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What now for Liverpool fans?

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Dan Roan | 16:39 UK time, Wednesday, 6 October 2010

For the thousands of Liverpool fans who marched upon Anfield in protest on Sunday, begging owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to sell up and leave, the remarkable events of the last 24 hours could well be a source of relief.

But the announcement that New England Sports Ventures (NESV), which owns illustrious baseball side Boston Red Sox, has agreed a deal to buy the club does not mean fans can start celebrating the departure of the despised American duo just yet. They have experienced too many false dawns - from China, Syria and Dubai - to get carried away.

For a club so impaired by the kind of boardroom brawl witnessed this week, key questions remain. Most fundamental is how and whether the club can be sold when its two shareholders - its owners - are adamantly opposed to any deal.

The club's three non-independent English directors - Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre - have agreed to sell the club to NESV, and the purchase could be concluded as early as next week. But the deal could be jeopardised if Hicks - and nominally Gillett - get their way and replace Purslow and Ayre on the board.

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Broughton says the "written undertakings" he insisted on when he became chairman means the owners will be unable to frustrate any "reasonable deal" and that only he can make changes to the make-up of the board.

But what if the High Court disagrees with him next week when the dispute is ruled upon? What if the deal with NESV - which would result in Hicks and Gillett losing £144m of their own money - is not considered 'reasonable'? And what if the owners successfully argue through their lawyers that Purslow and Ayre are not acting in the best interests of the club and can therefore be replaced?

If that happens, Hicks will be allowed to sack Purslow and Ayre, secure a 4-1 majority on the board, reject the NESV bid, and once again seek to remain in charge.

As Broughton himself has admitted, nothing is certain.

Solicitors will now be pouring over the small print of various contracts, conditions and undertakings agreed when Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the club's principal creditor, agreed to previous refinancing deals that prolonged the American pair's ownership.

Broughton is a veteran of corporate tussles and will have been carefully advised by his legal team that he stands a good chance of winning a court judgement. His confidence is based on solid foundations.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has been impressed by NESV's business plan thus far and will approve the sale next week. But there is no guarantee that this process will beat the 15 October deadline, when RBS could call in the debt and send Kop Holdings, the club's parent company, into administration.

Administration would not mean a nine-point deduction for Liverpool as the club itself remains solvent but it may delay and potentially scupper a swift change of ownership. NESV would need to remain patient.

But even if the regime of Hicks and Gillett is to be brought to a swift end next week, Liverpool fans will be forgiven for fearing the arrival of yet another American with an interest in baseball.

Broughton would be unlikely to risk his reputation on another incarnation of Hicks and Gillett. But no-one has a crystal ball. Could former owner David Moores and his then chief executive Rick Parry have envisaged what would happen to Liverpool when they sided with Tom and Geroge over Dubai International Capital back in 2007?

NESV has been introduced to Liverpool by Inner Circle Sports, the deal-making company that brokered the arrival of Hicks and Gillett. There is a degree of deja vu.

On the face of it, John W Henry appears to be the kind of man who could bring some much-needed hope to Liverpool, who last won the title in 1990.

Supporters of the Boston Red Sox had been waiting since 1918 for a World Series triumph when the hedge-fund manager and his consortium bought the club in 2002. Investment in the team and its stadium duly followed and within five years the title had been won twice, with the value and prestige of the reinvigorated franchise soaring.

The NESV consortium, a profitable business that has no history of leveraged takeovers, says it will wipe out £200m of Liverpool's existing bank debt. Its carefully drafted statement said all the right things, pledging to "return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies".

Liverpool fans will be encouraged but they will also remember the promises of their current owners back in 2007 and reserve judgement.

Broughton admits that NESV has not decided whether to build a much-needed new stadium or just develop the crumbling Anfield. It is thought about £400m would be needed to transform Stanley Park into a glittering new home, way more than NESV spent on renovating Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.

With a fortune of around £500m, Henry is on a par with the likes of Stoke City owner Peter Coates, so where will the money come from and how will it be raised? With debt secured against the club? At parent company level as Hicks and Gillett did with Kop Holdings? The issue of matchday revenue is central to the club's finances and the lack of clarity will be a source of concern for fans.

Fans of the Boston Red Sox have had to contend with steep ticket price rises at the redeveloped Fenway Park, so is the cost of a seat in the Kop about to increase?

Will the new owners invest in the team to help it rise from its current position in the Premier League relegation zone and emerge once again as a contender among the elite of the English game?

Will Henry and his associates agree to talk to the independent supporters group SOS-SL about giving the fans a meaningful stake in the club?

How often will Henry actually be at Anfield?

These are the questions that must be answered before Liverpool's long-suffering supporters can be sure that the corner has been turned. Time will tell.

For those who Never Walk Alone, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. But first the fans, like those of Portsmouth a few weeks ago, must wait for the outcome of legal arguments in the High Court before the fate of their club is decided.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    i'd be happy with us being able to use the money we generate as a club. get our identity back and start building.
    talk about once bitten twice shy though.

  • Comment number 2.

    And everyone said Portsmouth wouldn't be the first to go into administration - looks like it may happen to Liverpool yet if they are not very careful - 15th October is not that far away when lawyers are involved. They sound like a board-room basket case at the moment! Could this be a case of frying pan and fire or do the club not have much choice now?

  • Comment number 3.

    Portsmouth weren't the first to go into administration.....

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't see why the bidders don't just wait till the 15th and make a deal with RBS as the americans clearly won't sell and they will save themselves a massive amount of hassle and get rid of the yanks at last

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    If LFC go into administration, then RBS will sell off the most highly valued assets to pay back the debts - that means Gerrard, Torres and co folks.

    I don't know about the stadium, would they sell Anfield? RBS won't care about 'history' and 'tradition'.

    So even without a 9 point penalty (PL says they wouldn't dish out this punishment if the club is still soluable) a diminished squad would indeed struggle to avoid relegation.

    LFC fans had better hope the sale to the Red Sox group goes through.

  • Comment number 7.

    Great info from Dan as this is really massive news. I do not even support the club but you have to give LFC the respect of history it has. Does anyone know the best way to contact the author directly? Would love to say great job on his work from an American Radio Producer in Los Angeles.

  • Comment number 8.

    As an Arsenal fan, I was feeling sad for Liverpool & their supporters for the way they were crumbling under financial difficulties. They are a great club and deserve better. So, I hope the takeover happens, and all the best Liverpool. If the takeover happens, there will be a spark, some new energy, in the squad, and I believe they will then run riot on derby day.

    PS: Scousers will never be better than Gunners.

  • Comment number 9.

    Deja vu this.

    2 year ago it was Newcastle in this situation. So tell me, what's the difference between the Liverpool fans protesting and the Newcastle fans protesting, apart from the media's reaction to it?

    There are so many similarities with the club now to Newcastle's team in 08/09 its scary. Best player injured, mediocre players there for the money, owners not giving a damn, liverpool calling for a legend to help them manage the club just like us and Keegan.

    So as a geordie, after taking so much flak from scousers and the rest of the country, I have no sympathy for Liverpool.

  • Comment number 10.

    Unless Hicks comes up with the money in the next 10 days, the sale will be forced through by RBS, stopping Hicks legal challenge straight away.

    The PL say that if Liverpool go into admin, that they won't have a points deduction as the club don't have any debt. That is wrong. It holds the debt which they bought the club. Southampton claimed exactly the same, but they still got a points deduction, as the club and the holding ompany are linked.

  • Comment number 11.

    New owners are not going to make any money .

    same screen play with different directors

  • Comment number 12.

    What an absolute mess!! I do not begin to understand the complexities of the legal row, and its complications but this does not seem like salvation to the long suffering supporters and with my experience with the law, once it gets involved it will be a long and drawn out saga. If Lawyers are getting involved, and it would like like at least four teams (Gillet and Hicks team, Braughton and Co's team, RBS's team, and NESV's team) these will demand huge fees, take as much time as they can to keep their tab running, muddy the waters so that courts/judges and their learned colleagues can debate at length, this could be months of time and it wont end up with a happy ending with at least two of teams not really giving a hoot about Liverpool FC, just the wonga side only. If NESV do end up with the club, will it solve the problem that now besets Liverpool? I doubt it. The sport ownership/francise scenario in the US is a very different type of animal to the way football clubs are run and I feel this is the frying pan/fire scenario.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ Tigercity - you are joking aren't you? The most highly valued asset of Kop Holdings, the company RBS would assume control of, is Liverpool Football Club.

    There is ZERO risk of Liverpool Football Club going into administration. The parent company might, but as the Premier League have confirmed, that would have no impact on Liverpool Football Club who continue to be profitable and cash generative.

    You shouldn't talk assertively when you are spouting rubbish.

  • Comment number 14.

    What a said sight to see. Im no liverpool supporter but to see them at the bottom of the table and in so much trouble because of poor business, Come on Hicks and Gillet sell the club!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    @tigercity Liverpool aren't going to go into administration on the 15th Oct, Kop Holdings are (potentially).

    But once you get over that mistake, you're sort of correct, "RBS will sell off the most highly valued asset", that single asset being the solvent Liverpool Football Club.

  • Comment number 16.

    10

    The KEY difference was that Liverpool as a business is Solvant and that Southampton were not. It was the same with West Ham when there owner went bust.



  • Comment number 17.

    I would say that I don't mean to be picky but that would be a lie.

    "But this is no guarantee and fans of Liverpool will wait with baited breath to see if this truly is the beginning of the end of the most traumatic period in the club's history."

    The term is bated breath, it comes from a contraction of the word abated and though the spelling 'baited' is in common usage, it is only so through continued ignorance of language. I expect paid journalists to know better. Stop for a minute and consider what 'baited breath' actually means.

    Now onto more important matters. As a Liverpool fan I'm naturally cautious about any new ownership, so burned have we been over the course of the last three and a half years. However, it does seem that NESV are a company who understand that winning on the field is integral to winning off the field. I don't expect nor will we receive Abraovich or Sheikh Mansour riches, but I do hope for a solid and stable base upon which the club can build and move forward.

  • Comment number 18.

    So Liverpool are finding that times are hard and billionaires don't have the cash to spend big.......

    Well its clear to me that for some time the bubble the the Premiership lives in has if not burst just yet, certainly has sagged and is losing air.

    If the EPL is to survive then all team and apart from Citeh have to cut their cloth accordingly. I for one think it is a good thing, anything to drawa all clubs back to a more 'equal' footing. I'm sick and tired of seeing players leave for the big clubs and play 20 games as saeason

    No club deserves to go through what Leeds, portsmouth and know possibly Liverpool might go through, all in the pursuit of money.

    Any critic who chooses to lambast Liverpool should beware as any club is just as likely to be next

  • Comment number 19.

    And there's me making a spelling mistake after criticising someone else. That would be my own petard I've just been hoisted by. I clearly meant Abramovich.

  • Comment number 20.

    Number 9

    I neither a Liverpool nor Newcastle fan, but the differences are clear, Newcastle were no were near going broke, Liverpool certainly could be if gets into Lawyer terittory.

    Secondly NUFC took so much abuse because the fans not the club deserved it, their one eyed, narrow minded views on their own team just rubbed people up the wrong way.

    Most people were practicley willing you to go down in 09, despite a few Utd and Arsenal fans no one want Liverpool to go down

  • Comment number 21.

    When Liverpool goes under, that will be a 7.5 on the R scale. Whe ManU goes under (which will eventually happen), that will be a footballing Tsunami. Cite and Chelsea do not have a sustainable long term business. In fact, looking at the age structure at Chelsea, looks like the second cycle of spending 500 million plus is around the corner for Roman. I wounder whether he has the appetite for it, given that they have yet to win the CL, which is what he commissioned them to do in the first place.
    Looks like old Arsene is a genuis after all. Arsenal cold find themselves sitting pretty at the top for a long time..

  • Comment number 22.

    Speaking as an ex banker and having some knowledge of insolvency procedures, there is zero chance of Liverpool going into an actual administration. The company is solvent and as such cannot be forced into administration. Even if RBS call in the debt, they have a duty to their shareholders to realise as much money from the realisation of their mortgage over the assets of the club as possible. In the current climate of Bank debt problems, any attempt to break up the club and sell the individual assets would be a position of last resort. By far the sale of LFC as a going concern and the full repayment of the debt and recouping of fees has to be the first position. Hicks and Gillette are just trying to get as much money out of the club as possible at the eleventh hour, which just shows their absolute lack of integrity and business acumen. Whoever buys the club must have a better idea of how to run a business. What is interesting is that whilst Hicks and Gillett's teams have hit the wall, the Red Sox are going strong.

    Hope springs eternal!

  • Comment number 23.

    Terkaldinho:

    Good to see standards being upheld but you missed 'Solicitors are pouring over'... should be 'poring' surely...

    Spellchecking won't solve these...any sub-editors out there in the void?

  • Comment number 24.

    What are the odds of there still being a "thanks but no Yanks" banner at the next Liverpool match?

    Do the fans mean that or is it now so bad that it's a case of anyone but who we currently have?

  • Comment number 25.

    The news we've all been dreading. Lets hope they dont get out of the relegation zone.

    ps

    it was a bit pathetic seeing ricky tomlinson et al on the news. it's wrong for chelsea and city but for some reason ownership of united and lpool are seen differently

  • Comment number 26.

    Sorry missed a bit - one guarantee - ticket prices WILL rise.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm not a Liverpool fan but have some observations. Why should Hicks and Gillett agree to lose over £140 million on the deal, allowing for the fact they are deeply unpopular with fans.

    Irrespective of who owns the club, the playing side is on a downturn at the moment. Carragher and Gerrard are both over 30, Torres and Reina are playing badly like they don't want to be there, and most of the others are either just worker ants or plainly sub standard. Once a club loses its way and comes out of Champs League its very hard to turn it round and Liverpool face a real challenge to do so. Also will the new owners have faith in this manager, who hasn't had a great start. I hope they do and Liverpool recover to be a top club again, but it won't happen overnight.

  • Comment number 28.

    What's next for Liverpool? Its an interesting question - dropping down a league wouldn't be something I personally object to, but should NESV get hold of the club, it will make for some interesting times.

    Though it in an article about what's next for the fans of the club, I can't help but feel it might have been an idea to mention the differences between NESV and Hicks in terms of their sporting business adventures. NESV helped take the Boston Red Sox to the World Series twice in 2004, and 2007, have had something in the region of a .550 average since they took over in 2002. Hitting the post season in all but three seasons, one of which with 93 wins out of 160+ games, and two injury filled seasons.

    Hicks on the other hand, failed in Brazil with Corinthians, left the Texas Rangers bankrupt, with only three .500 seasons out of 11 under his companies ownership.

    While there is no disputing NESV have some difficult challenges ahead as well as needing to adapt to the global game of football (Competition from more then just another 29 teams within their own country, getting the majority of baseball players from the Americas. Though to their credit, they've brought in some Japanese talent to the Red Sox), and a different style of which the games are run - they've got a good understanding of the history of the Red Sox, and if they can bring that to Liverpool they should get over with the fans in times.

    Though the concerns would have to be things like higher ticket prices - Fenway Park being the oldest active ball park in the US, as well as being the smallest, means it is always packed, and tickets can be sold at a higher premium. (Though I suspect the Yankees even with a bigger stadium charge similar amounts)

    Although I'd be hesitant to say this is a gold mine for both NESV and Liverpool FC, as the differences still stand - in terms of making a team a champion, Liverpool have vastly upgraded if this deal comes through.

  • Comment number 29.

    The obvious thing to bear in mind is that NESV, or whoever eventually buys the club, (as I have no faith that Hicks and Gillett will actually be ousted until it is a cast iron certainty) will be doing so to try and make a profit on their investment. Which is exactly what Hicks and Gillett set out to do when they bought the club.

    However, NESV seem, at least on the surface, to understand from their American sports ventures that a profitable business depends heavily on success in the sporting arena, and don't have a history of leveraged buyouts.

    The jury is out for now, but personally I hope the sale goes through. In some ways I can understand Hicks when he says he thinks the club is undervalued, but not when he thinks he can get more money from it. Hicks can't finance the club & meet the debt so it has to be sold, and anyone with good business sense knows that you can't get top dollar when everyone knows you have to sell.

  • Comment number 30.


    Same old................Just musical chairs

    Same old .............. Cheeseburger Chompers

  • Comment number 31.

    More American owners with absolutely no passion or understanding of football, let alone English football.

    A recipe for disaster which will result in more Paul Konchesky type signings and many more years of mediocrity I'd imagine.

    Never mind ...

  • Comment number 32.

    i've been a partial season ticket holder for the red sox since 2003 and the price per game has only gone up from $25 per game to $30 per game in 6 years

  • Comment number 33.

    I certainly hope John Henry buys the team, for Liverpool's sake, as I would tend to recommend him highly, as someone with a soft spot for the Red Sox. He took a franchise which hadn't won a championship in 65 odd years and won two in the last five years. Assuming Henry does wind up with the club, I'm guessing it won't all be good news for Liverpool: he'll increase ticket prices, and every other price he can get his hands on.

    But, again I'm guessing, the average fan will be pleased with the overall result. I think his plan is to swoop in, pick up one of the big clubs in world sports for a relative song, and turn it back into a champion while making huge profits by marketing it to within an inch of its life. Even to a poor Yank like me, Man U and Liverpool and the other big football clubs seem distinctly undermarketed. They could be dwarfing the money brought in by, say, the New York Yankees, since they have world-wide appeal, and they're not.

    As to whether he'll listen to the fans and respect the culture--I think he'll give it a good shot, he seems to be smart enough to understand how important they both are, and did very well on both counts with the Red Sox--except where people will tell him he can't try to market so aggressively; and that price hikes will drive the average fan away.

  • Comment number 34.

    @SirAlextheBoss

    I'd like to point out that my beloved West Ham Utd currently occupy the bottom spot in the BPL :)

  • Comment number 35.

    JP,

    Don't be disheartened.

    NESV and Henry are serious businessmen with a proven strong track record of success. The present Liverpool owners are a couple of minor league buffoons in comparison. NESV have real money behind them. The buffoons had leveraged debt. The only similarity is that they are both American.

    NESV have turned the Red Sox from being a West Bromwich Albion into a Chelsea in just 5 years. I predict that Liverpool will be back to their old winning ways in less time than that.

  • Comment number 36.

    1. Is it open to NESV to buy the debt from the bank, today or on 15th October?
    2. If Mr Broughton is right in his assertion that H&G signed away their power to intervene in a reasonable sale when RBS extended the club's credit I do not see how there can be a danger to this sale. The court would have to judge the sale 'unreasonable' and looking at the state of the club that would be a remarkable judgement.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think the LFC fans should establish contact with Red Sox fans, possibly opening up a joint message board.

  • Comment number 38.

    #34
    You are confusing your English (EPL) and British (BPL), and there is no such thing as the BPL! Easily done after all the BBC confuse English and British all the time!

  • Comment number 39.

    Is Rob 04 referring to Spigz when he writes 'you'?

  • Comment number 40.

    I think no.34 is confusing BPL with PL. its just the premier league not the EPL.
    Also no.20 I can think of quite a few people who would like to see Liverpool relegated. Similar to lots (not all!) of Newcastle fans they (until very recently) held a much higher view of their team than the reality and talked as if they had some divine right to win something because of their past "history".

  • Comment number 41.

    The key point Liverpool and pontential investors are ignoring is the fundamental change in the last 2 years, courtesy of Abu Dhabi United investing in Manchester City.

    This leaves Liverpool FC locked out of the winning the EPL and even getting into the lucrative champions league- in fact until Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson retire perhaps creating upheaval.

    Given this it seems difficult to exploit the brand or use CL revenues to build the business.

    Liverpool will continue to make modest profits - but this is a case of a previously successful business, shambolically managed which has woken up to realise the world has changed.

    Hicks,Gillet and Benitez have consigned Liverpool to the dustbin of history. Let it be a lesson to all.

  • Comment number 42.

    So if Roy Hodgson supposedly doesn't 'get' what Liverpool are about, how are new American owners possibly going to be able to grasp the apparent microcosm that is Liverpool?

    The fact that the new people said they were 'intrigued' by the Premier League says to me that they are simply intrigued to see if they can find a cash cow in Liverpool to increase investment in their core assets.

    I doubt that they will prioritise Liverpool. Any investor is looking for a return, and unless you're made of money like Sheikh Mansour, the prospect of shelling out £400m for a new stadium and a load more to get the playing squad to a competitive level again before you see a return will be less than enticing.

  • Comment number 43.

    softandfluffy

    I'm not disheartened.

    I'm actually delighted to see Liverpool in turmoil.

    As a fan of an NPower Championship club it gives me a degree of pleasure watching on as the so called big clubs who strive to keep up with the Jones's struggle in such a manner.

    Hope to see LFC next season if we're not promoted and take your place!

  • Comment number 44.

    This will be a very good deal for Liverpool when it eventually goes through - and it will. Ok it's not mega bucks like at Citeh but I'm glad its not. NESV and Henry understand sport. Liverpool will become a well run, successful club again. It will take time, but it will happen. We just need to send the grubby Waldorf and Stadtler packing. They make me sick!

  • Comment number 45.

    since 2006 only spurs and city have spent more money than liverpool, its not the owners, its the garbage players and the clueless managers the fans insist on supporting no matter what, the future is trading places with leeds in may

  • Comment number 46.

    I've been reading these blogs and following these threads all day and am cautiously optimistic about the potential takeover for the following reasons
    1) The debt to be wiped from the club 2) The potential new owners having a recent track record of turning round a 'fallen giant' 3) The owners belief they can improve the marketing of an already worldwide product, thereby bringing in even more revenue 4) The posts from Red Sox Fans saying how good the owners have been over the last 8 years 5) The threat of huge hikes in ticket prices being somewhat assuaged by the Red Sox poster stating that his season ticket has gone up by 'only' 20% over the last 6 years (wonder how that compares with ours..??) 5) The fact that in 2 years time the clubs with 'sugar daddies' will have to start living within their means, which in reality means a profitable club with worldwide exposure and massive global fanbase having an advantage, and finally 6) According to a recent poll, Henry et al were voted 'best owners' of a major league baseball team......whereas Hicks was voted 2nd worst. All in all, fingers crossed!

  • Comment number 47.

    joe s,

    I disagree.

    NEVS are 'intrigued' because they realise some of the best known Premier league football clubs are barely touching the tip of the iceberg of their potential worldwide merchandise sales.

    Liverpool is one of the most famous English clubs in the world. The Premiership is perhaps the most popular football league around the world. A great combination to dramatically increase merchandise revenues. Think China - think India.

    To achieve that goal, Liverpool must find their winning ways and quickly. To achieve that NEVS must invest in the present squad. Success has been inbred into the supporters, the club and the team. So, it won't take long to rediscover it again once the investment is rolled out.

  • Comment number 48.

    If anything, it should trigger a spark on the pitch and it might also motivate the underachievers of this squad to go out and prove their worth if they want to be part of the new regime...i truly hope the deal happens.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just one quick comment to make....Liverpool supporters are quite correct in any sceptisism about the potential new Boston based owner....however the saying "beggers can't be choosers comes to mind". In terms of ownership nationality; it really no longer matters....there does not seem to be any wealthy englishmen interested in the club (or any English club for that matter)...and if there was, how many English owned clubs are competing? West Ham? Hull City? How was Chelsea doing under Ken Bates? You want an Arab owner, sure Pompey had not one but 2 (count it, 1,2) rich Arab owners; You want a Chinese owner, why not...maybe you can convince the fella who owns Relegation contenders Birmingham to pick up sticks and head north!

  • Comment number 50.

    Hicks and Gillett signed responsibility over didnt they? so surely they cant cry foul now.

    Their incompetence is shown world wide with the failure of other sporting ventures. They should just go quietly. I believe RBS will say no more and come the 15th they will call time and would carry out the deal regardless. So it would seem either way, the new company will be here to take over.

  • Comment number 51.

    as a liverpool supporter, i am still unsure of what to think. i am a little wary about any new owner, regardless of what platitudes they spew (remember the promises of these two idiots when the bought the club?) . one thing i am confident of though is that any legal action will fail. why? well if the club was worth £800 million, then why did they pay £218.9million for it? have they invested heavily? have they wiped out the 44million of dept they took over? no, they have not. they have just vastly increased the debt of the club. £300 million seems like a fair price given the current climate and the clubs predicament, more important is the promise to make the club debt free. i am glad the muppets are heading out, but i still worry. i hope it all comes good though.

  • Comment number 52.

    #47s comment is an oft quoted but misguided assumption:

    "Liverpool is one of the most famous English clubs in the world. The Premiership is perhaps the most popular football league around the world. A great combination to dramatically increase merchandise revenues. Think China - think India."

    As Silk Road International Blog states, "The Chinese market is HUGE. Unless, of course, none of the people that you’re marketing to spend any money.". To provide some context, http://managingthedragon.com/?p=601 provides analysis on the potential to market NBA (basketball is far and away bigger than football in China - the last 6 months I have been in China, I've seen lots of kids / students all playing basketball; hardly any to none playing football):

    "The high equity valuation for NBA China proves once again that the dream of “1 billion Chinese buying anything” is still very much alive. Despite its promise, the income earned from the China market is estimated to be less than $50 million, far less than the $3.5 billion earned domestically in the United States."

    The average wage in China is approx 2,000 yuan (that's £200 p/m).

  • Comment number 53.

    well good article.only fear that liverpool will have to get out of mismanagement the hard way.and can't help thinking that the fans produce what they oppose.alrite my background is german football and a very different way of financing our beloved spectacle.before moving to the very craddle of the game i supported TUS Koblenz,ex TUS neuendorf,which had in the glorious 50ies of last century couple of national team players whose houses we used to pass in a religious feeling of admiration.those chaps were not paid like nowadays heros but they had made it and lived without sorrows what was much more than anybody could expect in that life.please get real and deal with frustration in another way than scream for salvation from above and start to enjoy the game.get your kids out on the street and play.you'll never walk alone

  • Comment number 54.

    Compared to Hicks and Gillett the NESV group will be an absolute godsend for Liverpool. H&G were infamous among American sports fans for loading their sports teams with debt and then squeezing every last penny out of them, just as they have done with Liverpool. I guess the difference here is the fact that they've been outvoted on the board. If, as seems to have been said today, that Broughton's contract essentially gave him casting vote then they can't legally have a leg to stand on.

    In terms of the NESV group they've completely rejuvenated a sports team that was on their knees (ring any bells) and I have complete confidence they could do the same with Liverpool. To be sceptical because they're are American is natural after their current problems but the new group should be given a chance to do the good job I am well aware they can do

  • Comment number 55.

    Liverpool have had a pact with the devil for the amount of good fortune, refereeing decisions and special dispensation all in their favour over the space of over 30 years. I just hope the devil is coming to collect and that this signals the end of Liverpool FC, who have lived on past glories and history with the fans believing as a result that they have a divine right to win everything before them.

  • Comment number 56.

    Surely Liverpool is worth more than the prospective owners are offering? This does seem unfair on G&P, whatever my personal feelings for them.

  • Comment number 57.

    As a long standing Redsox and Liverpool FC fan, this is like all of my Christmases have come at once. I have seen the way that John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner have taken the Sox from perennial directionless underachievers to two times world champions in 2004 and 2007 (the only World Series Sox victories since 1918). With the right general manager in charge of day to day business affairs (Theo Epstein) who unwaiveringly supports the on field coach / manager (Terry Francona), the Sox have become a major force in baseball again. If it hadn't been for a series of critical injuries to major players this season (Youkilis, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lowell, Beltre, Cameron etc.) they would have been serious contenders again. They have also proved that they do not shrug the tough decisions (Nomar Garciaparra, the mainstay shortstop for the Redsox sold during the championship year of 2004, Damon sold to the Yankees after said championship, Manny to the Dodgers in 2008), if they feel that the sale is in the best interest of the club, or that the player does not have heart and soul in the club, they get rid of the dead wood.

    I really hope that this goes through, I personally am very excited by the thought of a professional sports organisation that TRULY UNDERSTAND the passion of their fan base (see recent full page spread in the Boston Globe apologising for the below par performance this year), as they know that Redsox Nation ARE the life blood of the Sox in the same way the Kopites are LFC.

    Sell up Gillett and Hicks, let us have owners that care.

    N.B. In a recent survey of MLB team owners, John Henry was rated no.1 Hicks (with the Texas Ranges at the time 30th and last. Enough said

  • Comment number 58.

    Well the first salvo has been fired but will it be the last?
    I don't think so and the next nine days will be a roller-coaster ride when RBS are due their money in my view. Fair play and respect to Broughton who seems to have the measure of H+G and has brought some honour and dignity back to the proceedings by standing up to these bullies and protecting Purslow and Ayres 's positions into the bargain, maybe the spineless numpties at the Premier league should take note.
    With regards to NESV, their credentials seem sound but I'm convinced Hicks in particular will fight dirty. Also, I think that Liverpool fans, of which I'm one, should ease up on their anti-American stance in case it gives them second thoughts but I just have a strange feeling something like that might happen and a third party ( perhaps the unnamed Asian bidders) come in at the death and pick us up for a song.
    NESV should be given a proper chance and the respect they deserve if they do complete and once again, thank you Mr. Broughton.

  • Comment number 59.

    At #20

    You will be suprised by the number of people who want Liverpool to go down. It's more than you think. It seems to most fans that Liverpool are getting out of this mess without the 9 points deduction which they deserve with the help of the PL. Any debt that is related to the club, regardless who holds it, is part of the club and shuld be docked 9 points. It seems the pl helps the bigger teams, and if Liverpool are spared the 9 points, then this just proves it.

  • Comment number 60.

    The good thing can be for Liverpool is go into administration, take 9 points penalty and start moving on from there. This will

    1. Kick out Hicks and Gillette
    2. Come January sell overated and overpaid players.

    They can finish mid table and start building next season.

    Who is responsible for Liverpool long misery ?

    Ofcourse the local fans, I think they are like cricket loving people who can sit in 5 days without result.

    What they have done over the past 20 years

    For past 5 years they backed a manager who almost wasted 250 -300 million pounds on either average players or failed players.

    They couldn't even muster a total boycott. Sometimes people have to take strong decision and Liverpool fans are candy floss sit down after match brigade. Get out and make union and convince that three matches may not mean much in fan life but complete boycott can change the future of the club.

    The next owners will be scared and won't venture if they don't have money. Plus at least they will have their club back haha as if it is still theirs as most merchandise revenue comes from South East Asia.

  • Comment number 61.

    This is just stupid, the solution is simple, yanks out and back to normal, my opinion heavily relies on the fact that they know nothing about britsih football, and they call football 'soccer'. The evidence that americans can't run BIG football clubs, like liverpool and manchester united, is because they cant take them to the next level, because they dont know english football and dont have the moeny also to invest.

    The problem with football is that the fundamental issues of the game have been corrupted by money, this has left a big gap and now the love of football is dissapearing. What english is football needs is a kick up the backside, get strict rules, which benefit country aswell as clubs and limit amount of money being thrown about.

    The issue with grassroots is just unnecessary, It doesnt matter how many coaches we have, we dont need them, football is the heart of sport in this nation, its what drives most of us, we dont need to copy the way spain and germany have gone about with thier playing style. England invented football, so we dont need some muppet in Madrid and all these pundits telling us that we need to improve. We are the inventors of football, and remember this we always will be, so even if we are going to win the world cup , i'd rather do it the english way.

    Now back to liverpool, the debt needs to be sorted, it woukd be saddening to see all that history, culture and tradition dissapearing, just because a group of people cant make up thier minds, i feel sorry for scouse fans, this situation is like the newcastle or leeds shenenigans, and look what happend to them, for better or for worser, not my verdict, but time will tell.

  • Comment number 62.

    Liverpool fans should be happy now. takeover should be completed soon
    Money will soon be available in January and soon Liverpool will be debt free. Then once Liverpool get good players, they can finally compete in the premier league and hope they win it soon

    Now lets hope something happens similar to Manchester United soon. E.g. someone takesover Man United and get the Glaziers out soon. Then Man United will become debt free. The longer it stays like now for Man United, debt will keep rising and soon Man United will be like Liverpool this season, struggling to compete with the other top clubs

    Then all 20 premier league clubs will be financially stable and will unlikely to get loads of debt or go to administration in the long-term

  • Comment number 63.

    I am quite sure that a world renowned businessman like Mr Broughton will have checked every avenue, as will the Premier League, before being so public. Your little article is typical of BBC reporting. Always negative and looking for a downside. Maybe if you had seen the contracts and were involved in negotiations you might have a better understanding. You haven't and nor have any of us, so maybe sticking to the facts and steering clear of purely speculative 'shooting in the dark' comments might be constructive. You smack of the many 'journalists' who have no doubt been waiting a lifetime for the demise of LFC. Well, keep waiting, your time is not just yet.

    This is a much better read: http://lfctruth.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 64.

    Just a word about the culture of the Red Sox and how that relates to Liverpool fans:

    Boston's fanaticism about its baseball team is one the defining elements of culture in New England. Not a day goes by without our media being filled with inflammatory comments, hilarious jibes or proper celebrations of athletic skill. I've lived in New England my whole life, and jubilation and image of throngs of fans in the streets after the WS wins in both '04 and '07 will stay with me forever. I had the privilege of seeing John Henry in a restaurant the day after we won the World Series in '07 and got to hold the trophy itself. To us, Henry, Luccino and the rest of the organization did something incomprehensible. When I was growing up the Red Sox were, as stated in another article here on the BBC, perennial runners-up, always standing in the shadow of the New York Yankees. The amazing thing about what Henry and co. did was not just to make a team profitable, but to fulfill the dreams and satisfy nostalgic feelings for millions of people.

    Now, I only recently became a fan of Liverpool after being sucked into the EPL by my brother (a gooner...), so I certainly don't have a concept of what being a native supporter of a football club is. But I imagine it has a great deal to do with the same, almost familial feeling that Red Sox supporters share. Henry and his crew certainly have profitability on their minds, but that does not have to be separate from respecting the culture of a sports organization, and I think they've proved that with what they have done in New England.

    I just want to see Liverpool come and play at Fenway a la: http://www.tickets.com/footballatfenway/

  • Comment number 65.

    # 45. Floydp4pno1 wrote:
    since 2006 only spurs and city have spent more money than liverpool
    --------
    I hope your reading this because you may want to check your facts before criticising next time. In fact, from 2004/05 - 2008/09 season, he has spent a NET profit of 71.6m (for 5 seasons). The recent transfer window has also bagged profit for the club but I won't judge on it since Roy Hodgson has taken over.

    Yes Rafa has spent a lot, but has also SOLD a lot (duh). And it is not because he wants to, it is because he HAS to due to the financial climate at the club - (hence he wanted to sell Xabi Alonso when he was playing badly), especially after the clowns have taken over in Feb 07. I'm sick of ignorant people judging Rafa, he was the only reason why we were in the top 4. I don't think any other team could spend as little as an average of 14.32m per season and still be able to challenge the league, let alone the CL. I could easily name 20 individual players that has costed around that figure, and so could anyone who watches the game.

    Look up on more facts if you wish - on where Liverpool were in the league before Rafa took over and how he spoilt us with the CL. IMO he is one of the best managers in the game, yes perhaps someone could have done a better job then he did - which I'd honestly be in disbelief- but I think fans and critics need to appreciate the fact that Rafa has done his best at LFC, on and off the pitch; and that he deserves to be a respectful figure in the game.

    Hope things would go smooth from here on, things could only get better.
    YNWA

  • Comment number 66.

    one group of Americans bought out by another group of Americans.............smart move and where is the f.a.....oh yes doing f.a.

  • Comment number 67.

    I see many people are pointing to Redsox' success as some sort of
    act of ingenious by Henry Owen. Redsox along with Yankees have always been a successful franchise (financially) and often came close to winning the title. Like Yankees they have had some poor years, but
    its not as if Redsox were helpless, or even like arsenal and Liverpool of last 5 years where both of them bar once were pretty much out of contention. They were bound to win as they always had good teams. In fact they regularly won over 90 of 162 games before Henry bought them, and they averaged same number of wins after Henry bought them. Chicago whitesox who had the curse of Billy the goat for 40 years and finally won the world series. In fact Whitsox' win was far more remarkable, as unlike the Redsox, they not only had not won for long time, but they were also often mediocre and poor.

    Secondly, Henry had promised to build a stadium for two different clubs, Florida Marlons and the Redsox; which he did not do.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's "bated breath". Or do you really mean that Liverpool fans' breath smells like bait?

  • Comment number 69.

    As an American Liverpool fan, I'd like to politely suggest that painting the entirety of my country as unfit owners of sports clubs is a bit much.

    Yes, Hicks and Gillet were a disaster. For what it's worht, as American owners go, it's less clear that the Glazers have been a disaster - their business model is debt-heavy and high risk, yes, but it's also involved staggeringly successful increases in revenue that should be (and are) a model for other top clubs. The fact that the Glazers are using an investment strategy and business plan that is high risk is not in and of itself a problem so much as it is one of numerous business strategies. The opposite approach is that of Madejski at Reading. One that keeps the club solvent and functional year in and year out, but does not aspire to greatness. There's more than one way to run a club. The Glazers approach is controversial - not transparently folly.

    In any case, we should perhaps face the unpleasant truth of the matter - the Red Sox are, in fact, a bigger team than Liverpool. Indeed, they're a bigger team than every football club in the world that is not Man U, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Barcelona, or Bayern Munich. There is no realistic way to argue that successful ownership of the Red Sox is not a more than ample qualification to run any football club in the world.

    This is as good news as Liverpool fans could reasonably hope for.

  • Comment number 70.

    31. At 7:30pm on 06 Oct 2010, JP wrote:

    More American owners with absolutely no passion or understanding of football, let alone English football.

    Very true. Teams in the US are more like businesses with rented players. Although having watched city over the last two years I fear the dark side is well on its way there.

    If there is one team and group of supporters that vaguely resemble an EPL team it would be the Red Sox. Real Sox fans live and die for their Sox. They never gave up through 85 seasons of no world series wins. Came to the park anyway, much like real football supporters. IF there is one set of yanks who may understand, it COULD be this group.

    Those of us yanks who got hooked on the game the first time we stood on the terrace on the visitors end(at Ipswich Town years ago)can only hope they do.

    PS - LFC was magic that day - YNWA

  • Comment number 71.

    Well said #17. Bad spelling is the curse of sports journalism. And I think the author will find solicitors 'poring' over the small print of various contracts, rather than 'pouring' over them; that's not a very nice visual to get stuck in the mind. Otherwise, very interesting, hope Liverpool can get rid of these clowns without ending up with something just as bad, or worse.

  • Comment number 72.

    Interesting to contrast Liverpool Football Clubs position with that of a certain Manchester City.

    One club has tried to run as an ongoing business but with poor boardroom and managerial decisions it has come to the brink of administration.
    The other has had money thrown at it, some would say irresponsibly and now has a team that is an embarrassment of riches.
    Opposite ends of the financial football spectrum. I wonder which business model fans of LFC would prefer?
    I would hope they would choose to rebuild their club within limits of fiscal responsibility. It may be a long haul out but English football needs responsible leadership - any future trophies and medals will be won with merit, not cash.

  • Comment number 73.

    The marketing of Liverpool and any club has a long way to go and has the potential to raise massive earnings. I read an article that talk of a man's passion for Liverpool in the 70's and 80's, he talked with so much passion about players such as Keegan and Toshack as if he went to Anfield every week. His life evolved around how well Liverpool were going and he was as passionate as any Kopite, yet at the end of the article it became apparent that he lived in the slums of South africa and had in fact not only never been to a Liverpool game, but had never even seen them on T.V. His whole knowledge was derived from newspaper articles. Football isn't about how much money a club has or what dividends they can return, Hicks and Gillett did not realise this, that is why they had to go. If the new americans do realise it then Liverpool will be a success once more.

    One more word of warning, the Premier League is set for disaster with all the spending and excessive amounts of money spent on players. It is only a matter of time before the EPL becomes the new Serie A

  • Comment number 74.

    As an expat living in the US, I'm really bored of all the "American" bashing that is being done regarding this development. Sorry, but there really aren't that many people in the world that want to throw money away and buy a Premier League club (sans City and Chelsea). That's basically what owning a club in the EPL is, a losing business proposition.
    Liverpool will have a completely different set of owners with a completely different ideology on running a club, which, at the end of the day is a business (hopefully run for profit).
    What hasn't been mentioned is that the reason they were so succesful with the Red Sox is that they took on a whole new approach to the game. Although they didn't throw away old statistics, they developed and placed more emphasis on other statistics. How this will translate to football is yet to be seen.
    Their commitment to eradicating debt should be seen as a positive. As for understanding the culture of the club, city, etc... I think they are a lot of parallels with between Boston and Liverpool. Having said that, I was born 45 mins from Liverpool and don't understand on any level.

  • Comment number 75.

    #40 hfhno1. FWIW here in Aus it's referred to as the EPL, since as far as the locals here are concerned, it is the English Premier League.

  • Comment number 76.

    16. At 6:08pm on 06 Oct 2010, sherrcd wrote:
    10

    The KEY difference was that Liverpool as a business is Solvant and that Southampton were not. It was the same with West Ham when there owner went bust.

    Actually, the club were solvent itself. It was SLH the holding company that were not, but the finances were linked, like Kop Holding and Liverpool.

    They should get their penalty like any other club and the EPL need to stop being wimps.

  • Comment number 77.

    ....no British investors saw any potential in the most successful English football club....the prospective US owner has a relatively modest cashpile when compared to the owners of Southampton or QPR....no mention of a new stadium....same old...the Liverpool fans should sort it out now rather than prolong the agony...dont go to the games...dont buy the shirts...or are they really Chelsae fans in disguise?...

  • Comment number 78.

    "These are the questions that must be answered before Liverpool's long-suffering supporters can be sure that the corner has been turned. Time will tell."

    Ah dudums. My heart bleeds for the poor fans who haven't had the best 20 years have they? Although they've won plenty in the last decade despite not winning the league. I'm sure plenty of clubs would have taken the cup treble or CL success?

    The fans should count themselves lucky that they have got a successful history, unlike some clubs who find themselves in a dire finanical situation and haven't tasted anywhere near the success that Liverpool have had.

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm no Saints fan, but it's a disgrace that Liverpool will escape a points deduction by the Premier League when Southampton was clobbered in the same circumstances by the Football League. Saints claimed that the loans were owed by the holding company, and that the club itself was solvent. The League disagreed, and stated that the holding company and the club were effectively one and the same. I believe this was the correct judgement.

    So what's so special about LFC? "Kop Holdings" owes hundreds of millions in loans that it cannot repay (or refinance it seems). Thus, it is clearly insolvent in the same manner as Southampton's holding company (whatever that was called, I forget) was.

    It can be argued that, by not being docked points, LFC is gaining an unfair advantage on clubs that also have debts but choose to pay them off through player sales or non-playing staff job/salary cuts. The PL is being deliberately weak because it knows that if a club as big as LFC went into administration the whole inflated financial bubble that is English top flight football would probably collapse.

  • Comment number 80.

    i think manu are the next in line for such turmoil and its just the matter of a year or two. chalsea says they will reach break-even in 2011 so they should be ok but they have some rebuilding to do in the next few seasons so lets see how good they will be in 2013/14.

    i think city will be dominting by then for as long as their owner has intrest in this club.

  • Comment number 81.

    Well, good luck to all Liverpool fans (meant genuinely).

    Just a few observations:

    - If Kop Holdings to go into administration on the 15th, this won't actually change the eventual outcome a great deal from the fans perspective (except for the delay). RBS will still be looking for a sale of the club and will look for the offer that balances offsetting the losses with the greatest potential for future income. Bearing in mind Broughton is RBS' man, it looks like they;ve already found this.

    - The main reason that fans have to be optimistic seems to be that the current owners are so angry at the potential new owners. They haven't made many right calls since they arrived in Liverpool (either with the club or in their other businesses), so there's no reason to think that they are right in their opposition.

    - I know very little of Broughton, but listening to 5Live yesterday I was refreshed by his candid approach to the issue. Its rare that fans hear about these boardroom shenanigans other than through a 'source' a few weeks after they actually happen. He certainly gives the impression that he has the best interests (footballing and business) of the club at heart. Time will tell whether this is the case.

  • Comment number 82.

    Television money is the root course of all this, why else would businessman from all corners of the globe be flocking to England to buy football clubs? Tens and in some cases hundreds of millions of pounds pass through the coffers of these clubs every season!

    If I were a Liverpool supporter I'd be wary of these prospective new owners though; are they really going to just hand over £200m of their own money to RBS? I somehow doubt it, it will probably just be borrowed from somewhere else.

  • Comment number 83.

    Looks to me as if the parallel will be Randy Lerner at Villa.

    Involved, supportive but no blank cheques, and quite right too.

    The question is, can the Kop accept that they (for now) cannot compete with the billionaires club, and will turn on these guys in turn.

    The times they are a-changing...

  • Comment number 84.

    So this is what English football has come to? A lucky dip that your club may be brought by a Russian, Far Eastern or American businessman and then keeping your fingers crossed that they pump money in rather than syphon money out.

    A game where tickets cost a fortune, where kickoff times are dictated by TV. A game where the FA Cup is unimportant because you can make more money in the league or Europe. A game where fans are customers, and are always at the bottom of the list of priorities. A game where tradition is ignored in the desperate attempt to make more money, the 39th game etc. A game where the biggest decisions are made in courtrooms. A game where players are paid a £100,000 a week and yet would rather go and advertise the latest boot etc before working on improving their game. A game where players can't identify with fans.

    A game full of Agents and Lawyers, Commercial Directors and Financial Advisors, Legal Secretarys and Personal Advisors.

    Unfortunately it is not a game anymore. It is big business, and English football is all about the money and who has it, and who doesn't. It's not about trophies or glory, It's not about winning or making the fans proud, It's all about the money and it stinks. The English game sold it's soul to the devil.

    Can we have our game back please?

  • Comment number 85.

    tigercity wrote:
    If LFC go into administration, then RBS will sell off the most highly valued assets to pay back the debts - that means Gerrard, Torres and co folks.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You clearly misunderstand the situation. LFC will not go into administration, the parent company, Kop Holdings, would. Their main asset, LFC, would then be sold to recoup their financial losses.
    LFC, as a company, is highly profitable and there would be no fire sale of players.

  • Comment number 86.

    20. At 6:21pm on 06 Oct 2010, Xavierneville wrote: & 40. At 8:20pm on 06 Oct 2010, hfhno1 wrote:

    I take it you two live or work in the North East then?!?
    If you don't you have no place to comment on what Newcastle fans thought!
    The vast majority of us did NOT have the delusions of grandeur that the press so liked to tar us with, a lot of the same press which is now banned from St. James's Park incidentally.
    I would suggest to actually visit places, talk to people and form your own opinions instead of gleaming them from the unreliable red tops!
    The similarities of the situation at Liverpool are uncanny, except Liverpool & their fans are getting a good press where the hacks all turned on us.
    Liverpool wont go bust as they are a solvent business, it's their owners' debt after all.
    As for the scousers, well I remember the floods of fans, themselves included, which loved to laugh at our demise - karma is a wonderful thing.

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    LOL Cantona, and i thought i hated liverpool and thier fans the most. Clearly NOT!

  • Comment number 89.

    I can't help wondering WHY wouldn't Liverpool be docked 9 points if Kop Holdings went into administration?

    Surely it isn't a case of "one rule for the big clubs, another for the minnows"?

  • Comment number 90.

    For all the vilification poured on Hicks/Gilette, it does not seem terribly fair that a club that was valued at £800 million, then £600 million gets sold at £300 million. If I was them, I'd fight tooth and nail. The idea that they are eased out by allowing the club to go into administration then the Boston Red Sox people pick it up merely for clearing the debt to RBS - without Liverpool even suffering a points penalty - would be, in my view, completely wrong. Liverpool fans should be a little concerned that in any other business, such financial tactics would be considered flagrant opportunism. Frankly, the Red Sox should pay more.
    Furthermore there is no gaurantee that the new owners will not borrow against the club AFTER the deal is completed. It will have been picked up for under market value, be debt free and represent a juicy asset to fix new charges upon. As it stands, £240 million to RBS and £50 million plus in charges means it is opaque where investment in the new stadium and team will come from without such borrowing.
    While I'm not suggesting LFC fans should be looking the gift horse in the mouth, they should recognise they are taking an awful lot on faith because of their pure desperation, which is probably engendered more by the relative failings of the team on the pitch than the complex debt arrangements. Such ownership structures have not stopped Manchester United.
    Stated baldly, a team with Glen Johnson, Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina should not be losing to Blackpool at home. If the team had been better led, then these financial issues would not have been so fore-grounded and the club would now not resemble a juicy piece of meat floating on the water for predators to contemplate.

  • Comment number 91.

    Couldnt agree more with post 84

    I was in Stuttgart on the weekend and went to watch a VfB game.

    Cost 18 euros, beer in the ground, great packed out stadium and people supporting thier team fanatically. Basically the fans came first as they are all part owners of thier club.

    The PL and UEFA need to sort this out as this in the present situation is untenable. Inflatory bubbles and boom and bust happen in all unrestrained economies and football is no different. LFC might be the first major casualty

  • Comment number 92.

    I understand Scottish football and English football are (excuse the pun) in a different league. I know that there is much more money in England and a much bigger fan base. I know that a lot of people will hate my comparisons!

    In Scotland 4 or 5 years ago we had highly paid overseas players who were no better than the British lads. Rangers, Celtic and to an extent Hearts had owners with no interest in 'history' bringing in players who were only interested in the money. We had investors spending money for no return. Most clubs are crippled by debt. Aberdeen, my club, had a fantastic period in the 1980's - now we're £20 miliion + in debt and struggling in the bottom 6 of the SPL.

    The Scottish game was left in tatters due to money being thrown around and the same will happen in England (AND IS!!!).

    RANGERS crippled with debt.
    DUNDEE are clinging on but look like they will go this week.
    LIVINGSTON went into admin.
    HEARTS have a rich owner from Lithuania who doesn't care.
    ABERDEEN, dispite the glory days of the 1980's, are crippled and can't sign players for a fee.
    MOTHERWELL have been in admin and are chasing Cardiff for 'a small amount of money which is key to their businesses survival.

    Everything happening in England happened in Scotland a few years ago.

    Stoke City are our/your Cally Thistle. Two well run clubs with standards and morals built on a strong base. Clubs who we can look up to.

    Just because you have 'history' doesn't entitle you to a future.

  • Comment number 93.

    Looks like a savvy long term investor is ready to take the reigns.
    It is best that LFC get involved with Everton to build a new stadium - forget about rivalry, we need to think of how costs can be kept down for the benefit of the club, to ensure that the money is channeled into more useful projects like training, new players, etc.
    Let us hope this is a new dawn for the club I have followed for the last 20 years!

  • Comment number 94.

    Hahahahahaha,

    I hope they do a Leeds :)

  • Comment number 95.

    I think a lot of people on this forum are getting carried away with thinking Liverpool will go into administration. That will not happen as Liverpool are a solvent trading company. The holding company will be placed into admin if the debt is not repaid or club sold, as they are nothing to do with the club in respect of the Premier League, the league cannot deduct 9 points under their own rules. If the debt is removed from Liverpool the club is very profitable therfore by not servicing the debt the club will generate funds.

    PS. Gunners are never better than Scousers

  • Comment number 96.

    #84 - totally agree. However I do think the game as it should be is still alive, just not in the prem/higher leagues. I imagine non-league football is as grass roots as ever.

    Hopefully one of the good things to come out of the impending collapse of the bloated, fatcat premier league will be supporters who either don't have a team anymore or are as disgusted as you & I with the state of play, will turn their attentions to the 'real' football being played week in week out in your local league, conference, etc.

    And then eventually the cycle will start again I guess, but I'd rather be stood shivering on the terrace/field with a cuppa in my hand watching 22 genuine, grass roots fellas playing in the traditional spirit, than pay £50 to get in a PL ground to watch a bunch of lacklustre, multi-millionaire primadonnas roll around on the ground, sulk when they don't get their own way, not put a proper shift in, etc.

  • Comment number 97.

    LFC for life. Scousers will always be better than Gunners

  • Comment number 98.

    Why are comments being made about liverpool going into administration then having to sell players to pay off the debt ????
    LOOK if RBS take over Liverpool on the 15th THEY THEN OWN Liverpool football club and there is NO MORE debt !!! The debt is written off as RBS then own Liverpool FC...they can then sell the club to whoever at whatever price they want. Most probably to the NESV group.
    I just wish some people who post comments would educate themselves first rather than just comment on what they would like to happen !
    I'm am just glad that Gillett and especially that parasite Hicks will leave Liverpool with a £140million loss and show other prospective buyers that investment in football is not just a quick way to make a fast buck.
    Football is loved by some many fans in this country and for clubs to be sold & then laden with debt by the likes of Hicks & Gillet should not be allowed to continue.

  • Comment number 99.

    Dan Roan is correct to note that ticket prices at the Rad Sox have increased. However, this is an average price rise across the board. It is reflected in executive and premium ticket prices whereas standard seat prices have remained relatively stable.

  • Comment number 100.

    what is hicks and co up to?

    firstly they put lfc up for sale, then once the club got a decent bid with the board agreeing the bid then they claim that they introduced mack hicks and a lady in hick's organisation to replace purslow and ayre

    come on hicks

    have some decency and sell up, you're not wanted at anfield

 

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