Result: Birmingham 2 Liverpool 2

A far-from first-choice Liverpool side came back from two goals down to earn a point against Birmingham today, a comeback inspired by Jermaine Pennant against his old club.

Liverpool are now nine points above Everton in fourth place, with the Reds’ neighbours 15 goals worse off, meaning Liverpool have all-but secured a place in next season’s Champions League Qualifiers. Everton have to win all three of their remaining fixtures and Liverpool have to lose both theirs, and all those matches would have to won and lost by a gap averaging more than three goals each game.

The team Rafa put out was picked with Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea in mind. Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Dirk Kuyt were unused subs, Ryan Babel and Fernando Torres not even in the 16.

Liverpool’s side had nine changes in all, but Chelsea weren’t afforded the same chance to rest players in their fixture today, where they claimed a late victory over Manchester United in the league.

After the game Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez said: “The team was controlling the game in the first half but we conceded a goal that changed things a bit. The second goal gave them more hope and we needed to score and did so.

“We scored the second goal with a bit of luck but we created enough chances to win. The players showed character and quality.

“The idea was to win and guarantee fourth place. We didn’t achieve that but a draw is another option and puts us in a very strong position. Now we can think about the next game against Chelsea and hopefully we can progress in the Champions League and be really focused in the final.

“I am really pleased with the second-half because I think that the team played much better. To score two goals in the second-half and create the chances we did was very, very positive.

“We started the game controlling things for the first 30 minutes but then we conceded the goal and we couldn’t manage. So at half-time we talked about how we could improve and I think the mentality of the players was positive.

“You must guarantee the Champions League for next season. We are almost sure now in fourth position and so we can think about Chelsea.

“I’d like to finish as high as possible but sometimes this cannot happen and at the end you must be happy with the fourth position and happy if you do well in the Champions League.

“Today we needed to change some players and keep up a high tempo during the game. We also created a lot of chances too so we approached it in the right way.

“Clearly if you have players playing well they can give you an option on another day and that was another positive from today.

“Pennant was a threat for them throughout the game and he is an option we have on the right side and when he is playing well he is really dangerous.

“Offside rule is stupid now. When you have a player in an offside position, this player has influence, it is very simple.

“It is a big problem for the referees and I think they must change it for the future because a player can be in the middle and say he has no influence, but he does because he is in the line of vision of the keeper.

“It will be tough for all of teams at the foot of the table, but at the end of the day they need to keep going which is the only way forward and the only way you can change things.”

“I don’t think it will have any bearing (Chelsea’s win over Manchester United). I think it’s a different competition and a different situation.”

On fitness: “Everyone is fit. There are some knocks but we will see in one or two days the situation of the squad.”

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish: “My feelings are a little bit mixed. I’m angry, particularly with the first goal we let in. There was a bit of naivety and it cost us dearly. Their second was a bit scrappy but they had the smell of blood.

“We didn’t throw away two points but Liverpool earned it. But what I did get was a great reaction from the players after the loss to Aston Villa.”

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Kelly, Jaidi, Ridgewell (Queudrue 77), Murphy, Larsson, Muamba, Nafti, Kapo (McSheffrey 77), Forssell (Zarate 87), McFadden
Unused subs: Not Used: Doyle, Jerome
Booked: Murphy, Nafti
Goals: Forssell 34, Larsson 55

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Skrtel, Riise (Insua 64), Pennant, Plessis, Lucas, Benayoun, Crouch, Voronin
Unused subs: Itandje, Gerrard, Kuyt, Carragher
Booked: Voronin
Goals: Crouch 63, Benayoun 76

Attendance: 29,252

Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

77 thoughts on “Result: Birmingham 2 Liverpool 2”

  1. The game was a bit of a nonesense, LFC only needed to go and get a point and that was it job done. All the players where probably thinking about where they where going to go on holiday. The thing is now that we have secured second unless there’s an act of divine intervention the next two league games are just a formality, dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. The season will only be kept alive with a win over Chavski on Wednesday, which I am sure we will do.

    Wonder if the ownership nonsense will be sorted out before the start of next season. I bloody hope so, it’s getting to be like Chinese torture, all these bloody sound bites being the equivalent of the dripping tap. With a bit of luck we will also get a new 25 – 30 million quid signing, wishfull thinking maybe? Who knows. Think they should get shut of Vorinin and replace him with either Villa who is very probably going to leave Valencia during the summer. Or there is that young lad who plays for Lyon, he looks like he’s going to be a good player in the future.

    Anyway next season I reckon we’ll definatly put in a sustained challenge for the league title. Think Grant (Shrek) will leave Cahvski and Italy will win the European Championships.

  2. This one’s probably nothing but its an interesting spin by the Telegraph:

    Towards the end of that article there’s a paragraph suggesting both Gillett and Hicks want to sell but that their constant squabbling could put DIC off…

    “The public relations war between Tom Hicks and George Gillett has become frankly embarrassing and is threatening to deter Dubai International Capital, the Gulf investment firm which wants to buy the club, from pursuing a deal.

    “As the Liverpool substitute John Arne Riise proved in the dying seconds of the draw against Chelsea on Tuesday night, it is easy to score an own goal under severe pressure. Hicks and Gillett are in danger of repeating the error on a much bigger scale.”

  3. @Hop: I don’t think anyone would believe the squabbling would put DIC off. It’s something they’ve arguably helped to make sure keeps happening! It can’t do anything other than play into their hands really.

  4. It’s called brinkmanship, Jim. Why would DIC want to pay over the odds. I for one wouldn’t want Hicks (and tom hicks junior) to make too much out of a possible deal.

  5. Brinksmanship, definitely could be. Could also just be the opinion of a relatively uninformed journalist, given that it was just a couple of paragraphs within an unrelated story.

    But it did get me thinking. If it turned out that Hicks was right all along and DIC really couldn’t get their hands on Gillett’s shares, I wonder how that story would break? I wonder how the ‘DIC PR Machine’ would go about saving DIC’s face?

  6. If DIC couldn’t get their hands on Gillet’s shares the story is ‘Hicks ties Liverpool’s progress (or hands)’.

    The momentum is such that the majority of fans (rightly or wrongly) want DIC’s involvement. For this to be denied by the courts, but ultimately Hicks, means he’ll be tarred with the dark-side of the brush.

    If DIC are not involved, then Hicks will need to set-out his plans for taking the club forward. This would have to be beyond glib lines about ridding the club of its debt in a few years time, particularly as we’ve heard this before. So the ‘Hicks PR machine’ will need to be setting out the strengths of the LFC position SHOULD he deny DIC any financial involvement.

  7. Hop – There is far more to this situation than we mere mortals are aware of. It is not quite as simple as Hicks can stop Gillette, all party’s have their own agenda here and their playing there cards close to their chest, contrary to what may appear to be happening. Tom Hick’s may be stringing DIC along. DIC will probably know that they have a very good chance of buying LFC. In the grand sceme of things LFC is small fry to DIC, so I do not believe that they would bother risking their reputation over something as small as LFC. DIC own large parts of Sony and HSBC, so LFC are quite insignificant compared to their other interests. There must be a very good reason that DIC are making their presence known.

  8. I see the story supposedly in the Mail on Sunday refers to Mourinho making the claim. I’ve not seen the story though.

    @Jofrad: That story you mention says SoS have been contacted over this. I think they were told by Staveley that Dubai would – at least now – want to keep Rafa on. But, you could argue, so does Hicks!

    The story says “sources at DIC today have denied that they have ever ‘offered the job to Mourinho, or met him to discuss it.'” The question I’d then ask is if they’d ever spoken to him over the phone to discuss it, or if they’d met his agent to discuss it. And I’d also ask if anyone acting on their behalf had done so.

    There’s a rumour that I ignored recently saying Staveley had been in some kind of discussions with Mourinho, and another one that DIC had been budgeting with the idea of both paying Rafa’s contract off and hiring Mourinho.

    None of these rumours are tied in with any point in time it could have been done.

    My only advice to DIC would be to make sure they are 100% sure that there is no fire to this smoke. It doesn’t matter how you word it, if agents have spoken to agents with the blessing of their clients then it has to be owned up to.

    The Klinsmann thing was ignored ‘officially’ until Hicks decided to admit it. But it would have come out in the end anyway. And if DIC have made any kind of plans to use Mourinho then it will also come out one day.

    I’d like to see this Mourinho story, but let’s face it, he’s certainly aware of how it coming out now, true or false, would cause a ripple at Anfield.

    But if it’s true it’s going to cause ripples until it’s actually admitted to.

    If the rumours are true, it’s not a current plan anyway, it’s a plan from some time ago. So therefore if the rumours are true then it’s a case of admitting “we were wrong, this is why we did it, and this is why we won’t do it again”.

    Some of the rumours are actually coming from different people who have got it from DIC at some level. The point is, if it’s a past decision that’s since been abandoned then why not own up to it in public?
    No disrespect to SoS, who are all acting for the right reasons, but if they’d acted this way in a meeting with Hicks we’d hear no end of criticism towards them.

  9. Linking Mourinho is on a par to linking Ferguson or Moyes.
    You can never trust the press Jim. Altough it is true that there is no smoke without fire, sometimes they will just make a story up or twist the story so it does not resemble what was originally said in the first place. I heard Brian Reade give an interview on either or Radio City and he said that you generaly find that the storys about transfere speculation are not made up. He said it is the agents of those involved leaking the storys to the press to give the player some exposure, while us the fans get in return something to read in the paper on a daily basis.

    Might even be Hick’s PR machine rocking the boat on DIC. He may want to throw a spanner in the works before he leaves. You must admit though that it is very big of DIC to start saying what they will do if they took over LFC. I said a few days ago that the deal was being closed, and that DIC would start saying what plans they have for the club.

  10. ” It was a wrench for David Moores, 60, to sell his controlling stake in Liverpool football club in February to two American investors, although the pain will be eased by the £90m he received. Moores is one of the Merseyside family whose wealth came from the Littlewoods pools business started by his uncle, the late Sir John Moores. It later branched out into mail order and retailing. The family sold some stores in 1998 and the pools business in 2000; those proceeds and past dividends are worth £445m. Another windfall came in 2002 when the remaining department stores and mail order business were sold to the Barclay brothers (qv) for £750m. Lady Grantchester, 81, daughter of Sir John, has headed our entry in the past but we include her cousin David because he has added considerably to the family’s wealth. It is worth £1,200m after tax and charitable donations.

    RESULTS 2006Ranking: 42
    Worth: £1,160m
    Industry: Retailing and football pools ”

    This link is from the Times rich list 2007. The Moores family have a wealth which is considerably more than both Hicks and Gillette. I think that this is proof that Moores and his family did not want to enter into the cut throat world of football ownership.

    Dawg – If you still want to blame Moores for the mess at LFC and think that he is a useless businessman then I think this will be evidence to confirm what I told you about Moores being happy with his lot.

    Here’s Hicks, Gillette does not appear on the Forbes 400 wealthiest.

    Net Worth $1.3 billion Source Finance, Self made

    Age 61
    Marital Status Married, 6 children, 1 divorce
    Hometown Dallas, TX, United States
    Education University of Texas Austin, Bachelor of Arts / Science
    University of Southern Calif, Master of Science

    Former leveraged buyout titan returns to The Forbes 400 after a 2-year hiatus. Son of radio station entrepreneur spent early years spinning records. Then U. of Southern California business school. First buyout 1977: Atlas Architectural Metals for $4 million, sold 6 years later for $16 million. Made fortune in soda: bought Dr Pepper, Seven-Up for $45 million, flipped 2 years later for $700 million. Acquired radio stations; sold to Clear Channel for $17.1 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt. Badly burned during dot-com bust. Bought pro baseball’s Texas Rangers from group including George W. Bush 1998. Famously signed Alex Rodriguez to 10-year, $252 million contract, traded to New York Yankees 2 years later; team still paying some of third baseman’s salary. Also owns pro hockey’s Dallas Stars. With partner, bought Liverpool soccer squad for $900 million in February; investing $1 billion to develop various Dallas real estate projects.

  11. “Dawg – If you still want to blame Moores for the mess at LFC and think that he is a useless businessman”


    I didn’t mean to imply that, so if that’s what I did, my error. I don’t know much about him, and I’m sure he’s an intelligent businessman as are all involved in this.

  12. Anthony, Jim, et al…

    Are there any websites that list or rank the best potential transfer candidates at any given time?

    (For example, we American college football fans now have a few websites that rank the best players available for our teams to sign after each season. This site is probably the most widely read: )

    I realize there are some differences in the two sports, but do you guys have anything like that? If so, give me some links. I’m trying to learn a little bit more about your game. 🙂

  13. Dawg – I think what you are reffering to in the US is the draft system. We do not have anything like that over here. The clubs no who is on the transfere list but I do not believe that there is anyway that we could find out if it was not common knowledge i.e. it had been made public in the newspapers. Clubs can also approach teams and amke the team an offer. But with regards to your query I am almost 100% sure that one does not exist that fans can view. If there was it would be common knowledge. Sky Sports on their web site show who has left individual clubs and who has arrived at individual clubs and for what price if that information has been released. At the moment though it will show nothing as the transfere window is closed. Here is the web site for Sky Sports.,19521,11065,00.html

  14. I guess only Moores really knows why he sold when and to whom he did.

    No offence Anthony but your positive summation of Moore’s business acumen serves only to incriminate his actions, not exonorate them.

    A key question which has remained prominent in my mind since things with H&G have turned sour, regards the concept of Moores being duped into taking the deal from the Americans. Put simply, If Moores is anything like a competent businessman, and at the time of the takeover had a team of lawyers and advisors, some of which must surely have been experts in the field of sport & business, then why could they not see that the Americans would need to borrow money for both the purchase of the club and the stadium? A simple check on G&H’s respective finances using Wikipedia shows that they do not have the financial clout to fund the purchase of the club and stadium using their own cash, so how on earth did a bunch of experts and a man worth £1,160 million not realise this???? Well there’s an answer to that… They did.

    It hurts to say it for all that I feel he has done for our club, but Moores has to take a lot of responsbility for the perceived mess we are now in.

    Moores has defended his actions and explained his regret in his interview with The Echo:

    “I didn’t know Hicks very well, I knew George a lot better.

    “George came across as a bubbly, enthusiastic man who loves his sport and is knowledgeable about it.

    “But he didn’t have the money to do the deal without bringing someone else on board.

    “It was really right at the end that I met Tom Hicks so I didn’t really get a chance to get to know him but I took George’s word for it.

    “It was in total good faith. I believed these fellas, I believed everything they said to me and they said it all again to the fans via the media and you can judge for yourselves whether they kept their promises.

    So David Moores, a man entrusted with placing our club into the right hands, didn’t even know anything about 50% of the people he was giving it to?! wtf?

    If I had a child which for whatever reason I couldn’t raise because I didn’t have enough money to do so, would I hand it over to someone I didn’t know anything about?

    Interesting that Moores said “But he (Gillett) didn’t have the money to do the deal without bringing someone else on board”. – does he mean ‘didn’t have enough money to take the club forward’ or ‘didn’t have enough money to buy my shares and make me a profit’?

    I just don’t buy this “I believed these fella’s” stance. By coming out and saying this he is either declaring himself incompetent or stupid. And like I say, I also do not believe for one minute that they didn’t realise they would need to borrow money as he states here:

    “They talked about putting the money in and the new stadium and having no debt on the club. At the time I think we all felt it would be a good deal but it’s not all materialised.

    “I do feel let down. With everything that’s going on, I have to feel let down.

    “This is not how I foresaw it and I’m sure it’s not how the fans foresaw it.

    “If I could have afforded to take the club forward I would have done, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have the sort of money you need for a new stadium and £30-40m a year for new players.

    I’m sorry, but I just do not believe it. How did Moores, Parry, the lawyers and the experts not see what was coming. Past precedent? How did Gillett & Hicks fund the purchase of their other sporting interests?

    It remains to be seen if Hicks will restructure the finances to fund the stadium, etc, and how he’s going to do it, or if DIC get in control how they will do it. Given the fact that both will probably take out a loan for at least the stadium, wouldn’t Moores have been better off just taking out a loan himself? Or would that actually have left him £90 million pounds worse off?! Apologies in advance for being cynical but it does beggar belief.

    Jim, it would be interesting to hear your take on this if you get the time at somepoint and if you are able to do so.

  15. Unfortunately not Dawg, not really anyway. Too much depends on a persons subjective opinion of a players ability and a players actual (not perceived) availability which if the player’s any good, the club won’t want you knowing about.

    If you want you can read the paper rumours but beware, these are fabricated 90% of the time. The only thing you can do really is to be aware of players in around around Europe and wider and hope that LFC’s scouting department has their eye on the good ones. 🙂

  16. Martin – David Moores was running LFC in an amateur capacity, which was the way that all clubs in England where run. The manner in which the club was being run was dammaging the club because the club was falling behind the likes of Manc U and Arsenal. The modern football industry is a cut throat business and Moores did not want to enter into that world. David Moores pobably knew that whoever owned the club would need to take on loans. The reasons for me thinking this is because if he wanted to take the club forward then he wouold have financed the stadium through the banks. Hicks and Gillette said shortly after buying the club that they would not put any loans onto the club. That was only the money they used to buy the club. The stadium would be self financing, Rick Parry said that it was a sensible way to fund the stadium. What the problem is now is that the Yanks have put the loan that they used to purchase the club onto the club. I do not think that anyone would have been bothered about the stadium being funded by the club as it would have been a virtuos circle as Parry described it.

    In the end the only people who where left to buy the club where H&G because DIC walked away. If the rumours that are doing the rounds are true then it was not Moores fault that DIC walked away it was ITV’s fault. If Moores does not want to enter into the cut-throat world of football ownership on a professional basis then it does not make Moores a poor business man. He may have been done buy G&H but I still believe that Moores expected H&G to take loans out, I do not believe that he thought the loans would be put on the club with no risk to G&H. I also think that Moores thought that G&H would put their hand in their own pocket to fund future transferes.

  17. “Dawg – I think what you are reffering to in the US is the draft system.”

    Actually, Anthony, the draft is for NFL (professional American football). In American college football, the new players come from high school and are allowed to play for any school that offers them a spot. The sites like the one I linked have people that go around the country to find the best possible players, and then they rank them and give updates on which teams they say they will play for (they are not allowed to officially sign until February of their final year of high school).

    “Unfortunately not Dawg, not really anyway. Too much depends on a persons subjective opinion of a players ability and a players actual (not perceived) availability which if the player’s any good, the club won’t want you knowing about.”

    Understandable problems, Martin, but it seems like someone could at least have an interesting website by ranking and updating the likely or possible transfers (especially possible transfers from minor leagues where the players might not be as well known to the average fan). At the least such a site would be good to find all the transfer talk in one permanent spot without having to search all the different papers for individual transfer talk and rumors of the past and present.

  18. Dawg – All the talent has been signed by the top clubs when the youngsters are very young. Agents do their bit to expose youngsters. If a promising young talent has become apparent then people will find out when the players done something noteworthy or they sign for a club whose scouts have followed their progress. Their are a couple of lads in the LFC school boys who are prommising big things for the future. Loads of players when they are young promise lots but in reality when it comes to the crunch they become a let down. Very few youngsters actually make it to be huge succeses. One way of seeing whom is going to be big is by watching under 18’s football, most notably internationals.

    I also don’t think that there is any will to create such a website. Nobody has anything to gain from such a site. Football clubs like to keep their targets a secret. This is because if other teams find out about their targets then they my steal the individual from under their nose, or may start a bidding war.

  19. Thanks for the explanation, Anthony.

    That system actually sounds just like the system we have in baseball. Players signed very young and then playing for the developmental or lower teams until they are ready or good enough for the top teams.

    Are there any sites that rank those players (even if they are not likely to transfer)? (This is an example for baseball: )

  20. Anthony, Not sure what you mean by: “The modern football industry is a cut throat business and Moores did not want to enter into that world”?

    Funding the stadium with a loan is something I am not neccesarily against. Thats what Arsenal did, and to an extent (once it’s built) it becomes self financing.

    The purchase of the club however, well… I agree that maybe Moores believed the loans would not be ‘secured’ against the club. But that’s missing the point as far as i’m concerned. Let me explain. If you want to buy something, say a car, it’s cheaper to pay for it using cash than it is using a loan. With a loan you pay interest and end up paying more eventually. What’s even cheaper, is taking out a loan and then getting someone else to pay for it! (i.e.the club) .
    Whether the liability was secured against the club or entirely against G&H’s assets, surely Moores and his team of advisors must have known that the club would be servicing those interest payments? Did Moores really think that they would pay the interest on the loan themselves?

    As for DIC ‘walking away’. I ran with the idea for a while that they walked away, as DIC intimated, out of principle – the principle that they had an ‘informal handshake’ on buying the club, then when M&P decided to listen to G&H’s offer they set the deadline ultimatum and when that wasn’t met they walked away. The question I would ask is why didn’t M&P accept DIC’s offer earlier? Was it because of the more money G&H were offering? Was it because they felt G&H were more suitable ‘custodians’? If it’s the latter, what does that say about the people which we so desire to buy Hicks’ stake? The ITV thing may be true in part but if it was, why would DIC walk away? They hadn’t dealt with ITV, they had dealt with M&P. If M&P had of turned around and said to DIC “ITV are forcing us to listen to this other more lucrative offer first before accepting yours” why would DIC walk away?! DIC spent months looking at the deal (which is another debate in itself), why walk away if M&P’s ‘informal handshake’ still effectively stood? The real answer, in my opinion, is as i said – either Moores was greedy or he honestly felt G&H were a better option for whatever reason which considering what they’ve done so far is damning against DIC.

  21. Dawg, you must have been privvy to the workings of the G&H deal or at least know what happened.

    What happened with DIC as far as you know (or are prepared to say!). Do you think Moores sold for cash motives?

  22. ” The purchase of the club however, well… I agree that maybe Moores believed the loans would not be ’secured’ against the club. But that’s missing the point as far as i’m concerned. Let me explain. If you want to buy something, say a car, it’s cheaper to pay for it using cash than it is using a loan. With a loan you pay interest and end up paying more eventually. What’s even cheaper, is taking out a loan and then getting someone else to pay for it! (i.e.the club) .
    Whether the liability was secured against the club or entirely against G&H’s assets, surely Moores and his team of advisors must have known that the club would be servicing those interest payments? Did Moores really think that they would pay the interest on the loan themselves? ”

    Martin – I was aware that when H&G purchased the club the only thing that LFC would be liable for was the interest payments on the loan, we were not told that the club would have to pay anything else but the interest. When it comes to chhosing someone with the cash to pay up front for the club then there has to be someone who is prepared to pay that money out of their own pockets. If there is no-one around to put their hand in their pocket then you can’t afford to be choosy.

    ” “The modern football industry is a cut throat business and Moores did not want to enter into that world”? ”

    These words where not my words. I heard someone mention it on either BBC radio Merseyside or on Radio City. What it means I think is LFC was basically running itself Moores did not have to worry about to much. Now though the club is looking into increasing its marketing overseas and out do the other top teams in Europe. Think it means that Moores is not prepared to commit himself and invest the amount of time and effort that is required. LFC is now going to be run more like a money making business, not a football club in the old sense of the word.

    The ITV scenario. Well what I heard on the football football show on BBC radio Merseyside was that Moores accepted the bid from DIC but as shareholders ITV had a rigtht to look at the other bid on the table, which made the club ask for more time of DIC. The rest is history.

    Two radio programs that I will highly recommend to you: The Football fans Footabll phone in on Monday evenings 7pm -9pm and the football football show Tuesday evenings 7pm – 9pm.

  23. Thanks for the radio show links anthony. Ill write a better response tomorrow as im using my phone on wap to write this now, but im not sure many people knew we would be paying the interest on the loan. Did people even realise there was a loan?!

  24. “Dawg, you must have been privvy to the workings of the G&H deal or at least know what happened.

    What happened with DIC as far as you know (or are prepared to say!). Do you think Moores sold for cash motives?”

    Martin, I’ve never really asked much about it (remember that I’m not a Liverpool fan so all that was of less interest to me at the time than it would naturally be to you and others here). All I know is that H/G offered more than DIC and felt at the time that they got a very good deal (which, given DIC’s offer now, appears to have been an accurate belief).

  25. yeah I’m here Anthony – although I wish I hadn’t bothered. I have been away – to a city called Liverpool where I was born and raised, and where I spoke to real fans and real people. It was like oxygen. This site has become infiltrated with pro- hicks propaganda. I can’t believe some of the things I am seeing.

    Texas Dawg saying “well done for your balanced view” to posters like he’s some sort of all time Liverpool FC fan and arbiter of reasonableness. Various other Tommy-come-lately posters being nakedly biased, no …worse – trying to drip feed Hicks’ agenda. Don’t bother with cutting and pasting this and adding some glib little one liner with a stupid smiley, Texas – I’m not bothering with this site any more.

    Jim you have sold your soul.

  26. By Roger Blitz, Leisure Industries Correspondent – Financial Times

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, is playing an active role in negotiations over Liverpool Football Club, underlining the prospect of a Premier League club being wholly owned and guaranteed for the first time by a sovereign state.

    Dubai’s attempt to buy Liverpool has for months been channelled through Dubai International Capital, Sheikh Mohammed’s investment arm.

    Sameer al-Ansari, DIC’s chief executive and a longstanding Liverpool fan, was regarded as the prime mover of the attempt to prise the club from its warring US owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

    However, people close to the situation say the Liverpool takeover bid has become one in which Sheikh Mohammed has taken a close personal interest. He receives personal regular updates on developments by PCP Capital Partners, Dubai’s UK-based advisers, which co-invests with Dubai and its investment vehicles.

    In spite of Mr Hicks’s determination to block Dubai, Mr Gillett is equally adamant he will not sell his half share to his estranged business partner. But the club’s future may become clearer tomorrow night if the team fails to win the second leg of its Champions League semi-final at Chelsea.

    Though his sport of choice is horseracing, Sheikh Mohammed is a Liverpool supporter dating back to the early 1980s. Hamdan bin Mohammed, his 25-year-old son, who in February was named crown prince, is a fanatical supporter.

    Should the club be sold, Liverpool would end up being owned by a vehicle of the Dubai government – partly via PCP – rather than DIC.

    The upshot would be that Liverpool, in the hands of a sovereign state, would not be bound by the level of returns DIC, as a private equity business, would require.

    It would also suggest Dubai would hang on to the club for an indefinite period whereas DIC would have been expected to sell the club when it felt it had made a sufficient return from its investment.

  27. Sadly I agree with SJ but I can’t help visiting ( although my 2nd to last post is still awaiting moderation!!!) because Dawg’s pretence that he actually talks to and knows the Hicks clan just amuses me no end and certain people actually believe him and treat him as some kind of “contact” with the Hicks mob.

  28. Great article Fred – if that is true then the future of this club is very promising.

    Compare that to Hicks’ £700m (club + stadium) debt and his history of settling for mediocrity in his sporting clubs.

    I know what i’d choose everytime.

    Yank parasites out!!!

  29. Well we all have our opinions, and no doubt our disappointments and frustrations, even with each other. Some of us have taken a position and will blindly insist on sticking to it no matter what, especially if that’s the prevailing opinion of the masses. Others like to try and stay neutral and assess the information available and then draw their own conclusions. Its a shame that people in the former group feel they have to revile the people in the latter if their conclusion doesn’t match their own position – especially when we all supposedly want what’s best for our club.

    Now Fred’s most recent post is very interesting. Maybe its spin to alleviate some of the concerns about DIC, maybe its absolutely genuine. Will look forward to hearing more on it.

  30. Hop its posters like Texas Dowg and Modus Operandi who are not fans of LFC and are not concerned with the well being of our club but blindly supporting Hicks that we have an issue with. Liverpool fans who are trying to be balanced are not the issue.

    But you must admit for us fans its extremely difficult to see 2 men strangling the life out of our club. 2 men who have lied and lied and stated numerous times that they are in it to make money, money that is taken from the pocket of fans who only want to support their team.

    If there was no DIC or Share Liverpool FC we would be in uproar. At least they are giving us hope of a change and a future for our club.

  31. “Hop its posters like Texas Dowg and Modus Operandi who are not fans of LFC and are not concerned with the well being of our club but blindly supporting Hicks that we have an issue with.”

    LOL. Right. It’s just me that you have a problem with. Pay no attention to your joining and applauding those slamming Jim for daring to have a dissenting opinion. Or is Jim not a fan of LFC either now?

  32. Why did DIC walk away last year?

    I’ve spent a number of years in the Gulf and one thing I learned is that the last thing people from that region will accept is loosing face. Going back to G+H when they already had a “my word is my bond” agreement would have been seen as a slap in the face….. They were then left with no choice but to severe all ties with the original salesmen.

    Hope Blitz was right and LFC gets Godolfin status.

  33. “Dawg’s pretence that he actually talks to and knows the Hicks clan just amuses me no end and certain people actually believe him and treat him as some kind of “contact” with the Hicks mob.”

    You got me, Fred. I’m just some nut that pretends to know sports club owners via the anonymity of the internet. 🙂

  34. I totally sympathise with your point of view Stephen, I used to be strongly ‘Yanks Out’ myself, and I can understand why anyone would feel that way. But its good to have some discussion and to consider some alternative points of view. That way we might have a chance of getting a bit closer to the truth. Personally I no longer think its as black and white as I once did. So I welcome the range of comments as events unfold, whether I agree with them or not. 🙂

    I know it doesn’t really matter what we think because its very unlikely to change anything, but part of me is also cautious – you know that expression, be careful of what you wish for. I’d hate to be sat here in 12 months time reflecting on how we’d been suckered as fans into supporting something we then regretted. As I say, we probably can’t really do much about the outcome, what will happen will happen, but I personally want to at least be sure about the way I feel about it, and why.

  35. “Why did DIC walk away last year?”

    Because Hicks/Gillett offered a lot more money than DIC was willing to offer at the time, Edgy. Maybe the price of oil doubling since that time gave them the funds to now make a much higher bid. Too late though.

  36. by Harry Harris, the Express in London

    American bankers JP Morgan have told Tom Hicks “time is up” on his huge loans and are calling on the Texan to sell his 50 per cent stake in Liverpool.

    The bank is getting jittery at Hicks’ failure to raise the required capital to buy out co-owner George Gillett, who has agreed to sell his share of the club to Dubai International Capital.

    This highly significant development is a body blow to Hicks’ stubborn resistance to sell to DIC, with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum taking a personal interest in the end game of their proposed Anfield takeover.

    Hicks has been eager to demonstrate his refusal to be budged from his position of power at Anfield, showing up for the Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea, waving a scarf and singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. He went to the training ground twice for talks with Rafa Benitez, and the pair have agreed a summer transfer budget.

    But there are now claims it was all a facade – that Hicks is playing hardball, merely trying to hang on for a bigger offer before selling out. He values the Hicks Sports Group – including baseball’s Texas Rangers and ice hockey franchise Dallas Stars as well as Liverpool – at £1billion, with the Premier League club making up 75 per cent of that figure. And although Royal Bankof Scotland and Wachovia financed his joint-takeover of Liverpool, it is JP Morgan who bankroll the group. They see a buyer and worry it may fall through

    My well-connected City source informs me Hicks is being so heavily squeezed by JP Morgan he may be forced to sell sooner rather than later, but they are sensitive to Liverpool’s bid to reach the Champions League final and will not pull the plug on Hicks’ loans until that campaign ends – tomorrow or after the final in Moscow on May 21.

    My source said: “Hicks’ bankers are getting very nervous about his ability to finance his debt. They can see a buyer for his Liverpool shares, and as there is only one out there, they are worried it might fall through. They cannot allow that to happen.

    “He owes the banks, and they want him to sell up. Hicks has had his chances to raise money, but in the current markets he has been unable to do that.

    “Hicks’ camp continue to suggest he doesn’t need to refinance until 2010, but that doesn’t add up with Hicks trying as hard as he has been for some time now to find other partners.

    “If Hicks can hold out until 2010, then he hasn’t got the personal resources to either add anything to the transfer budget or raise more loans to build the stadium. That again applies even greater pressure to his personal financial situation.”

    DIC will want to help Benitez, and thus far there is no suggestion of replacing the manager despite some weekend reports that Jose Mourinho has already been approached in a situation similar to that admitted by Hicks and Gillett, who met Jurgen Klinsmann last year.

    Sources at DIC deny they have ever “offered the job to Mourinho, or met him to discuss it” and contacted a number of Liverpool fans’ groups, including the recently-formed Spirit of Shankly organisation, to deny the speculation.

    Supporters have not forgiven Mourinho for his rhetoric and confrontational attitude towards the club over the years and DIC know if they do take over, Benitez has the fans’ backing.

  37. More and more cracks are appearing in hick’s ability to keep hold of LFC 🙂 more good news.

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