NESV threat to walk is an early worry

Do Liverpool’s potential new owners have the resolve to match that of its fans? Fans who have done all they can to see off the old owners?

American owners - old and newAfter over 3000 votes had been cast on a poll on this website the message that came across was about as clear as it possibly could be.

We’d rather face the uncertainty of administration than the uncertainty of one more day under Hicks and Gillett.

97.6% of the 3188 votes said the risk of a nine-point deduction was worth it.

We started 2009-10 with fans talking seriously about a title challenge – after all we’d finished second a few months earlier. Despite the events that have happened since we still started this season with expectations of a top-four challenge at the very least.

Unfortunately the start to the season has been embarrassing. Roy Hodgson’s men have played so badly, been so unlucky, been so fed up, lacked so much preparation time or whatever else you want to put it down to that they’ve dropped a total of 15 points already this season.

The club is in the bottom three, with only six points managed so far – meaning nine-points docked would see us in minus figures. But it would take some seriously bad form for this club to be relegated.

It’s not being complacent, or arrogant, to say that we feel fairly secure that we would avoid the drop even with that nine point penalty. Roy Hodgson deserves a couple more games at least to turn things round. After that we’ll find someone else who can instead.

And if we’re so bad that a nine-point deduction would see us go down then perhaps we should sack Roy now. We weren’t that bad last season, nowhere near, and we aren’t that bad this season.

All we need to do is start winning a few games.

Before we actually get to try and win another game the supporters are forced to contend with games of a different kind, the type that have blighted the club for far too long; the games played in the media.

One of the latest ones is in relation to the likelihood of administration and in turn the chances of that leaving us with a star next to our name in the league table to explain why we’ve got nine points missing.

One day we’re told it’s highly unlikely, the next day it’s nailed on. Much like the outcome of the court action Martin Broughton has started against Tom Hicks, nothing is really certain at this stage. All the speculation does is fill in some time, and perhaps most annoyingly gets the supporters angry, worried, and filled with more uncertainty.

As always, the supporters are the last to be thought of.

Martin Broughton tells us the 9 point deduction can and probably will happen if he loses his court case. He’s confident he won’t lose his case, but if he does the risk is real.

Yet his sidekick, Christian Purslow, tells us he’s not even given it a passing thought. He’s so laid back about it he could be talking about whether he brought his brolly out with him on a bright autumn morning. He’s too busy thinking about the sale he says.

Speaking to the BBC, the MD said: “I’m not even contemplating administration and nobody should be.”

Wait a minute Christian. Judging by the number of outlets that report sources close to NESV telling them a 9-point deduction would see them back out it’s clear that these potential new owners have thought about it. Liverpool fans will take the hit if needed. But the potential new owners would rather make a quiet exit.

This 17-man consortium are telling anyone who’ll listen that if the Premier League confirm nine points will be docked they’ll be off to find something else to spend their £300m on. Surely you’ve spoken to them about it; tried to reassure them, or perhaps to clarify why they’re making these threats.

Of course not: “I have not discussed that possibility with them. I am completely focused on the sale.”

There won’t be a sale if nine points are docked – unless the NESV sources are following in the footsteps of their predecessors by being economical with the truth. So focussing on the sale should include a little attention to this claimed sticking point.

Garry Richardson, the presenter of the show “Cecil” appeared on, is usually kind to the MD. But he asked a question that Purslow perhaps would rather he hadn’t. He asked him to spell out to fans why he thought administration wouldn’t happen.

Purslow wouldn’t, or couldn’t give that reassurance. Instead he evaded the question: “As I say, we are focused this week on making sure the sale of the club, for a very attractive price, completes, and that is our complete focus.”

Focus, focus, focus.

The only on-record quote from the club about NESV’s reported threat to walk away is from Christian Purslow, who tells us he’s not thought about administration, let alone asked them what they’d do.

Why on earth would NESV consider walking out of this deal over a relatively small points deduction?

What kind of message does it send out to supporters?

It’s an astounding threat for them to make. Maybe they’re not being honest, maybe it’s some difficult to fathom negotiation attempt. A lack of honesty really isn’t a good start when fans list “lies” as one of the main reasons they want the current owners gone.

Are we about to be sold to some sharks? Hicks and Gillett sounded wonderful when Rick Parry and David Moores described them to us just before they took over. Words mean nothing, it’s actions that count. And they’re threatening to make their first action a sharp exit at the first sign of trouble.

They’re talking of walking away, before the storm.

Maybe they haven’t got the guts for the fight. Because this is a fight.

George Gillett has reportedly defaulted on a loan secured on his half of the club. He has little left to lose. The people he took the loan with, Mill Financial, have. Tom Hicks has around £70m to lose. NESV know – or should know – they’ve got a fight on their hands.

And if the fight is won off the field there’ll be a fight to win on the field – with or without the nine point deduction. It’s a fight we can win – but not if we’ve got owners with such little resolve.

Liverpool fans made it absolutely clear that we would take the loss of nine points on the chin if it came to it. We’d take it on the chin in the hope it would see us with new, responsible owners.

A clean break, a fresh start, an opportunity to climb out of the hole we’ve been sinking into for the past three years.

If NESV have such weak stomachs maybe they’re not the best people to help us get out of that hole. And maybe this board aren’t the best people to find someone who is.

Hicks and Gillett’s reign began with the words “Trust me” blaring out of the pages of the local press, Rick Parry trying to convince us he’d made the right, if last minute, decision.

NESV came late to the table. Can we trust them? Can we trust the people telling us it’ll be a good deal?

At this moment in time – no.

19 thoughts on “NESV threat to walk is an early worry”

  1. No official NESV statement was made on this issue so its premature to write up an article based on “sources” without knowing why and who originated them!

    Keep The Faith!


  2. Hey cool your boots man! I think that the threat to walk away is negotiation. It means that NESV do not want 9 points to be docked, of course they don’t. So what NESV are saying is that if Hicks’ court challenge is successful and RBS do end up taking over LFC there is no need to put LFC into administration, because NESV would be happy to immediately buy the club from RBS. They are using as much weight as they can to stop any 9 point deduction happening; as it stands there is no need for the club to be put into administration. Any prospective buyers would probably do something similar.

    ESPN is a pretty good source of info on this – I think they broke the story about Henry’s interest originally and would appear to have a fair idea of what’s going on.

    Even if LFC *did* go into administration there is still the Asian buyer, whoever they were – and NESV might still be interested, and anyone else who’s shown interest before – effectively there might be a new round of bids for the club as someone tries to secure it at a lower price.

    I realise Jim that you’re probably most concerned with new owners who are no better – out of the frying pan etc. And its good that people like you are around fighting to keep them honest. But for now, I just want the club out of Hicks’ hands, however that happens. And if NESV do secure LFC I’ll be delighted to give them a chance.

  3. It’s simply being put out in the media so that it can be used in court for the judge to see that a national heritage is in that much danger simple as.

  4. In addition to what Hop has said I’d like to add that NESV are not fans. They run a business involved in sports. They will not spend a dollar more than they have to and you can not say Liverpool fighting a relegation battle is worth the same amount as a Liverpool playing in Europe. Think about how much you get playing in the Championship in comparison to the Premier League and UEFA cups.

  5. We need rational thinking and not knee jerk reaction

    Fans have been asking the Club to do things the Liverpool way and go about their business quietly and with dignity then bitch about the Chairman not giving a running commentary on the takeover situation

    They pray for a saviour, “anyone would be better than Tom and Jerry” they say, and find reasons to bitch about NESV

    We were hoping for our club to be more competitive commercially but bitch about Christian Purslow who has done in this few years what Ricky Parry failed in over ten years

    Get a grip! Chill and not be a negative skeptic who chooses to look at the torn and not the rose.

    Maybe Hodgson is not the suitable one to lead us to glory, but I too stood by and hoped it would have been Rafa, but I bellieve he has taken us as far as he could. Maybe one day he can come back and become better from this experience as well.

    And Purslow meant that he is confident of the outcome in court and that is why he is not even thinking about administration.

    And yes, i believe the pulling out of the deal by nesv is purely a negotiation stance but here, you’ve got us all to show hand to tom and jerry.

    damn they do and damn they do not.

    just wait for the good news and stop looking at the cup being half empty

    stop creating a sense of hysteria. If it happens then we can all get hysterical together. not now

  6. Kevin,

    These “sources” spoke to practically every UK media outlet they could. It’s a technique used by members of the board on both sides of the Atlantic and obviously also by NESV. As fans we’ve got to look beyond the 3 official statements that went on the club website last week and the one from Tom Hicks that didn’t go on the club’s website.

  7. Hop,

    I am fairly sure that the threat to walk away is negotiation, but this late in the day I struggle to see who it’s negotiation with and how it helps to do it through the media.

    We’ve had nearly four years of this kind of nonsense and it would be nice to think that a change of regime would see the start of some honesty and the end of spin.

    It would be nice to think the club was run by people who, yes, want to make money out of us, but also care enough about the club and its fans to think before they act.

    I doubt these owners could be as bad for LFC as the current pair – but let’s make sure from the off that they know we’re not going to sit back and let them do any more harm to the club than what’s been done before they got here.

    If they mean they’ll walk at a 9-point deduction they might as well walk now. If not then they need to start explaining themselves and to stop getting involved in media games that are going to make little difference to the decisions of a judge, the Premier League or RBS.

  8. Decky,

    People are saying we should ignore these claims because they don’t have a named source. I don’t agree, but I think the chances of a judge taking them into account are probably zero. In fact it could be argued that these claims weaken the case for the English board and NESV if they are going to take the claims seriously.

    If anything this is an attempt to get a reassurance from RBS that they’ll extend the finance until the legal battles are over.

    Bad bluff that RBS will see through – or truth that makes NESV questionable custodians.

  9. “AgreeWithHop”,

    The idea that NESV are valuing the club based purely on this season suggests they are only thinking of short-term gain and also suggests they are unwilling to provide the investment that is needed in the squad to get the team back on track.

    They are taking advantage of the situation H&G, with the help of RBS, have got us into. They made their approach after the end of Martin Broughton’s various deadlines (end of July, end of August) and made an offer that was essentially the bare minimum – enough to pay off RBS and without even the promise to fund a new stadium.

    If that’s their reason, again they’re not suitable custodians. Better than the last two? Hard not to be. Good enough? Being better than the last two isn’t good enough on its own.

  10. Colin,

    Not sure who the “fans” are you’re referring to but something I’ve said for a long time is that the idea “anything’s better than these” is good enough for LFC is a terrible idea.

    Breaking my criticisms down a little – Martin Broughton has done a job and played a game a certain way. I’m not sure if he’s gone for the “anything is better” approach, if he feels these will just have to do, or if he genuinely feels these owners are good enough. Either way he’s not going to say anything more than “these are excellent”.

    As for Christian Purslow can you explain exactly what he’s done? Don’t give him credit for the work Ian Ayre’s done on the commercial side.

    If you had a time machine now, went back to 2007, and you saw Rick Parry’s “Trust Me” plea – would you say “Okay then”? If you saw the gushing compliments about how Hicks and Gillett are sports people and understand what it means and so on – would stand there and applaud?

    What harm does it do to ask questions or raise concerns about NESV?

    If it’s enough to scare them off they shouldn’t be here.

    If they can answer the questions and address the concerns in an appropriate way they’ll be happy to do so.

    I’d rather they were found out today – if they need to be found out – than found out next week when we can’t do anywhere near as much about it.

    Just like those who wanted Rafa out will, if they’re being honest, admit they didn’t quite expect him to be replaced by Roy I think it’s best we don’t celebrate a change of ownership if it still falls some way short of being what we wanted.

    If you want glossy interpretations of what’s going on at the club then you’re best sticking to the official site, because obviously they’re not going to be asking questions on there.

    And what I want most from these questions are answers that reassure me and other supporters and leave us feeling more secure about the future.

    It’s a long time since I did “Let’s not think about it, I’m sure it’ll all turn out good.”

    And that should be the case for all of us.

  11. So much posturing going on, who knows exactly what will happen. One thing in our favour is that its in british courts, plus the old yanks have a bad rep for doing this to well known sporting institutions.
    This is part of the ‘smoke em out’ ploy by Henry.
    Next up Hodgson…please do the right thing and get rid.

  12. Give it a rest mate!! The likes of yourself & Evans are doing far more harm than good to the Club’s fanbase now. Sky should be calling you anyday now!! you’ll find a home there

  13. Kevin,

    Or is it Josh?

    Just been looking through your posts Kevin, if it is Kevin, and you seem to be sending out some quite mixed messages.

    Trouble is, it makes it nearly impossible to work out what’s bothering you.

    I don’t mind constructive criticism, I don’t mind people disagreeing with me and correcting me. We’re all fans (I assume) but you seem to spend most of your time commenting in an abusive and far from constructive manner. When you’re not doing that you’re writing posts that seem to oppose completely what you’ve already said. Maybe it’s sarcasm, but it’s never really in context so it’s lost.

    If you want engage with me properly I’ve no problem, but less of the accusations and abuse if you don’t mind.

    And as for Sky calling me, they did, on Friday. They had me live on SSN. I talked to them about the poll we ran on administration, about groundshare, the new owners, the old owners, and so on. I’ve not got the equipment needed to get it onto YouTube so you’ll not be able to tell if I said the right things or not. I hope I did, but like any other fan it’s only ever going to be about my interpretion of events or my opinion. Except for the poll, which was nearly 98% in favour of admin over a H&G extension.

    If you watch this video without blinking you can see if I said the right things. I said “Go” to Tom Hicks and mentioned the absence of the new stadium and new players that were the whole reason they came in.

    Seriously though, there’s no need for any of this. If you can’t argue your point in a more constructive way maybe it’s not a very good point to argue.

    And maybe you should try and be consistent. Here’s a selection of your comments so far:

    “Give it a rest mate!! The likes of yourself & Evans are doing far more harm than good to the Club’s fanbase now. Sky should be calling you anyday now!! you’ll find a home there”

    “They have my preleminary support provided I don’t hear the term groundshare being mentioned”

    “Hopefully either Jim or someone from SOS will get Purlsows place on the new board. That’s what Liverpool needs right now, real supporters ruining the club, not traitors like Purslow.”

    “I’d be very cautious about NESV or any other Americans for that matter owning the club.”

    “This has the potential to be even worse than H&G”

    “I’m sure they won’t be foolish enough to let someone like Purslow on the board.”

    “The day will come when we would give our right arm to have Purslow on the Board.”

    “This has Leverage written all over it – just watch this space.”

    “This is a potential disaster – I bet you Purslow will be still at the club – the fight goes on – class”

    “I’ve being reading Dion a long time too Jim and I certainly can see why you would jump to his support. Unfortunately like all Irish media including our national disgrace RTE or rather MUTV it seems to be a must to be anti Liverpool to even get near writing in a paper. He did like Rafa though – i wonder why. They all wallow in lFC’s demise.”

    “No new articles despite defeat at Citeh & europa tonight. What’s the story?? do we only talk about doom & takeovers”

    “Let’s all just hope that Kenny is the saviour that you all seem to think he is. Personally I smell something not quite right about him – somewhere in there the plan will be for leverage and it’s very important that this cannot happen again.”

    “Jim Where do you think Christian Purslow is in all this. Surely he has to be behind the Kirdi bid as he is just a pupet for H&G. What do you think? surely he will link up with those 2 tits to shaft us yet again and this is why they sacked Rafa. They knew Rafa would go to the media in Spain about their dirty dealings.”

    So whatever your name is Kevin/Josh, it wouldn’t hurt to try and be on the attack a little less would it?

  14. Actually Jofrad that is the same take on it, or at least it’s the same person writing both articles! Nick Harris works freelance (I believe) as well as for his own Sporting Intelligence website.

  15. What sort of deal would be acceptable? It’s quite obviously clear that not everyone will be happy with what is on the table. The least happiest are H & G, although G has suddenly gone mute, because they don’t stand to make any money from the current terms. In my opinion, if NESV came up with £444m there wouldn’t be so much resistance…

    As mentioned previously, there has been no official line from NESV suggesting they will do one if we get docked 9 points, so I regard it as pure speculation. I for one won’t be up in arms about it or distrust them until I hear something officially. Because until I hear that, I would have to assume that NESV think that ourselves, the written media, the Premier League, Broughton, Ayre and Purslow were all born yesterday and the only reason they want the club is to sell it on for a hefty profit with no real interest in team performance, a profit they won’t see if we’re in the Championship…oh, and they will heap all of the debt onto the club.

    There will be a level of manageable debt, mooted at £1m a year in some quarters, and as far as I am concerned that is all the debt the club will have to manage, although will we have to pay for the stadium as well?

    The sales process began in April and NESV, according to reports, approached the Board in August. Late to the table? Yes. But I am encouraged by the time it took them to carry out all procedures, including due dilligence to finally make an offer. This was happening in the background as kenny Huang was trumpeting his grand plan and we were lead to believe that once he rode out of town there were no other serious bidders on the table.

    Perhaps the offer from Asia is the return of Huang & Co? This time maybe he knows better than telling everyone who’ll listen something that, to all intents and purposes, should be fiercely confidential until confirmed…it’s awfully quiet from that side of the fence…anyone know if their bid has been withdrawn?

  16. RBS just apparently released this statement;


    RBS in its capacity as lender to the Kop group of companies received the benefit of various contractual undertakings from Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett in relation to the corporate governance arrangements that Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett agreed would apply to the Kop group of companies with effect from April 2010.

    Those undertakings provided for the appointment of Mr Broughton as chairman of the board and the appointment of the chief executive and commercial director of LFC to the Kop boards.
    As is well known, Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett purported to make changes to those corporate governance arrangements on 4 October. This was in breach of those contractual undertakings.

    In light of that purported breach of contract RBS sought and obtained on Friday 8 October 2010 an interim injunction against Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett until a further hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

    Among other things, that interim injunction prevents Mr. Hicks or Mr. Gillett taking any steps to remove or replace Mr. Broughton from his position as chairman of the board of the Kop companies or from taking any other steps to appoint or remove any directors from the board of the Kop companies.

    The proceedings tomorrow represent the continuation of Friday’s proceedings and relates to breach of contract only. These proceedings do not represent steps by RBS to enforce its security or to appoint an administrator.

    We are unable to provide any visibility on timing for resolution of these proceedings at this stage.


  17. Jim the way you talk about Purslow, I think it’s because you have a thing for him.

    It reminds me of when I was a little kid and i fancied this girl, so do you know what I done?

    Yes I called her names!!!!!

    Do you sleep with a picture of him next to your bed and draw moustaches on it?

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