Hicks on Gillett, Klinsmann, Parry, Rafa and finance

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks’ eagerly-awaited interview with Sky Sports News went out at 6am this morning, UK time, and is bound to attract massive attention. There’s little doubt that chief executive Rick Parry, fellow co-owners George Gillett and former chairman David Moores will be in contact with each other to discuss their responses, whether individually or as a group. And it would be a surprise if Dubai International Capital weren’t party to those discussions. This is big news, and although it still seems difficult to work out how it could make any difference to the final outcome of the ownership fight, everyone involved seems determined to be heard. But did we learn anything new?

The recent phase of publicity with regards to the ownership began with George Gillett speaking on Canadian radio, where the co-owner spoke about his relationship with Hicks having broken down, insisting that death threats made him decide not to sell to Hicks, who he said had run out time anyway. Last week Rick Parry received a letter from Tom Hicks, asking that he resign from his post at the club, a request Parry has resisted.

Today Hicks explained why he wants Parry out: “If you look at what has happened under Rick’s leadership, it has been a disaster. We have fallen so far behind the other top clubs. The new stadium should have been built three or four years ago.

“We have two sponsors, maybe three. We should have 12 or 15. We are not doing anything in Asia the way Manchester United and Barcelona are. We have a tremendous number of fans in Asia. So we have got the top brand in the world of football, but we just don’t know how to commercialise and get the money for it to use to buy great players.

“Rick needs to resign from Liverpool football club. He’s put his heart into it, but it is time for a change.”

The letter from Hicks to Parry was said to contain those same concerns as its reasons for suggesting Parry moves on before he gets moved on. That would be Hicks’ intention if he took over. Parry chose to respond by saying he was going to seek legal advice over the letter. Nothing further has been said by Parry on what legal action he might take. There are numerous reasons why he’s been quiet in that respect, but it’s quite possible he’s been told that there is nothing in the letter he can legally complain about. Certainly he would have a tough job complaining about the contents of the letter in terms of what is expected of him. The club have fallen well behind in those areas, and it’s difficult to see how Rick Parry could defend his role in allowing that to happen.

Ironically Parry probably agrees with the complaint from Hicks about how the stadium should have been built some time ago, and if he’d known how things would have worked out perhaps the club would have borrowed the stadium-building costs itself. We’d have then had the “Parry Bowl”, which when it was announced in 2003 was said could be ready before 2008. The club would already be making the increased revenue from the increased capacity.

He also pointed out how he felt Parry’s relationship with Benítez was causing the club problems: “You have to be able to work with the general manager and Rick has proved he can’t do that.”

Hicks mentioned frustrations he said Rafa had faced when Parry was unable to get transfers tied up, his job being to finalise the contracts. Claims Parry’s approach to getting such deals finalised saw the Reds miss out on key targets aren’t new, but until now the claims were never backed up with any real quotes. If true then it’s no wonder Rafa would be frustrated, and suggests his outburst post-Athens may have been aimed at Parry as much as anyone else.

But the fact remains that last November Rafa was close to leaving the club. Worries he was about to leave of his own accord have been given as one reason an approach to Jurgen Klinsmann was made. But whether that was seen by Hicks and Gillett as an “insurance policy” as claimed by Hicks or as a genuine aim to replace Rafa regardless isn’t clear.

But according to Hicks, Gillett seemed to feel there was a real issue with Rafa. Hicks explained that Gillett knew the German before the meetings took place: “George became good friends with him a year ago. I get this call from George out of the blue in which he says ‘have your people do their research on Klinsmann’. He and Rick set up the meeting in New York. I did go to the meeting along with my son Tom.”

Hicks says the meeting had been underway for a while when he got there: “Rick Parry had already met with Jurgen alone for a couple of hours when we arrived. We all then spoke to him for another four hours.”

The meeting was of course followed up by another at the Texan’s home in California. It was this meeting that was referred to by Hicks when he spoke to the Echo in January to own up to having spoken to Klinsmann. The interview followed reports coming from senior figures at the German FA and at Bayern Munich that the club had approached Klinsmann for the manager’s role. Hicks decided to own up to the meeting, a decision which is widely reported to have angered George Gillett.

Hicks feels he was unfairly given the blame for this meeting with the German. He was there, he clearly felt that Rafa’s future was in doubt one way or other, but he didn’t start the ball rolling he says: “Afterwards I told the truth to a reporter who asked the question and suddenly it is ‘Tom Hicks tried to get Jurgen Klinsmann’. George initiated it but we all participated.”

Rick Parry, LFC chief executiveSome fans and observers have defended Parry for his role in this pursuit of Klinsmann, a role he kept from Rafa Benítez. It’s part of his job to attend meetings of this nature, and he’d be criticised if he learned of them happening but didn’t attend. And obviously the need to remain silent about the issue is understandable, so informing Rafa he’d been at this meeting could have seen him sacked. But Rafa was clearly still annoyed at Parry’s role when he spoke after the Blackburn game, and perhaps it related to Rafa expecting honesty from Parry at later talks they’ve had. Rafa will also want to know how much of a role Parry might have played in the owners becoming fearful over Rafa’s intentions. Parry said publicly earlier in the week that he was willing to talk to Rafa about it.

There is quite a clear indication coming from Rafa’s words, from those who’ve seen him at press conferences, that he has grown so tired of Parry that it’s now got to a “him or me” situation. He is said to have told reporters to switch the microphones off again on Sunday, before telling them just what was on his mind with regards to Parry.

Hicks says that he’d give Rafa a 12-month extension to his current deal, which has two years to run. This is something that is vital if Hicks does take over and Rafa is to remain as boss, because the speculation about Rafa’s future will not go away otherwise. The contract extension is no guarantee the speculation would end either, but it would help dampen it down a little: “If I were to buy George out, the first thing I would do is offer Rafa a one-year extension to make sure he is going to be here up to when we get the stadium. Hopefully we could have some success and then extend him again.”

Hicks also said that the manager and his squad were getting on with their jobs rather than letting off-field issues get in the way: “Rafa and the players have their heads down. They are playing great. We communicate regularly. I know he feels comfortable with the way things are going.”

And he also said he thinks Rafa has special qualities to help the club keep winning: “I think we will continue to have success. I think Rafa has unique skills, he motivates the team and we have some great players who are learning how to play with each other.”

If he’s getting on with Rafa, he’s not getting on with Gillett. We all know this, but he was asked to confirm if the relationship really had broken down: “At this point it is unworkable. We started this as friends but 50-50 is a difficult business proposition because you cannot do anything without your partner’s approval. We had a good honeymoon but, over a period of time, there have been issues, the stadium being the main one.”

Quite what the stadium issue is wasn’t clear. Was it an issue between the two of them relating to the stadium? Certainly we know that the stadium plans announced in July were scrapped on cost grounds. That resulted in both the Texan firm responsible for those July plans and the Manchester firm responsible for the older plans being given a chance to try again, at the new budget. The Texan firm got the nod in the end, but there were whispers at the time that Hicks was the only one who wanted those plans, and that Gillett, Parry and the club’s advisors all preferred the Manchester option. Other than that, and it’s of course nothing more than a whisper, there never seemed to be any actual issues with each other over the stadium. Of course by the time that version of the stadium was unveiled, the relationship between the two owners was already far from perfect.

Tom Hicks and George GillettNow that relationship sees George Gillett claiming he won’t sell. Hicks admits he can’t force Gillett to sell, and although he didn’t mention any veto in this interview he did point out that if Gillett didn’t sell that we’d be stuck in the current state of limbo: “If George doesn’t sell – because I am not going to sell – I guess we stay in this position that we are in. It’s complicated but it is going to happen although I can’t force George to accept. I am planning to make him a very attractive offer. If I had a majority on I could put more capital in.”

Hicks’ critics claim he hasn’t got the capital to put in, but this has never been anything more than speculation based on the general state of the financial world, particularly in the US, mixed with alleged tip-offs from finance staff at various institutions.

The reports that the end of May is the end of a deadline for Hicks to buy Gillett’s half before DIC can’t be stopped from doing so has gathered pace to the extent it’s now being reported as fact. Certainly I believe that DIC’s PR people are reaffirming that claim, and if true it would mean Hicks could face having new partners in the summer. But nobody else seems to be making the claim, and only DIC can say if 50% would suit them.

For all the complaints about the Klinsmann situation, the main burning issue is the club’s finances, in particular the debt. The actual debt the club is directly or indirectly responsible for is now £52m more than at takeover, but none of it was on the club’s books back then. Hicks says he wants to get rid of the biggest part of the debt on the club, and to get the finance ready for the new stadium. “My goal is take all the debt off the club except the working capital needed and get the permanent financing totally in place for the stadium,” he said.

He also explained how he sees the purchase of the club taking place if he’s successful. It will not be necessarily done with loans to pay off Gillett’s loans: “I want the finances of the club to be secure. I want to be the majority owner of a group that buys the club and I have got a 25-year track record of being a very successful investor around the world. The fans don’t like the fact that we borrowed a lot of money to buy the club but I will fix that.”

Again, Hicks’ critics will dismiss that claim, putting it down to being all talk. He said the right things – we don’t like that debt on the club, we don’t like the thought of not being able to fund the stadium – now it’s time to do the right things.

He pulled few punches when he described DIC’s tactics to get back in contention for ownership of the club: “DIC has no seat at the table. They are masters of the British tabloid spin. They want to stir the pot of Liverpool to create dissension. I did talk to Dubai about being a 49 per cent partner but it just didn’t work out. They didn’t share the same vision I have and I didn’t think they could become minority partners. I am not going to have any more 50-50 partners.”

If Hicks can get the finance it’s difficult to see how Gillett could both refuse his offer and accept one from DIC, so much depends on him getting that finance in place. If this end-of-May deadline is true, and Hicks fails to meet it, then the ball is in DIC’s court and depends on if they are willing to go 50-50 with Hicks, and if they feel they’ve got the ability to either work with him or force him out in such a partnership. But if Gillett receives an offer from Hicks tomorrow, that matches anything from DIC, Gillett’s choice will surely be to sell to Hicks or not at all. And the latter means more limbo.

Nothing in the interview came as a surprise.

Parry and Rafa clearly have problems working together, and if these problems can’t be resolved then it absolutely has to see the end of one of their careers at Anfield. In most cases fans have no feelings towards members of the board room, but strong feelings towards a manager. Rafa’s surely in the stronger position if fans’ views are to be taken into account.

Claims of some players being unwilling to work with Rafa if he supports Hicks have started to spread, but again it comes down to a choice. That’s if it’s actually true. Do fans prefer Rafa with five players missing from his squad, or Parry, a new manager, and possibly more changes to the squad? But whatever the fans prefer, it’s hardly their choice anyway. No matter how much any owner is prepared to listen to fans, a line will always be drawn somewhere.

The fact it’s got to this kind of talk is regrettable. ‘Rafa or Parry’ and ‘Rafa or Key-Player’ – is just not a great state of affairs. But the hate and the anger will continue to grow for as long as we have this stand-off. Whether claims or accusations come in the form of strongly-believed rumours or carefully worded quotes in the media they will continue to add fuel to this fire.

It’s understandable why Hicks gave this interview. He wanted to set the story ‘straight’. His version anyway.

He had a lot of stick over the Klinsmann admissions, and in fact got the full blame for it for much of the time. No doubt Parry and Gillett will have a different version of events, and we’ll probably hear them before the day is out, but Hicks clearly wasn’t happy at how the others, particularly Gillett, had got away almost scot-free with their part in those talks.

He also got much stick for his treatment of Rafa. Leading on from those Klinsmann talks and the orders to “concentrate on coaching”, the “Rafa pouted” quip in the US press showed him to have what looked like contempt for the greatest manager the club has had since the legendary Kenny Dalglish stepped down. Now he’s talking about how Rafa seems to appreciate him, and how he’s prepared to offer him an extended contract.

And finance was addressed. His “goal” is to take the debt off the club. The club’s always had some form of debt, usually in the form of overdrafts, as many clubs do, and perhaps this was the “working capital” he referred to. He implies that removing the debt from the club will come by way of him adding capital, and a new group of which he’s the majority owner taking control of the club. No details were given, but he seemed sure this would be what the fans would prefer. But questions will still need to be asked, including questions on the long-term structure of the investment. Putting the money in place to help a manager bring number 19 is just the start, we want to eventually be winning numbers twenty onwards, and we don’t want to be waiting until the twenties for that to start. Likewise we don’t want to see our club abandoned in the twenties, with all the potential realised and profits down to a minimum.

So, he addressed the main issues, and if he’s being completely honest then more supporters than before could be willing to give him a chance. But it remains, for now, just talk.

And talk isn’t getting us anywhere.

169 thoughts on “Hicks on Gillett, Klinsmann, Parry, Rafa and finance”

  1. DIC are in a Strong position, Hicks and Gillett are not, Gillett wants to sell, Hicks doesn´t!!! I think that Hicks has enough to buy out Gillett, but with all this talk recently, where does the money come for the Stadium?? How on Earth will he “Shift” the debt off the club, as it is Secured on the club?? I hope May 1st is the D-Day for us, this has to be resolved now, not talking in the Media, these two must be forced to meet!! and that they must come up with an answer.
    Texas_Dawg
    “What is the difference between last year when Hicks came out saying all sorts of things (i.e) Money, Stadium, players, No Debt on the Club, and what he is saying to the Media now???”
    What i mean by that is, Money was promised for players (Not the banks money) We were told the Stadium would be built, NO DEBT WOULD BE SECURED ON THE CLUB. He is saying to the media now pretty much what he said last year…

  2. Anyone else here making the trip to see Fulham V Liverpool tomorrow? Cant wait, even if it’s likely to be a reserve side!

  3. As usual Anfielder’s post incisively sums up what most of us feel Hicks-wise. Congratulations, Anfielder. On the other hand, I feel that some vituperations do not come from civilized human beings. Just in case, ash, ‘dunk’ is spelt with a final ‘g’. Jim does not deserve this kind of abuse. I wouldn’t be surprised if , for some obscure reasons, Jim relished now being the scapegoat of all Hick-haters. I too think that his shift in Hicks appraisal has been pretty brutal, but it is clear that he remains a very respectable red. Unlike a couple of ranters on this site.

  4. “Apparently it’s not log fire season in Texas.”

    That part of the interview was hilarious. It’s probably hotter in Texas right now than it is in Liverpool in the summer. 🙂

    ““My favorite part of this Sky 4 report is the very end: ‘Tom Hicks is a popular figure in Dallas’ He is?”

    That fan may not like Hicks, but he’s definitely not unpopular in Dallas, fwiw.

  5. With reference to the story of Hicks asking Klinsmann for advice on Rafa transfer targets:-

    “Tom has not had any contact with Klinsmann on this matter. He has not seen him since the meeting in November. So the story is just plain wrong.”

    Spin Spin Spin – three little words “on this matter” could easily mean he has been in regular email/phone contact on all sorts of matters relating to the future of the club.

    Yet again, a public statement that has the potential to hide more than it discloses. JR would be proud.

    And that out of season ‘log fire’ – I really am starting to thoroughly enjoy the soap.

    All we need now is for George to put on a pair of ski’s and start talking about going down a slippery slope just not being the Liverpool way!

    Can we just lighten up?

  6. Further to the revelation that Hicks plans to go on the PR offensive (emphasis on the “offensive”) in the next six weeks and to The Abbott’s comment above about George on skis, how about we take a poll on which new media tactics will be employed to woo supporters (the only common theme being that a fire must be employed somehow in the image)…

    (a) Hicks by a campfire in moonlight, strumming an official Liverpool guitar and softly crooning “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as wild horses in full kit prance in the background.

    (b) Hicks in his Dallas boardroom, working on importantly looking documents about the new stadium, surrounded by men in suits nodding studiously at him, as he slams his official Liverpool mug on the table, yells out, “This is a disaster,” and sets flame to the documents with his official Liverpool lighter.

    (c) Hicks on his official Liverpool mobile phone to another supporter who has publicly complained about his complete mismanagement of the club – showing that he knows how to relate to the average fan – the glow outside his window a reflection of the roaring bonfire as Rick Parry’s desk is tossed in for fuel.

  7. I have only posted once on this site although it never got printed? I am a lifelong LFC fan and I have taken great interest in reading the posts/articles on this site in the last few days in order to get a clearer picture of what is happening to the club.

    It is quite clear that the Hicks interview was a huge PR stunt. Yes Hicks is saying all of the right things but this is for political manoeuvring – he is trying to get onside with the fans of that there can be no doubt. Will he keep to his word if he gets control – only time will tell.

    What both Gillette and Hicks are doing is dividing the fans. This is wrong. The timing is disrespectful to both the supporters and the team.

    I personally felt like being sick at the sight of Hicks with the LFC mug. The guy is interested in LFC for one reason only …$$$.

    Ideally LFC would be owned by a true red – but this is not the case. So if the club is to be owned by a businessman then ideally they will act in a supportive fashion to the board, manager, team and show respect to the fans. Neither owner is demonstrating this as we all know. But if there are divisions at board level then there must be at least support for the manager and the team if both are performing well. And respect must be shown to supporters.

    The divisions and infighting is disrespectful and unsupportive on all fronts. I realise that it is difficult to keep this private but it should not have come to the public mud slinging that we have seen in the last few days. This is a sign that the people involved do not know or do not care about the traditions of the club. At least Parry tries to get things back to football matters.

    It is a sad state of affairs that it has come to this with football. Parry may or may not deserve to move on, of this I am unsure of because I think Rafa is the only one who can really say if he has hindered transfers. Yes, we have fallen behind the other big teams in merchandising etc. – this is clear to see from the Torres range online – which in my opinion could be improved to say the least and is weak in quality, presentation and product range. Is it solely Rick Parry’s fault a new stadium wasnt built earlier or that we dont have more sponsors?

    The one thing that seems to be absolutely crystal clear is that Benitez is a damn good manager. People talk of rotation, well Ferguson rotates, all of the time, but he has the quality to do so. To some extent LFC still are lacking in certain areas. I have faith in Rafa that should he gain a couple more signings of the quality of Babel, Torres, Mascherano then we will be able to challenge for the title. The current team is much better than previous years and we have real foundations. Therefore to lose Rafa would be detrimental to say the least.

    There are just a couple of things I would like to mention…

    Jim the site is interesting but you do appear to show some loyalty to Hicks in your writing for reasons I cannot fathom. Even if he delivers all of his promises I will still not like the man because he is a fake. You also seem to have already condemned Parry without Rafa actually speaking out. Therefore for these 2 reasons I am struggling to find you 100% objective.

    Texas Dawg – you are a strange charachter. Why are you here? Who gets this much time to post (as you do) and gets this involved if they do not have a vested interest? At best you are pro-hicks and are interested in football. Which in my eyes makes you a wind up merchant who is playing devils advocate. At worst, you work for Hicks, which would be disgraceful, particularly considering your lack of empathy and timing in your posts on the day of the Hillsborough Aniversary. Why are you so pro Hicks?

  8. “(a) Hicks by a campfire in moonlight, strumming an official Liverpool guitar and softly crooning “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as wild horses in full kit prance in the background.

    (b) Hicks in his Dallas boardroom, working on importantly looking documents about the new stadium, surrounded by men in suits nodding studiously at him, as he slams his official Liverpool mug on the table, yells out, “This is a disaster,” and sets flame to the documents with his official Liverpool lighter.

    (c) Hicks on his official Liverpool mobile phone to another supporter who has publicly complained about his complete mismanagement of the club – showing that he knows how to relate to the average fan – the glow outside his window a reflection of the roaring bonfire as Rick Parry’s desk is tossed in for fuel”

    Julie Lol – Its funny because its true. Its just so easy to visualise all of the above.

    Im sure Texas Dawg will be straight on the blower to Tom – “Tom bad news your campfire liverpool guitar wild horses stunt has been rumbled”

    The only thing Im surprised about yesterday video is that Tom didnt have the kids in the Liverpool tops rocking on his knee.

    It more like an ad for Werthers Original….

  9. dawg,
    ‘Oscar from Los Angeles’ who posted up there at 9:28 a.m. reckons your full of BS.

    As for the ‘fire going during his interview with British TV?’

    If that’s an hilarious distortion of fact and reality, then it doesn’t take much to conclude that the entire ‘interview’ (promotional video?) was as well.

  10. On the lighter side of things heres a video of Will Ferrell taking off President Bush.

    Ferrell would definitley do a good Hicks and in fact I reckon this is probably pretty similar to the filming of yesterdays interview with Sky.

    Any Will Ferrell fans take a look………….

  11. juan: perfect – if they’ve scuppered the guitar-roaring camptire plan, we need to compensate them with one that includes children (a la Werthers)…

    How about:
    Hicks on a football pitch talking on his official Liverpool mobile again, surrounded by eleven small children fully kitted out in the usual starting XI (a little Gerrard, a little Torres, a little Carra) running around in smiling glee as Hicks yells out, “You there in the red top, Jurgen says you have to go home now.”

  12. More from today’s Independent;-

    “The Texan’s (Hicks) esteem took a further hit by revelations yesterday that he personally called the leader of a supporters’ group trying to raise a petition to oust him. “He asked me what I was playing at,” said John McCaffrey. “He was stuttering a bit at first.” ”

    And here’s the petition, sign up and watch the fun.
    http://www.PetitionOnline.com/AR10308/

  13. Things are lightening up TG

    Rafa sounds happy having decided that the key is to avoid
    talking to anyone on the Anfield Board at the present time. That appears like a very good strategy!

    Julie and Juan are getting into the swing of things and even Tex is not taking himself too seriously!

    By the way my guess is that that the LFC mug was full of BS!

  14. Anfielder: Great post per usual. In addition, George can saw from the beginning that he has bitten off far more than he can chew thusbringing Hick’s into the owners equation to help bolster his move. He now sadly states that he made an error and wants to sell his share to people who he believes will stabalise the club and he cannot see that with his current partner. Fair play…at least he knows he doesn’t have the funds to propel LFC towards the top of the pile and in the same breath he can also see that Hick’s will not be able to do it either.

    Also if Hicks can just about muster support and finance from other investors (which appears to proving difficult), where on earth will he get the extra funds to rid the club of its debt, buy players, start work on the new stadium etc?… Just a thought.

  15. Can we read anything, as far as the boardroom battle, into the fact that we’re suddenly being linked with 4 English players ? Strange players to be linked with I think, not exactly world class. Does Rafa even know what his budget is this summer? Are Parry and Rafa scouting different sets of players ? Can we read anything into the rumour that Crouch is waiting to see if Rafa will still be in his job before deciding whether to sign his contract ?

  16. Excellent post by Anfielder. My only criticism is that you didn’t use the word “bullshit” enough times in describing the appropriate response to Hicks and his comments.

    You’re right Jofrad, this article is good news but it more or less sums up what I’ve suspected all along. A bit of strain between the CEO and coach is to be expected at any club but I don’t believe the relationship between Rafa and Parry is anywhere near as bad as Hicks would like it to be right now or would like to have us believe.

    Again it involves making an assumption (to some extent) but even if the relationship were absolutely awful (and it clearly is not) I don’t expect Parry to remain after DIC come in anyway and tI’m sure Rafa knows this so he’s not interested at all in having some big “him or me” style showdown with Parry before the end of May like Hicks’s surrogates want us to believe. Its Hicks who’s desperate to try and provoke this feeling of desperation for Parry to leave but its definitely not Rafa.

    Rafa loves the Club and he knows that with or without Parry he’ll still get far more autonomy over transfers and so forth than he would get ever get at one of Spain’s big two. Even the greatest coaches usually only last a short time at those clubs and man-managing a collection of huge egos like the Real Madrid or Barcelona dressing rooms is definitely not Rafa’s forte. Rafa is ultimately a conservative coach and would never survive at those clubs because they don’t appreciate the importance of tactical defensive discipline. Can you imagine the outcry at a club like Real if Rafa tried to sign and play players like Peter Crouch or Dirk Kuyt.

    If there is one thing that poses a risk where Rafa is concerned its Hicks’s tactics of trying to trying to drag Rafa into the centre of an ongoing embarrassing public spat which Rafa clearly doesn’t want a bar of and finds incredibly irritating and distracting from his work. The other thing that might effect Rafa is the size of his transfer budget. Hicks can promise till he’s blue in the face but clearly DIC are a far better prospect in terms of future transfer budgets than Hicks.

  17. That’s a hell of a long post Anfielder. And it sounds unbelievably over the top – in my view.
    I’m half-inclined to ignore it, but what the hell…

    “Eagerly awaited” was my phrase to describe what I saw on numerous forums and heard from different people about exactly what Hicks’ interview might contain. In fact on one site I saw a quip in a thread devoted to the upcoming interview, and it made me laugh. It was posted about 6.30am, after the interview will have aired, and it said; “10 pages and you’re all asleep!” Eagerly awaiting to hail Hicks as a Keegan-like messiah or eagerly awaiting to rip his every word apart, a lot of people were, as I say, eagerly awaiting that interview. Yet you claim not to know a single fan who was waiting to hear. But all the fans you do know actually would celebrate if his death was announced? I know we’ve some extreme views from some angry and extreme fans but wishing death on someone is way over the top – in my view.

    In fact to be honest you’re beginning to sound hysterical, and if I was as pro-Hicks as you once again seem to imply I’d be making sure your rant got extra prominence!

    Using the word “interview” is “dishonest”? Seriously?

    Of course no pressure was applied to him. No pressure in interviews has been applied to anybody involved in this mess, including Parry, Moores and Gillett. Parry knows who his allies are in the press, Moores spoke once, to a paper often condemned for editorial pressures put on its writers, Gillett chatted to a journalist he trusted for his radio interview a couple of days before the derby. Isn’t this obvious? It was disappointing that he wasn’t asked to explain what he meant by taking the debt off the club, or how he’d get the finance, and so on. No critical analysis? What can I say other than, for example, he says he can put capital in, his critics will say he can’t, and nobody actually knows? Do you know if he can or not? Disregard any ‘facts’ that stem from PR working for DIC before you answer that. I’m not saying he can by the way, because I’ve not got a clue if he can. But I’ve not seen anything anywhere I trust that says he, personally, can’t.

    As for reporting it as gospel – exactly what do I need to say? “Tom Hicks said, ‘ whatever,’ but we have to remember that he might be lying,” or something?

    Klinsmann… I didn’t read his version of the Klinsmann events as being anything more than him pointing something out that seemed to be an attempt at him getting his version of events across. I think so anyway. The whole episode, from the November press conference to the eventual Klinsmann admission, has seen Hicks blamed pretty much in full for it. I heard it as him saying that Gillett kicked it all off, Parry went along to one of the meetings with G&H, they both (G&H) took it over from there, and nothing came of it. I don’t think he said he was reluctant, more that he wasn’t the one kicking it all off and driving it along.

    I will try and go back though, as you say, and read the interviews for that time-frame. I remember reading them at the time and interpreting them the way you are above. But I’d like to read them again at some point.

    I don’t think Hicks had his will overridden, or expects us to think he had. I need to re-watch the interview but didn’t he say (claim, lie, fib, make up, whatever suits) that George had told him there was a problem with Rafa, they need to speak to Klinsmann? As you’ll say, it could be nonsense, but it’s possible he’s responded to claims from Gillett and Parry about Rafa’s conduct when transfers were mentioned. Rafa’s frustrations must have played a huge part in this situation, and only Rafa knows what he was really frustrated about. If Hicks got a claim from Melwood that Rafa was getting set for another outburst I can imagine how he would be left having to choose between the word of his partner and / or CEO and the word of his manager. The idea Gillett might have set all this going isn’t all that new. If that’s true, would you take the word of your partner or your manager? It wasn’t handled well by any stretch of the imagination, although there are so many variations to the story, and so many pieces to it we don’t know, it’s not done anyone any favours.

    I don’t understand what this is about Hicks researching Klinsmann before Gillett. Again, you’ve possibly let your anger get ahead of your thinking. Gillett and Klinsmann were reported to have been in business together ages ago, when the allegations about Klinsmann first surfaced I think. Klinsmann is part of some soccer/sport consultancy, and Gillett was allegedly using him well before November. I’ve not gone back to check where that’s from, but I remember reading about it ages ago. From the off one of my concerns has been that Gillett picked Klinsmann because he knew him personally, rather than for his skills (?) as a coach. I’m going off memory, but the link between Gillett and Klinsmann was reported long ago. I think it’s obvious, personally, from there that Gillett didn’t need to do any research to know who Klinsmann was. Hicks hadn’t heard of him by the sounds of it. If Gillett wanted Hicks to hire Klinsmann then Gillett is quite likely to have said, “We could try Jurgen Klinsmann, I know him, you should do some research”. Is that so far-fetched?

    Ah, the old “how do you know what he feels?” question. It gets a bit cumbersome to say, “From what Hicks has just been saying in this interview and the hints he makes elsewhere it doesn’t half sound pretty obvious to me that he feels…” I’ll consider that version next time. How do you know who was more to blame for the Klinsmann situation? Because Parry told you? Gillett? DIC? You read it somewhere in a story written by someone briefed by one of those? You were at the meetings too? You don’t know, you think. You could be right too, although I don’t think Gillett’s response to the Klinsmann stuff last night would have been as vague had it been as complete and bare-faced a lie as you think.
    Twisted mind? Anfielder, if anybody fails to go along with your opinions does that mean they are always of a twisted mind? The club was destabilized before Hicks came out with that admission about Klinsmann. The crap run in the league had begun before that, and was because of the speculation that wasn’t going away about Rafa being on the verge of the sack. Even back when I was still falling 100% for the DIC version of events and would barely hear a word said against them I thought Hicks had almost been forced into revealing what happened with Klinsmann, because it had come out in Germany. Gillett (reportedly) thought it would blow over. At the time I didn’t think it would, I thought it would keep coming up in every interview, after every defeat. I never thought more of it even then that Hicks was convinced the world believed Klinsmann had been approached, and wanted to give an excuse for it. I didn’t believe the excuses he gave though, and still don’t think that it was down to fears over what the tabloids said, or CL results, as was stated. I’ve heard a few theories about what it might have been down to, and none of them exactly match what was given in the revelations in January. One of them puts Gillett in a bad light, one puts Gillet and Hicks both in a bad light, one even puts Rafa in a bad light. I don’t think we’ll ever find out the whole truth.

    This bit’s confused me to be honest: “You’ve even tried to imply that Hicks’s public announcment (more accurately trumpeting) of the RBS refinancing package was heroic and that Gillett was dishonest for not adding his name to Hicks’s announcement of this.” Where? Sorry if I’ve missed it. But I seriously don’t know what you refer to.

    And this: ”So much of what you say about Rafa is just over the top, unsupportable bullshit without any sources and based on pure speculation.” Not sure what you mean.

    Anyway: ”Rafa knows if he went to Real Madrid or Barcelona he wouldn’t get even half the autonomy he gets at Liverpool. If Hicks took over the Club him and Rafa wouldn’t last two months before the same problems they had before resurfaced for exactly the same reasons……………and we all know who would be forced out then. No-one should be fooled by anthing Hicks says or does right now because his greed is only temporarily keeping his rampant arrogance in check. I don’t fully understand your point here. I think you mean that Rafa knows he’d have less control at other clubs, so wants to stay here for that reason? But if he stays he’s been fooled? Apologies if that’s not what you mean. You could be right, but what do we know about the reasons for Rafa’s unhappiness and the board’s (for want of a better word) approach to Klinsmann? It’s equally plausible that Rafa was unhappy with Parry, Gillett, Foster or Hicks.

    I know for a fact that at least one ‘quality broadsheet’ Liverpool-supporting journalist is getting the biggest part of his most recent stories from DIC. I don’t want to attack him for doing this, or for falling for this. Firstly because it might actually be true and he might actually have been shown the all the evidence he needs to back up what he’s now reporting, and secondly because I don’t believe he’s doing it for any other reason than he thinks personally it’s best for the club to follow the DIC way. I certainly hope the second point is true. What you’ve said about Rafa could be true, he might be embarrassed. In fact I’ve heard a wide spectrum of views on what Rafa thinks. Only Rafa actually knows.
    If you’ve got links to Rafa not trusting Hicks please post them. I’m not saying it hasn’t been said, I’d like to see it for myself if it’s in the papers. As for the Hicks ongoing contact with Klinsmann, it’s quite an interesting point. Hicks denied it, but it’s very easily proved. It just takes someone who has one of the emails (if that’s what was used for contact) to leak it. Maybe that’s about to happen? It’s a story that obviously came from either Parry or Gillett, so the ball’s in their court now to show how Hicks’ denial was false. They can easily produce the email from Klinsmann that originated with Hicks showing the questions about the transfer targets. It won’t take a minute to do. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see it either proved by Parry/Gillett, or for them to make a statement that it isn’t true. I could see them doing the first one at a push, but not the second one. Which means it stays up in the air and speculative. If they’re going to go to the paper to leak something to attack Hicks that’s fine – but how they defend themselves from doing that when attacking Hicks for talking to the media is hard to fathom.
    You could be right when you say of Rafa: “by being put at the centre of it in a way that puts huge pressure on him and will likely sap his and the team’s moral at the worst possible time.” But make sure you don’t miss out whoever it was out of “the Club” who leaked this story about emails from Hicks to Klinsmann when you’re launching your attacks.

    Interesting you mentioned “reports now leaking out about players saying they will leave the Club if Hicks gets ownership.” Again, where do you think these rumours came from? Why do you believe them?

    This bit: “You’ve also done your best to underplay Hicks’s second private meeting with Klinsman when Parry and Gillett were not present and Hicks’s ongoing contact with Klinsman since then. I’ve just covered the “ongoing contact” above, and await something that’s more than just the leaked word of one board member against another. As for the “second private meeting… when Parry and Gillett were not present…” I’d like to see where you read this please. My understanding was that meeting no 1 was in NY with Hicks, Gillett and Parry, and this is the meeting we’ve only just learned about, and that meeting no 2 was in California, with Hicks and Gillett present. Again, can you point me to somewhere where your version has been written?

    In fact I think I’ve left you with enough there to come back to me with. I got to the point where you implied I was stupid or wilfully corrupt and thought about stopping here. But I’ll carry on. Just don’t forget to find me the details I’ve asked for, I think it’s only fair.
    This is your opinion: “You keep referring to Gillett as “claiming” that he won’t sell because of death threats but you are conveniently misreading Gillett’s comments and misleading readers about this. Gillett may not have liked being threatened but what Gillett was trying to say was not that he was afraid to sell to Hicks because of threats but rather that the threats had convinced him of the strength of feeling against Hicks from the fans. He did not want to make a sale that was opposed by virtually all fans. Whether you believe this or not it is not your prerogative to change the meaning to suit yourself. I don’t believe a word of it.

    And this: ”You’ve also repeatedly implied that Gillett is lying about receiving death threats but I personally know of more than one Liverpool supporter who has threatened Gillett’s life (if he sold to Hicks) and they were very happy to tell me about it. Knowing the strength of passions Hicks has aroused I have no trouble at all believing Gillett on this issue.” And did you believe him? Seriously? Did you really believe that he would actually kill Gillett for selling to Hicks? I don’t mean people using a figure of speech to explain how annoyed they are, or some idiot in the pub trying to impress other idiots. I mean the sort of person that is a complete embarrassment to our support and if from Liverpool itself then an embarrassment to the city too. Then again, you pointed out that all the Liverpool fans you know have been hoping for Hicks to have a heart attack and die. And I think we’re starting to see something of a pattern here.

    I’ll keep going for now, despite having reservations about the type of person I’m trying to engage: “You’ve made statements several times based on nothing more than “I believe….” failing once again to realize that for most of us the real question is do we believe you ?? With respect…………your credibility is so far gone I wouldn’t believe anything you said or wrote now.” I’m not surprised that you don’t believe anything I say. You refuse to believe anything I say, because it doesn’t fit your own opinions. Anything that might question what you believe is thrown out, DIC’s job done. I write what I believe, and I’m not going to pretend to believe something else to fit in with bullying posts of this nature. I might change my beliefs if I’m given some well-thought-out arguments, rather than rants, and that’s all you seem to do these days to be honest.

    Away from the hypocrisy and the anger, some people have put points forward to me this week that put more weight towards the Hicks-out/DIC-in movement, but posts like yours tend to undo most of that for me. Maybe your tactics work with others, but I genuinely think you’re doing as much damage to your cause as it’s possible to do. It becomes noise.

    In fact I’ve probably just wasted another hour of my life I won’t get back on someone not really worth it. Let me know when you’ve got the links above, I and if there was anything of note in the rest of your rant let me know and I’ll maybe have another look at it.
    One thing I will say, is if people are so sure he’ll be gone by the end of May, why are they getting so worked up? If people are so sure he can’t get the money then why not shut up, enjoy the football and leave Hicks’ comments to one side. If he’s an egotistical attention seeker as some claim, then you’ve all played into his hands haven’t you? Or are people worried the talk about problems with the banks is actually nonsense?

  18. I think responding to anfielder probably wasn’t the best idea – because it was nothing more than a rebuttal of his angry points, which are all of course in favour of Parry and Gillett, and against Hicks.

    I saw the Hicks “interview” if I’m allowed to call it that yesterday first thing, and didn’t actually get to see many of the later segments that aired. I had a hell of a busy day yesterday and putting that article out was done in a short time I had free in the morning. I even failed to actually “publish” it rather than “save” it. So it appeared about two hours later than planned.

    I had odd spells in the day where I could see what was being said, but rarely more than ten minutes. After midnight last night I started to try and put the quotes together from Parry’s and Gillett’s responses, but never got it finished. Nearly 24 hours later and I don’t really see the point. To summarise it, I fail to see what right either of them have to complain about the timing of the “interview”. Parry’s was best probably, apart from the dig about the timing he pretty much deflected the questions. Was it post-midnight confusion or did Gillett’s statement seem to include a dig at the financing package currently in place? Today’s not been much better time-wise, I’ve not had time to listen to what Rafa said today, only to read about it briefly. Even that’s been given headlines that don’t match the quotes, but maybe more was said that wasn’t in the stories I read.

    But it’s about time everybody shut up anyway. Hicks, Gillett, Parry, Moores, DIC. About time they stopped going to the papers and TV. Whether it’s openly or as “a source close to” it’s time to stop.

    In the next couple of hours tomorrow’s papers will start to appear online, and 24 hours later we’ll start to see the Sunday papers with their take on events this week. But I think all those involved in the chaos have had their chances to speak now. I’m sure they’d love to say more, but the chance has passed. Shut up!

    The end-of-May deadline now assumed to be fact despite there never having been any official confirmation (if I’ve missed anything that really seems to confirm it’s true please let me know) will be here soon.

    So we might as well wait and see what happens.

  19. Blimey Jim. Look, in this mess it is difficult to establish all irrefutable facts, no-one denies that. (Apart from facts like Tom Hicks promising things and failing to deliver them but anyway… Yes, and some facts that stack up against Parry and Gillett too).

    But we are grown ups with life experiences which teach us to spot when people are disingenuous pr!cks (rhymes with…..). Credit us with some intelligence.

  20. You’re right SJ – it’s hard to work out what the facts are. It’s amazing how quickly gossip becomes fact too.

    But let’s hope that’s the end of the leaks and statements and interviews and soundbites until they’ve done whatever it is they’re going to do.

  21. I watched Rafa on his press briefing this afternoon and either he’s a damn good actor or things have been patched up. He was laughing and joking with the press which made a nice change from the behaviour of others in the club this week.

    He clearly wants to stay managing his team and hopefully will be given funds to strengthen it in the summer. I’m sure Gerrard would love to have Gareth Barry join the club.

    It looks like things will come to a head at the end of May when Hic ks either has to find money or consider the alternative.

    If I hear nothing else from board members until then I’l be happy.

  22. Just wanted to check I’d not missed something.

    Anfielder’s shout that Klinsmann had been met by Hicks twice, one with Parry and Gillett there and once without either Parry or Gillett there didn’t sound right. But it crossed my mind someone else had posted the same thing on here.

    This was the original story on Klinsmann from January:

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/01/14/tom-hicks-jurgen-klinsmann-only-an-insurance-100252-20347645/

    The meeting took place at Hicks’ second home in southern California in late November during America’s Thanksgiving vacation…

    Hicks told the ECHO: “In November, when it appeared we were in danger of not advancing in the Champions League, weren’t playing well in our Premier League matches, and Rafa and we were having communication issues over the January transfer window, George and I met with Jurgen Klinsmann to learn as much as we could about English and European football.

    “He is a very impressive man. We attempted to negotiate an option, as an insurance policy, to have him become our manager in the event Rafa decided to leave our club for Real Madrid or other clubs that were rumoured in the UK press, or in case our communication spiralled out of control for some reason.”

    The story from this week about the Klinsmann meetings:

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/04/14/jurgen-klinsmann-liverpool-fc-officials-met-him-twice-100252-20761246/

    THE ECHO today learned that Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks held two meetings with Jurgen Klinsmann with a view to the German replacing Rafael Benitez as manager.
    The first meeting was held in New York at which he was joined by co-owner George Gillett, chief executive Rick Parry and other members of the Liverpool board.
    The second was held at Hicks’ holiday home in California during Thanksgiving weekend when Parry was not present.

    So unless there’s another claim I’ve missed, does that confirm that Gillett was at both meetings, but Parry only at the first?

  23. Indeed Jim, see the point you’re making. Maybe the Echo worded it in that way to make it seem to the skim reader, or unintelligent follower (not naming names!), that Hicks was the only one at the 2nd meeting. Thats actually quite a clever bit of wording if deliberately done that way!

    Jim, you said briefly before that you didn’t get much chance to see the Hicks interview, or only briefly, but honestly what did you think of it??

    Someone earlier said that it “MADE. ME. CRINGE.”. I personally couldn’t agree more. Whatever you believe of Hicks and his motives i don’t think i’ve ever seen a more transparent bit of propaganda! I mean sitting in a chair with a big (new) Liverpool mug and a couple of Grandchildren (probably played by actors), had me laughing, not incensed, but literally in stitches! Absolutely astonishing.

    I’d also like you to explain, if you can, your response to Anfielder about Gillett and the death threats business. Anfielder made the point that he may be taking the stance of not selling to Hicks because he realises the level of opposition against selling to Hicks, or something to that effect. You said “I dont believe a word of it”. Fair enough, but why? If he doesn’t think he’s going to be assassinated, and isn’t doing it because he sees the opposition, then why is he taking this stance, or at least leading us to believe that he doesn’t want to sell to Hicks? This isn’t a rhetorical question either, in case the immense number of them directed at you recently has rendered you unable to tell the difference! lol.

  24. Jim, whether or not people agree with everything you say, you deserve to be praised for the efforts you go to for this site. Your articles and your posts are generally well thought out and well presented, even if they don’t match the opinions of everyone. (Or maybe it scares some people half to death that you might actually be spot on with much of your analysis).

  25. Jim… I would also like to know what you made of Hicks’ interview. You are an intelligent man, and you say you’ve seen it.

    Did you not see the ridiculous setting, the use of obvious props (that mug – dear God), the deflective criticism. I have said before and I’m saying it again. If he has backing and is confident….why set that up? Why? I do not believe it was just to answer his critics – not for one second. He is worried.

  26. Martin, your question on why won’t Gillett sell to Hicks is an interesting one, and I’d like to hear other peoples’ opinions on it too. I don’t think its anything to do with death threats, and I don’t think its anything to do with what’s best for the club.

    The worst thing for the club right now is 50:50 ownership and it must never be allowed to happen again. Gillett holding out to sell to DIC doesn’t solve anything, and potentially makes the situation even worse, unless Hicks will also sell to DIC. The best thing Gillett can do, IMHO, for the good of the club, is sell to Hicks if a reasonable offer is forthcoming (assuming that Gillett wants to sell but Hicks won’t). Then at least ownership will be in one set of hands. Whether Hicks is the best sole owner of the club I don’t know, but I think Hicks 100% is better than Hicks 50% with A. N. Other.

    So Gillett must think that Hicks hasn’t offered enough (ie he’s negotiating), or Hicks actually hasn’t made an offer yet. Or maybe Gillett really can ignore any veto and sell to DIC in May for more than Hicks can offer him. If that’s his best offer you can’t blame him, but I really don’t think its in the best interests of the club unless Hicks sells too.

    The other question I have, is what does Parry think he has to gain by staying? He’s clearly not popular with the majority of fans, doesn’t seem to be with Rafa, and one of the owners has publicly asked him to stand down. Again, I don’t see how his staying is in the club’s best interests. Is it as simple as him getting a big fat payout or something? I’m probably being dumb but I haven’t joined those dots yet.

  27. I am wondering and hoping. Is Hicks creating all this fuss, either to bully his way into full control and if that fails, is he setting the ground were he can walk away stating he cannot work with these people, they are getting in the way of his big plans for LFC??????
    THE LATTER, I HOPE.

  28. I only come back on this site – a site which Hicks is obviously paying Jim to maintain – to say Anfielder you are a legend and absolutely wasted here. Jim Boardman’s response to you was bordering on disgraceful. Anfielder, John Steele, Julie, juan and many more Liverpool fans keep up the good work we are absolutey winning this arguement by miles. I’m am so proud that real livepool supporters are not being taken in by the PR game Hicks is playing. We have reduced Jim to personal attacks. He hasn’t made a coherent arguement that can be backed up with facts in weeks and that encourages me as to how weak Hicks has become. Bye Bye Yanks _ Long live Benitez. It’s so encouraging to see decency and honour win through. Jim I hope when this episode in Liverpool’s history is over you are ashamed of yourself.

  29. Hop: My two pence/cents’ worth about why I maintain that Gillett will hold firm and not sell to Hicks. I honestly don’t think there’s just one reason, but an amalgamation of influences here…

    Part of it is that he was the one who sussed out the Liverpool buy to begin with – he was the impetus – and I suspect it wounds his pride to be the one to walk away, regardless of how long it prolongs the limbo. Gillett 1, Liverpool 0

    Part of it is he wants to appear to be the good guy (he is genuinely appreciated in Montreal where hockey is also more important than life and death) and do right by the supporters (death threats aside). He comes across as more humble and approachable (maybe this is an act, but it works) and seems to have a concern for his reputation amongst Liverpool fans. Gillett 1, Liverpool 1

    Part of it is that given the leverage he has right now with DIC, their offer to him would be more attractive than what Hicks would/could offer and he will make more money from them. DIC have shown their hand – they want the club – and their first foot in the door will only come from Gillett (my guess is that it wlll be the banks that force out Hicks when he is unable to renew the loans). Gillett 2, Liverpool 1

    Finally, part of it is that he obviously hates Hicks and won’t want to see him succeed. There is so much blatant animosity between the two – both are adept at spin, both are practised prevaricators – but out of sheer vindictiveness, I think he will refuse to let Hicks come out of this as the conqueror. Gillett 2, Liverpool 2. FT

  30. Please permit me a single interjection on the Klinsmann meetings as it is on this very point that my integrity was rubbished.

    “THE ECHO today learned that Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks held two meetings with Jurgen Klinsmann with a view to the German replacing Rafael Benitez as manager.
    “The first meeting was held in New York at which he was joined by co-owner George Gillett, chief executive Rick Parry and other members of the Liverpool board.
    The second was held at Hicks’ holiday home in California during Thanksgiving weekend when Parry was not present.”

    So unless there’s another claim I’ve missed, does that confirm that Gillett was at both meetings, but Parry only at the first?”

    The wording definitely does not confirm that Gillett was at the second meeting. To assume that is also to assume that of the participants at the first meeting only Parry was missing at the second? The Echo wording is somewhat clumsy but is most certainly not confirmation that Gillett was present. I raised a point about what I regarded as the crux of the Klinsmann business, who offered him Rafa’s job? and referred to the Echo article only as an indication that the answer lay in that second tete a tete.

  31. Martin: Whatever you want to call it, a publicity stunt, a PR event, (a long list of expletive-filled other descriptions) or an interview it was designed to get Hicks’ points across.
    The mug looked embarrassing. Even if he always gets a fresh mug out every time we play and he’s at home to watch it, this time it would have been better to go and find a plain mug from somewhere. The fireplace might have been Sky’s idea, I know if you watch any LFC.tv interviews in people’s homes they all seem to have pink lighting in the background. TV crews like to set their backgrounds up. (Hicks may have used the same shot before of course, and asked them to use it again).
    I don’t think the kids were grandkids. Tom Jnr is the oldest, and without kids as far as I know. The next two along are recently-engaged, Alex and Mack, one of whom proposed at Anfield if you recall. After that I don’t have a clue about ages, but it’s more feasible they are his own kids rather than grandkids. But more likely they are nephews/nieces – or actors even. If he had used actors, can you imagine the outrage? One might have been Texas_Dawg…
    I know that if GG had been looking to buy TH out he’d almost certainly have considered a similar idea. He did something close to it the last time he spoke before disappearing, in print rather than on TV. You’ll remember the article where a journalist friend spent time with him at Melwood and so on, GG calling Carra over like a performing seal to show the reporter what Scousers talked like.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see DIC do something similar if they became 50-50 owners with Hicks, although the reaction to this one might put them off. Al-Ansari casually showing off his LFC cufflinks and taking a call “from the Sheikh”, supposedly concerned about the fitness of one star name or other.
    What’s important is we listen to what’s said. He’s said things we can hold him to now. Even the use of words like “We intend” our “it’s our goal” won’t get him off the hook. If something doesn’t happen that he “intended” to happen, it’s got to be explained why it didn’t come off. Better to say “I intend” than promise something that has a chance of failing, but we want transparency in the future I think.
    Re Gillett: It just doesn’t seem to add up. If (IF) I’m right and he’s not scared of the death threats, then we’re supposed to accept he’s willing to risk losing out altogether based on what 2000 emails a day were supposed to have said? Even though those email were down to a handful by the time of his interview? I don’t know if he will sell to Hicks. If he got two equal offers, from DIC and Hicks, and there were no legal restrictions in place, he’d take DIC’s offer. If there are legal restrictions in place that mean he’d have to take Hicks to court to overturn them I can’t see him risking a costly battle. If Hicks offers him more and DIC refuse to match it I can’t see him taking DIC’s offer. I think any decision against Hicks is based on his feelings towards Hicks, nothing else.
    There is nothing to suggest he actually cares deeply enough for the club to actually risk missing out on a major profit. DIC recently walked away from an opportunity to buy into an F1 team after spending some time looking into it and looking very likely to buy (I’ve not checked to see if they changed their minds again). Gillett must surely know in his own mind that there’s a risk of them walking away from LFC if this move goes beyond the timeframe they planned, or if it gets any messier.
    Gillett care for the club? I don’t doubt he’s got some feelings for it, but I believe he doesn’t like Rafa, doesn’t trust him, and he’s only siding with Parry really because it suits his needs at the present time.
    The thing about the pre-emption agreement is confusing. First of all, most of the information surrounding that has been provided by, well I’ll let you guess. This thing about an end of May deadline has come from there. Presumably the only way that could have kicked in is through a firm and binding offer having been made, possibly with some conditions on it, but nevertheless an offer that Tom Hicks needs to match. If he does, I can’t see a way that Gillett could turn it down yet still sell to DIC.
    I’m just puzzled as to why he suddenly decided in March to announce he wouldn’t sell to Hicks, when he admits he was willing to before. All the animosity must have been there before, well before.
    One thing I’ve been doing is looking up old articles trying to find various bits and pieces, but I’ve been trying to find what has actually been said about the debt. We keep hearing that Hicks “promised” there would be no debt on the club. If anyone can find the quotes, or even a story from back then that indicates he’d said something of that nature to the reporter without being quoted could they post it here? All I can find is this, in various places:
    ‘We have purchased the club with no debt on the club so, in that regard, it is different [to the Glazers]. We believe in the future of the club, the future of the league, the new TV contracts are outstanding and we are proud to be a part of it.
    ‘If you look at the Premier League today, it is a strong revenue-generating body for the leading teams. I believe it has the chance to be a growing industry over time and we need all the revenues we can possibly find to compete with Manchester and Chelsea.’

    Not a promise there would be no debt on the club. Just a statement that they bought the club with no debt on the club. And as you can see here, it was actually said by Gillett. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=407155&cc=5739
    I left the next paragraph in just to make the point that they saw the need to improve revenues as important back then (6th Feb 2007 is the date on the article.)
    Hop: You might be right in that it does scare some people, but I could be completely wrong in what I try and work out. I’ll be honest and say that in recent weeks I’ve found it harder to write anything because I’m not 100% clear in my own mind what the situation is. Far from it. I’m sitting on a fence and sometimes the stuff thrown at me is close to making me fall off into the opposite side from those throwing things.But for all those throwing heavy objects, some brown and malodorous objects included, others with the same basic view are able to in effect have me close to falling off the fence onto their side, by persuading me in a more considered way. Sometimes if you can take five minutes to think about why you have a certain view, try and explain even to yourself logically why you have that view, look things up too to help you find the ‘evidence’ you’re basing things on, you can be surprised at how your opinion wasn’t as close to the truth as you thought it was. But if you spend the first four-and-half of that five minutes defending yourself you don’t have time to really think about why your view might be so wrong.
    Anfielder means well, I’m sure, but the aggressive style he uses (and he’s not the only one, ehre and elsewhere) doesn’t make me stop and think at all. It just makes me want to ignore everything he says, even to the point where elements I had doubts over I start finding myself giving the benefit of the doubt to go against what he says. The approach he has works with people already on the same side as him, but I personally don’t think it would win over any doubters. As I’ve said before, anfielder could almost be a PR plant for Hicks. (And I don’t for one minute think he is, before someone decides to try and twist that!)
    Of course my angry responses to him probably have a similar effect on those who have been in the DIC camp but are now beginning to wonder, in that they push those people firmly back to the DIC camp. I don’t to push or pull anyone anywhere, even for my own sake I just want to put the questions and the doubts out there and see if we can be fully armed with the truth rather than the many biased versions of it, from all sides.
    SJ: I hope I’ve answered your question above. I can understand why Hicks would want to do it, he wanted to defend himself, and if – for one moment – we accept he could buy the club next week and become sole or majority owner, he’s got to start trying to put his own points of view across. I think looking at the reaction it backfired. But I also think it’s a useful reference for us all if he does take over. We’ve got something to pull him up over.
    As for the idea he’s worried, I just don’t see how he’d do this if he was worried. I think he was doing it in preparation for taking over. I can’t work out what he would achieve from this if he genuinely thought he wasn’t going to get the cash or secondary investors. He’s done his pitch to them, and I don’t doubt at all that some have come up with deals with him. Whether the deals are good enough for what he wants is probably the issue. Let’s face it, if he went to the city and said he wanted to borrow an extra £200m at 25% interest he’d face a stamped. If he asked for that at 5% he’d be laughed out of town. Somewhere in between is a figure he can get, it’s a case of whether it’s good enough really, and if he thinks he can negotiate it to a better deal.
    The problem is that all the negative talk of Hicks’ financial situation has come from his enemies. And his enemies have pretty much always been his enemies. Gillett’s financial situation was leaked by people who were his enemies but now have him as an ally, I would say, and that makes the stories about him, although unproven, carry more weight in my eyes.
    If Hicks was so close to being in a mess financially I think he’d have tried harder to negotiate with DIC. In fact I think he’d have taken his share down to 25% or less in return for some profit now, and profit to come. He could have negotiated himself various perks to stay here, even if it was just autonomy on the stadium or whatever.
    But really that’s just a view.
    Hop: “…I think Hicks 100% is better than Hicks 50% with A. N. Other.” That’s one view I find it hard to disagree with at the moment, although there are some points some make to suggest it might not be better.
    If Hicks is better off financially than everyone claims then of course him being 100% owner is better than they fear. But we don’t know, for sure, if he is better off than they say.
    If he’s as badly off as they say he won’t be here soon anyway, because all these loans are being called in and he’s being pushed to sell his half of LFC to avoid defaulting on them. I think that’s at best exaggerated, at worst a blatant lie. He’d have gone by now, he’d have at least been negotiating with DIC far more.
    But if – and to me it’s still a very big IF – DIC are the better option for the club by a long chalk, then 50-50 Hicks-DIC can only be good in one way. That it allows DIC to force Hicks out by using their financial muscle. But even that isn’t universally accepted as being possible. We just don’t know. And if the way the holding company is set up means that DIC can’t block Hicks from refinancing in summer ’09, the 50-50 limbo could carry on indefinitely just in new names. Hicks can lay money off from one place or other to cover the interest, if DIC refuse to allow it to be paid as a dividend. We keep hearing scary figures, £30m, and although it’s not much better there’s been information other than from the Hicks camp that £25m is nearer the truth. And Hicks has to find half of that, £12.5m. If he wanted to play hardball I believe personally he could find that.
    This has been one of my main worries about DIC for some time. Their strategy seems to be based on an assumption that Hicks is as desperate as Gillett for the money.
    To be fair to Parry, I don’t think he would do too badly in financial terms if he did as Hicks said and resigned. Unless they’ve told him some lies I can’t see DIC keeping him on either. I think financially he’ll probably be as well off either way. Whether he thinks that or not is another matter, he might think he can engineer a long stay at the club if DIC come in. If he genuinely thinks that Hicks is so bad an option that he’s prepared to help prolong this turmoil then he has some explaining to do.
    He could help end it all now by persuading Gillett to speak to Hicks, and he could also stop allegedly dealing with DIC. He could have made this mess less messy, if he’d accepted Hicks was not as bad as he’s being made out to be. If one day he comes out himself and explains what it was that changed in a year-and-a-bit with Hicks then we might see his reasons. I’m not getting caught up in this too much, but we’re “only” £52m more in debt than at takeover, and Parry knew about the debt and must have checked how it would be serviced a year ago. Yes, some of it’s now on the club, but consensus has been for some time that this was down to Gillett’s poor financial state.
    Parry knows if Hicks is capable of taking the debt back off the club. If he is, to even just put it back to the way it was before but with the extra £52m, Parry has some explaining to do for this stance he has.
    What worries me is that it’s actually got personal. Would Parry put the club secondary to the chance to get one over on Hicks?
    Whether it’s the right thing to do or not, Parry needs to get word out as to why he’s concerned now when the current situation is so close to the takeover situation.
    Kenneth: I know what you’re saying Kenneth, but I don’t think he’s engineering an exit strategy myself.
    Stephen: I’m not being paid by Hicks or anyone else attached to or wanting to be attached to the ownership of the club to maintain this site. If you’ve any examples backup up with facts as to why that might be the case then please let’s hear them. And personal attacks tend to be in defence of personal attacks. Is wishing a heart attack on someone “decency”? Unfortunately much of my time in recent weeks has been spent defending myself. And that’s something I need to try and avoid.
    Out of interest Stephen, if Hicks announced next week that he was now in control of the club, Gillett announced he’d stepped aside as it was clear Hicks was determined to hang on and it was doing the club no good, DIC said they’d now ended their interest in the club for good, and so on – what would you do?
    Also, if DIC come in and admit that they put quite a lot of debt indirectly onto the club themselves, were only willing to fund the original “Parry Bowl”, were only going to invest in the squad using loans until commercial revenues picked up and wanted to put Rafa on review until Christmas, what would you do?
    How much do you know, based on fact, about DIC’s intentions?
    We’ve all been lied to at some point by different players in this game, and what’s dangerous is this assumption that not only is everything Hicks says a lie, but that everything the rest say is true.
    How ashamed would you be if you found out that you’d allowed DIC in under false pretences?
    If you’re 100% certain that you’re right, if you keep going back and checking that your views are based on if not facts at least some good circumstantial evidence then that’s fine.
    None of the options are perfect. Not even ShareLiverpool if they suddenly got momentum and raised the money and persuaded the owners to sell to them.
    Truth is, we don’t know the truth. None of us. Tom Hicks doesn’t know what DIC are really planning to do, how far they’ll really go. DIC don’t know what Tom Hicks is planning, how far he’ll go to keep them at bay.
    I feel it’s turned into a bit of a fantasy that DIC are doing this out of some kind of love for the club, or just out of the chance to be attached to a prestigious entity. Just because their PR people keep saying so doesn’t mean it’s true. Their walking away a year ago for half the price is a worry too.
    Without shouting, without getting personal or making accusations, what can you tell me to refute what I’ve just said? I’m prepared to listen and for people to provide ways of clearing up my doubts, or changing my opinion. Not by being shouted at or bullied by an angry mob though.
    Doesn’t even have to be a direct response to any of the points, just a carefully-thought-out summary of why Hicks is so bad, and why DIC are so perfect. If you don’t think it’s that extreme, say so.
    I just don’t think that many people have stopped to think about why they have their current views.
    Julie: I respect what you’re saying about GG’s initial interest in the club. I think it would have something of a factor in any decision not to sell to Hicks, but not a key factor. The humble side is not something I’m too sure about in reality, but I do think he’s got an image of being humble to maintain. I actually felt this was one of the funnier moments of his Canadian radio interview when he criticised Hicks for words along the lines of personal image being more important.
    I don’t know 100% if DIC would offer him more money. I can see arguments for and against that idea. Unless I’m mistaken, if this veto idea is how most people see it, he can’t accept any DIC offer without offering it to Hicks too. If Hicks can’t match it then it’s irrelevant really, because Hicks can’t block it.
    The thing about the banks could be true, but it’s dangerous to dismiss out of hand the idea that he’s not as financially insecure as his adversaries want us to believe
    The sad thing about their hatred of each other is that even if they both quit LFC they’ll still run into each other at various NHL get-togethers. So it’s wise that they actually try to if not repair all the damage at least build some bridges with each other. I wonder how much of their hate has come from the pressures of others interfering? This is just a thought, nothing more, but if they had any sense of self-respect (cue laughter I expect) then they would try and talk to each other now before letting this go on as it is. I doubt they’ve even spoken to each other since January, although I’ve no way of knowing for sure.
    Of course if they do talk, part of the negotiations would be on ensuring they both looked good (in their eyes) after agreeing a deal with each other. Hicks would do the same if he negotiated with DIC. If Hicks wants to persuade Gillett to sell he needs to accept the idea of letting GG look better than Hicks thinks he is!

  32. John,

    I understand where you could misunderstand the situation with regards what the Echo said about the second meeting.

    It doesn’t confirm Gillett was at the second meeting, but nobody has ever thought he wasn’t. At least I didn’t think they had.

    I don’t think Tony Barrett would deliberately write it to mislead, I think he just assumed we all knew that the second meeting was the one originally admitted to, with G an H both present.

    The article wasn’t about Gillett’s presence at the meetings, it was aimed at explaining, or even defending, Parry’s role in the meetings.

    But how many people are basing their current view of Hicks on a number of inaccuracies like this?

    I’ve written a long reply above to the comments from overnight, I hope that some people can find time to find some of the evidence I’ve asked for.

    If getting rid of Hicks is the right thing to do, I’d feel happier about it personally if it was done without a witch-hunt approach.

    In fact the same point applies to Rick Parry. I have my own views that if we look at his past record there are grounds for concern. But if one partner has serious concerns over a key member of the club’s hierarchy, I see the need for it to be discussed by the board. So it’s time they called a board meeting. It gives Hicks a chance to explain his thoughts on Parry, and it gives the others a chance to explain theirs. Then the management committee can take a vote on it. They might want to stick a few other items on the agenda too.

    At least then the views go on record, even if not public record, and if anyone is acting untoward there is evidence of it. And that works all ways of course.

  33. What baffles me is thae slating of Jim. How come others can have biased opinion towards the ownership especially the feeling towards Hicks ( which I whole heartedly share) but Jim is held up like some kind of demi god with an influence on the outcome of the ownership of LFC and his every word is slated.
    Amazing how many of you say your not going to read the site or respond to his comments yet you return like a bad smell. You have a choice.

    Just like to add how much I appreciate Julie’s comments, always on the ball and often make me smile 🙂 Keep them up!!

  34. Jim, as usual theres a gulf a mile wide between what you’re saying and reality. You claim to be all laid back and “inclined not to respond” to my post because theres really no need ……………………..and then launch into another one of your longwinded, repetitive, attempts to rationalize the bias in your writing as being the product of openmindedness.

    As usual your defence basically consists of dismissing anyone who dares to tell you a few home truths about your writing as some mindless, angry ranter who doesn’t have an open mind to your point of view. This really sounds rich coming from someone whose mind is no more open that mine. The difference is that at least I’m honest about having already reached some conclusions re Hicks. I am against him and I’m advocating against him. You, on the other hand are still trying to come across to everyone as Mr Objective who can be relied on to report factual information with balance and objectivity………… when the truth is you’re no more than an advocate for one side in this dispute. The only difference between you and Texas Dawg is that you’re more subtle and slightly better at disguising your advocacy as the reporting of information but this only makes what you’re doing that much more insidious. Lets cut the crap…………….your bias is not the product of having an open mind, its the product of you being an advocate for one side and wanting to push that side’s case as far as it can possibly be pushed. Whether you believe its the right side or not is a wholly different question. You refer for example to having heard a wide spectrum of views on Rafa. This is truly remarkable coming from someone who has relentlessly pushed only one view to the exclusion of all others.

    You unwittingly hit the nail on the head when you said “I write what I believe.” But this hardly makes you unique. Even the most deluded tyrants in history have generally had the self-righteous conviction of their own vanity. The point is that since you clearly believe that Hicks is right theres no hope of getting any valid points from you which might run contrary to Hicks.

    You claim to decry the hypocrisy of those who argue against you but you yourself are the ultimate hypocrit…………… resorting to personal attacks on posters any time you please and far more quickly and readily than anyone else on this site. No wonder so many people have either left or stopped posting in disgust. But unlike you I won’t go crying like a baby about your personal attacks because I know they are a sign of your desperation and failure to convince people to support Hicks.

    You seem to be labouring under the illusion that I’m out to win you over but I’m not and never was. You’re just taking yourself far too seriously mate because this is really not about you. My posts are merely attempting to bring a counter balance to your bias so that readers out there also get to hear the other side of the issues you talk about as well.

    Your reply post raises a huge number of points and questions I would love to respond to but, unlike you, I don’t do this for a living and simply do not have the time to address them all right now in the way I would like. However, you asked if I really believed the people I referred to actually intended to kill Gillett. Once again you have a gift for missing the point and asking the wrong question entirely when it suits your purpose. Of course they didn’t intend to kill Gillett but I believe they did make threats of some kind to him. If so, then Gillett is not making this all up as you would have us believe. The very point I was making is that just because you claim not to believe Gillett this doesn’t give you the right to distort the fair meaning of what he was trying to convey. This is just another example of your pre-conceived beliefs/opinions as to who’s right and wrong overriding your conflicting duty to fairly report information.

  35. Trying to curtsey to Fred, but repeatedly falling flat on my face from the weight of my big head.

  36. Just a brief return from my self-imposed exhile from posting on this blog.

    First, I would like to point out Jim that you also previously made a few post (can’t remember dates etc) about Mid to end of May being crucial to the ownership.

    Secondly, being a lawyer myself, I would find it professionally negligent not to insert a time-limit on exercising an option/first refusal in a share agreement as it would otherwise render the value of the ownership as nominal. Similarly, it would be close to business suicide to agree to sell one share which would render ownership of the remaining worthless in terms of decision making.

    Thirdly, Jim whilst I will not subject you to personal abuse, I must say that your rebuttals at those who question your views are not what I have come to expect from you. If you do not agree or others do not agree with you, then you must do better in attempting to convey your points. Calling others to proof whilst not doing so personally smacks of hypocrisy.

    Fourthly, you have not (from what I have read) made a single denuniciation of Hick’s timing of the latest interview/one man party political broadcast). It was crass stupidity to record it close to the anniversary of a tragic event which continues to give all liverpool fans such discomfort. To add to injury to insult, it was done through Sky (prop. R Murdoch). If he wanted to reach out to fans, why not doing it through LFC tv?

    Fifthly, you continue to profess misgivings of Gillett/Parry/DIC but do not appear to afford the same scrutiny to Hicks or his cronies. Hence the continued protest at the lack of balance.

    Finally, there is undoubtedly a PR war going on but PR is all about timing or lack of it (if you want to attract the wrong type). It may win you awards at PR ceremonies but it will not win fans over and this is something that Hicks (and the other factions,albeit to a lesser degree) continues to disregard (The others are no saints and I am not in the Gillett/Parry/DIC camp before you pigeon hole me in any of these.

    Jim, may I suggest achange of tact (or, reverting to your old type) if you want to be at the forefront of helping shape this debate as well as those in the future.

  37. First of all I want to echo raju’s points – I am not in the Parry Gillett camp. I want all board members to leave. That is my position.

    I feel like I am wasting my time with Jim but I will post anyway in the hope that Liverpool FC fans reading are not drawn in by Jim’s agenda to believe and condone Hicks’ PR and lies.

    Q
    Out of interest Stephen, if Hicks announced next week that he was now in control of the club, Gillett announced he’d stepped aside as it was clear Hicks was determined to hang on and it was doing the club no good, DIC said they’d now ended their interest in the club for good, and so on – what would you do?

    A
    I will always support the team on the pitch – I will support Liverpool FC long after Hicks’ cashes in and gets his 30 pieces of silver on the back of honest decent fans giving over their hard earned money to him. I will no longer attend Anfield (I live in Ireland so I only get over 2 times a year). Not a huge sacrifice I grant you but its all I can do. I will not buy one shred of merchandise.

    Q
    Also, if DIC come in and admit that they put quite a lot of debt indirectly onto the club themselves, were only willing to fund the original “Parry Bowl”,

    A
    What has the Parry Bowl got to do with anything?? I didn’t realise that was a DIC plan!!! Where did DIC ever say they would build a stadium based on 5 year old designs that were scrapped years ago!!

    Q
    (DIC) were only going to invest in the squad using loans until commercial revenues picked up and wanted to put Rafa on review until Christmas, what would you do?

    A
    If that this is the route they go down then I will resist that as per Hicks’. DIC havene’t done that but Hicks already has. Rafa was going to get the sack if we were knocked out of the Champions League. My first option is always Share Liverpool.

    Q
    How much do you know, based on fact, about DIC’s intentions?

    A
    All I can do is look at previous investments they made. DIC have always been concerned with making whatever investment they are involved in the absolute best. As the horse racing industry (which the revolutionalised). They have pride in their country and pride in what they do.

    Hicks’ past is entirely different. He uses taxpayers money to make himself rich. He redirects university funds into his own businesses, he LBO’s good companies – sweats the assets makes good people redundant and sells it on, he gets bank loans to buy into football clubs promises money for transfers, promises stadiums and causes turmoil at board level (corinthians, liverpool), he gets loans to buys into american sports clubs and then leaves them stagnate while he sweats as much money as he can from honest fans.

    Q
    We’ve all been lied to at some point by different players in this game, and what’s dangerous is this assumption that not only is everything Hicks says a lie, but that everything the rest say is true.

    A
    Thats why they all must GO!!! They are all liars!!!

    Q
    How ashamed would you be if you found out that you’d allowed DIC in under false pretences?

    A
    Of course I wouldn’t be happy. I want Share Liverpool not DIC. Read my answer above if the only choice on the table was DIC or Hicks I would make an informed decision and have to in all honestly plump for DIC.

    (Nice to hear the fans at fulham singing get out of our club while I write this)

    Q
    If you’re 100% certain that you’re right, if you keep going back and checking that your views are based on if not facts at least some good circumstantial evidence then that’s fine.

    A
    So Hicks hasn’t done all of the above?? Or DIC??

    Q
    None of the options are perfect?? Not even ShareLiverpool if they suddenly got momentum and raised the money and persuaded the owners to sell to them.

    A
    Share Liverpool would be a dream compared to this shambles. No greedy business men to suck our club dry all money raised ploughed back into the club – we would be unstoppable.

    Q
    Truth is, we don’t know the truth. None of us. Tom Hicks doesn’t know what DIC are really planning to do, how far they’ll really go. DIC don’t know what Tom Hicks is planning, how far he’ll go to keep them at bay.
    I feel it’s turned into a bit of a fantasy that DIC are doing this out of some kind of love for the club, or just out of the chance to be attached to a prestigious entity. Just because their PR people keep saying so doesn’t mean it’s true. Their walking away a year ago for half the price is a worry too.

    A
    DIC are unknown but they cannot be any worse than Hicks. See above.

    Q
    Without shouting, without getting personal or making accusations, what can you tell me to refute what I’ve just said? I’m prepared to listen and for people to provide ways of clearing up my doubts, or changing my opinion. Not by being shouted at or bullied by an angry mob though.

    A
    See above

    Q
    Doesn’t even have to be a direct response to any of the points, just a carefully-thought-out summary of why Hicks is so bad, and why DIC are so perfect. If you don’t think it’s that extreme, say so.

    A
    Again I never said DIC are perfect but for once the saying of ‘Better the devil you know’ doesn’t fit!!

    Hope this clarifies and that liverpool fans reading take these points on board before deciding that we stick with Hicks reign (of 15 months) of terror and infighting

  38. First of all, I think I’d be wise to stop biting when Anfielder posts.

    So, Anfielder – thanks for posting, it’s still interesting to read what you say. Outside of the personal attacks and accusations, and when reading a little more of what you say when you’re not so (in my view) over the top, there’s stuff there that I’d like to find time to look into more. I’ll keep reading your posts, if you keep posting them, but it’s best for all that I hold back from replying, certainly point-by-point anyway.

  39. Raju – thanks for breaking your exile, I don’t particularly want to turn anyone away but I’m not running the site purely to be popular. If it ends up just being me on here arguing with Texas_Dawg* that his comments are way too pro-Hicks to be believed then so be it. I know what I’m writing is against what the majority of other sites are saying. Anyway…

    When you mention I said May was crucial, I can’t remember at this moment why I said that, without going back and looking it up. So if there was more to it than this then apologies. If DIC haven’t got this May deadline in place then the only other reason I feel May would be important is quite simply because it’s the end of the season. Rafa was complaining the day after Athens at the lack of progress and the slowness and so on for transfers, so I’d say that as a bare minimum we need to have a resolution to this mess by the same time this year. We don’t even know if the new ownership will keep Rafa on. Hicks says he will, and I don’t doubt that to be honest. DIC I don’t think have said anything official, but I believe they’ve been saying through the PR people that Rafa will be kept on for at least the time being, not sure if that’s been reported yet. Of course on top of that we don’t know for sure if Rafa would still want to stay, although really I can’t see him choosing to leave. But even if Rafa is definitely staying, he can’t plan anything properly. If he wins, Hicks will give him a budget, Rafa probably knows what that is already. Probably the same with DIC, although that’s probably had to be communicated in more of a cloak-and-dagger way. If Hicks is 50-50 owner with Gillett still then I think there’s still a budget in place (whatever’s left over from that £45m), so he can still plan, but it’s down to Parry, Hicks and Gillett to agree. Gulp! In fact it’s much the same if it becomes 50-50 Hicks and DIC. We need to have an owner with majority control by the end of the season, in my view.

    I agree with what you say about it being negligent not to put any kind of time limit into such an agreement. From what I can remember reading into this a while ago there are no real rules on what can and can’t go into an agreement like this, but common sense tells us how likely certain things are to be. Some agreements of this nature actually allow other shareholders to match say 75% of an offer in order to buy fellow shareholders out, or only allow other family members to buy shares. I don’t doubt there’s a time limit, but what I do doubt is what exactly would constitute an offer and thus kick-off the time-limit? Has it got to be an offer that they are bound by? If so, have they seen the books? I still find it odd that if an offer was made on Feb 27th as I think was stated in one paper this week, in March Gillett was not going any further than saying Hicks had “threatened” to veto any offer. It implied no offer had yet been made for Hicks to veto.

    Re the point on personal abuse. I’ve said above it’s best to ignore most of it. I intend to try to do so. I wonder how many of those dishing it out would do so on other sites and still be able to post the next day? But maybe that’s why other sites tend to ban those who personally abuse the site owners or editors, because it just starts to look messy.

    Proof. It’s an age-old problem! Duncan Oldham of Koptalk abused it and made everyone very dubious about internet claims. It’s easy to say you’ve got a contact or you’ve been told something by some unnamed person. When questioned you just say you can’t reveal your source. But it’s actually also true when you really have got any kind of contact, whether it’s ongoing contact or a one-off. Nobody has to believe me about who I may or may not have spoken to. As someone said, I’ve no credibility left now anyway! But I’m not going to speak out on here about who said what, unless I’ve heard the same claim has now been made public in some way elsewhere, or I’ve been told I can say it.

    Some of the personal abuse has been justified by the poster with a “fact” that they would probably find wasn’t if they spent ten minutes checking. Sometimes that “fact” has come two sentences after calling me biased for something that didn’t have a full reference list alongside it laying out detailed proof!

    But some of the times I’ve asked for proof it’s literally been a case of me asking that people try and show me what it is they are basing their opinions on. I was looking for something earlier and found evidence of who said what at takeover conflicting with a lot of what everybody, en masse, has assumed for a while. And then I re-read other reports and noticed how we’ve probably all come to the wrong conclusions, with reports from people we usually trust worded as carefully as any statement from the spin doctors.

    If we spent more time looking for the actual reports we remember from months ago we might find we’ve been assuming something incorrectly all along.

    From the fourth point, I actually feel that a lot of what has been said about the interview has amounted to hysteria. The timing one annoys me the most, especially when someone like Gillett complains about an interview being just before a vital match. His Canadian radio interview was broadcast late Thursday night UK time, with the vital Everton match coming on the Sunday. Hicks’ interview was early Thursday morning UK time, with the vital CL match coming on the following Tuesday. Although I understand the complaints about how close it was to the anniversary, again I think it was broadcast sufficiently long enough after the anniversary. I take it those who complained about it had not written a word on a website anywhere about the ownership mess between the anniversary and this broadcast? I know that people chatting on the net about the situation is a good few steps below a big broadcast on Sky by a club’s co-owner, but again, can anyone say hand on heart that they’d been putting the ownership situation out of their mind even on Wednesday because of the proximity to Tuesday?

    I’d not thought about the use of Sky TV. In fact it’s an argument I really can’t be bothered to go into now in terms of the Murdoch point. I take it everyone who’s complained about the use of Sky has also been ignoring everything on the story that’s come via the Times or the News of the World? It’s an argument that’s been to the point where I don’t think there’s much left to discuss. Everyone has their own view on where to draw the line, which they are entitled to, but it is only The Sun that’s actually boycotted officially. If anyone does want to discuss this then by all means we can, but I doubt we’d achieve anything from doing so.

    Sky actually get paid for LFC.tv anyway, on digital satellite, because there’s a charge for being listed in the EPG. LFC make money from Sky, Sky’s money has bought us players even if the owners haven’t!

    As for him not using LFC.tv well I can think of a couple of reasons. It’s not as widely available to people as SSN is. SSN is available free of charge on Freeview, and is seen in pretty much any pub with a TV during the day. If everybody who said they were going to boycott LFC.tv has actually done this then a lot of Reds wouldn’t have been able to see it. He could have used Setanta, they have a sports news channel, but the boycott of LFC.tv through Sky would also include Setanta. And does anyone watch Setanta’s news channel?

    One other point on using LFC.tv is I’ve no idea who actually calls the shots there. Could Hicks have broadcast his interview without getting permission from Gillett first? I don’t know what the editorial policy is on the channel, but I’m guessing there might be problems.

    LFC.tv has been a disappointment in a lot of ways actually. They should be broadcasting the weekly press conferences live for example, with a full repeat later in the evening. And maybe if we do end up with one owner, one day, a regular interview with him wouldn’t go amiss. In fact I’m sure we could all list faults with LFC.tv but that’s not fair. There’s some very good programming on there at times, I particularly enjoyed some of the phone-ins when Brian Reade was a guest, and the Hillsborough documentary was worthy of a slot on network TV.

    I actually think that it would work better as a way of winning fans over if he comes to the UK and allows himself to be interviewed by a number of LFC-related reporters, but to be honest I don’t think he’d get a fair “trial”, do you?

    Re the misgivings of Parry/Gillett/DIC but not Hicks. Unfortunately a lot of people assume an attack on Gillett is against the rules now, although some say it’s ok but we should wait until Hicks has sold up in case it messes up the campaign against Hicks. Same with Parry. You can’t ask a question about Parry any more. And certainly in terms of responding to comments I’m spending most of my time explaining in more and more detail why Hicks hasn’t done a) b) or c) after all when you look it up, and how GG has some nerve accusing Hicks of d) when he’s just as bad himself, and why I think it’s ok to mention this, and – well on and on we go.

    I’ve hardly written any articles recently, because I’ve really been struggling to work out what to think. But in between I find I’m responding to comments a lot. As I’ve said, I’m going to ignore the personal insults from now on by and large.

    I’d like it, personally, if people gave more thought as to why they don’t like Hicks. In fact I’d like it if people wrote out a list under this that is backed up where possible. For example, “He promised not to put debt on the club.” Where? I can’t find this quote anywhere. But that’s not that it doesn’t exist, it might, I just can’t find it. “He said the stadium would start work in 60 days.” Did he? I think it was actually Gillett who said it, and we’d have the “Parry Bowl” on the way if it had. Now I know that’s better than no stadium at all, but I don’t know anyone who has said they’d prefer the “Parry Bowl”. There are still problems to overcome with it all, some we’ve yet to hear about I’m sure, but again it’s an example of how he’s being tried for the crime he didn’t actually commit.

    If you imagine for a moment you are Tom Hicks and you are hated the way he is, but a lot of the time it’s for things someone else did, how do you think you’d react? It would either strengthen your resolve to fight for control of the club, or it would make you determined to screw everyone over who continues to throw abuse at you based on falsehoods. I honestly can’t see the merits in attacking anyone using stuff that isn’t true.

    I feel sorry for Rick Parry in a lot of ways, and he deserves credit for his statement today which seems to go against the position we all assume he’s taken. But he needs to explain why he’s acting as he is in what’s seems to be him helping Gillett to sell to DIC but not to Hicks. That doesn’t mean he isn’t right, but most of what we’ve heard about Hicks seems to have come via DIC. I don’t trust them. Certainly not the ones dealing with the press. Anyone who does trust them is leaving themselves open to some shocks.

    Which brings us to PR. They all need to dump their PR agencies and start engaging us directly really. In fact GG doesn’t have a PR agency as far as I know, and Hicks hadn’t been using one as much until fairly recently. But it’s not all about using agencies for the PR.

    Thanks for the advice though, it’s good when someone’s willing to take the time to criticise constructively. And again, thanks for breaking the exile!

    * Did someone mention at some point on here somewhere that “Modus Operandi” was from Texas? He isn’t.

  40. Fred, although it does appear like I’m schizophrenic I’m actually responding to Jim’s questions to me in an earlier post. I look forward to his response.

  41. Firstly can I say I (for one at least) am glad Raju, John Steele and Stephen seem to be still around and willing to participate in our little forum. Things seem to have become a little heated lately but robust exchanges of views are what make this site so compelling so lets not all be too sensitive when the debates get going. Jim, maybe its just me but part of the problem seems to arise from you wearing two different hats at the same time. I realize you hold some pretty strong pro-Hicks views on the current dispute (which is fine) but is there not a danger of those views rendering you unable to objectively report news on that dispute ?? Just a thought.

    Stephen you make what seem to me some pretty fair points about Share LFC but I honestly think some of the criticism and speculation on this site about how bad DIC are is over the top. Okay they seem to have leaked a few stories about the negotiations with Hicks etc. and naturally they will want to make themselves look good in the media but do people really believe DIC are as bad as Hicks ??? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of scrutinizing any prospective owners but just because some of the papers have sources within DIC doesn’t mean every bad bit of publicity Hicks gets can be pinned on DIC. Most of it seems to arise from his own behaviour and the debt problems but how are these the fault of DIC ?? Maybe having had someone like Hicks for 15 months has made us so paranoid that we’re attributing his character to other prospective owners and not giving them a fair shake. Mr Al Ansari has always seemed to me a pretty fair bloke who really loves the Club and has the financial resources to do a lot of good things. That seems like a pretty good starting point to me for any prospective owner.

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