Barry: Champions League football important

Liverpool target Gareth Barry is still trying hard to show the utmost respect to his current club Aston Villa, but seems to be trying to prepare them for his departure from the club.

End of season, Gareth Barry says goodbye to Villa fansAlthough 27-year-old Barry hasn’t yet been given permission to speak to the Reds, he obviously knows about their interest. The first public sign of this came when Martin O’Neill responded to a Liverpool Echo article reporting a Liverpool bid. O’Neill had assumed Liverpool FC had fed the story to the Echo and complained bitterly in the press, although he should have looked closer to home for the blame. But his outburst confirmed the bid had been made.

After a personally memorable game for England last night he was asked he was keen on joining Liverpool FC. He was keen to emphasise his deep feelings for Villa, but pointed out it might be the right time to look a little higher up the league: “Just to think about it makes it a tough decision. There’s so much to lose at Aston Villa. I’ve been there more than ten years, got a good rapport with the fans, I’m captain there and have a great relationship with the manager.  But Champions League football helps any player.”

He scored for England in the friendly with Trinidad and Tobago, wore the captain’s armband for the second half, and sees that to get more of this he may need to move on: “You only have to look at the England squad to see the amount of players who get in the squad and start the games – the majority play in the Champions League. That’s all about the decision that will have to be made. Liverpool are in the Champions League and Villa are trying to push for that. That’s all part of my decision if a bid gets accepted.”

Officially he can’t speak to Liverpool as Villa haven’t accepted a bid, but he is believed to be hopeful they will so he can discuss a deal. Steven Gerrard’s public call for him to join him at Anfield was unexpected: “It was a bit of a surprise to see Steven go so public. It’s obviously very flattering the team has made a bid for me, but until the bid gets accepted I can’t even think about it. I would like things cleared up, the sooner the better.”

For all concerned he feels the situation has to clarified sooner rather than later: “It would be easier for myself and for the fans as well, so I’m sure we can get it done pretty soon. I’ve got nothing planned with Martin O’Neill, but I’m sure the manager will want to speak to me and I’ll eventually want to speak to the manager. That will come soon enough.”

Gareth Barry, England captain for 45 minutesAs for his 45 minutes as England skipper he doesn’t expect it to lead to him getting the role full time: “If you were to lead the team out from the beginning, I could have looked at it a different way, but it was still a great feeling just to do it for the second half. It will give me a lot of confidence going into next season and was a perfect way to finish the season.”

It was ahead of the England game that Gerrard aired his views on Barry as a potential club team-mate: “I know all about Gareth. We’re good friends off the pitch and I’m desperate for us to sign him. Gareth would certainly help Liverpool be a better team next season.”

Asked if Barry would agonise over leaving Villa, Gerrard said: “I’m sure he will. He has been a fantastic servant, but sometimes opportunities come along in football where you can better your career. Gareth is 27 now and needs to play Champions League football. In my opinion he can do that.”

Gerrard also spoke about the age-old debate over where on the pitch he should play, but says he’ll play anywhere. He was speaking in terms of England, where he had played on the left of midfield against the USA: “You know my favourite role. I don’t need to go on record again to say what that is. But I’m mature enough to adapt to different roles. I’m sure this manager will be ruthless if you don’t meet his standards. The important thing is to be in the starting line-up and part of this team, because I believe we will improve and get to the next level.”

At the moment there is a gap between Liverpool’s initial £10m offer and Villa’s £15m valuation.

79 thoughts on “Barry: Champions League football important”

  1. I have the utmost respect for Liverpool FC as an institution. Their reputation is based on hard facts rather than myths, as in Man Ure’s case. But Liverpool are in turmoil, and don’t give the impression of being able to finance the investment in their playing squad necessary to mount a challenge on the Premiership. If Barry wants to win things, rather than just play in the Champions League, until Liverpool make big signings, he should not be interested. Fantastic player though he is, he alone won’t make the difference to Liverpool being 3rd or 4th in the Premiership, and having a 1 in 10 chance of winning the CL, to being serious title contenders and favourites for the CL. As for the £15m valuation, jog on. Villa don’t need to sell, and will spend significantly more this summer than Liverpool. £30m would be more realistic, and only then to a top Spanish or Italian club. Of course, if I’m wrong, and Villa don’t have the cash necessary to finance a serious bid for a top 4 spot, then I would hope that Barry would have better options than Liverpool.

  2. @Simeon: Hi Simeon – are you a Villa fan? In terms of whether Villa need to sell or not, if a player wants to leave it’s usually best to let him go. Always allowing for hasty decisions being bad decisions and so giving a player some time to think, I’d personally rather sell a player than have him hang around against his wishes.

    1 on 10 in the CL is probably not in line with how LFC have performed in that competition in the past four seasons. One bad season, 2006, we made it to the 1st knockout game, but won the FA Cup. The other three seasons we have in reverse order finished semi-finalists, runners-up, winners.

    LFC spent more than people realise, albeit with loans, having spent £45mil on transfers in year ending July 31st 2007.

    If Barry didn’t want to leave, and Villa didn’t need to sell, the £30m would be a good value to put on him, but if he does want to leave, as seems to be the case, then you perhaps owe him a chance to leave for a reasonable fee.

  3. LFC are bigger than VIlla but someway behind the top 3.. BArry would be better off hanging around for a year then moving on to one of those clubs if it dosent work out at villa because Liverpool dont win titles anymore.LFCs conduct over this whole business has been nothing short of a disgrace.An embarrassment making a bid before villas most important game of the season in order to unsettle him and then stevie g(under orders from rafa) to tap him up. Let Liverpool sweat.

  4. Jim

    Face facts!

    Liverpool are presently in the ‘Big 4’, but for how much longer?

    Co-owner Vs Co-owner, Chief Executive interviewing potential replacement for the present Manager, unknown spending capability, unknown change of ownership………….. the list goes on.

    If I were Gareth Barry, and was looking for Champions League football next season, I would seriously consider Liverpools present turbulent position as a reason to look at more stable options. Arsenal, where Flamini has left, might be a better bet. After all, he is a London boy.
    He could also consider the lure of the European ‘big boys’. I’m sure that the Spanish/Italian league sides would give him a more active chance of playing in the CL rather than being a bench warmer for the indecisive Benitez – after all, will he pick Barry before Mascherano? I doubt it.

    With regard to the last comment, the selling Club sets the price, not the player or the buying Club. Ask Peter Crouch or Scott Carson. With regard to ‘owe him the chance to leave for a reasonable fee’, whose opinion should be taken on that sum?

    If Liverpool wish to conduct business, they should have private discussions, agree a transfer fee with the selling Club and then, and only then, negotiate with the player. Obviously, Valencia’s finest thinks that when he makes his interest known, no one else has any worthwhile opinion – after all Peter Crouch has been priced out of a move from Anfield as a £7M purchase and persistent bench sitter is worth £15M in Raphael’s eyes!

    To Martin O’Neil I would say, if you want to sell, only accept top dollar with no part exchange Liverpool bench warmers attached – after all, their joints will have seized up from the lack of action

  5. @chris b: Quite a few accusations there Chris.

    LFC made the bid on the Friday, but is it LFC’s fault if the Villa fax machine was accessible to someone with a big mouth? According to Rafa it was someone at Villa who leaked it, and the reporter up here who wrote the piece in the Echo said he didn’t get the information from LFC.

    The embarrassment must therefore be on Villa’s part at that point? Can they not keep their fax machine out of the reach of people who struggle to keep quiet? Have Villa investigate to see who leaked it, reprimanded them?

    I doubt Gerrard was speaking publicly under orders from Rafa. He sounded to me like someone answering a question put to him by reporters, and then rather than saying “no comment” speaking about his wish for someone he describes as a mate to become a team mate.

    Right or wrong, players chat to each other when on England duty, and I believe some of them have phones, some even know how to use them. Barry and Gerrard will have had chats before now on the matter. It’s quite possible that Barry approached Gerrard to put a word in for him, rather than Rafa instigating any “tapping up” via Gerrard.

    Unfortunately it’s part of the game.

    We’ve suffered it ourselves with Gerrard and Chelsea.

    Agents will leak information to the press, they’re on the phone to reporters all the time. There are no rules preventing a manager speaking to a player’s agent, the rule is that the manager can’t speak directly to the player.

    I’m not sure what can be done about it, so we’ve got to live with it. Clubs need to work hard to get their players to sign new deals and perhaps it’s time to introduce minimum fees into contracts.

    Contracts mean very little these days.

  6. @David Gogerty: Hi David.

    LFC look pretty unstable from the outside right now, but there’s a train of thought that this isn’t the case inside, certainly not to the extent it’s painted as. Rafa himself now is as safe as he’ll ever be, the interview with Klinsmann happened a long time ago now and is more annoying to supporters than it is to Rafa.

    And the “unknown spending capability” is only from the point of view of those outside the club. Rafa knows how much cash he’s got, and then on top of that knows he has to sell players to help raise further funds. It’s far from ideal, but far more workable than most feared.

    Not everyone sees Arsenal as being particularly stable, or as having a particularly high transfer budget. They spent less than they brought in on transfers last year, a decision that perhaps saw them throw the title away.

    As for him playing in Europe, not all English players are keen on that. In fact very few English players go overseas. I expect he could buy himself out of his contract too if he wants to play overseas. And that costs the wages left on his current contract, so Villa would get whatever two years’ wages are for him. He mentions how he wants to try and improve his England chances, and playing in Spain won’t help his England chances. Not would sitting on the bench a lot under Rafa, but if Alonso is leaving and Rafa uses the same formation next season as he did for the last third of this then Barry will be lining up alongside Mascherano every game – Gerrard plays further forward.

    As for the selling club setting a price, have a look at this example of how the selling club often find themselves having to choose between accepting a low offer or keeping a play who is either surplus to requirements or doesn’t want to play for them:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/aston_villa/4154498.stm

    Note Patrik Berger’s role in that move too! 😉

    Liverpool have had private discussions. Liverpool faxed a bid. Nobody from LFC leaked the details of it, meaning someone at Villa did. Then Martin O’Neill made it all public. What was Rafa to do, keep quiet? After being accused of all kinds? And Liverpool have not had formal discussions with Barry, as Barry himself says. That said, agents have preliminary discussions all the time, just to see if the ballpark figures are right.

    Crouch will go for less than £15m, but even with only a year on his contract he’s worth more than £7m. He may find he has to spend a year at Anfield then go on a free. LFC’s choice then is to accept a very low offer, or keep him a year then let him go for nothing.

    Villa’s choice is to sell Barry for the price offered, or keep an unhappy player on their books.

  7. Jim your response seems to be based on the assertion that you believe Rafa and that you believe in some hacks from your local rag. I believe in neither and trust Mon far more. Frankly your club is an embarrasment because, leak or not, you made a bid before the end of the season which you will note-no other premier league club did. Not least because the transfer window wasnt open thereby unsettling the player who then played his worst game of the season at home to Wigan. Benchwarmer crouch is not worth more than 7mill with one year left and I note you are still trying to pilfer 18million out of Juve for Alonso . Yet you are only offering 10mill for the player seen as his replacement! Barry can move to your club but you wont be winning any titles. Arsenal, Chelsea and MAn utd are miles ahead…

  8. @chris b: You’re entitled to believe O’Neill. But I note he’s not spoken about the leak since it was reported LFC hadn’t made it. How would he know where the local reporter got the information anyway?

    Clubs make bids outside of the transfer window all the time. The only restriction is that they can’t physically sign a player outside of the window.

    If O’Neill had kept quiet even the leak in the Echo could have been played down. Instead he goes on the record telling the world there had been a bid.

    What you’ll find is that Liverpool’s opening offer was £10m. If Liverpool thought he was worth only £10m I’m sure they’d have offered less as a first offer. Unless Barry has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for that sum that is.

    Crouch’s £15m price tag isn’t likely to be Liverpool’s true demand for him. If they wanted £15m they’d quote something higher. As for Scott Carson, I doubt Liverpool will insist on £10m, but they’ll expect a decent offer otherwise he might as well stay at Anfield as cover for Pepe Reina.

  9. Jim,

    It seems our ‘friends’ down the M6 are getting a little nervous…..

    I find it amusing that other fans try and tell us Liverpool fans (who have debated all of these issues till we are all blue [or should that be red?] in the face) what is going on/going wrong at our club……

    We realise what state our club is in.
    Unfortunately for those Villians, so does Gareth, and he seems to be impressed……

  10. Another reason Gareth Barry may not be interested in Arsenal is the complete lack of Englishmen in the dressing room Walcott excepted. You’d feel like a foreigner in your own country.

  11. Gareth Barry is an adult the last time I checked!

    maybe it’s time Villa fans respected his right to make up his own mind concerning his future and stop behaving like a clingy girlfriend.

  12. Its called being passionate Edward. And just exactly was the reaction of LFC fans when Gerrard was engineering a move to CHelsea??! Think about what you write next time

  13. Blimey, see what you’ve created with the forum Jim?! We’ve been invaded by opposition supporters!

    I can understand the disgruntlement from Villa fans but it is really up to Barry at the end of the day. If he wants to leave the club should respect his wishes. I think O’Neill is guilty in blowing up the situation more than had been neccessary, ironic given that that was what he was complaining about!

    Personally, I hope Villa fans get there wishes and he stays put, with Alonso doing like-wise. There’s other positions our 15 million could be better spent.

  14. LOL, Chris b, here’s a link to a Chelsea blog around that time and there isn’t a single Liverpool fan commenting:

    *http://www.chelseablog.com/2005/07/05/gerrard-wants-to-leave-liverpool/#comments

    Stevie G can do whatever he pleases as far as I’m concerned. I may or may not agree with his decision but it’s up to him.

    What’s the point in having players at a club if their heart isn’t in it?

  15. I do not see why Gareth should stay at villa.

    1 Villa had a very good season, well they finished sixth that is the best they could do.

    2 Ok we are one of the big four, this year! Who knows next year we’ll see, I don’t see villa taking our place anyway.

    3 What did villa win in the last 20 years??? BOQQQQQQ

    4 We won 4 Cups in the last four years (Jim correct me if I m wrong)

    I think Gareth being 27 does not want to end up like (e.g. Matt le tissier) a good footballer a hero for his club but hardly any silverware to show for it.

  16. Chris b, I don’t understand. Get what?

    On a separate point though, you brought up the subject of embarrassment in an earlier post. I’d like to remind you that our reserve team beat half your first team (managed by MON) not so long ago!

  17. That’s a bit shocking!

    I’d have understood a resignation. Surely such a decision would require a majority vote at boardroom level? Which would indicate that something somewhere has changed quite dramatically?

    Most likely Parry is the fall guy in some agreement by the owners to put aside their differences and move the club forward.

    Where does that leave Moores?

  18. Dossena set to sign

    A medical is expected to take place on Wednesday.
    Dossena’s agent said “Everything is confirmed and we have already exchanged all the documents via fax. The deal is practically done.”

    And apparently the Daily Mail reports that Tom Hicks is attempting to bring in Man City chief executive Alistair Mackintosh to replace Rick Parry

  19. Daily Mail story (in Jim’s link) and The Times Story http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/liverpool/article4062404.ece

    Tell us nothing more than speculation.

    No quotes. Just speculation.

    Trouble at Man City means we import their CEO (onto our troubled ship). Just speculation.

    We knew that with England not being part of the Euros the newspapers will be looking for something to write. This is an obvious story given the upheaval at City.

    When will get the story ‘Kenyon to Liverpool’ after Abramovich imposes his choice on the next Chelsea manager appointment?!

    Must be great be a speculative journalist. One day one headline will stick.

  20. chris b says no one else makes bids for players while outside transfer market, hmm, bosingwa to chelsea £16million, deal done, window not open.flamini discussions and contract signing even before his contract ran out. deal done.,window not open.kris kommonsd signs for derby even though his contract is still running. deal done window not open.tim borowski,bremen to bayern signed a deal but window isnt open, getting a hint there Chris. you are a Villa fan, this is a Liverpool site, so please, leave the site,you are dragging it down! i have a couple Villa supporting mates and they are just as dilusional as you. you almost got relegated a couple seasons ago and now all of a sudden you are breaking into the top 4. wake up mate, your side had a decent season thats all, you aint going to make it big,just as for the forseeable future their is no way we will win the Prem

  21. Apparently Martin O’neill is asking for 7 Mil plus Crouchy to let berry go, I think he is not worth that money

  22. As a LFC fan of over 60 years now living in Australia, I would very much like to get some news of the present status of the ownership crisis. The 31.5.08 was to be the deadline for Hicks preventing Gillet from selling his shares, has anything happended??? Has DIC pulled out or lost interest, it was my impression that they were going to stay the course until they owned the club. Hicks and Gillett have shown that they do not have the financial resources to own and operate LFC, borrowing the money at todays interest rates appears to be out of the question, also they do not appear to have the ability to borrow any more. And last but not least they do not appear to know how to run a Premier League Club. Hicks latest gambit of replacing Parry is nothing but politics to even up the votes.

  23. Can someone please explain to me how Hicks can sack Parry when he’s out voted 2 to 1 on Liverpool’s board ?

  24. @Jofrad: Hicks can’t sack Parry unless he gets the consent of Gillett to do so. It’s not down to the 4-2 / 2-1 board split. It’s down to Hicks only being able to vote 50%, when a unanimous decision is required.

    I don’t believe he is going to be looking at possible new CEOs for under the current ownership structure. But he needs to have his next CEO lined-up, because barring a massive change of heart Parry won’t be CEO by the end of the first day of a Hicks-controlled LFC.

  25. @Ken: I think it’s safe to say that the end of May deadline was a myth. The 90-day limit on the veto was either a myth, or Hicks satisfied the other side of that clause by matching the offer to Gillett.

    Both Gillett and DIC seem to have implied for some time that they had agreed a price and the offer had been accepted, bar the block from Gillett. But now Dubai (as DIC prefer to be called these days) are whispering about their frustration that Gillett won’t sell his half to them now. He’s been putting them off for some time, and has run out of excuses.

    Then you consider that in all likelihood, DIC would not be interested in 50% of the club. Despite claims they could force Hicks out, the board are not the power we’ve been led to believe they are, and even if Gillett was able to sell his half to them, DIC would be buying a club where they couldn’t really do anything without Hicks’ agreement.

    A lot of the claims of the last six months are without proof. That doesn’t mean they’re false of course, but we need to stop treating them as if they have been proven. Hicks wasn’t forced to sell up at the end of the season by his US bankers, there wasn’t an end-of-May deadline. The only reason we know those claims were false is because the season ended a good while ago, and May ended at the weekend.

    DIC aren’t going to hand money to LFC as a charitable donation, they’ll want anything they lend to the club to be paid back with interest or the equivalent. They can borrow it from the bank or loan it from their own funds, but LFC will not be likely to get it interest free. And if it says “interest free”, you can guarantee they’ll find a way to claw back the interest they’ve lost by not having it elsewhere.

    As it stands we’ve not got a massive budget to spend, looking at the various signs, but if we sell the players lined up for exits we can still buy a top striker (for example) with the cash that is included in the budget.

    I’m unsure that going out and borrowing an extra £30million for transfers, which won’t happen with Hicks and Gillett in joint control, is a wise step to take anyway, regardless of the interest rate.

    In my view, we were closer to success last season than has been given credit, and we shouldn’t be demanding we spend just for the sake of it.

  26. @Jim

    ‘In my view, we were closer to success last season than has been given credit, and we shouldn’t be demanding we spend just for the sake of it.’

    I agree, Jim, but only so far. A few draws into wins were possible and would have brought us closer. I don’t accept that the fans are demanding money for money’s sake but are asking for a squad of depth with players on the pitch and on the bench that can change a game. That’s what we’re lacking.

    It wasn’t the fans that promised ‘snoogy doogy’ or raised expectations re. our financial strength going forward.

    The owners seem to have put us in a position of selling Xabi, who was beginning to hit top form again at the end of the season. The profit on Xabi and the purchase of Barry, an older player who admittedly got his first international goal against Trinidad and Tobago, is not a great sign of things to come.

    One wonders whether Hicks and Gillett are intent on making us a selling club – at a time when even Manchester City and Tottenham are spending money and adding quality to get into the top 4.

    Hicks and Gillett co-ownership cannot be on going forward for fans. They would need to come out and tell us their plans (again) and show why we should trust them (again), as trust and confidence in them is lower than at any time.

    Sometimes you need a fresh start, after all the lies and/or broken promises and/or raised expectations that came before. I think that’s appropriate in this case – if we have an alternative buyer which appears to be the case.

  27. @midlands-red: It would be good to hear Rafa’s true feelings on last summer’s spending – I doubt we will for a while though.

    We spent a net amount of around £45m on transfers up to the end of July last year. Far more than I thought we had when using any figures available at the time each transfer goes through. That’s more probably than we’ve ever spent in a year, although I’ve only seen figures for 3 years.

    If Xabi goes, in my view, it’s because Rafa prefers Barry to him. We’ve seen figures for both players quoted that vary from £12m to £16m – for now we don’t know if this “swap” is going to be profit or loss financially for us. I really don’t feel we can blame the owners for selling Xabi – it’s down to Rafa, and for all we know the player too.

    If we bought Barry without selling Xabi, assuming Gerrard stayed further forward, Barry, Xabi and Lucas would be fighting to play next to Mascherano. Even if he went into the season happy to fight for his place, I can’t see Xabi being happy on the bench for most of the season. And if Xabi was on the bench, Lucas would probably spend the season in the reserves.

    Harry Redknapp has today said he’d be interested in Crouch for £10m, not £15m, suggesting that if Martin O’Neill has been trying to get Crouch on the cheap he may have some competition to contend with now.

    Where is Man City’s money coming from? From what I recall he paid peanuts for City, compared to what we cost, so he’s a lot of money left over. But I know I’d not be keen on him being our owner. Spurs idea of spending money last year was to buy players their manager hadn’t asked for, a policy I don’t want to see here. City seem to be doing it too now.

  28. “I don’t believe he is going to be looking at possible new CEOs for under the current ownership structure. But he needs to have his next CEO lined-up, because barring a massive change of heart Parry won’t be CEO by the end of the first day of a Hicks-controlled LFC.”
    Here we go again ! Can someone please explain to me how Hicks going to achieve control of the club when Gillett will not sell him a bag of crisps never mind 1 share ?
    Hicks is a malignant presence in Liverpool FC, putting himself above the club itself, players and fans. He is inhbiting the development of Liverpool FC.

  29. @Jim

    Figures on net spend seem to be debatable from what I can gather and dependent on whether you go with paying a lump sum or over a period of time.

    What we do know is that Spurs have spent £15m on Modric and Chelsea about the same on Anelka in January. We also know that Man City are about to spend the same as we spent on Torres for Jo.

    Some may call this throwing money at a problem others may call it investing in your team. Further, apart from Chelsea, other teams seem to be buying young stars, not established ones, which suggests a long term plan.

    If Xabi is sold, it’s hard to imagine Rafa expressing his doubts – particularly after last year. I’d expect him to talk-up the profit made – as he often does. I think however, Rafa’s position on Xabi has been stated time and time again. The only doubt, might have been when Xabi missed the Inter game because of his new baby. But that fails to recognise how Xabi was our star man against Chelsea, in the CL game following that.

    I don’t agree that Barry would – though it seems he is now – be a direct replacement for Xabi. Barry is a great utility player. Like Stevie G, he can play in a number of positions. Yes, at the moment he’s playing centrally. But he can play in a narrow midfield three or simply on the left of midfield or defence.

    I could write more but I just can’t see it being conceivable that Rafa would sell Xabi unless funds were tight, hence why I lay the blame at Hicks and Gillett’s door.

    Remember United have Hargreaves, Carrick, Scholes, Anderson and Fletcher plus others fighting for a central midfield berth so I can’t see why Rafa, except for financial reasons, would let Xabi go when we’re not quite at that level, Barry or no Barry!

  30. @jofrad: Hicks won’t let Gillett sell to DIC. DIC probably won’t buy 50% anyway. Hicks won’t sell to DIC. Gillett can’t work with Hicks. Hicks can’t work with Gillett. DIC won’t up their offer to a point where Hicks will be persuaded. Hicks won’t up his offer to a point where Gillett will be persuaded.

    One way or other, one day or other, something has to give.

    And it’s wishful thinking if you think the only “something” to give will be Hicks giving up.

  31. @midlands-red: I’m going off the figures for net transfer spend in the club’s official accounts for year-ending July 31st 2007.

    There’s a very good summary/analysis here:
    http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=220943.0

    Figures included are these (in 000s) :

    Year……….2007/…2006/..2005
    Bought….69,972/41,753/46,106
    Sales……25,946/16,838/13,162
    Net……..44,026/24,915/32,944

    Also he’s compared our figures to those of the other top four sides on a number of points, including transfers (Fin Year end 2007, in 000s) :

    ………..L’pool/Mancs./Chlski./Arsenl
    Gross..69,972/78,998/26,802/17,585
    Net…..44,026/61,718/05,202/(1,569)

    We invested in a lot of young talent in the past 12 months.

    It’s still Rafa’s decision whether to “sacrifice” Xabi for the greater good of his squad. Or it should be. Even with an extra 30m of funds, Rafa may still have chosen to take any offer for him over a pre-conceived level. If he can get, say, £14m now for Xabi, what would he get next summer after Xabi started only 10 games and had his agent warning other clubs he was looking to move?

    And by the way – do you think the club should lend extra money for transfers until the stadium is built? £30m a year, on top of what is available from existing funds? £90m by the time it’s built? How do we pay that back – long term or short term?

    So

  32. @Jim

    ‘There’s lies, damn lies and statistics’, is the oft-used phrase.

    You can take a snap-shot and try to prove a point. But what doesn’t help these figures is that it places Chelsea at such a low level of net spend when the reality is clearly somewhat different over a number of years. Do you know what the table would look like for the period Ambramovitch and Rafa have been at their respective clubs?

    Rafa has often made the point that we need to invest in our youth to make net spend going forward less, a la Wenger.

    Yous say it’s Rafa’s decision over whether to ‘sacrifice’ Xabi or not. But that’s only true to a point. He may have to because his budgets been squeezed or rather the budgets been explained to him. This is not unusual in any business but to dress it up as Rafa’s decision tries to overshadow the fact that the boardroom situation is impacting on his decision making.

    For example, Ferguson doesn’t have to ‘sacrifice’ Ronaldo (to Real Madrid) because he has the backing of the ‘hated’ Glazers.

    The point you raise about Xabi playing potentially 10 games next year would stack up if he hadn’t recently signed a long term contract which demonstrates Rafa’s confidence in him.

    Now for your final but most crucial point: lend big now for transfers, pay big later on interest payments.

    It would be interesting to compare the Glazer model against our own, as it seems Hicks may well be moving towards a similar model.

    They appear to have spent big and moved forward with big debts…..and of course won trophies. The difference between them and our lot is that their model was not disguised although it was despised. With Hicks and Gillett their model was not despised because it was disguised. So they need to have a big conversation with us the fans and soon.

    Meanwhile, if we don’t spend money where money needs to be spent and at the right time, we do run the risk of falling behind the ‘big three’ and the chasing pack behind us which could have a significant impact on future finances.

    Now if we’re not to spend £30m a year – and let’s face it if Xabi goes for £18mn and Crouch for 15mn then that’s small beer – then we can forget ‘snoogy doogy’…..which brings me back to the ‘disguise’ and ‘despise’ point.

  33. @ Jim, I just heard that Liverpool has an agreement with Valencia for David Villa is this a joke or there is some truth on it?

    Re Xabi…. I Think Xabi is looking to slow for the PL, his best games were always in CL apart from his first season at Liverpool, I think that is why Rafa is looking for Barry, more pace, can play on the wing….. maybe!!, and scores more, Xabi beating Barry with his deliveries

  34. “@jofrad: Hicks won’t let Gillett sell to DIC. DIC probably won’t buy 50% anyway. Hicks won’t sell to DIC. Gillett can’t work with Hicks. Hicks can’t work with Gillett. DIC won’t up their offer to a point where Hicks will be persuaded. Hicks won’t up his offer to a point where Gillett will be persuaded.”

    So what we’ve got is total stalemate. Both Gillett and DIC want to move forward but are prevented from doing so (for the moment) by Hicks who is putting himself before the interests of the Liverpool. I repeat he, is a malignant presence in the club who is inhibiting its development. Despite my intense dislike of the man I would feel differently if he had the financial rescources the club needs but unfortunately he hasn’t.

  35. So what we’ve got is total stalemate. Both Gillett and DIC want to move forward but are prevented from doing so (for the moment) by Hicks who is putting himself before the interests of the Liverpool.

    ———–

    But he is much better equipped than Gillett, so isn’t George the reason for the stalemate…you could argue that had he just sold to Hicks this would not be an issue anymore.

  36. You will all have seen the story about a potential groundshare between Everton and ourselves. Personally, I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. I don’t think it’s a runner for either side. And also, the timing of events ain’t right either – getting Hicks and Gillett into a room at the same time would not be easy, as we know. It’s just local politicians trying to make a name for themselves and of course standing up for their constituents!

  37. @Jofrad: “So what we’ve got is total stalemate. Both Gillett and DIC want to move forward but are prevented from doing so (for the moment) by Hicks who is putting himself before the interests of the Liverpool. I repeat he, is a malignant presence in the club who is inhibiting its development. Despite my intense dislike of the man I would feel differently if he had the financial rescources the club needs but unfortunately he hasn’t.”

    I know you dislike Hicks, you admit it of course, and I know it’s hard to be objective when you feel that way, but how can you criticise Hicks for the stalemate yet allow Gillett and DIC off the hook?

    If Hicks has matched, or beaten, DIC’s offer, why is Gillett refusing to sell? Clearly if he has offered that kind of money, he doesn’t want to carry on as it is. He wants control and the ability to make better decisions than the 50-50 ownership model made over 18 months. He wants a new CEO who isn’t renowned for fluffing transfers and getting lower sponsor deals than he should be getting. He wants to move forward. He can’t.

    Gillett can pretend he’s holding out from selling to Hicks because he cares for the club. I find that impossible to believe. His refusal to sell to Hicks might be down to a grudge. If so, that grudge is holding LFC up.

    There is a feeling that Gillett has had a better offer from Hicks for his half than he got from DIC. But there is also a feeling, a rumour perhaps you might call it, that Gillett has been offered other sweeteners not to sell to Hicks. They’re not part of the offer for LFC officially, but they are conditional on it nonetheless. It is a rumour, quite a strong one, in fact rumour is possibly underplaying it too much, but if it’s true it’s pretty scandalous. Especially if the sweeteners haven’t been revealed to Hicks.

  38. @LFC Malta: I wouldn’t write it off as a joke LFC-M. There’s been a lot of smoke over that fire, for a few weeks now, and I’ve been led to believe he’s spoken to LFC. That took place, if true, a couple of weeks ago. But whether we’ve agreed anything or not remains to be seen.

    If we’re selling Crouch, and Rafa thinks he might want to use 4-4-2 from time to time next season, he needs to replace Crouch. Voronin surely has to be considered a 4th choice forward now, if he stays. Kuyt and Torres maybe could partner each other in a 4-4-2 successfully now, given the understanding they’ve got from the recent formation. But even if that’s the case, we need four strikers to allow for injuries, suspension, tiredness etc. I know people will mention Babel for the role, but he’s not an out-and-out striker yet, even if he eventually becomes one, and he’s still struggling to last 90 minutes.

    If we are going to sign a new forward, we need someone who can also play in the 4-2-3-1 formation if possible, and I’m sure Villa can do that with Torres as the ‘1’ up front.

    Valencia have had some financial worries, and it’s possible he could be signed for far less than would be expected.

    If it’s £20m or less we could do it and still do the other deals we’re linked with.

  39. @midlands-red: I agree MR.

    The article’s headline doesn’t match the article’s body, and is arguably walking on thin ice legally with the claim it makes.

  40. Clarification…
    Echo – Tom Hicks slams talk of stadium share. Jun 6 2008 by Tony Barrett and Neil Hodgson.

    …Hicks insists a shared stadium is not on Liverpool’s agenda and has no interest in even considering it.
    …A spokesman for Hicks told the ECHO: “There is no interest in a shared stadium and no planned meeting to discuss this.”

    Broomhead will hold talks with Kop Holdings next Friday in a bid to clarify funding issues over Liverpool’s planned new stadium on Stanley Park.

    …Broomhead said: “The meeting is to update me on where Liverpool FC and Kop Holdings are with the plans to fund the new stadium. I want to clarify where the funding is for the new Anfield.”

    …Broomhead, who confirmed that neither Hicks nor George Gillett will attend the briefing, said: “I am only interested in the economic benefits of improved sports facilities for Merseyside.”


    Also: Meanwhile, despite continued speculation that Rafa Benitez could be ready to make a move to bring David Bentley to Anfield the ECHO understands the Reds boss is not interested in signing the Blackburn winger.

    It’s worth noting that the Post and the Echo are different papers, with different contacts, different editors, different agendas maybe – they are the same company (same as The Mirror and others) and are in the same building, but are not the same paper.

  41. Jim,
    Gillett dislikes Hicks for the same reason as I do and will not do business with him at any price. As Gillett said “Be careful how you choose your partners” admitting he had made a big error.
    Hicks’ pig headed stubborn crass refusal to put the interests of the club first will ruin Liverpool FC (I predict).

  42. @Jofrad: By the logic you’re using about Gillett, he’ll take anyone’s money but Hicks’, and all because of a grudge.

    Why would Gillett consider partnering with Hicks an error?

    The truth will come out in the wash one day: Despite what people say as far as washing our dirty linen in public is concerned all we’ve done so far is a bit of handwashing on some socks.

    Gillett knew about how they financed their purchase. By all accounts (except his maybe) it was his financial state that led to the moving of some debt onto the club, and the delays getting the January deal done.

    According to the Dubai side of the fence, he had an offer on the table from DIC before he signed for that finance, one that Dubai’s side of the fence claim would have made it cheaper and easier for them to buy both owners out. He told them he was going to accept it, but then signed for the finance anyway. He had an exit route, but wanted more money, according the Dubai side of things.

  43. Sorry Jim don’t agree with your “side of the fence” DIC have been Gillett’s guests at matches recently – doesn’t seem any problem with their relationship to me, Gillett or DIC.
    After all that’s gone on over the last 9 months I’m surprised you can’t see Hicks for what his is.

  44. @Jofrad: When Gillett was last in England himself, nearly a month ago, he allegedly didn’t come here just to watch the Spurs game.

    All this time later and he’s still stalling, still hasn’t done what he was expected to when he came here for the Spurs game.

    The scenario I was talking about above was from January anyway, since when they seemed to be getting along to some extent.

    There seems to have been an effort from him to verbally accept their offer, but to put off any written acceptance for one reason or other over and over again.

    No idea why he’s playing them like he is (if he actually is) but they are sending word out about being very unhappy with him.

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