Is Hodgson fighting his corner already?

Roy Hodgson will take charge of his first game as Liverpool manager tonight and finally there’ll be something other than his CV to judge him on.

Except judging him on the performance of a team made up mainly of reserves and youngsters against the champions of Saudi Arabia, in pre-season, is obviously unfair. If it was the whole of the first team squad in action it would still just be a practice match that had more to do with getting players to fitness than trying out new tactics. It wasn’t set up on the basis of finding the right kind of opposition at the right time for the squad to get into the swing of pre-season. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to work out some of the reasons why “the Club” might want a bit of exposure in Saudi Arabia.

The Club seem more determined than ever to paint over the cracks in order to present a picture of harmony and professionalism that is most certainly still not there at the club. It must be stressed that this is not the fault of Hodgson; there is absolutely nothing to suggest he’ll be anything less than professional in his role as “manager” of the Reds. He’s determined to do his best with whatever resources and control he’s given and that is how he must be judged.

Roy HodgsonWhat might prove difficult is working out exactly what those resources are. We know the club have lied and misled us in the past and absolutely nothing has changed at the club to make that any less likely to happen again. Roy’s willingness to work with whatever he is given undoubtedly did him no harm when being considered for the job, but were the club also hoping he’d “keep ‘mum’” about anything that they might prefer to be kept quiet?

Well maybe that’s where it starts to get interesting. It’s early days yet but already there are signs of Roy standing up to those above him in the Club’s hierarchy. There are signs he is making sure he’ll not be the puppet or patsy that so many people predicted he would be. And if that is what he’s doing, he’s also doing it without fuss.

Yesterday he was asked about the futures of the club’s most financially valuable players. He dropped a hint that Gerrard may have already been spoken to about a possible move away: “Clubs can get into players’ ears and make promises. It destabilises the club and the players and we can’t do anything about it.” Roy certainly wasn’t born yesterday and knows how agents and club boardrooms operate. He’ll have seen quotes made earlier in the week by someone working for Real Madrid suggesting that Liverpool had named their price – albeit a high one – for Gerrard. Rather than an emphatic “no”, it suggests Real (or any other club looking at the player) have been given a starting point for the negotiations. If such discussions have taken place, nobody at Anfield has told the manager: “What we haven’t had is a club wanting to buy Steven Gerrard,” said Hodgson.

He also said he didn’t want to sell Torres, but then he also made sure the press were aware that it wasn’t him who’d had the final word with the World Cup winner: “Christian Purslow was also at the meeting and chatted to Fernando for a lot longer after I left but my chat with him was only about football matters.” What was the MD’s chat about? Torres has a long and lucrative contract that doesn’t need to be extended, so it certainly wasn’t that and Martin Broughton is the board member dealing with the sale process being run by Barclays Capital.

A week before Hodgson was officially announced as the new manager the MD spoke to the Italian media, in what fans who took his words at face value thought was an assurance the board wouldn’t instigate any transfer deals in the absence of a manager: “At this moment the only objective of the club is to find a new coach and then to evaluate the whole roster of players with him. I cannot confirm the interest of Fiorentina for Insua, even if in Italy he is highly regarded, for example at Lazio who often came to see him in person last season. I don’t think the player wants to leave Liverpool. When and where he’ll do this request, regardless of the difficulties of the club, we’ll talk.”

Yet any hopes of the club avoiding starting any transfer business when still without a manager were dashed when the new manager spoke to Italian media himself last week. Hodgson said a deal to sell Insua to Fiorentina was already in progress before he arrived: “I saw him play in the last three days and I like him both as a player and on a personal level. However, talks with Fiorentina started before I got here, so I don’t know how advanced they are. I cannot say if Insua will stay at Liverpool or not. I’ll have to discuss that with the club.”

And whatever Hodgson wanted, it now seems certain that Insua has played his last game for the club. A €5m bid is believed to have been accepted and the young left-back is not in the side for tonight’s friendly.

It isn’t just outgoing players that Hodgson is distancing himself from. Strong speculation that Nice striker Loic Remy was due to become the club’s latest signing was played down by Hodgson, who made it clear if it happened it would be nothing to do with him: “He’s a player who was mentioned to me by the scouting department and a player the club were following before I came. He’s a player I know very little about. If I am going to be interested in a player I am going to have to watch him playing, study him and make judgments which I have not been able to.”

Remy himself seems to think there is strong interest from the club: “Liverpool is a legendary club. I am very excited by the thought of playing there. It has a magnificent stadium and a fantastic public.” Reports even go into details of how the potential fee might be paid – the total fee of £12.5m would be paid in instalments, the majority upfront with £5m of it to be paid later. This wouldn’t be the first rumour about potential transfer targets that proved to be unfounded; clubs and agents often link players with other clubs to help their own cause. But what will be interesting is how the club explain it all away should the transfer actually go through.

When Yossi Benayoun’s departure to Chelsea was officially confirmed a club spokesman issued a statement suggesting the deal was done before the previous manager had been sacked: “Yossi’s departure was agreed between the player and Rafael Benitez a number of weeks ago. Everybody at Liverpool FC wishes him well for the future.” There is little doubt that the club were still in a position to cancel the deal in the weeks between that earlier agreement and the deal actually going through over a month after the old manager’s departure. Was that option ever given to Hodgson?

But it’s not just the suggestions that the club have been instigating transfer talks without his input and before his arrival, he also couldn’t make his displeasure any clearer about tonight’s opening pre-season fixture: “I don’t know if I am looking forward to it because I would have liked my first game as Liverpool manager to have been in charge of what people would regard as a Liverpool team. There will be a lot of players playing tonight who are being thrust into first team action far, far too early. The average age of the team is about 20 and we’re playing the champions of Saudi Arabia, a team that does well in the AFC Champions League.”

“When choosing the level of opposition you should really choose a level which is suitable for the sort of team that you can put out. We don’t have enough senior first team players here to put out that type of team, and also it has come fairly early in our preparations.” After a season that was plagued by injury amongst all the other problems, the last thing Liverpool need this season is more of the same, but Hodgson suggests this match poses exactly that kind of risk: “We are working very hard physically and I have to be careful that in these games we don’t lose players before the start of the season.”

Maybe we’ve spent too long reading between the lines of the last manager’s comments, but if we are suspicious then it’s little surprise given the dishonesty the current hierarchy have displayed to each other, let alone to staff and supporters, during their acrimonious reign. Until the club is sold and certain board members depart that suspicion will always remain.

32 thoughts on “Is Hodgson fighting his corner already?”

  1. Now where does it say that Joseph?

    What do you make of this? Roy Hodgson: “If you want to know about transfer targets, and how things are progressing, you’ll have to ask (managing director) Christian Purslow because he’s the man looking after those discussions, not me.”

  2. roy did well to let the fans know what is going on and insua was not up scratch at left back anyway

  3. @Stan – Whether Insua was good enough or not is very much open to debate, some saying he had loads of potential, others saying he’ll never be quick enough – and all kinds of other reasons he should stay or go.

    But who should have the final decision on whether he should stay or go? Shouldn’t it be down to the manager, and shouldn’t he get to make that decision after he’s had time to assess the player?

    Or would you be happy with a banker with a year’s experience of “running” a football club behind him making these decisions?

  4. In the majority of big clubs the MD, Chairman or equivalent are the ones who conduct transfer dealings, so I don’t read anything sinister about Roy’s comments.

    Why shouldn’t Purslow be the one to talk to regarding transfers? Gill is the one to talk to at Utd isn’t he?

  5. Who buys & sells the players at every club in the world??? Will it be Ancelloti that will be doing the deal to buy Torres?? Of course Christian Purslow is in charge of buying & selling players because that’s his job, the manager should certainly have a big say in who he wants or doesn’t want but ultimalety it is the Club who make all the financial decisions, and this happens at every club in the world. The previous manager wanted to control everything at the club – no club can allow that to happen – the same happened at Valencia. But he’ll have learned his lesson and will know that at Milan he’s a coach not the CEO. The board will do what’s best for LFC and I trust them to do that & I don’t see where all these lies that you go on about are. If your getting upset about little things like this then you’ll need to move on Jim because this is the future. A club being run like a club with management and a coach and his staff Roy knew this when he took over the job.

  6. We dont know if its Purslow or experienced footballing consultants working for him with advice.

    Either way , i’d back him in one way,. He’s taking all the mantle alone. Theres only ONE head and ONE person running things without the confusion of many parties throwing in their ideas.(As happened with Rafa)

    It may not be ethical and just like Ashley and Wise(Newcastle)it may not be the wisest(no pun intended).

    But one things for certain, he’s not going to come out and have a sermon with the fans ,explaining his gospel and job.

    Its the end result that matters not cordial fan PR.

    If he feels being connected with the best ‘consultants,coaches,experts and football gurus’ will take us forward,he’ll carry on being the centralised decision maker for the club ,taking decisions under their guidance.(respectable enough to not personally make footballing choices).With others taking on ‘specific’ designated roles(‘a coach does the coaching’ theory.May not be ethos ,but after the amount of power Rafa had ,often abusing it and not taking us forward, maybe it WAS time to give the manager a more contained role. )

    I for one, dont know if he and his team will make the right decisions But being a lifelong fan ,committed enough to spend a whole evening with the SOS(who would grill him and it would hardly end up as a happy PR stunt for him) i’ll give him some backing.

    YNWA…

    Vishal from India

  7. I guess i shouldve waited a few seconds longer.Jim ,you just voiced my mind.

    Lets hope Purslow has a LARGE and INTELLIGENT bunch of footballing consultants helping him in this matter.

  8. Purslow are co are carrying on as normal – with little or no regard to what the manager wants – and will continue to do so until such a time as a new owner comes in who shows them the door.

    I’m impressed with how Hodgson has been willing to speak his mind though – Purslow would not have wanted him to say some of the things he’s come out with, and this bodes well because we need a strong manager who isn’t terrified of upsetting his superiors. If Hodgson makes it clear that non-footballing people are now making the footballing decisions it will only increase pressure on them to piss off.

  9. @Joe – You didn’t answer my question about where I suggested or said I wouldn’t be supporting the club.

    And now you’re bringing Rafa back into it. Let’s forget about Rafa for a minute, if you can manage it.

    Personally I don’t think there’s a problem with the CEO doing the actual negotiations, although in our case it’s a temporary CEO. But the negotiations have to be with the players (in and out) that the manager has identified. And the manager should be kept informed of progress, and involved in decisions where the estimated valuations (in and out) are proving way off.

    If Hodgson turns round tomorrow and says he’s identified certain players and Purslow’s speaking to clubs and agents about them that’s not a problem.

    If Hodgson follows that up by saying he’s identified which players he feels are surplus to requirements or worth sacrificing to build up funds for other signings, and that Purslow is trying to get those deals done, again that’s not a problem.

    In some clubs an experienced director of football or sporting director (or some other similar titled official) buys and sells the players, with some input from the head coach (not manager). If a signing turns out to be awful, it’s not the head coach who gets it in the neck for that.

    If Roy’s our head coach, not our manager, why wasn’t that made clear the day his “steadying the ship” appointment was announced?

    And if he’s not the one choosing players, why not let us know who is?

  10. Well Vishal, a lot of the star players could have put all the rumours and gossip to bed by simply saying of course they are staying at the club, the fact that the didn’t means they were considering their futures. The CEO is obviously trying to convince them to stay – but if they are not committed and there is silly money being bandied about you have to have a plan B. It may be harder to sell the club without these players but this is the reality of football, just a pity action wasn’t taken earlier last year before moral got so bad

  11. And Jim how do you know that this is not the case at the moment at LFC. Your first instinct seems to be to have a go at the board (Christian Purslow) amd write a negative article about them (something sinister lying around every corner) and you have a band of merry followers spouting the same sort of negative shit on here. When I said you won’t be supporting the club Jim I meant that that’s exactally what your at here. This is the club going forward like it or not so are we going to be reading this sort of stuff all year, after a poor performance or a draw/ loss. Your the one who has not answered the question asked of you on a number of occasions, ie. what is your personal grudge against Christian Purslow all about. Answer that honestly first and them maybe your articles will read different.

  12. Joe, I think it’s time I went back to treating your comments as a poor attempt at a wind-up, which is how I used to see them.

    I’ve not got a “personal grudge” against Purslow at all, that suggests he’s done something to me personally and he most certainly hasn’t done that.

    To suggest that if we don’t ignore our concerns about the club we aren’t supporters is exactly what I’d expect from someone deliberately trying wind other people up. Let’s face it, you’d be being a massive hypocrite if you actually meant that, given the content of your comments on here for as long as I can remember.

    My own concerns about Purslow date back to the very early days of his reign at Anfield. You trust someone, then something happens that puts you in doubt about them, and from that point on your eyes are open and you start to spot more and more reasons why you were wrong to be so trusting to start with.

    One of the earliest eye-openers for me happened last summer. I knew about it long before it was made public but wasn’t in a position to discuss it. I did mention it an article on here eventually after being given the green light to do so, and later on it was mentioned by Tony Evans, Football Editor of The Times, in a blog piece for The Times in April. This is Tony’s explanation of what happened:

    “Work on the stadium could have already begun. Late last summer a respected figure in the sporting and financial world approached Liverpool with a proposal to fund the new ground. After positive discussions with the Hicks family, the project was referred to Purslow. The man with the plan heard nothing more. The possibilities were never investigated.”

    (Original article – http://timesonline.typepad.com/thegame/2010/04/profitable-time-for-everyone-but-the-fans.html.)

    He didn’t chat to this man then decide it wasn’t suitable. He completely blanked him. And even if that proposal would have proven problematic why did a man tasked with finding £100m of investment for the club completely ignore an approach from someone with access to funds for a £300m+ stadium? At the very least you take it as a lead and you meet him and see whether he’s coming up with the proposal on his own or if he’s part of a larger group.

    I can’t think of a single valid reason why a man tasked with finding that £100m, his self-confessed main priority, would ignore someone with an investment proposal.

    That’s not my only issue with Purslow. But that’s what opened my eyes. And once your eyes are open, it’s surprising what you see.

  13. @ joe kellegher.
    Oh my God!! Could you please open your eyes and try and see what’s right in front of your eyes for once.
    Just tell me, what has the current lfc board done to convince you to trust them? That level of trust that you have in them is really baffling and absolutely makes no sense.
    @jim Good read.

  14. And if he had taken that mans money then what?? I thought what all fans (particularly the ones on here want) is to get rid of Hicks & co at all costs, if he had considered that money (if it existed) then he would have been in Hick’s pocket right !- either way when someone wants to blacken his name they’ll make up all this sort of crap. Did you see the proposal- do you know who it was from, did it really exist or is this just a made up story, and finally are you better placed than he is to make that judgement call. Do you all really think that Purslow was put there by the Mancs to destroy the club or something! BuLLshit’ and this is why we cant get away from the Benitez thing – the major dividing line between the people who blindly supported him and the rest. All your anti Purslow followers are these Rafa heads that are willing to follow any conspiracy theory. So what do you think his agenda is Jim. Is he trying to destroy the club & leave it bankrupt or what? Explain

  15. @Joe

    I started to write a reply to you then gave up on it. I really don’t think you’re being serious, surely you can’t be so close-minded and blind to what’s going on? Was your hatred of Rafa so deep-seated that you genuinely thought he was the be-all and end-all of our problems?

    Nobody would wants H&G gone “at all costs”. What if the way to get rid of them was to merge with Everton or move to Yorkshire? No fan in their right mind would put revenge against H&G above getting the club back to where it should be. I can think of a number of ways that would cause damage to the club to the extent that H&G would be left with little choice but to clear off – but the club would be worse off than it is now. “At all costs” is a stupid thing to say – in my opinion.

    Don’t accuse me of lying about this. And for that matter don’t accuse Tony Evans of the same. And if you mean that myself and Tony Evans have been lied to well you’re even wrong on that one. I do know the name of the person involved, I have seen the evidence with my own eyes and I have seen it at different stages of the story. I know that other board members were unaware of the proposal, that the proposal got as far as Purslow and was completely ignored.

    His self-stated main priority was to get £100m of investment. Someone with access to £300m+ wasn’t even given the time of day. And he kept the approach to himself. There are 101 reasons why he might have knocked the proposal back – but he didn’t even look into it, and to me that suggests a problem with his integrity, particularly if he also felt it was acceptable to keep quiet about it.

    I’ve had a number of people who were VEHEMENTLY opposed to Rafa contact me since he left, and they’re now quite concerned that Purslow isn’t acting in the best interests of the club. They stand by their own reasons for wanting Rafa to go, but don’t feel that Purslow had the same motives they had. You talk about people “blindly” supporting him, but there were just as many who blindly hated him. Nobody at either end of those extremes was willing to consider anything that went against their stubborn unbending opinion.

    But in between the extremes were people who were able to be for or against Rafa without being totally closed-minded, without finding themselves defending someone or attacking someone just because it strengthened their argument.

    I don’t think there’s any point engaging with anyone who is so set in their ways at those extremes of the argument, so blind to the idea that Rafa had strengths AND weaknesses.

    You make no secret that you despise Rafa, it’s obvious that you’re at one end of the extreme and have no desire to be moved from it. And as a result you’re blind to anything else that might be happening. Is it worth engaging with you any more? Or am I wasting my time talking to someone who’ll never admit he might have been wrong about something?

    The last question you asked is one that only Christian Purslow can answer. Various things he’s done don’t make him fit in with being someone acting on the orders of the owners, or the banks, or as a lifelong supporter. In fact it’s difficult to know what he’s doing, other than pushing as hard as he can to get control of the club.

    I think I’ve wasted enough time trying to engage you, I don’t think you’ve any intention of opening your mind or even conceding you might be wrong on one small part of the arguments you make.

  16. Jim,

    Good column again mate. As you know, I posted a reply on your previous blog saying that negative press regarding Christian Purslow appears to be based on hearsay (perhaps too strong a word, but I’m not a writer!) and as you’ve said in this column, ‘reading between the lines’, but I’ve got to admit, the comment by Hodgson regarding transfer targets was very very concerning.

    I’ll be the first on here to admit you were right on Purslow, but I’m hoping that perhaps the comment was taken out of context (?) and he may have meant that he establishes targets and Purslow carries out negotiations??? Maybe I’m clutching at straws.

    All in all, my previous view still stands – a lot of the accusations I hear about Purslow appear to be based on analysing things that aren’t factual evidence.

    But I’ve got to be honest, I am concerned. Can I just ask you jim – and in no way am I ‘challenging’ you here – just summarise (because I may not know some things) what your concerns are re: Purslow and what happened specifically to kick them off? 

    And also, what do you think is happening about the takeover at the moment? And one more thing (ha) what are your thoughts about us getting Joe Cole? Good signing? 

  17. ok Jim I’ll leave you to your site.

    I’ll check in at Christmas time and hopefully the club will be sold by then with a new board, chairman & CEO and there will be nothing to complain about – but I feel, like some other sites out there, this kind of conspiracy stuff sells better – maybe when the season kicks off there will be something to actually wirte about.
    Had €20 on them at 16/1 in Bambury Bookmakers to wim the title. I soppose I’m nuts eh but sure we can always dream.

  18. @ Joe

    To suggest that fans see Purslow as some kind of Man U plant is just silly even if it is tongue and cheek.

    I dont doubt that Purslow wants the best for the club but only if Purslow himself has a major part to play in that future. What worries me about Purslow is the influence he will have on deciding who takes over the club. Will he influence one offer over another if one investor offers to keep him in his position at the club.

    Also why keep bringing up Benitez? I would be what you considered Pro Rafa but that was because he was manager of LFC and I believed in him so supported him as manager. But Rafa is gone, now I’m Pro Hodgson and will support him as long as I believe in him.

    I think some fans misinterpret loyalty and support as something else. Like I’m not going to change my allegiance and support Inter just because Rafa is there.

  19. Jim, just read your ding-dong with Joe and realised that you have indeed pointed out some specifics about Purslow in one of your posts above.

    I’ve read the column, and yes, the offer being ignored is a little strange. What I also find strange is that Purslow could be the man to have the final say on selling something which isn’t his. I know his remit as to find investment, but does he have the final say so on any offers? Maybe he does, I haven’t got a great understanding of the intricacies involved in investment proposals. Which leads me to my next point, couldn’t there have been a multitude of reasons as to why the offer was ignored? How do we know it was suitable?

    Another point – maybe, just maybe, he rejected investment proposals because he wants a completely new owner as a lifelong fan the way we do?

    I’m playing devil’s advocate slightly here, I’m in no way pro-Purslow because I don’t know as much as you jim, or tony evans knows, but it’s intriguing and rather disconcerting reading all these things about my club, it’s a bit depressing and I hope it’s not as bad as this. 

    Anyway, I’d still be interested in anything else you know about him and also your views on the current status of the takeover and Joe Cole. Cheers mate. 

  20. @ Antlfc

    Just quickly, I think a lot of what is said about Purslow will come over as hearsay, and I fully understand how suspicious that can seem. I think as individuals we all have our own ‘rules’ for what it takes for us to believe something, and when it comes to hearsay it obviously depends on who it’s coming from.

    If I’ve witnessed something with my own eyes that’s all the proof I need. If I tell you I’ve witnessed it you’re relying on whether or not you trust what I’m saying. What I’ve ‘learned’ about Purslow comes from a mixture of what I’ve seen with my own eyes, what other people I absolutely trust have told me and even on some occasions what other people have missed out of a story they’ve told me. It’s hard to explain, but the more people you speak to the more the minor parts of a story start to look clear.

    I mentioned earlier that what probably opened my eyes to Purslow was this stadium finance approach he ignored. I still can’t see to this day why he’d do that if he was a) acting for the owners’ best interests, b) acting in the club’s best interests, c) acting in the bank’s best interests. As we later got told he was here to find £100m of investment it made it all the more suspicious to me. As time went on and other senior people either knew nothing about the approach or didn’t know he’d completely ignored it I got even more suspicious.

    Other stuff relates to Benitez but it’s not just a case of defending Benitez. He’s not our manager now, but Purslow’s still our MD. If this is how he acted previously, can we still trust him?

    I know Purslow’s been telling tales about Benitez to people outside of the club, and people he really – as the MD of this club – should not be gossiping to. I’ve seen evidence he was discussing Rafa’s sacking before it happened with someone who is nothing to do with LFC.

    A lot of the evidence that is hearsay is actually coming from people who are trying to support him or were trying to add weight to the campaign to sack Rafa. Some of it is from those who didn’t like Purslow in the first place. Emails from Purslow talking about Rafa’s sacking before it was actually done – sent to people unconnected to the club. Known business associates of Purslow’s trying to defend him but in the process hinting that Purslow had been highly (and often personally) critical of Benitez throughout the season – despite him arguing strongly that there was no rift at all with Benitez.

    Some of the leaks to the press that were more of a gossipy nature than anything too malicious – but that he knew would leave the manager feeling undermined.

    Talk that he was showing people unconnected to LFC, not even LFC supporters, texts he claimed were from a player who was complaining about the manager. A massive breach of confidence and who knows how many employment rules? This has come from someone who’d cause himself more trouble making it up than he would stand to gain from it.

    Sitting down with a number of reporters, according to a number of reporters, and telling them he’d been chatting to Real Madrid officials about specific transfer targets. The reporters put it on the back pages that Liverpool were interested, and that’s how the last manager found out. Of course he’d get some clarification from the reporters in question and they’d let him know who told them. Rafa knew nothing about the talks, and again felt undermined.

    Even if it’s somehow okay to talk to Real, why blab the names of the players to the media before you’ve spoken to the manager?

    Early in the season it seems Rafa had challenged Purslow to come clean about the transfer budget, yet Purslow had claimed there had been £20m spent that year (nothing like that amount had been spent). Purslow shadowed Rafa before, during and after every press conference, something a lot of reporters felt was more than a little strange and certainly not something they’d ever seen before. It was like he was trying to block him from speaking out.

    With the takeover it’s hard to say. No matter how well-intentioned Broughton is he still needs offers to be made before he can decide if they should be accepted or not. I’m not sure Broughton’s going to get a bid that’s actually acceptable.

    Mixed feelings on Joe Cole. There’s a question mark over his past injuries, something that I hope is answered by the new medical team if we do eventually get that far along with the deal. If we do sign him I think he’ll be a useful addition to the squad, he can play in more than one position and is very experienced. Also counts as home-grown which is important now. I was hoping we’d sign him back when he was at West Ham, I’m certainly not going to complain if we do get him.

  21. Only just noticed your later comment Ant. There’s a lot of mystery as to exactly what Purslow’s role is, what power he actually had. In comments he made to SOS he suggested he had a lot of power:

    NA – Do you have a vote on the board?
    CP – Yes, a controlling vote. Hicks and Gillett have let me in. I will do the right thing.

    NA – Will you stay on if we get new owners?
    CP – I will be there if needed or asked. If not I will go. My interest is Debt, Stadium and Governance/Ownership. I will have failed if I do not secure investment.

    The club board and the holding company board are, and always have been, separate from each other. There’s no saying Purslow had a controlling vote on both boards.

    My understanding of the situation would be that say one owner was approached by a potential investor, they’d pass the details over to Purslow, who’d then hold discussions of some kind with the potential investor. It would take a certain amount of time for this kind of interest to be turned into a formal offer for some or all shares in the club, and it would be Purslow who took it from that initial expression of interest.

    This has now changed. If a potential investor came to one of the owners now we assume they would be passed onto either Barcap or Broughton, but again from that point on their job would be to see if that investor should be taken seriously or not.

    In both instances I would not expect someone with the potential to invest to be completely ignored, to not get so much as an email or phone call.

    At the point where a formal offer is made and a decision has to be made on whether or not to accept it that’s something that the board have to vote on.

    When you say “how do we know it was suitable” – the suggestion is that the owners felt it had potential to be suitable but that Purslow didn’t have a clue either way because he did absolutely nothing about it.

    As for him wanting a completely new owner, I don’t buy that as excuse for ignoring this proposal either. And from comments he made in February, despite other comments made since that only a partial stake had been up for sale, the whole club was for sale if the offer came in: “LFC is for sale. It will be sold. The owners have to sell, they are out of money. The bank want it sold, the fans want it sold and people want to buy it.” (From minutes of an SOS meeting with Purslow).

    If you’ve not read them already the rest of the minutes (two versions) are here:

    http://www.spiritofshankly.com/news/Minutes-from-Christian-Purslow-and-SOS-Meeting.html

  22. @Jim, maybe because selling the club is his main priority.

    Financials regarding the new stadium and how its built is something that would cause more curves and stipulations in selling the club.

    Who’s to say if i bought over the club and spent a healthy fortune on it,that i wouldnt want to work on the stadium in my own way.

    Purslow obviously has a plan and he wont let honesty and explaining every word of it publicly stand in his way of getting the best investment/new owners and taking the club forward.

    Why should he be our best friend and do everything he says he will. Its whats best for our future and business ,that he needs to do privately without disclosure.

    Maybe a couple of wrongs if its for the greater good

  23. Until we get clearcut details and fact about the 300 million deal, we’ll never know what the real story is

  24. Thanks very much for addressing my post jim.

    The trouble is, I do actually trust what your saying which makes it all the more worrying!   

    I’ve actually read them minutes before, and without opening the article again, I believe there was a disagreement between Purslow and SOS as to what was minuted. Perhaps he didn’t want to get into trouble with G & H but maybe there was a sinister edge to it.

    I’ve still got reservations about all this stuff but I’ll keep an eye on your blogs and keep my fingers crossed all this s**t comes to an end. What a different club we are now to the one we were under the likes of Peter Robinson.  

  25. There have certainly been some odd things coming from Hodgson of late, although this may all be part of us coming to understand how he operates. These include:

    * saying that young players have to impress by running around a lot

    * drawing a distinction between the advice of the sports scientists and his own when it comes to using players for the Europa League

    * saying that the fans won’t know the youth team players

    * saying his priority is a left back hours before the club signs Joe Cole.

    The poor bugger won’t get much of a honeymoon but he’s not using it in the most advantageous way so far.

  26. @Antlfc

    Thanks for being so trusting! I had a discussion with someone who I would have expected to either deny the SOS version was true or at least try to gloss over it and change the subject – but they said they thought the SOS version was an accurate reflection of what went on at that meeting.

    More often than not there isn’t so much a doubt that Purslow has done something he’s been accused of, the question marks tend to be about why he would actually do it.

    One point I remember well from the SOS minutes is that Purslow was quoted as having made a number of criticisms of the owners, and of saying that the banks were also critical and (can’t remember the exact phrase, something along the lines of) “fed up of them”.

    Why announce this to the world when looking for investment that would require some kind of partnership with those owners?

    Why is he still here after coming out with those words? The owners aren’t (completely) stupid – they know that SOS wouldn’t risk that version of the minutes if they felt there might be a threat of legal action, surely people like Hicks and Gillett would have him taken outside to be sacked for comments like that?

    It’ll be interesting to see if Kenny sits with him at the first home game.

  27. @ Jim, Purslow certainly showed very poor judgement in thinking that he could sit down and actually reason with a bunch like SOS. I minute some high power minutes in for my company and I can tell you that there is usually alot said that is not intended to be repeated of included in official minutes, so for that reason he was a very silly boy. He should never have agreed to meet with them in the first place. A CEO needs to distance himself as much as possible from fans in particular because it’s just not possible to please everyone. It was a very disloyal act by the way for SOS to go and publish those minutes. I believe he is working hard to change things behind the seen & we need to give him a chance to prove himself. I’m sure any potential new owners will see through him pretty fast if he is as bad as you say.

  28. “What will lift the supporters is if we get new investment. I know supporters are very anxious for that. We can’t ever deny it.
    All the time we are in our current situation in terms of investment, the supporters are going to be sceptical. You can talk until you are blue in the face but it won’t make any difference.
    The owners are not popular with the fans; the fans want new owners, they want new investment. The gloom, if there is any, is never really going to lift until that day comes.
    I’m not going to dupe supporters and say that everything is rosy just because we have signed Joe Cole.”

    Quote from Roy Hodgson today.
    Doesn’t sound like someone fighting his corner to me. More like someone who is is own man and living in the real world.

  29. Just a quick reply to Todd – SOS made it clear that there could be no “off record” components to that meeting, and Purslow – I believe – even said “I wish we could go off record”. He knew full well that anything he said would be repeated.

    I can see reasons to have portions of a meeting “off record” and in some ways I’ve personally felt that would be a better approach, but that’s my opinion and from what I recall opinions are split on that idea. And more importantly, he knew at the outset what the terms of the meeting were.

    The minutes you write wouldn’t have any off-record portions unless that was already agreed in some way – and the likelihood of that happening is probably far smaller if it’s a meeting between two separate organisations.

    His main task at the club was to find investment – he failed, and I’ve seen evidence that suggests he wasn’t exactly trying as hard as he should.

    Can you give us some examples of how “Chritian & the board are doing a fabulous job” please?

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