hypocritical that someone who is writing in the way you have been lately would complain about others lacking objectivity………but I suppose nothing should really surprise me now.

    And there’s another IP address, used twice:
    “Anfielder” – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200803092907/shut-up-and-concentrate-on-negotiating.html/#comment-1609 I would have to disagree in the strongest possible terms with Hops’ comment that Hicks might have been making progress with the fans before this latest
    outburst. I haven’t met a single Reds’ fan who can stand the sight (or sound) of this arrogant loudmouth.

    And “Leanne” – http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/200804172952/hicks-on-gillett-klinsmann-parry-rafa-and-finance.html/#comment-2740 Another reliably brilliant and typically forthright post from Anfielder. Thanks for saying some things that needed to be said about the recent writing on this site. “Anfielder” must have been pleased with “Leanne” bigging him up like that.

    Is it just a coincidence?

    It took a while to put all this together, far too long, and there’s other evidence as I hinted at before (like using the same PC and some slip-ups I’ve not mentioned).

    But the time I’ve wasted reasoning with this person (or people, if you think it isn’t the same person) probably adds up to far more than the time I spent today looking at this.

    If this person wants to own up, apologise, maybe explain, I’m willing to listen.

    And don’t worry the genuine people on here who disagree with me, I’ve no real intention of going looking into whether you’ve got multiple ids or ulterior motives.

    I’ve two other names I’m going to check out again, although to be honest I’ll probably not look at them again until next time they post.

    And sorry to all the regular posters who’ve wasted so much of their time reading my responses to this particular agenda-driven person. I wonder if he’s worried about LFC or worried about ensuring DIC get in? Either way, it’s not exactly helped DIC’s cause by him being caught.

  5. @ Anthony
    Sothern gobshites? Was that called for? Why hold it against someone just because they are from the south of the UK? You may not agree with other posters but why get so personnal? Bit hypocritical given your defence of Jim. Next you will be jumping on the bandwagon and saying those who live down south shouldn’t support LFC. Piss poor comment on your part.

  6. Fred – Sorry for the comment, but Boris Johnson is a gobshite, and I do not mind who supports LFC, was not meant as an insult to southeners but I do see how it would offend you. I have no problem with southeners.

  7. Jim – They are no more Lawyers than I am Wayne Rooneys Nan. If they him/her was a Lawyer they would not be so stupid to believe that Dawg was in anyway associated with Hicks. They would also find themselves getting sacked for using government computers for writing anti American propaganda. They must be using a Library computer or a college computer, but they will not be using any government computers that a lawyer would use. A lawyer would not be so stupid to do somthing so stupid as use their own goverment computer to write anti American opinions. Also there government cpu’s are also monitored for any missuse.

    Fred – Do you forgive me I didn’t mean anything by it, I am really sorry.

  8. Don’t worry Anthony. We aren’t all gobshites down south. We just drink shandy 😉

  9. Will be interesting to see Anfielder/Ellery et al’s riposte!

    Have to say I particularly enjoyed this comment:

    “but quite apart from this we all know any gutless wimp can make provocative comments online while hiding behind a phoney pseudynom”

    LOL!

  10. Jim, I have to come clean……..I am also John Steele and Julie(Toronto) !!

    No not really…………………..

    In all seriousness I was going to write a comment saying don’t worry about it but when you actually consider the time taken responding by yourself to ‘these’ people I guess it must be extremely frustrating.

    If true – I will wait to see if they have ‘they’ have the guts to write a response before making any final judgement – I think it’s a shame because the other option is that you write a header article only and do not respond to peoples comments. I hope you don’t decide to do that because personally, whether I have agreed with you or not in the past, it has been appreciated.

  11. Jim, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the blogs over the past few weeks many thanks. I tend to agree with your view that believing in DIC with nothing but a deep mistrust – hatred of our American owners may be a dangerous road to travel. As a previous poster has put it ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’. More information, not leaked stories, is required from all parties, before sides can taken by the suffering fans. If pressed, I would of course go for the Share Liverpool option, but in my heart know this is the least likely.
    I’m sure that you will find out eventually if Leanne and ‘her friends’ are actual solicitors, the bill for their time will be in the post.
    Being a exiled ‘mickey mouser’ living in south west London, if you find the address of their practice, please pass it on, one to avoid!

  12. This is mind-boggling (call in the linguistic experts!).
    I’ll have to give it more thought but would currently
    give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I was familiar with their views and thought that they
    were by and large good posters if a little OTT at times
    (aren’t we all?).

    Jim, aside from the similar writing styles and agenda that you’ve pointed out, they did appear to be distinct personalities. The reasons they offered were also plausible?

    It’s too far-fetched?

  13. Damn, Martin, my cover is blown now. Just for that I’m not cutting you in on the movie deal on the story of “The Three Blogs of Martin: The Blog (Part I), Return of the Blog (Part II), Blog: Resurrected (Part III).”

    Seriously, though, can everyone (including our moderator) please stop the mud-slinging and personal retaliatory comments and get back to talking about football.

  14. What is going on chaps?!

    Seems our end of season banter has turned into recriminations upon recriminations. Can we not give up on it for a minute?!

    We seem to be linked to untold amount of players at the moment. I’d like to know more about how we’re going to pay for them?:

    Funds in the bank? How much have we got?

    Sales? Are they likely to be the right ones?

    Purchases? How will they fit Rafa’s style of play.

    PS Anfielder, Leanne etc. apart from the alleged lack of transparency, I’ve liked your posts and it’s made for interesting dialogue/argument/counter-argument. Hit back at Jim if you want but let it go and soon and get back to posting!

  15. Hahaha, caught red handed so to speak. I’m surprised but I have to admit the similarities in writing styles, use of language, punctuation and linking dots is all too much. Best excuse I can think of is that frequently one of them uses the others’ computers and forgets to change the name/email address when submitting the comment. I’m obviously far too trusting.

  16. @midlands-red: I genuinely feel the “Anfielder / Leanne” group/person have been here in the main to cause trouble. It might have been for good, genuine, Liverpool-supporting reasons too.

    So when I’ve had chance to clear my head about it all I’m sure I’ll be back to trying to make sense of what’s going on.

    Just to cover what you’ve said briefly…

    Funds? Practically none. Probably not enough to buy a Babel. So we’ll have to sell to buy.

    Purchases? Pah! Look at funds above.

    Ownership? About time all concerned came clean and admitted whether we’ve got good reason to hope for something to happen in the close season.

    Frustration? You bet. If we could just buy this summer on a par with the Mancs and so on we’d at least not fall behind. We’re so close to being a challenging team, but if we’re spending a fraction of what the Mancs spend we’ll fall back further.

    I need to do more checking on this, but I’d say Gareth Barry would be our main signing this summer, assuming Villa want Carson and probably one other.

    My hunch (that’s all it is for now) is that we’ll not be seeing a resolution soon.

  17. The Mancs have got their sights on that young lad who plays for Lyon, he is only about 19 and Lyon want about 40 – 50 million Euros,but he is going to be a shit hot player. The fact that we have got no funds for summer transferes is a croque of shit. We could have kept hold of Moores and had no money to spend and we would not have had to put up with all the shit that we have. Was listening to Andy Grey on the last word and he reckons that the big four will be spending big money in the summer and some of the worlds best will be on their way to the premier league. The club may not have any funds in the bank to go and buy, but the new TV deals will kick in for next season. If you buy a player you don’t pay for the player in one go you pay in installments over the course of the duration of the players contract, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t go and buy another Torres. We would have taken about 48 million in TV rights for this season and we have got that until the TV rights are renegotiated. If we don’t spend big on at least one player then I reckon that it is disgracefull, for the simple reason that we have got the new TV deal kicking in.

  18. Thanks for your response Jim.

    No matter where we go all roads seemt to lead back to the ownership – see today’s reuters story taken from the Telegraph re. Hicks seeking Hedge Funds cash- http://football.uk.reuters.com/premiership/news/5382924E-1A91-11DD-81C0-662B34A97898.php?rpc=401&

    Can anyone tell me what are the merits of Hedge Funds over other financial instruments and give their opinion on whether this is a route we should welcome?

    On the surface it strikes me that a number of doors have closed in Hicks face and I’m hoping he’s not looking to take even greater risks – by going in with the wrong partners – to secure our club!

  19. Liverpool’s Hicks in talks with hedge funds – report
    11:52 BST, Mon 5 May 2008 [-] Text
    Email | Print | Digg This

    LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) – Liverpool FC’s co-owner Tom Hicks is talking to hedge funds to help him raise funds to buy the British soccer club and start building a new stadium, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

    The U.S. billionaire, who wants to buy out the 50 percent of the club controlled by co-owner George Gillett, is talking to some of the hedge funds that helped finance the Glazer family’s purchase of Manchester United, such as Perry Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management and Citadel, the newspaper reported.

    While one hedge fund rejected the approach, others are still in talks with Hicks’ advisors, the newspaper said.

    Hicks could not immediately be reached for comment.
    _____________________

    This is worrying – Hedge funds are extremely expensive and only interested in returns (however they are achieved). Hicks is going down very dangerous route here. If these are the investors he promised then this club is on a knife edge. Its not good enough that we are being run this way!!!

    Some info on Hedge Fund Fees…

    Usually the hedge fund manager will receive both a management fee and a performance fee (also known as an incentive fee). Performance fees are closely associated with hedge funds, and are intended to incentivize the investment manager to produce the largest returns they can. A typical hedge fund fee is “2 and 20”, which refers to management fees of 2% and performance fees of 20%. See below for an explanation of each.

    Management fees
    As with other investment funds, the management fee is calculated as a percentage of the net asset value of the fund at the time when the fee becomes payable. Management fees typically range from 1% to 4% per annum, with 2% being the standard figure. Therefore, if a fund has $1 billion of assets at the year end and charges a 2% management fee, the management fee will be $20 million in total. Management fees are usually calculated annually and paid monthly.

    Performance fees
    Performance fees, which give a share of positive returns to the manager, are one of the defining characteristics of hedge funds. In the US, stock brokers are generally prohibited by their broker/dealer from charging performance fees. A hedge fund’s performance fee is calculated as a percentage of the fund’s profits, counting both unrealized profits and actual realized trading profits. Performance fees exist because investors are usually willing to pay managers more generously when the investors have themselves made money. For managers who perform well the performance fee is extremely lucrative.

    Typically, hedge funds charge 20% of gross returns as a performance fee, but again the range is wide, with highly regarded managers demanding higher fees. In particular, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Partners charges 3% of assets and 35% of profits,[7] while Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies Corp. charged a 5% management fee and a 44% incentive fee in its flagship Medallion Fund.

    Managers argue that performance fees help to align the interests of manager and investor better than flat fees that are payable even when performance is poor. However, performance fees have been criticized by many people, including notable investor Warren Buffett, for giving managers an incentive to take excessive risk rather than targeting high long-term returns. In an attempt to control this problem, fees are usually limited by a high water mark and sometimes by a hurdle rate. Fund managers will easily get around a very large high water mark by starting a new fund, and many investors in the old fund will invest in the new one. Alternatively, the investment manager might be required to return performance fees when the value of the fund drops. This provision is sometimes called a ‘claw-back’.

  20. By the way the sideshow that has been going on on this site should not distract people from the shambolic nature of how this club is being run. Hicks and Gillett are a disgrace and only in it for the money. They are parasites and now they are prepared to drag us into the very danagerous and murky world of Hedge funds. I don’t care what anybody thinks about DIC but there is no way on earth they would put the club at this kind of risk. Why?? Because they are not a desperate paper dollar billionaire with no money and no interest in investing in this club.

    People need to wake up – the financial engineering that is going on at this club can not continue. No excuses!

  21. “Can anyone tell me what are the merits of Hedge Funds over other financial instruments and give their opinion on whether this is a route we should welcome?”

    Midlands,

    The term “hedge fund” initially applied to investment funds that use short positions in publicly traded stocks to “hedge” against their other investments. Now though the term is often applied to investment funds that invest in public equities as well as various other investment types (i.e. real estate, bonds, sports teams, etc.).

    As the article notes, the Glazers raised money from hedge fund investors, and they appear to be doing OK.

  22. Comparing Man Utd to Liverpool in a financial sense doesn’t work. Man Utd are pulling in hundreds of millions more than us. They have their stadium, have their commercial activitiies sorted, have the players. They just need to be steered. We however need huge investment on and off the field.

    If we don’t invest heavily in the team this summer we will not win the league. Rafa can’t be expected to work miracles every year.

    We will soon be £700m in debt (if alot of this debt is owned by hedge funds I would be extremely worried)

  23. midlands-red – Hedge fund involment in LFC is not a good thing for the club as they are the most profit orientated people that you will come across anywhere. The hedgefund is like hedging your bets. They will come in back LFC and ride the club like a surfer rides a wave, when the club reaches its maximum value they will sell their shares and maximise their profits, hense the term hedge. You find that hedge funds take over companies and make them more efficient this is normaly done by laying off unnecessary staff and improving the way the company operates not by investing in them. They do not invest their own money into the company apart from the money which they used to buy the business, they just make the company more profitable. Companys that are about to be taken over by a hedge fund generally quake in their boots because it means that big changes are afoot. The positive’s are LFC will be made more profitable but the negative is the hedge fund is unlikely want to hang around once they see they can get a good price for their money and they are not going to invest their own money into making the club any better on the pitch. Hicks may not be able to convince a hedge fund to take part as the returns may be to small and the amount of time to make a return on their investment will take to long. They will also be very unlikely willing to allow Hicks run the club as a majority shareholder giving them no say in the way the club is run. Hedge funds are funded by the money that people pay into their pensions and the people who run them make an absolute fortune. Probably one of the best paid jobs in the world. I do not believe that Hicks will be able to get a hedge fund to help him in this matter.

    Dawg – Manchester United was bought with a bank loan to the sum of 600 million. I do not know where you got hedgefund involvment from?

  24. ” The U.S. billionaire, who wants to buy out the 50 percent of the club controlled by co-owner George Gillett, is talking to some of the hedge funds that helped finance the Glazer family’s purchase of Manchester United, such as Perry Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management and Citadel, the newspaper reported. ”

    Dawg – I stand corrected.

  25. @Jim

    If what you say is true about our prospective transfer funds it doesn’t bode well!

    All roads it would seem lead to Hicks – IF we haven’t even got ‘enough to buy a Babel’ then what does that say about our financial situation under Hicks? Considering we have averaged £22 million net per year under Rafa, and assuming that a Euro Semi-Final cup run and increased television money provides us with more money than that average calculation is based on, then where is the rest of the money going?! Especially considering that £45 million is it? – that was supposed to be for working capital and transfers or something like that.

    I wonder if for some reason you are trying to manage expectations a little bit? really not sure why though.

    It’s interesting that Rafa said the following regarding transfers being tied up in May:

    http://www.thisisanfield.com/news/2008/05/benitez-new-signings-soon-and-positive-talks-with-parry/

    I could be reading far too much into this but is Rafa trying to tell us something or making a point? I mean he bid for Gareth Barry, a player that no-one would be particularly happy to see arriving at Anfield more in terms of neccesity than quality, and now he is effectively saying, to my ears, expect us to sign pretty much only in May.

    Now the Barry bid has been shown to have been maybe player exchanges – i.e. not much money available, and if we get to the end of May having not spent much money we fans are definitely not going to be happy as we will feel “that is it” as far as spending goes.

    I could be reading too much into this but is he trying to put pressure on Hicks by using what will be the fans discontent of the perceived situation?

  26. The difference between this and Manc U’s one is the glazers only needed about 250 million and the infrastructure was already in place. With Hicks he needs to buy out Gillette and then get the money to build the stadium which would come to about 500 million. The hedge fund would not be able to maximise their profits until the stadium was completly paid for. Hedge funds do not work like banks they work more like profesional gamblers without the risk. From what I know of hedge funds they will be extremly unwilling to get involved with Hicks, for three reasons the amount of time to get a return, the amount they will get in return and they will be unwilling to allow Hicks have 100% control of the club after they have risked their money in the club.

  27. @Martin: The figure given sounds on the low side, and is actually the lowest figure I’ve heard. But it’s got a good chance of actually being fairly accurate. It’s not DIC saying it either.

    We’ve lost out on, off the top of my head, about £7m from not winning the CL, or about £4m for not making the final.

    It’s difficult to tell whether Rafa is being genuinely positive or if he’s putting a brave face on.

    But there is so much disinformation doing the rounds now it’s impossible to tell.

    For Rafa’s sake, whatever we spend, I hope he’s not going to find himself set any unrealistic expectations.

  28. @Texas_Dawg: I read a report on that Stars game earlier, talking about it finishing around 1.30am local time, with the stadium gradually emptying out to about half full as time ticked on. I hope they don’t ever introduce that as a way of deciding football games.

  29. Anthony,

    TOH is the ticker symbol for a company called a SPAC that Hicks started last Fall.

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

    Basically, a SPAC is where someone raises money in a publicly traded company that does not have a business yet. The funds that buy the stock are investing in Tom Hicks to go and find a company to buy and operate according to guidelines laid out in the initial offering. Currently, the TOH stock has a market cap of $625M… even though it’s not even a company. It’s just a blank check. That is hedge funds, mutual funds, and others owning the stock simply on the belief that Tom Hicks will find a company with the money raised, buy it, and then increase its value (and the value of their stock).

    The link I gave you in the first post is to the list of hedge funds and mutual funds that own the most of TOH stock right now.

  30. “@Texas_Dawg: I read a report on that Stars game earlier, talking about it finishing around 1.30am local time, with the stadium gradually emptying out to about half full as time ticked on. I hope they don’t ever introduce that as a way of deciding football games.”

    I love it, Jim. NHL overtimes are one of the most grueling spectacles in major team sport. By the end of that game, the players on each side were moving at about half the speed as they were when the game started. They were hanging their heads with their hands on their knees at every whistle. To be on the losing end of such a match has to just be a brutal feeling.

    And I too saw the comment about half the crowd still left, but I think that was a bit overdone. This is a link to the final goal, and while some had clearly left (since the game had gone over 5 hours and ended only a few hours before many would have to be up for work), there was still a very good crowd left:

  31. Dawg – Hedge funds do not give their money to other people to invest on their behalf. Hedge funds do that themselves, so I think that Hicks is barking up the wrong tree going to them. They do their own investing. They would not be willing to give Hicks 500 million quid and allow him to do as he pleases with their money. Our ideas of hedge funds differ greatly. A hedge fund will want to know that they are going to make a lot of money with little risk and they will want to be able to cash in their chips when it suits them. They are not like banks which are prepared to sit it out for 25 years.

  32. Dawg – What you sound like you are talking about are silent partners and private investors in the form of individuals. Hedge funds do not deal in the kind of business you are talking about.

  33. Anthony,

    I work with hedge funds in New York. I’m very familiar with how they work. Not all hedge funds are the same. They have widely varying investment strategies, ROI targets and time horizons, etc.

    Look at the list of TOH holders again:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=TOH

    Fir Tree, HBK, Basso… those are hedge funds.

  34. Dawg – Hedge funds will only bother with investments where they can maximise their profits. The amount of money that they would get back of Hicks is far to small for them to be interested. Also the way the deal would work between Hicks and themselves would be not the way they do business.

  35. @Texas_Dawg: “I work with hedge funds in New York. I’m very familiar with how they work. Not all hedge funds are the same. They have widely varying investment strategies, ROI targets and time horizons, etc.”

    This is what we’ve got to remember if this is the method used. We don’t know – unless told – just what the terms will be. I hope we are told.

    We also don’t know if it’s a sign that Tom Hicks has gone down, without luck, through a list of all the usual investment options before arriving at this one. We don’t know how much of a share that he’s considering funding this way. It doesn’t follow automatically that it’s bad news – but it’s totally understandable why people are seeing things that way.

  36. ” Fir Tree, HBK, Basso… those are hedge funds. ”

    Dawg – It does not say on the web site that these companies are actually hedge funds. I do not see any hedge funds going into a deal with a minimum amount of money invested into the company with minimum returns. I also don’t see hedge funds going into business with other hege funds. If a hedge fund was to back Hickas they would back him 100% with them being the only hedgefund backers to maximise their profits. Hedgefunds are not ‘normal’ investors, a hedgefund would have no problem backing Hicks to the sum of 100% he needed, but I do not see a hedge fund being interested in what Hicks is offering. I belive them to be private investors such as Hicks could be a private investor backing someone in a similar manner. It does not mean that Hicks is a hedgefund.

  37. Jim, and we also don’t know why, if this indeed is being used as a last resort, or indeed a later resort, why this particular option is less preferable to those previously sought. I would venture a guess and assume that it is less profitable for Hicks, or that it represents a greater risk perhaps. This is just my uninformed opinion, but I hope for our sake it’s the former rather than the latter.

  38. Dawg – They may be hedgefunds but it still doesn’t mean that they will be prepared to back Hicks with regard to LFC. Hedgefunds will not be prepared to agree to the terms and conditions that Hicks will put on the table. Hedgefunds do their own dirty work, they are greedy they want all the profit for themselves. If you look at the site’s that Jim gave the links for then you will see that the description of a hedgefund does not fit in with what Hicks is going to offer. He is on his last throw of the dice with nothing to lose. Hedgefunds are not interested in Hicks they will see him as a waist of time, the money that he is talking is pocket change to them. So why would they join up together with others to back him on this. It doesn’t fit in with the hedgefund philosophy of ride it like a soldier when you get to the top sell, sell, sell.

Comments are closed.