Liverpool’s owners borrowed £298m to take the club over, of which they spent at total of £218.9m on buying the shares and paying off the debt. There are few clues as to where the other £79m went, or what the extra £52m they are trying to borrow now will go to.
In the Champions League, Liverpool earned a decent sum thanks to getting through to the final. According to UEFA.com, the way that CL revenue is shared between the two clubs sees it split into two halves. One half is distributed as fixed sums based on criteria including games played, results, progress and so on. The other half is paid out based on a figure relating to the “commercial markets of the national associations involved”.
For Liverpool, who went all the way to the final, the competition was quite lucrative.
For the first half of the split, UEFA gave Liverpool the following sums:
- €2.0m – For participation.
- €1.0m – Surplus income distributed to each club
- €2.4m – Fee per group game (Six games at €0.4m each)
- €2.4m – Win bonus per group game (Four wins at €0.6m each)
- €0.3m – Draw bonus per group game (One draw at €0.3m)
- €2.2m – Bonus for reaching knockout stages
- €2.5m – Bonus for reaching QFs
- €3.0m – Bonus for reaching Semis
- €4.0m – Bonus for reaching final (AC Milan received €7.0m)
That’s a total of €19.8m for the first half of the prize allocation.
The calculation of each club’s share of the other half of the revenue was based on “the value of its national market, as well as the number of clubs per association, the positions in domestic championships in 2005/06 and the number of games they played in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.” Liverpool received €12.418m.
Liverpool’s total income was therefore €32.218m, which at today’s exchange rates is £24.714m sterling.
Most of Liverpool’s summer transfer dealings were for undisclosed fees. Where fees have been mentioned, they were often incorrect. For example Fernando Torres, often quoted as costing £26.5m actually cost at most £20m. It’s difficult to find accurate figures, but writer Paul Tomkins went to a lot of effort to research the transfer dealings of the past few years in an article discussing the spending of Rafa Benitez v Alex Ferguson. Only the club could truly verify if those figures are correct, but I would take Paul’s word for these figures above most other articles on the subject.
Paul’s article shows Rafa spent £48.45m on transfers in 2007, and that’s including the January transfer window which was before the owners arrived, where he listed Javier Mascherano’s loan fee of £1.5m and Alvara Arbeloa’s £2.6m fee. That £48.45m spent is offset by the money Rafa clawed back. According to the article, that was a total of £27.75m.
So overall, Rafa’s net spending on transfers for 2007 was £20.7m. That is less than the money received from the Champions League run.
Obviously the club have other costs, such as wages and maintenance of the ground. But they’ve other sources of income which will dwarf those costs. Looking at these estimates from the Telegraph just before Athens, Liverpool were expected to receive £28.44m from the Premier League, based on their final position and money from the existing TV deals.
Even without adding in money from merchandising and ticket sales it’s easy to see why Rafa was so frustrated in the summer. He didn’t get anything over and above what the club had earned all by itself; those promises of extra funds were false.
His attempts to sign Javier Mascherano, on a deal that would see the £17m fee spread over the full five years of his contract, have been blocked and the midfielder now looks likely to ply his trade in Italy next season. That’s a devastating blow to Rafa, to the supporters and to the player himself, one of the best holding midfielders in the world and young enough to get even better. Yet it should not have happened – there was enough money there to do this deal, but somehow it’s gone into a black hole.
How can the owners claim they’ve had to borrow to pay for Torres and Babel? Where has all this money gone?
On February 6th last year Kop Football Ltd, the holding company owned by Hicks and Gillett, which in turn owns the Reds now, issued the official document outlining its offer. Referred to in the document as “Kop”, their intentions were set out quite clearly regarding transfers.
The Board of Liverpool unanimously recommends that Liverpool Shareholders accept the Offer. In considering the reasonableness of the Offer, the Liverpool Board has taken the following considerations into account:
• Kop has indicated that it is committed to an annual budget for player transfers and is able to supplement this should Liverpool’s management and Kop agree additional funds are required; and
So, the holding company can supplement the transfer budget and agree additional funds. It’s easy to see the Hicks and Gillett get-out in that respect – there has to be an agreement with the “management” and the holding company. The holding company can always claim it doesn’t agree. But it’s clear how that statement was intended to read. And of course Gillett claimed last June that they had agreed a plan with Rafa. So why were no additional funds forthcoming? Why did they break their agreement with Rafa?
In the same document the outgoing chairman David Moores also spoke, in his recommendation that other shareholders sell up, about investment in the squad:
After much careful consideration, I have agreed to sell my shares to assist in securing the investment needed for the new stadium and for the playing squad. I urge all my fellow shareholders to do the same and to support the offer. By doing so, I believe you will be backing the successful future of Liverpool Football Club.
So Moores recommended the offer’s acceptance based on the provision of investment in both the new stadium and also in the playing squad.
Under the section entitled “Intentions” was the following statement relating to squad strengthening:
The families are well aware of the importance of investment in new players to achieve on-pitch success and as such are prepared to commit resources to make appropriate investment in the playing squad. The Gillett family’s investment in the Montreal Canadiens demonstrates its belief in investing in teams to generate success. The Gillett family has invested in the Canadiens playing squad to the
maximum allowable level as permitted by the National Hockey League. Likewise, Thomas O. Hicks has demonstrated his commitment to winning through his ownership and continual investment in the playing squads of both the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers.
So again, there is no doubt whatsoever that the owners knew they were expected to provide more funding for transfers than would have been available without the takeover. That should have been part of their planning, part of their calculations, but of course we are talking here of a pair of individuals who were able to announce plans for a new stadium, work on planning permission for it, and only then discover the plans were too expensive by almost 50%.
Again, more proof that the owners were aware of the importance of the improvements needed to the squad:
7. Background to and reasons for the Offer
…As a pre-requisite to any investment, the Board required that any new investor appreciated both the need for continued player funding and to facilitate the building of the new stadium at Stanley Park. It was equally important to the Board of Liverpool that any new investor understood and appreciated Liverpool’s unique heritage and tradition built up over so many years.
So, the owners knew they were expected, under the terms of their offer, to improve the playing squad by investing more money in it than would be possible without a takeover.
Yet by allowing less to be spent on transfers than had been brought in by reaching the Champions League final, they failed to do this.
They’ve broken the terms of the offer, if not in legal terms in moral terms. They did not stick to the spirit of the offer, the spirit which saw all the shareholders accept the offer so quickly.
They had the opportunity to carry out due diligence, which they did at great speed, suggesting it was hardly adequate to check the full details of the club’s financial position. They paid much more per share than DIC had been planning to pay. Quite simply, to make an offer which included undertakings to build a new stadium and to invest funds in the playing squad, they needed to be sure they could fulfil these obligations. To complain now – a year later – that they shouldn’t have to put money into transfers is not acceptable. They got the club because they promised that they would.
Perhaps this explains to any of their supporters just why the ground resounded to chants accusing the owners of lying, and why there were so many banners making similar accusations.
I’ve emailed both George Gillett and Tom Hicks to ask them for their response to the above. If they intend to continue in ownership of this club they need to explain how their decision to back out of promises made in legal documents lead to their rift with the manager, a rift that dates back to last May. And a rift which has had such a negative impact on the club.
40 thoughts on “How Reds owners mislead fans over transfer funding”
its easy to see, were the money has gone. to there yankee, teams after all hicks, has said, were now the feeder club to give them money…..
Wht does.nt someone, intially someone who can invest ask all of the clubs millions of fans all around the world to buy a stake in the buy out and eventual running of our club.
Lets say we need £350 million for the purcahse and other £300 million for the ground and £150 million for the transfer fund gives atotal of £800 million
Ask investors to stake £1000 per share and I am sure there would be sufficent takers.
If Javier Mascherano were to change his name to Snoogy Doogy, then Rafa would have no problems in buying him
I never did trust Hicks or Gillett and that has not changed.
I fear that with them around particularly Hicks then Liverpool F.C. is destined for many years decline until the assets have been stripped bare and there is only a history and little hope of building ourselves up to great heights (not in my lifetime anyway).
Hicks is the mouthpiece and Gillett appears to have been kidnapped by Hicks because he hasn’t said a word.
I hoped that DIC over the weekend would end our misery, but alas I just wait for the announcement that Hicks and Gillett have the knife poised and are ready to cut our throats as they laugh, with Moores and Parry in the background on their knees crying “What have you done, what have you done”. Moores and Parry gave them then knife the day they opted for these clowns and told DIC to effectively Bugger off, but the damage these two clowns have done is beyond anybodys wildest dreams.
Whilst they are here I will not go to a match, I will cancel my LFC subscription, will buy no merchandise until somebody who loves the club and cares comes in to save our souls.
Hicks and Gillett have certainly misled both the fans and the previous shareholders of Liverpool FC. However, maybe the article title should have read ‘What Happened to last Years Profits at LFC?’ or ‘Hicks and Gillett Snatch Liverpool’s Profits’.
Last years pre-tax profits should have been somewhere in the region of £30 million. As you explain, net transfer fees were approximately £20m, yet H&G borrowed £20 to buy Torres and £13.5m to buy Babel. That’s £13.5m more than the total net spend on players. Add this to the £30m profit figure and it appears that upwards of £43m have been taken from Liverpool’s books! Oh, and that does not include money borrowed to start the stadium build that has not been spent. So were has it all gone?
The article is spot on. One shouldn’t jump to conclusions but it is hard not to discount the possibility that the 2 Americans are siphoning money from Liverpool FC into other areas of their business activities.
Jim – you’ve hit the bullseye!
Rafa’s achieved alot of his success inspite of Parry’s dithering and ineffectiveness and now he’s been saddled with Dick n’ Goat his job becomes even harder still.
Who the hell do these guys expect to bring in who will give that what they want – ie cash – and a team that we, the fans want – trophies on a shoestring budget? Their logic just shows how incompetent they are – and how wrong for the club they are.
I think the Liverpool Echo and the Post need to present a more balanced case and focus not just on Rafa’s spend but also the funds he’s brought in. Then all fans will know the true picture.
Get ready for the Dick n’ Goat spin machine should they scrape up the cash to take care of the loan they can’t afford. You can bet they’ll try to hide their negative figures then.
I genuinely believe that hicks and gillett don’t give a dam wether we win lose or draw the only thing that might bother them is how the result affects their income , tranmere were clever 20 yrs ago when they outwitted their yanky owner to get shut of him. I challenge hicks and gillett to appear at a fans forum and and answer all questions if they turn this invitation down, then by the very act of doing this we will know they have somthing to hide and all what is being said about them is true,surely there is some genius out there who can spot some legal loophole that can be exploited against them every major contract has mistakes that can be challenged it’s upto us to find those loopholes
Reading this article is making my blood boil. We have made significant progress since Rafa has been in charge and this is about to be ruined by these lieing t*ssers. It is scandalous the way we have been conned by them and they have come in at a time when we were on the verge of reclaiming our position at the top and they are allowing us to
fall back behind the top teams again.
First of all we cannot allow Mascherano to slip through our hands – that would be unforgiveable and would show us as a second rate club with no title prospects or ambition. We are in danger of becoming perennial mid table team with these idiots in control.
Second of all I think the only way to send the message that they must go now or face complete ruin is to boycott all fixtures and merchandise until they are on their hands and knees. If they do get the refinancing deal finalised then they have given personal guarantees so any attack onn their finances will scare the shit out of them. They were so reluctant to put their personal estates on the line in the first place that this would soon get their attention.
These 2 scumbags are liars and have deceived us from the very start. They do not deserve to own a great club like Liverpool. We must act now before they do irreversible damage.
These guys are jokers and they have effectively ruined the clubs season and I fear for the future. If they ‘release’ Rafa they will surely be lynched on their first trip to anfield – they will need to sit in a glass box and will NEVER be welcome or accepted, with that in mind they have effectively backed themselves into a corner.
Seems familiar though – americans steaming in with a load of lies, no plan, creating uncertainty and then milking the ‘target’ of profits.
Interestingly, DIC have been quiet and there is still hope that things can go ahead as DIC were rumoured to be waiting for refinance to go ahead so they could come in with another offer.
How they can even want to keep Liverpool after all the demonstrations is beyond me, surely its in the best interests (and for their own safety) that they sell.
We should form a picket line on match day at the gates of Anfield and physically stop people from entering the ground. Imagine 40 000 supporters chanting “Yanks out” from outside an empty Anfield on match day. It would send a message even Texas would hear.
Really good article but rather than send it to the two Americans- Hicks would seem to be in the mould of Jim Slater and is going to milk the Liverpool cow dry – wouldn’t it be better aimed at the banks and sponsors.
The 2 yanks must be out of Anfield for sure. Let’s us Pool’s supporters put our action together. Let’s boycott matches, starting this week. Imagine the media franzy we will get and if the 2 yanks still dont get the message, they must be the biggest idiots of our time. We supporters say “You will never walk alone”, but to the yankees “You will walk alone” – bunch of hypocrites and liars who only know how to milk the money from Liverpool FC. Rafa is the man for the job, and Masch is probably one of the best holding midfielder. It is just plain stupid to let the two go in summer. So I say, let’s start our boycott to send one simple message “Out you bloody Yankees”. You dont need you here at Anfield!
I think this article clearly shows what’s at issue with the owners. They have claimed they spent money on players to improve the club but a large portion of that has been offset by sale. A current example is this winter’s transfers. Skretel for somewhere in the range of 4 – 6 but Sissoko out for 7 – 9. Where is this transfer ” profit ” going and why are they upset with Rafa about it. Bringing in Sissoko was his idea and he cost them 5.5. How can you be upset with him when selling him a few years later is bringing back a profit. A profit which is going into the teams aka their coffers.
Moores sold the team not because he didn’t have the cash to take it forward to purchase the new stadium and the players they needed to go to the next level. It seems like Hicks and Gillet are more interested in the stadium which will bring them revenue in the future then adding the players they need to challenge for a title. A veteran wing player like Simao was available and sold but the team didn’t go after him. The Reds still need a player like him and they are 1 or 2 attackers away from going to the title winning level.
To say to Rafa, get on with it with the players you have and if you don’t win it you’re not a good enough manager is an insult to the game.
A call that many have made is to remove the vast financial backing that supporters give the club through the exchange of goods and matchdays.
To stop buying merchandise should be easy for any grown adult. I can understand a parent wincing at the fact they cant buy their child the new kit for christmas or a birthday so I can understand entirely if they feel thats only hurtful to their child but the adults should be able to resist.
If we want a shirt then why dont we start buying replica shirts from TOFFS ( http://www.toffs.com/ ). As far as Im aware the club gets nothing from these and could be a signal of how we intend to proceed.
In many ways the wearing of a shirt from a time when the club was run with respect,honesty and pride could be a large totemic symbol of our disgust at the disgraceful manner in which Hicks and Gillet have conducted themselves.
we are the peoples club,why do not all of us invest in OUR club,elect our own people to run the club,its called democracy,works very well for Barcelona F.C..
About time we made our own decisions,not waiting for others to make them for us!
the sad thing is ,this will be water off a ducks back to those 2 mothers, they will be sitting there with their feet up looking thru their windows making eyes at the cows in the field,
these 2 guys would be thrown out the mafia for giving it a bad name,
what the hell do a bunch of limeys matter to them,their safely 3000 miles away from us. it would’nt surprise me if they bother to read whats being written about them that they don’t plot an act of revenge against us by sending lfc back to the stone age before selling up , so for gods sake hicks and gillett just bloody well go, swallow your pride ,you’ve bitten off more than you can chew,take the money from DIC and run
It’s time to take the power back ! Koppites Unite! Liverpudlians gather behind the players and Rafa and rally round these Yanks and give them a kick up their sorry arses!..Sh*tloads up yer snotty snouts yer effin w*nkers! Don’t let these puny miscreants run Liverpool FC to the ground ! Begone yer corporate mutha****** !!!
EUR 32.218.000,00 = £ 24.049.126,10
I really feel that the gilletts,george and foster are good liverpool fans .Hicks is really the prblem here and nobody seems to be able to dislodge him from liverpools ass.please don’t label them together .
we better pray that these dudes leave as soon as possible.if they dnt want to invest in the club they can at least use the money the club makes to buy the players we need.can people get so greedy.f……..k thes w..n..rs
go to the texas rangers forum’s… there are loads of liverpool fans and whilst the rangers fans are getting cheesed off with all the liverpool talk – they are giving some scary insights in hicks!!
one of the quotes on there from a texas rangers fan quotes hicks as saying……. ‘All of these teams have become businesses in the past 20 years,” Hicks said. ” … This business has to do with fan affinity and brand devotion. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with winning.
ooops… this is the link
Sue them. If they’re clearly not adhereing to the spirit of a legal contract, then there’s every right to sue. And of course America’s the best legal system to try anything and everything in the name of justice and fairness. Not that there’s a high chance of winning – they might just admit to being scheming ___s and say too bad you signed the contract. But still, imagine being riddled with thousands of lawsuits everyday. How’s a man to sleep well until he sells the club to better owners…
couple the touting of rafa’s job behind his back and the number of false promises that have been made, and it is a sheer disgrace to a football club, OUR football club that is a figurehead of european and world football.
conduct, like that shown by the americans at any business corportion would not be tolerted by the shreholders nor stakeholders, they would be out; it will not be tolerated at our club and we have to make a continued definitive stand. I’m sure that i’m not just speaking for myself when i say that i had to swallow some pride over this investment-nobody wants a consortium to take over their club-but it seemed like a viable way forward at the time, but to now see the club that we cherish dragged through the mire is devastating, being banded about the media, whilst the owners appear to have ran and hid since the ‘klinsman’ comments. Why have they not apologised? released an explanatory statement? even expressed their support in rafa? or that this whole saga is over and we can move forward?
this is disgraceful leadership. their inaction since Hicks’ seemingly great desire to talk to the media about looking for other managers is only adding to the problems. we’re in a state of complete uncertainty and its affecting the players as stevie has said. a simple statement on the club website would ease the situation in the short-term and get the media off our backs.
this is not a kneejerk reaction to our current form(which the chairmen arent helping), i hope that i have the decency to be writing this if we had just won the premiership.
its all well and good me sitting at my pc writing this but we must act-fans organisations, fansites have the means and the fans have the desire to organise mass protests, (im sure a few of the players would like to join in too!).we cannot sit idly by as our club is turned into a laughing stock.
As usual, a one-sided article! I want to see a balance when reading about this subject as i have spent the last year observing and researching this subject! The reason this club is in turmoil is all the articles that avoid the FULL facts! Try again but this time look a little deeper and … do some basic business study courses as you will then have a fuller picture of where this money goes and then provide us with a balanced view point! Go on I dare YOU!!!!!!
Sky Sports News has announced that they’ve sealed the deal.
Doug Ellis has also restated that Gillett and Hicks wanted to buy Villa and he said no because of the debt it would have saddled on the club – although he would have made £20million’s more than Randy Lerners offer.
If Deadly Doug saw the writing on the wall what were Parry and Moores doing. Lining their pockets clearly.
Even now, when they had the chance to say NO to hicks and gilett, they’ve signed the deal that puts £105million debt on the club. Puts Rafa out of a job. And means we might as well start planning for a future which focuses on diminishing Hicks and Gilletts revenue streams.
I just can’t stand the thought of OUR great club being the laughing stock!!!
I think you should publish the yanks’ e-mail addresses and let us all tell them directly what they’re doing to OUR beloved club. How much hurt they are causing and how much damage they are doing!
I for one pray thtat DIC can come up with an offer that the greedy bast*rds will accept. The next step is getting rid of Rick Parry, the little rat that he is! Between him and Moores, they have destroyed LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB!!!
thats what it’s all about yankeedoodledandies, the CLUB, not profit, not looking good at the golf club “hey guys, i hear you bought a soccerball team, good on ya”, it’s about the heritage and history (not to mention the future) of OUR club!
COME AND SAVE US DIC! GET RID OF THIS SHOWER WHO FOR SOME REASON WERE ALLOWED INTO OUR CLUB.
“THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT RAFA, THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT FANS, LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB, IS IN THE WRONG HANDS!!!!”
Great article chief. This is exactly the sort of forensic analytical report that is required to dissect the sea of bullshit and spin Hicks is putting out (and will continue to put out as long as he remains in control of the club).
Hicks was one of the chief backers of George Bush’s rise to power in Texas and there are obvious similarities between them. Much like Bush the aptly named Hicks wants to create his own little reality. He is too dumb and ignorant to understand that (just as the insurgents in Iraq will not tolerate being ruled by Bush) so we LFC fans will not tolerate being ruled by Hicks. We will make our business to make it impossible for him to profit through the Club.
Lets face it George Gillett is just a doormat for Hicks and Hicks is just a yank hustler who only comes out when he smells a profit. Hicks thinks LFC is a potential cash cow that can be sucked dry over time because of the fans’ devotion to the club. He is already on record as saying (in America) that in order to make money from LFC winning will not be necessary because brand devotion is all that really matters. None of Hicks’s American sports teams have done even remotely well under his ownership and this should have LFC fans seriously concerned. His whole belief system runs directly contrary to that of every Liverpool fan.
Jim – is there anything that can be done about the planning permission for the new stadium?
I ask – as now they’ve revised their old plans will they need to seek new planning permission?
If so, then maybe we need to mobilise people affected by the new stadium to kick-up a huge fuss and make the Council refuse the stadium plans.
That will make Hicks and Gillett re-think their involvement.
What do you think?
well said Red Horseman
top notch article
I have never commented before – but everyone needs to speak out.
This report is true and excellent and I can only imagine that Messrs Parry and Moores are holding their heads in shame.
Imagine next season loads of debt – no Rafa, no Stevie G and no Torres……. and no champions League.
Many poeple make great comments but there is no leader. Surely there are a group of ex-players who could orchestrate the campaign against these two.
Also, look what Liverpool has done to the Sun – why not close all accounts with RBS and NatWest. That way they might not be so keen to stay involved.
I urge all LFC fans to boycott match days for a brief period. The money that keeps these two liars in our beloved club comes from us. It is us who finance their hold on this great club and it really can be us who can bring them to their knees. Short term pain can possibly lead to long term ecstasy if we use the power we undoubtedly have. After we have exhausted all avenues can we say we have tried our best to save this unique club of ours.
AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL LIVERPOOL SUPPORTERS
Yesterday was a day that will go down in infamy in the history of Liverpool Football Club. Yesterday was the day that the stewardship of our beloved club by two most undesirable proprietors was sealed. Yesterday was the day that Liverpool Football Club lost its soul.
I have stood and sat in the Kop for fifty years, through its greatest, its humblest (some on here may not realise we were in the old second division within the living memory of most Liverpool supporters) and most tragic times. I have witnessed all our major triumphs and all our humbling defeats. But now no more. This, my fellow Reds, is the end of the line for me.
Unlike many of those who resisted the takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family I am not set against Americans per se owning our club. It is these particular Americans that I am opposed to for obvious reasons (it was educational to hear that former Chairman of Aston Villa, Doug Ellis, was prepared to accept a lower offer for his shares from Randy Lerner rather than allow Gillett gain control of the club). And make no mistake HICKS &GILLETT are in this now for the long haul – no matter how many REDS are left sleeping on bare mattresses!
What we are witnessing now is the birth of a commercial sports franchise the hub of whose operations will just happen to be within the City of Liverpool. It will be about as Scouse as any Merseyside branch of Tesco or Sainsbury. And worse still, as we have already become aware, our new and most unwelcome owners will do this in a way so underhanded that it would make MI6 blush.
But I haven’t ventured on to Liverpool fan websites for the first time in my life simply to deliver an ‘I Quit’ ultimatum. I have come here to say that ANY Liverpool fan that continues to go to matches is propping up the current regime. Boycotting the odd match here or there will not make the individual fan any less of a collaborator. S/he has to be ready to abstain from match attendance for the duration.
Unfortunately, the outlook for this kind of protest, at first sight, is not encouraging. Barely 300 people failed to renew their season tickets at Old Trafford after the Glazers took over. And those who stayed but decided to boycott club merchandise (and hypocritically vandalise the property of Manchester United executives) couldn’t prevent the clubs turnover reaching a record £250m last year (NB the 76% here who stated they would reduce their financial commitment to LFC should H&G remain).
The formation of an opposition football club on the other hand appears slightly more promising. Playing well outside Manchester at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground, FC United of Manchester regularly commands gates in excess of 3,000. More importantly, the dissidents are not only sticking with their new creation – they are growing in number.
There is much we can learn from the experience of Man U fans who opposed the Glazer takeover. I believe that we could make a sustained boycott of Liverpool FC much more effective and that a new club venture could be more successful. I believe this because Liverpool is a more tightly knit community with a more distinct identity with a greater appetite for struggle.
Fellow Reds, we are now at a crossroads. Either we can just talk of contempt for Gillette and Hicks while continuing to aid them in their monstrous scheme by passing through the turnstiles or we can sever our ties with their alien creation and reclaim our heritage by forming a new club: ‘Liverpool 2008 FC.’
I call upon the moderators, administrators and members of this forum, with links to the official and unofficial Liverpool Supporters Clubs and Associations to lobby your committees and officers to convene within a month an open meeting in a local public venue to discuss the topics that I have just raised: namely the launch of a long term boycott of ALL Liverpool FC fixtures and the establishment of a new association football club, ‘Liverpool 2008 FC.’
I hereby authorise all those who sympathise with the opinions expressed herein to reproduce them for a wider audience.
I’ve heard a lot of Liverpool fans saying the Americans must go but apart from a lot of ineffective grumbling there appears to be no action plan to actually make this happen. If we fans act as a group we can force Hicks out but this will not happen if we merely complain but at the same time continue to support the very assumptions (all financial) on which Hicks’s continued ownership is based. Hicks doesn’t give a shit what we say or think as long as we continue to financially support his plans.
We must have an action plan. This involves immediate cessation of all financial support of any kind to the club (while Hicks remains in control of it) for as long as it takes to force him out. Those who can still cancel tickets etc should do so asap and no further monies should be paid of any kind. This must be allied to loud, public and ongoing protests outside the ground which even Hicks cannot simply cannot ignore. Again this must continue for as long as it takes.
Hicks promised us (and David Moores) that the huge loans he used to buy the club would not be transferred onto the club but this is effectively exactly what he has done because neither Hicks nor Gillett has added a penny of his own money. They both expect the club to fund the crippling interest payments of over £30 million per annum on the full £350 million debt. The sums simply do not add up. Fans should read the article by Nick Harris in the Independant for 26 January 2008.
Fans should also remember that the new £350 million debt only covers initial construction costs for the stadium so Hicks’ plans necessitate lots of further borrowing. The vast majority of the existing £350 million debt is merely to refinance Hicks and Gillett’s intial borrowings to buy the club. It is adding no value whatsoever to the club which means the club is much, much worse off than if it had simply borrowed the money itself to fund the new construction like Arsenal did. All Hicks and Gillett have added to the new stadium project is huge and unmanageable amounts of debt and delay. The maintenance of those debts will surely cripple any attempt by us to remain competitive on the field. There is not a single businessman anywhere who can understand what possible benefit Hicks has brought to the club. Even RBS thinks think his scheme will likely fail in the long term.
The signing of Mascherano should not fool anyone. This is just more evidence that Hicks thinks we are all mindless morons who can be controlled by cheap propaganda. He is counting on enough of us simply putting up with his rule and going with the flow. He is counting on us not having enough balls to really unite against him. Unfortunately we don’t have time to wait for things to develop as they inevitabley will. The choice is simple. Do we unite now to force out Hicks or just let the club go the same way as Leeds ??
Hicks and Gillett are businessmen. The club is an investment to them, and so they will talk bullshit until they can get what they want – maximised profits from their investment.
They will sell to DIC when they think the price is right, and Liverpool FC with a new stadium under construction is worth a lot more than without.
So, the PR nonsense will continue until they can artificially inflate the value of the club. They want the debt set against the club so they can be rid of it when they sell.
I think you call it ‘a nice little earner’ and if they get it right they will each make £100m in a year or so.
Not going to get into the nitty gritties of the politics of G & H but just want to comment on the so called missing loan monies…
Here’s the rough breakdown of the figures… no black holes…no conspuracies… the first thing that needs to realised is that LFC were just about breaking even the last few years under Moores so forget the CL prizemoney… that just went into the general pot as it were.
Next we take the £298m borrowed… £174m was paid for the shares… just under £50m was paid toward old debt incl personal loans made by Moores… £21m (minimum and taking this writers figures for transfers) was paid for net transfers last summer incl Torres… £12m was paid on initial loan negotiation fees, legal, consultancy and other expenses incurred when the club changed hands and c£22m has been earmarked to service this loan in the first year… this leaves a residual of (say) £20m which Benitez will now doubt spend this transfer window mainly on Mascherano.
Next we take the new £350m loan… the old £298m loan is obviously extinguished and £60m has been earmarked for initial stadium expenditure… this in actual fact leaves a cash deficit which will be made up by the end of the season no doubt by the extra £20m that LFC can expect to recieve from the new PL tv deal… and next year LFC will need to worry about £26m pa interest (@ say 7.5%) on the £350m new loan plus negotiation and facility fees etc…
As has been pointed out another £300m minimum will be needed to finish the stadiumtaking total interest to c£50m pa by 2010…
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