Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The American Dream . . .

Spent the entire morning trawling thru various LFC blogs & British newspaper reports. Sigh . . . all of em make fer fooking depressing reading. Its all fooked up, thanks to the wonderful intervention of a couple of suvvern cowboys.

Hope those bigoted Liverpool fans who initially shuddered at the thought of handing control over to DIC & were too quick to embrace the American dream (& all its attendant fooking bullshit) learn a valuable lesson here.

Fer those who haven't had the time to read about the chaos engulfing the Anfield house of cards, read the article below. You won't be smiling if you are a Kopite. It's all fooked me friends, all fooked . . .

Liverpool's US dream turns to nightmare
by Andy HunterTuesday January 15, 2008 from the UK's broadsheet The Guardian

Tom Hicks and George Gillett provided plenty of ammunition to sceptics of the American takeover of Anfield last February (of which there were precious few) with talk of franchises, Liverpool Reds and goal-tenders but it was their considered and frequent description of themselves as mere "custodians" of a £218.9m investment that resonated loudest with the club's support, even as the institution that is England's most successful club was heading for foreign ownership.

Appeasement and ambition were their overriding objectives as they were introduced in the Anfield trophy room by the chief executive, Rick Parry, who, with the departing chairman and then majority shareholder, David Moores, had helped clear the path by vouching for the credentials of men who promised openness and to "earn the respect of the fans".

Given that Hicks and Gillett had to purchase compulsorily only 1.4% of the club's shares over the next 21 days, the message was evidently taken on trust. How different the picture looks 11 months on.

It says everything about the Liverpool co-chairmen's standing among that same support today that Tom Hicks' revelation that he spoke to Jürgen Klinsmann about replacing the popular Rafael Benítez was not the only bad news to emanate from Texas. As far as the vast majority are concerned, Hicks' insistence that neither he nor his business partner is interested in selling Liverpool to Dubai International Capital is a further, demoralising blow.

"The speculation in the London tabloids on Sunday morning is more rubbish," said Hicks in an extraordinary interview with the Liverpool Echo yesterday, attempting to perpetuate the myth that it is a southern media conspiracy that is destabilising the club. "George and I have no interest in meeting with DIC or selling our shares to them. We are amazed at how silly rumours find themselves in print in the tabloids." This from a man who claimed he approached Klinsmann only on the basis of press rumours about Benítez's discontent, and who staged the meeting in the same week the Spaniard brought their rift over transfer policy into the public domain.

Whether honesty, fear that the meeting with the next Bayern Munich coach would be made public or a considered effort to push Benítez closer to the exit fuelled Hicks' admission is unclear but the Kop's anger and discontent are not.

A concerted effort was made by the organisers of the pro-Benítez march last November to avoid anti-US sentiment and to concentrate on support for the man who has delivered two Champions League final appearances in his three full seasons at the club. Yet that feeling is growing as Liverpool's absentee owners act with continued disregard for the traditions and heritage they vowed to protect.

Save for a carefully scripted statement issued after they met Benítez following the defeat by Manchester United on December 16, Gillett has maintained a public silence on the manager's future. His presence at Hicks' retreat in southern California for the meeting with Klinsmann, however, indicates it is not just the more vociferous Texan who harbours doubts over the Spaniard's title-winning credentials. And what might they have heard from the former Germany national team coach last November that prevented an agreement with their "insurance policy"?

That Liverpool require time and more signings of the calibre and expense of Fernando Torres to sustain a genuine challenge for the Premier League? If so, Klinsmann's advice would have been identical to what they have heard consistently from Benítez.

Hicks and Gillett are not close to selling Liverpool to DIC, as weekend reports suggested. Should they succeed in securing a £350m loan to refinance their takeover and fund the first stages of the proposed stadium on Stanley Park before the end of February, then the pressure to seek outside help for their ambitious project also diminishes. Such is the rising anger at their reign, however, the pressure to sell could eventually come from Liverpool supporters and not the Royal Bank of Scotland, which funded the takeover.

Despite Hicks' dismissal of the DIC stories, the Americans did hold talks with the Dubai company about acquiring a 15% stake last October. The deal was close to completion until Liverpool's owners valued the club at £1bn - accounting for a completed stadium - and DIC refused to pay £150m for 15% of an investment they hoped to buy outright only eight months previously. DIC's interest remains.

Tonight's FA Cup replay with Luton should be about the League One club's desperate plight and Jamie Carragher's 500th appearance for Liverpool. The distractions will linger until either the Spaniard or the Americans walk on.

ps: How's that fer sobering reading? As usual, comments from genuine footie fans (& not mud-slinging wankers) are welcomed.


Afif said...

I told ya, the yanks are the root of all our troubles. And what's all this shit about hiring Jurgen who?

JonW said...

I left this message in the online petition in support of Rafa (http://www.petitiononline.com/UNWALFC/):

American tycoons such as yourselves have no business running a football club with a heritage such as ours. You have never understood the game and its intricacies and this has been highlighted in your inability to back Rafa in the recent transfer window. Furthermore, you seem to have lied to ALL of us when you said you were going to invest out of your own pockets. Now you have riddled us with more debts. There is nothing you can do to gain our trust or respect anymore. If you even have an ounce of dignity, turn your back and walk out that door. Hand over the reins to trustworthy, dependable men of which you are not.

Petition no. 7145

ISA said...

my take on this...the damn yanks must sack their spin doctor and get the guy who does the stuff for sepp blatter to work for them. Old sepp just denies everything, read FOUL by Andrew Jennings, absolutely fooking brilliant book...

this was a massive PR fuck up on the part of the yanks. this disclosure has made RAFA smell like a bed of roses, whatever his shortcomings. What on earth did Tom H(d)icks think that he could achieve by coming out with the truth? to soften the blow by the disclosure by DIVER BOY and the Krauts?? deny saja lah...saying we never offered anything to DIVER KRAUT...why couldnt DICKS just follow his country's leaders' example? Nixon on watergate, Clinton on lewinsky and Bush on WMD in Iraq, Warren on Kennedy (sudah lebih a bit here but u get my point)....just fooking lie...

not only its not the liverpool way but its also legally, morally and ethically not right to go around hawking one's job to others, especially if the incumbent is still fooking working his arse off for u...for this and this point alone, I sympathise with RAFA.

But people please, lets not use this as an absolute, complete and total excuse for his tactical fuck-ups or an excuse for the team's mediocre & horrendous displays.

true, it would have been difficult for the players and manager to perform at their best under this cloud of uncertainty but lets not equate ourselves with any other clubs..as much as fans treasure the Liverpool Way (i.e never wash dirty linen in public), the players should be proud whenever they step out with the Liverbird upon their chest. its their job, their obligation to the people that really matters...and thats US, the FANS.

As for RAFA, sadly, its just a stay of execution. For the yanks, the gallows await them...

Jon-C said...

According to an article on The Guardian, Gillet is not happy about his gun slinging cowboy of a partner's act of shooting off his mouth whenever he likes. The whole boardroom and the new owners are now split into different factions after his interesting interview. Wooohooooo!!! More soap opera and jokes for the British press.

anfield devotee said...

Plenty to discuss, so please take part in poll above. TQ