Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Barclays Premier League – January 1st 2011

Liverpool 2 Bolton 1

Liverpool played host to Bolton for the first game of the New Year and the 2-1 win – thanks largely to a moment of brilliance from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres – gave Liverpool supporters something to smile about. As long as they didn’t look too closely at the league table that is.

Gerrard was only on the field because of an injury to Meireles. The captain was on the bench at kick-off after – in manager Roy Hodgson’s words – he’d been left “extremely tired” from playing the full 90 minutes of his first game back from injury on Wednesday.

That tiredness meant Liverpool started with Dirk Kuyt on the right instead of out of position on the left, with Meireles starting in his natural role in the middle of the park. Gerrard was a straight swap for Meireles so nobody had to move out of position when the change was made.

Two other changes gave Liverpool a different look to Wednesday; Konchesky was replaced by Aurelio and Daniel Agger was back in the side in place of Kyrgiakos. Continue reading Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Liverpool FC – Ownership Poll

Liverpool fans are not exactly having a good time of it right now, with results not going the way we’d like and the future ownership of the club remaining unclear. The following poll has just two choices for you to vote on and there isn’t a “none of the above” option. But please vote anyway.

With the Broughton/BarCap sale process failing and c£300m RBS debt almost due, LFC and its fans are faced with two distinct possibilities. What’s your preference?

1) Hicks and Gillett retain control via refinance or RBS extension

2) RBS take temporary control of the club on the proviso the club is passed on, as soon as practicable, to a responsible owner (this carries with it the possibility of LFC being placed into administration and a 9pt penalty being imposed by the Premier League).
Continue reading Liverpool FC – Ownership Poll

Reds face bigger threat than today’s old enemies

Liverpool are in a transitional period, new manager Roy Hodgson needs to be given more time to settle into the job, players were late back from the World Cup and either aren’t fully fit are haven’t been to enough training sessions for Roy to really know them yet.

They are just some of the reasons put forward to try and explain an awful start to Liverpool’s league season; those reasons are rapidly becoming excuses.

When the manager himself uses them it seems all the more worrying, but that is how Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson spoke after today’s 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford against one the club’s old enemies. Dimitar Berbatov’s hat-trick meant Steven Gerrard’s brace counted for nothing, although it at least kept the club’s goal-difference at ‘just’ -3 from the opening five games.

Hodgson said: “We are certainly in a transitional period. I don’t think it needs to be negative; sometimes they can be very good for a club. Certainly the task has been complicated by the fact I didn’t get a chance to work with the players because of the World Cup and with the Europa qualifiers starting so early, we were thrown into the deep end of competitive football.”

He also spoke of what was to come, what the targets were: “Our aim is to get better. Our aim is still to try and get to the Champions League, maybe that’s where I need to have my focus. If we are good enough to get into the top four, who knows, maybe we can get closer to the number one position. I won’t say we can’t do it, nor will I say we can do it.”

In reality nobody expects a title challenge from Liverpool this season. This season there is an air that survival is the target. Not league survival, but survival as a team that might one day be able to challenge for the title again. Survival in the sense of not letting the gap between this club and Chelsea grow any wider than it already is. Hodgson will be well aware of this.
Continue reading Reds face bigger threat than today’s old enemies

FC Utrecht v Liverpool – Travel Information

FC Utrecht v Liverpool – Travel Information

One of Liverpool’s opponents in the Europa League group stage is FC Utrecht of Holland on September 30, and fortunately it’s not as hard to get to as Trabzon, so we have compiled the following on how to get there; including train times to and from Utrecht.

Flying from Liverpool to Amsterdam seems the easiest option; however EasyJet have gotten wind of everyone looking to book cheap flights on the dates around the game and bumped up their prices accordingly, so flying from Manchester with KLM is the cheapest option.

Utrecht is only 30 minutes by train from both Amsterdam Central and Amsterdam Schipol, so getting there shouldn’t be a problem.

For those flying from London, there are a couple of flights from Luton, Gatwick and Stanstead listed below.

Continue reading FC Utrecht v Liverpool – Travel Information

Reds still held to ransom by outrageous asking price

When Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks reportedly put a figure as high as £800m on the club shortly after he and George Gillett had put it up for sale it shattered any illusion that the owners had finally admitted it was time to move on.

Gillett Hicks RBSLater figures suggested demands as ‘low’ as £500m – but were still some way short of what was on offer from the only known bidder for the club.

Although Huang had initially suggested his offer would be no higher than £325m his eventual offer is believed to have been £400m. Despite being more than double the price paid by the current owners in 2007 it would still leave them without any profit to speak of. Annual profits have all been eaten up to cover the high costs of the club’s RBS debt.  The last official figure on that debt is £237m; by the time the next attempt to refinance is due, in October, it will be nearer £300m.

On top of the debt to the bank is the debt to the owners. Rather than putting any money in as equity they put their money in as intercompany loans that they slap an annual interest rate of 10% onto. This figure stood at around £130m the last time it was officially revealed.

Hicks is said to expect potential revenues from a stadium yet to be built added onto the asking price. He can’t take the risk on the project himself yet expects a premium to allow others to do so. Most observers are astounded at these demands.

£400m is seen as paying well above the club’s true worth.
Continue reading Reds still held to ransom by outrageous asking price

And then there were none.

A statement from Kenny Huang and QSL on last night announced that he had formally withdrawn from the process to sell Liverpool Football Club to new owners. Huang said: “I am now considering my future options and will be making no further comment at this time.”

No reason was given in the statement for the decision, but it is believed he had grown frustrated by the apparent slow pace of a process in which he firmly believed he was the only viable bidder.

Broughton pictured with other biddersNow there are doubts about how genuine Martin Broughton was when he said that the club would be sold to the best bidder. It suggested that, contrary to his claims, the current owners were not only able to block the sale of the club but were actively doing so.

It also suggested that Martin Broughton was not taking the bid seriously and in turn created doubts that he was even taking the sales process seriously.

Broughton once said: “I have always taken the view that if you’re not at the table you’re likely to be on the menu.” He now finds himself sitting alone at the table; there’s nothing palatable on the menu. And he has nobody else to blame.
Continue reading And then there were none.

Time for Broughton to break his silence

Ever since it became obvious to supporters that Liverpool Football Club was “in the wrong hands” the arguments have raged about exactly whose fault it was.

Raising a glass to Huang's departure?Today, the club is still in the wrong hands. Today, the arguments rage about what kind of owner Kenny Huang might have been. Today, we’re talking in the past tense when discussing the man said to be fronting a bid that had the backing of China’s sovereign wealth fund. Huang pulled out of the sales process last night, clearly frustrated at the way he’d been treated.

This club has been at war with itself for three years. This war means all trust has gone. Not only will any potential bidder be instantly met with suspicion but also at times will anyone seen to have put their trust in that potential bidder.
Continue reading Time for Broughton to break his silence

Huang withdraws bid for Liverpool FC

The following statement has been issued on behalf of Kenny Huang and QSL Sports:

After due consideration, Kenny Huang and QSL Sports is withdrawing from the ongoing sales process with respect to Liverpool FC. Mr. Huang has formally notified the Chairman of the Liverpool FC Board.

“Over the past few months we learned firsthand that Liverpool has a very special place in the hearts of millions of fans around the world,” Mr. Huang said. “We concluded that a plan that properly capitalizes the business and provides funds for a new stadium and player related costs would allow Liverpool FC to provide its great fans with the success they deserve. Our strategy and unique ability to expand the fan base in Asia would also have been of benefit to all. We regret that we will not have the opportunity to implement this strategy.”

“We thank the many Liverpool fans who expressed support for our efforts and wish the club great success in the years to come. I am now considering my future options and will be making no further comment at this time,” Mr. Huang said.

Teams: Liverpool v Trabzonspor

Liverpool v TrabzonsporEuropa League – Kick-off 7:45pm

Roy Hodgson said that the Europa League would be prioritised some way below the Premier League this season and for tonight’s play-off first leg he’s certainly not picked his strongest side.

Only one of the back-four survives from Sunday’s draw. Daniel Agger has been suffering from concussion since that game and is replaced by Fabio Aurelia at left-back. Johnson makes way for Kelly and Skrtel makes way for Kyrgiakos but Carragher keeps his place and will be captain tonight.

Carra’s got the armband because Gerrard is rested along with Mascherano, meaning Lucas will partner new signing Christian Poulsen in the centre of midfield.

Joe Cole is suspended for three league games so he gets a start tonight, along with Maxi and Jovanovich, with Ryan Babel set to start up front. Torres and Ngog are on the bench.

One first-choice player who starts is Pepe Reina and if he’s true to his usual form his mistake on Sunday against Arsenal will be long forgotten.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Aurelio, Lucas, Poulsen, Cole, Maxi, Jovanovic, Babel.
Subs: Cavalieri, Torres, Wilson, Ngog, Spearing, Skrtel, Pacheco.

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

15 August 2010 – Premier League – Result

Liverpool 1 (Ngog 46)
Arsenal 1 (Reina (og) 90+1)

New season, new manager and a couple of new players – but for now it’s still the same old owners and the bad luck they brought with them in 2007. That bad luck was at its worse on the field last season with injuries, beach balls and volcanoes all playing a part in a season that was bad from start to finish. Today’s events suggest that it’s not gone away yet – but that there’s plenty of fight in the squad to prevent it taking hold.
Continue reading Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1