BBC BLOGS - Dan Roan
« Previous | Main | Next »

The inner circle behind Liverpool's takeover

Post categories:

Dan Roan | 09:38 UK time, Monday, 25 October 2010

No fans would have recognised him.

None would have known to thank him.

But as Philip Hall took his seat in the Anfield Directors' Box for the match against Blackburn, he allowed himself a smile of satisfaction.

As the man who brokered NESV's dramatic takeover of Liverpool, the Senior Partner of American investment bank Inner Circle Sports knows better than most what went in to the club's change of ownership. For months, Hall worked tirelessly, desperately scouring the world for somebody who would buy the club from Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Now, finally, he could reflect on the fruits of his labour.

For NESV chairman Tom Werner and the other new Anfield directors David Ginsberg and Michael Gordon, the match against Blackburn was their first experience of Anfield since the deal was completed 10 days ago, and for Hall it was extra special too.

"It felt like the end of a journey for me," the Harvard MBA graduate says in his soft Manhattan accent.

"Anfield is always a very special place to take in a match. It was good to see familiar faces and most importantly for the club to get three points. Gerry Marsden's rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone in person was particularly moving. Tom and the other attendees from NESV were in awe of the atmosphere. They spent a few minutes with manager Roy Hodgson after the match to congratulate him on the victory and to get his take on how it went."

Back in 2007 it was Inner Circle themselves who had introduced Hicks and Gillett to Liverpool as the men to carry the club forward. Some would suggest that Hall and his colleagues had a responsibility to help bring an end to the controversial regime they had helped put in place in the first place. But, with the threat of a $1.6bn lawsuit hanging over the club and the takeover, Hall is understandably diplomatic and sympathetic towards the former owners.

"George and Tom were well-intentioned and wanted the best for club but a number of events conspired to not allow them to follow through" says Hall.

"The relationship between both themselves and with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was difficult."

Liverpool's co-owner Tom Werner enjoys a taste of the unique atmosphere at Anfield

Inner Circle are effectively a football finance 'dating service', bringing clubs and potential investors together, not only in the US but increasingly in Europe. Having overseen the sale of Liverpool to Hicks and Gillett, the company then focused on arranging Ellis Short's takeover of Sunderland and began work on finding a new buyer for Sheffield Wednesday. But even though Hall stopped working for Hicks and Gillett in 2008, he maintained key relationships with senior figures at Anfield, constantly looking out for someone with the money to buy the club.

"I kept working talking and working behind the scenes" he commented. "I always hoped this day would come. It's a huge sense of accomplishment. I had a good relationship with NESV and three months ago I started talking to them seriously about the possibility of a deal. Three weeks ago we came to London to agree a purchase with the club's board. A lot of people played key roles, including the team from Shearman & Sterling (the corporate lawyers advising NESV), but then obviously things got delayed."

Hicks and Gillett's opposition to the £300m sale to NESV meant that the purchase Hall had brokered went down to the wire as the drawn-out dispute was dragged through courtrooms in London and Dallas.

"It was very difficult, hearing about all this back in the US" he says.

"I was waking up at 2am to read reports in the media. It was an emotional rollercoaster but in the end it was a great result. This was the culmination of two years hard work, of countless meetings and phone calls. It tugs at you a little bit because I knew how much Liverpool fans wanted this to be done."

Hall, whose interest in European football stems originally from his Leeds-born father, understands the reservations of Liverpool fans who are wary of another American, introduced and advised by the same company that brought about the previous regime, but he insists Henry and his associates can be trusted.

"This is not some fantasy. NESV is a very strong business which underpins their investment. NESV are fiercely competitive, they want to win and understand the frustration of Liverpool's fans. They will do the right thing.

"They won't be a Sheikh Mansour or Roman Abramovich, they'll take a more holistic approach, applying sound business judgement on all aspects of the club, including what to do about a stadium. It's not going to be easy but they're here for the long-haul. They're not interested in a 'quick flip' sale in a year or two. They want to turn this around, right the ship and win. Debt will not be an issue, they do not believe in building brands with leverage."

Hall believes the new owners will give Hodgson time and listen and take a long-term perspective as they seek to usher in a revival at Anfield - but should Liverpool supporters expect an influx of signings in January?

"They should be patient" says Hall.

"The summer is when there may be a surge, rather than the new year. These are well-intentioned individuals but above all they are winners. Look at what they've done at the Boston Red Sox. They are intensely competitive."

With Liverpool, Manchester United, Sunderland and Aston Villa all owned by Americans, and Stanley Kroenke hovering just short of the shareholding level which will force him to make an offer for all other Arsenal shares, the influence of the United States over the Premier League is growing. So does Hall believe the trend will continue?

"The challenge is that only a few of the Premier League clubs have the global brands and international resonance that US investors are looking for.

"However, the game in England is still 10 to 15 years behind the US when it comes to the commercialisation of sports so the Premier League remains an intriguing proposition."

According to Hall, in Liverpool NESV saw a similar "unpolished diamond" that the Boston Red Sox represented when they were bought in 2002. Two world titles, a renovated stadium and a reinvigorated business swiftly followed. If the same can be achieved at Anfield, Liverpool supporters might spare a thought for Hall and the 'inner circle' behind John W Henry's arrival.

You can follow me at twitter.com/danroan

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Im sick and tired of the off field antics. To be honest i am just happy we got three points yesterday.

  • Comment number 2.

    Football just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth now. It is so far removed from the people who pay over the odds to follow their team. Football is now just full of overpaid oafs who care only about their bank balance. It is just sickening.

  • Comment number 3.

    Still in the bottom 3?

  • Comment number 4.

    I think it's great that Liverpool are past Hicks and Gillet, but now I think it's time we stop talking about "who saved Liverpool" and start talking about their football ON the pitch. With financial backing I think Roy can make a couple of decent transfers and they will be competative next season... if they can persuade Torres to stay?

  • Comment number 5.

    Nobody has saved Liverpool yet. There is a very long way to go. To suggest they have been 'saved' is very naive and typical of a football fans way of thinking. To see an article on the BBC suggesting it is just plain stupid.

  • Comment number 6.

    Still in the bottom 3?

    ---------------

    Not clever enough to even read a league table? Need help? Try harder?

  • Comment number 7.

    messien you point is? Last I checked you still only get 3 points for a win, so not more could have been done yesterday to get out of the bottom 3.

  • Comment number 8.

    6. At 10:54am on 25 Oct 2010, austinkincaid wrote:
    Still in the bottom 3?

    ---------------

    Not clever enough to even read a league table? Need help? Try harder?

    ===========================

    Yes, still in the bottom 3 courtesy of goal difference. Who cares anymore? The players don't seem to.

  • Comment number 9.

    Don't care about baseball and never heard of the "Red Sox", apart from owning my own Red Socks!! Actually, the only baseball team I've heard of is "Yankees", so NESV couldn't have done such a great job!!

    Baseball is not Football - two complete different sports, with different rules, fans and continents!! The business of American sports doesn't apply to a global sport!!

    I am sceptical of the new owners, and i don't apologise for this after the experience with Hicks and Gillets, especially when more or less the same people were involved in brokering the deal....I honestly think that they are only for one thing, one thing only, and that is to make some quick buck!! I can see the club being sold in the next season or two!!

    Football isn't based on reality anymore and doesn't give a two hoots about the fans!! I can only see us fans being asked to pay more ott for tickets and all other merchandise!!




  • Comment number 10.

    The so-called "success" with the Red Sox is a mirage.
    Sure they've won two World Series and make a ton of money. But they also just finished 3rd in a 5-team division, and never have to contend with the spectre of relegation.
    Things look rosy in Boston now, but the truth is Fenway is almost 100 years old and squeezing more revenue out of it will be a challenge.
    Perhaps their Anfield plan is to build seats on top of the Kop?
    Good luck!!

  • Comment number 11.

    As Hall states, this is still elitist in terms of British football and outside maybe 10 or 12 clubs there is still a struggle for money to compete and the potential for more clubs to sink.

    The 'investment' just seems to lead to players demanding bigger wages and clubs will struggle to maintain a high attendance unless the playing field is levelled very soon.

    Arsenal do things on 'the cheap' compared to Man City but still have a phenomenal annual turnover...

    Roy Hodgson remains the best man to turn around the fortunes of Liverpool being one of the few managers who can achieve success on a limited budget (and not complain about it!)

  • Comment number 12.

    Now, Torres will go on a huge scoring run, which will lift Liverpool to a huge winning run upto Christmas, where we will be 4th by then. Then we will buy a few quality players in January, which will then help us to win the Europa League, FA Cup and finish 2nd behind Chelsea, then we will buy lots of quality players in the summer and do the champions league and premier league double next season!!...well thats how I imagined it last night.

  • Comment number 13.

    Yawn.... another self indulgent Liverpool blog. Who the heck cares aside from Liverpool supporters.

  • Comment number 14.

    Liverpool. Liverpool. Liverpool.

    Are there any other teams in the League to write blogs about? Oh yeah, 19 of 'em!

    Sick of it.

    Please write about some other clubs.

    Please.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think 'the man who saved Liverpool' may be a bit strong.
    When clubs such as Portsmouth and many others in recent years have not been allowed to go out of business, the likeliehood of LFC doing so was at any level, implausible.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think that the new owner needs to be given time to settle things down and steady the ship. The players need to start performing and yesterday was a decent start but we need to remember who we were playing!...Bolton next week needs to be another 3 points.
    I was living in the US when John W Henry took over the Red Sox and the transformation from a team of also rans to a championship winning team was very quick. Watch this space!

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't see the point in non liverpool supporters coming on here and moaning about the blogs, why waste yours and everyone else's time who IS interesed?

    It was a huge huge story that the biggest club in English football history was brought to its knees by the financial BS that encompasses the game nowadays and whatever you say pound notes have changed it for ever.

    I found personaly found quite informative that a profile on this guy was blogged as we generally only get the info thats spoon fed by the news but also find it a bit dramatic to title it the man who saved liverpool.
    It is a huge task to get this club back to the upper echelons of English and then eurpoean football and no one man cna do it...maybe bearing exception to Steven Gerrard.

  • Comment number 19.

    9. At 10:59am on 25 Oct 2010, Messi4LFC wrote:
    Baseball is not Football - two complete different sports, with different rules, fans and continents!! The business of American sports doesn't apply to a global sport!!
    -------------------------------

    whereas russian / middle eastern businnes trades does :S

  • Comment number 20.

    ...still waiting for the Sheffield Wednesday investment.

  • Comment number 21.

    Yawn.... another self indulgent Liverpool blog. Who the heck cares aside from Liverpool supporters.

    ----------

    Apparantly you do.

  • Comment number 22.

    Liverpool have a great legacy, but do they have a great future? Unless Liverpool find a great manager I don't thnk so.

  • Comment number 23.

    "Anfield is always a very special place to take in a match. It was good to see familiar faces and most importantly for the club to get three points. Gerry Marsden's rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone in person was particularly moving. Tom and the other attendees from NESV were in awe of the atmosphere. They spent a few minutes with manager Roy Hodgson after the match to congratulate him on the victory and to get his take on how it went."

    To be honest, the Gerry Marsden appearance did not go down well on the Kop. Nothing against Gerry, but if there is one thing the fans do not need, it is help singing that song via a PA system. I think the real emotion of the fans singing the anthem to celebrate the departure of Hicks and Gillett was lost. Many fans felt their chance to truly celebrate victory in the fight to be rid of the former owners was hijacked in favour of a PR stunt to usher in NESVs ownership...

  • Comment number 24.

    not even worth trying to pick you up on the sensationalist 'man who saved Liverpool' title - and as for the 'inner circle' bit all i needed to do to find that out was read the bbc articles on it. this could have quite easily
    been written by a short-sighted and little-knowing fan.

    bit more effort next time maybe dan?

  • Comment number 25.

    "However, the game in England is still 10 to 15 years behind the US when it comes to the commercialisation of sports so the Premier League remains an intriguing proposition."

    Rather a worrying statment. whent he whole of the premiership is owned by americans they will then all be able to vote together for changes to rules. Football will become a game of quarters and adverstising breaks whilst someone trys to persuede you buy s*** you don't need.

    I'm quite unhappy with the commercial element of football as it is i don't want a bunch of american corps making it worse.

    fan ownership needs to begin

  • Comment number 26.

    Yawn.... another self indulgent Liverpool blog. Who the heck cares aside from Liverpool supporters.

    --------------------------

    You for a start seeing as you took time to comment on it

  • Comment number 27.

    I really don't think we've heard the last of Hicks and Gillette just yet. While the UK media slavishly portrayed them as "Yank carpetbaggers" who should "do the decent thing and walk away" (£140 million down), one only has to read US media to see that in America the general perception is that they were indeed victims of "an epic swindle."

    Let's face it, the whole thing was a stitch up. And while LFC fans are delighted to be rid of them, one suspects a court of law will have a different view. Anyone would think they came in and asset stripped the place, selling the best players and pocketing the cash. Instead the backed Rafa to the tune of hundreds of millions, awarding huge contracts to the best players (typically £28 million over 4 years for the likes of Gerrard, Cole, Johnson, Torres, Reina), and spending almost £50 million on the planning and prep for the as yet pipedream new stadium.

    And then they had their property flogged from underneath them and were kicked out £140 million out of pocket. A debt no doubt Liverpool were delighted to see removed from their balance sheet.

    H&G were treated appallingly, and their case will be an extremely strong one that could yet have big ramifications for LFC and NESV.

  • Comment number 28.

    The most important challenge now for Liverpool Football Club is to make sure that we keep our prized assets Torres, Gerrard, Reina, Johnson at the club after the January Transfer window. It is only then that we can say that the current owners have the fans on their side. We can then consolidate our position for the remainder of the season in the premier league maybe even having a decent tilt at consolidating european football for the next season.

    I believe NESV should seriously consider giving some form of share issue to "The Share Liverpool FC Group" headed by Dr Rogan Taylor. It will ensure a reasonable amount of transfer funds for the immediate future and give a considerable amount of clarity on where NESV want to take LFC.

    The problems under the Hicks & Gillett tenure should never ever be repeated and having fans apart of the running of the club will endear the new owners to the fans and bring them closer together.

    Idiots who are posting on here about Liverpool still being in the bottom 3 really need to get a grip! Liverpool are only 9 games into the season with 29 games to go having played some of the hardest games already added to the fact a furious take over. Liverpool will propel themselves away from the relegation zone soon enough - question is will you be back posting about how well we've done in say another 10 games? I think not!

    Liverpool's financial problems are now over, the future for other top clubs isn't so rosey - Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs and even Man City will have it hard soon enough when the new rules of only being able to operate in the transfer window with less than 13 million pounds operating losses! Any teams who can't do this will be banned from European Competition.

  • Comment number 29.

    I suspect the notion that "England is 10 to 15 years behind the US when it comes to the commercialisation of sports" is as ignorant as it is arrogant.
    Fact is, franchises (with no fear of relegation remember) are in financial trouble all the time, are often therefore perpetual losers and the biggest sports, NFL, NCAA Football and Basketball, are sustained by gambling. They also blackmail cities for new stadiums.
    Not sure Britain is ready for that, Dan; what do you think?

  • Comment number 30.

    #27 nick78447, but H&G failed to convince RBS that they were ever going to get their money back, so RBS effectively took control by demanding that the board be made up of directors they knew would facilitate a sale (and hence get RBS their money back)

    Yes H&G had their property flogged from underneath them, but they brought it on themselves by buying it with too much debt in the first place that they were unable to pay back.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Still love hearing the Liverpool fans blaming Hicks and Gillet for the problems at Anfield.

    Lets think about this for a minute, who was the one person who spent all this money on useless talent? Benitez.

    What exactly did Benitez do for Liverpool? Won a champions league trophy, with Houlliers team, not Benitezs.

    Benitez was the root cause of the problems

  • Comment number 33.

    At #28
    "Liverpool's financial problems are now over, the future for other top clubs isn't so rosey - Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs and even Man City will have it hard soon enough when the new rules of only being able to operate in the transfer window with less than 13 million pounds operating losses! Any teams who can't do this will be banned from European Competition."

    I'm aware not everyone has a grasp of financial accounting however, despite the headline figure in the latest Utd accounts, they actually made a substantial operating profit. Losses occured only after interest and other 'below the line' items.

    You'll find that Utd are in fact one of the most profitable clubs in the world due to huge turnover on a scale Liverpool can only dream of at this stage and therefore unlikely to fall foul of the new rules.

    City and Chelsea on the other hand...

  • Comment number 34.

    Saved Liverpool? If he got them into this mess in the first place, then he was only duty-bound to undo the damage himself!

    Too early to speculate what NESV can or cannot do. They say better the devils you know than the angels you don't. At least Liverpool fans got to know who Hicks & Co were. Unfortunately, they do not yet know who NESV is. Granted the latter have gotten good publicity and we are told they passed "The New Owners Test". Not sure what kind of a test this is, maybe the EPL authorities can explain a little further on this. I presume if Hicks & Co also passed this test, then it appears very easy to pass especially for the noveau riche.

    And talking of US influence in the EPL, how about the investments of the Russians, the Mid-East Sheikhs, the African talents and the imports of quality players from the rest of Europe?

    Henry Ford, the great Industrialist used to say that you do not build a reputation on what you are going to do. NESV have done well with the Red Sox but that is a completely different ball game. The EPL is unfamiliar to them as yet. I give credit to them for trying to listen to the fans and taking a cautious approach. Still, there is a long way to go.

    Finally, all LFC fans will be watching keenly on how they are going to handle Roy. NESV have not been quick to take any decisive action for now but I believe they will have to if LFC continue to find themselves in the foot of the table. I believe they would not want to see their investments fall in value so soon after they take over. Still too early but a time will come when they will have to make hard and fast choices. Roy has claimed he has "experience" in saving teams (read Fulham) on the very last days of the season. Good but Fulham and Liverpool are too different clubs. LFC do not have to wait till the last day to know their fate. The players prefer to take responsibility in their own hands. I hope NESV wont let things go that far!

  • Comment number 35.

    On Saturday, you were telling us that Joel Glazer can take responsibility for Rooney's decision to stay at United (twaddle - it starts with m and ends with oney. HINT: it rhymes with honey).
    Now you're eulogising about Philip Hall, a man who was instrumental in getting Liverpool in this mess in the first place.
    I don't have any great love or affection for either club (Man Utd or Liverpool), but I do have a strong preference for high quality journalism.
    Are you angling for a job in america or what? And about half of this blog is corporate spin and propaganda in the form of vacuous quotations that you don't even think to refine, moderate or comment on (holistic approach, indeed).
    Poor.

  • Comment number 36.

    9. At 10:59am on 25 Oct 2010, Messi4LFC wrote:
    Baseball is not Football - two complete different sports, with different rules, fans and continents!! The business of American sports doesn't apply to a global sport!!
    -------------------------------

    whereas russian / middle eastern businnes trades does :S

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    I would rather have Russians and ME business people owning LFC than the Americans. Sorry, after the experiences of Hicks and Gillets I know who I would rather trust!!

  • Comment number 37.

    Instead the backed Rafa to the tune of hundreds of millions

    ----------------------------------
    with borrowed money they loaded on to the club, which they said they wouldn't do. Profits then had to go on interest payments were then required, which should have been going on player investment or towards the new stadium.

    And I think you'll find, the a large chunk of 'their' layout on players was recouped! Liverpool has made a profit on player movements for the last few windows!

    Many of the so-called 'flops' were bought for the reseve team and most, not all but most were sold for a profit. Rafa bought on the whole his 2nd or third choice players, maybe if SAF or good old Arry had to do the same, while having their jobs touted round Califormia they may have made a few flop signings too!?

    I'm sure the headline of 'saving Liverpool' alludes to the fact that one of the biggest clubs in the world didn't go into administration and was in one hell of a mess, thus it was indeed saved!

  • Comment number 38.

    I expect the NESV approach will be to reduce operating costs, look to invest in Anfield to bring it up to standard from a facilities perspective before considering building a new stadium.

    They have got to be sensible. Throwing money at the club right now won't fix anything. These guys are at least saying the right things from perspective of common sense.

    I still don't believe that Liverpool will be relegated but their current performances shouldn't leave people expecting too much and if they do not step out of the rut they are in now then they may find themselves at the wrong end of the table for a while yet.

    I would think the next game that will really show if progress is being made will be the Chelsea game in November. Liverpool will certainly want daylight between them and the bottom three when Christmas arrives.

  • Comment number 39.

    No 14 (Reni). Yes it is Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool.

    Patience brother, it is Liverppol's time on the blog because the events in the recent past have merited discussion and also highlighted some key issues such as ownership, fan's representation on the board, court jurisdictions, leveraged buy-outs and other pertinent issues. All these are worth talking about and gives the EPL authorities real challenges to think about.

    Also, this is a public blog with International readership. It is only fair that every fan or reader, regardless of his team loyalty is given his time to comment. I do not know which team you support, but I believe the BBC journalists will give you your time IF/WHEN it comes.

    Sorry, If I sound like one of the BBC's employees but I thought I should put the record straight. Pray that your time comes!

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    You'll find that Utd are in fact one of the most profitable clubs in the world due to huge turnover on a scale Liverpool can only dream of at this stageYou'll find that Utd are in fact one of the most profitable clubs in the world due to huge turnover on a scale Liverpool can only dream of at this stage

    ---------------------------------
    Just to point out, Liverpool make good operating profits, obviously not as much as Utd but healthy!

  • Comment number 42.

    Seems posters can say it was all Benetez's fault on here for Liverpool's financial position. However, when the failings in their line of argument is pointed out and an attempt at educating them with a reposte is made, it's moderated! Hmmm, the Benitez media witch-hunt is alive and well.

  • Comment number 43.

    Another man who saved us and another set of well intentioned owners to have patience with. With all this good will flying about it is difficult to see how we got into the mess in the first place. And all of them appear to be tirelessly working for the club ( bot not money like the rest of us ). So Tom and George had a difficult relationship with Rafa. I am struggling to work out who they had a good relationship with but naturally if you promise the moon and it does not arrive then you will face problems. Nice to see these articles from Dan in his low tempo ' I know the background behind the story' approach - a sort of low key smooth crap as distinct from a loud, spiky, shout it from the rooftops crap.

  • Comment number 44.

    Who honestly cares? No offence Dan. byt all these Liverpool/Man Utd blogs are getting tiresome.

    Bring back ROTW & Robbo, at least they cover something other then two teams I've already mentioned.

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    We don't want or need the Premiership to go the way of american sports. American sports are unbearable to watch because of the commercialism. I've lived in america for 20 years and don't watch a single american sport because of the drawn out money spinning event. They take an hour game (NFL), with on average 17 - 20 mins of 'actual' play time and turn it into a 3 hour event. It is mind numbing. Americans love their events and that's what american sports have turned into, "events".

    Most american 'soccar' fans will have to sell their Chelsea and Man U shirts to go and buy Man City shirts soon. They are band wagon fans. The best thing would be to keep americans out of the premiership. They will want four quarters introduced, timeouts, and two minute warnings. They will want to find new ways of slowing the game down to introduce adverts. They don't know how to run a 'club', franchise maybe, but not a club.

  • Comment number 47.

    At 10:59am on 25 Oct 2010, Messi4LFC wrote:

    Don't care about baseball and never heard of the "Red Sox", apart from owning my own Red Socks!! Actually, the only baseball team I've heard of is "Yankees", so NESV couldn't have done such a great job!!

    Baseball is not Football - two complete different sports, with different rules, fans and continents!! The business of American sports doesn't apply to a global sport!!

    *****

    All you need to know about the Red Sox is that since John Henry and Tom Werner took over they've won more championships than the Yankees. Before they took over, the Red Sox hadn't won the World Series since 1918. They've now won two in the past seven years.

    As for the business of "American sports," the fact is that Europe is increasingly looking to Major League Soccer and American sports in general as a business model. Much of Platini's "fair play" plan is based on the American model.

    Liverpool fans will be very happy, actually, if their new owners run the club the same way they've run the Red Sox, finding exactly the right general manager and manager, building a top scouting system to find the best players both domestically and around the world (yes, believe it or not, baseball is enormously popular in quite a number of countries and is the most popular sport in Japan, Korea and several Latin American countries) and generally making wise decisions.

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

    I cant believe there are some columnists writing this nonsense about this relic of a club. Come on guys lets get real this horrid club is a fading memory of the 1980's!

    Why we give so much time to a club that does nothing but wallow in its own self pity and arrogance is beyond me.

  • Comment number 50.

    "The so-called "success" with the Red Sox is a mirage.
    Sure they've won two World Series and make a ton of money. But they also just finished 3rd in a 5-team division, and never have to contend with the spectre of relegation.
    Things look rosy in Boston now, but the truth is Fenway is almost 100 years old and squeezing more revenue out of it will be a challenge.
    Perhaps their Anfield plan is to build seats on top of the Kop?"

    Imagine an historic English team..Portsmouth Maybe..hadn't won in 80+ years..The NESV team took a team like that and ended the drought that most had thought was impossible. Finishing 3rd in the "5 team division" was a mirage..the two teams above them were acknowledged as 2 of the top 4 teams in Baseball. It was like playing in a "division" with Man Utd and Chelsea on your schedule every 3 weeks!

    As far as Fenway being 100 years old..yup..similar to Anfield..and none of the fans wanted to lose it, so the owners have increased the revenue by adding to the "charm" of the old place, and the Green Monster (seats above the Kop?) is probably one of the most brilliant ideas you could find in recent Sports stadia design.

    Stop being a hater :-)

    The new owners of Liverpool may not appeal to everyone, they will want to increase revenue, they're not going to lose money, but they will certainly offer something that as far as I could tell was NEVER evident from the previous Yanks..a love of the game, and the passion of the fans.

    From a "happier" Red Sox fan who grew up with Roger Hunt, Tommy Smith and Emlyn Hughes as my idols, I can't think of a better match!

  • Comment number 51.

    @LFC_Kopite

    Cared about the fact it was another Liverpool blog. Yes. Cared about the content.... No.

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    49. At 1:46pm on 25 Oct 2010, Diduleck wrote:

    I cant believe there are some columnists writing this nonsense about this relic of a club. Come on guys lets get real this horrid club is a fading memory of the 1980's!

    Why we give so much time to a club that does nothing but wallow in its own self pity and arrogance is beyond me.

    ----------------

    Firstly, you could always not read these articles you clearly despise so much?

    Secondly, Liverpool won the biggest prize in club football just over 5 years ago, reached another final 2 years later and could have won the league title in 2009.

    Not bad for a relic of the 1980s.

    It's a good job that BBC columnists aren't so riddled with bitterness and ignorance as you are.

    And a third point, whether you like it or not, Liverpool FC is an iconic name within football and is one of the very best supported clubs in the world. But hey, don't let these things get in the way of a blinkered rant. ;)

  • Comment number 54.

    Oh my god who really cares

  • Comment number 55.

    I also agree about the constant barrarge of Liverpool articles. Change the record. Also I follow football not the off the field circus, please focus more on the actual games with these blogs.

  • Comment number 56.

    "However, the game in England is still 10 to 15 years behind the US when it comes to the commercialisation of sports so the Premier League remains an intriguing proposition."

    I find this a disturbing quote.

    The public are quite rightly sickened by the recent Rooney saga and the amount of money top football players and now securing. Given that 500,000 people will lose their jobs in the British public sector alone during the next 4 years, the gulf between such sportsmen and the general public is widening. The premiership should be called the Fantasyship.

    Are we to presume that the Rooney's of this world will be earning £500k a week in a few years - just for kicking a ball on a pitch when unemployment figures rise and the world economy falls? Where is this financial gross absurdity going to end? When will the public turn-a-round and say, "Enough is enough!"

    Surely, there must be a player wage cap. It is the salaries which are causing so much of the debt problem within the clubs. And what is even more ridiculous is that the top sides who are willing to pay the absurd transfer fees for the best players are the ones who are often most in debt.

    This madness must and will end in tears.

  • Comment number 57.

    32. At 12:51pm on 25 Oct 2010, Lee wrote:

    Still love hearing the Liverpool fans blaming Hicks and Gillet for the problems at Anfield.

    Lets think about this for a minute, who was the one person who spent all this money on useless talent? Benitez.

    What exactly did Benitez do for Liverpool? Won a champions league trophy, with Houlliers team, not Benitezs.

    Benitez was the root cause of the problems

    =========================================================================

    It only took this bloke 4 sentences to highlight his severe lack of knowledge about the game. This must be a record!

  • Comment number 58.

    25. At 12:12pm on 25 Oct 2010, graham bailey wrote:
    "However, the game in England is still 10 to 15 years behind the US when it comes to the commercialisation of sports so the Premier League remains an intriguing proposition."

    Rather a worrying statment. whent he whole of the premiership is owned by americans they will then all be able to vote together for changes to rules. Football will become a game of quarters and adverstising breaks whilst someone trys to persuede you buy s*** you don't need.

    I'm quite unhappy with the commercial element of football as it is i don't want a bunch of american corps making it worse.

    fan ownership needs to begin

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Absolutely agree Graham.........the one statement that sickens me more than any was the one you quoted.

    GET THE YANKS OUT - WE DON'T WANT OR NEED YOU IN OUR GAME!!!

    90mins for a game of football is long enough - No supporter wants a game to last half a day

  • Comment number 59.

    "Could have won the league title in 2009." Is that meant to be some kind of achievement... the rest of the Premiership "could" have won the league that and every other season as well. Haha...

    Liverpool supporters throw the word "bitter" around because they think everyone is "bitter" of their success. On the contrary, Liverpool supporters are infinitely more bitter of Man Utd's league title success in the last 20 years and are extremely bitter of the money that City and Chelsea have at their disposal.

  • Comment number 60.

    Theres some real bitterness here from non Liverpool fans this morning!

    Theres no point getting angry because the article isn't about your club!

  • Comment number 61.

    28. At 12:27pm on 25 Oct 2010, Darren wrote:

    Liverpool's financial problems are now over, the future for other top clubs isn't so rosey - Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs and even Man City will have it hard soon enough when the new rules of only being able to operate in the transfer window with less than 13 million pounds operating losses! Any teams who can't do this will be banned from European Competition.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You obviously don't know what you are talking about!!!!

    Can I suggest that you actually read the story behind the headline and not just the headline - Oh and read a proper paper not one that you need pictures to understand what is written

  • Comment number 62.

    32. At 12:51pm on 25 Oct 2010, Lee wrote:
    Still love hearing the Liverpool fans blaming Hicks and Gillet for the problems at Anfield.

    Lets think about this for a minute, who was the one person who spent all this money on useless talent? Benitez.

    What exactly did Benitez do for Liverpool? Won a champions league trophy, with Houlliers team, not Benitezs.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Then the FA Cup and a second placed finish in the premier league. There was then no money available to build on this platform the following season, due to the debt placed on the club, resulting in the exodus of key players and the manager.

    Why do you bother to come on here and spout complete drivel?!?!

  • Comment number 63.


    i had a liverpool mate text me one day after benitez left.
    he text me benitez's achievements in 5 years. this is how the text went.

    won champions league - fair enough

    beat man utd 4-1 at old trafford - WTF 1 result against Utd in 250 years

    beat real madrid barcelona and inter milan - WTF

    came 2nd in the league with the most points for a 2nd placed team - WTF is that an achievement??

    i forgot the rest of the garbage he text me.

    but you get my drift on what liverpool fans consider as achievements

  • Comment number 64.

    #63

    does quoting your mates text message have any relevance to the article above?

    no

  • Comment number 65.

    64. im responding to the dude above who said


    --
    ""Could have won the league title in 2009."

    Is that meant to be some kind of achievement... the rest of the Premiership "could" have won the league that and every other season as well. Haha...!

  • Comment number 66.

    Firstly just to clarify one point I keep reading, when this article refers to the man that 'saved' Liverpool, it means from administration.

    I think everyone with a bit of footballing know-how can see from the league table we are far from safe, though we are only 3 points behind 7th place which given the current feeling I wouldn't be unhappy with.

    I don't think we'll see Liverpool relegated this season and I also don't think we can realistically expect a top four finish, but European football in some form has to be our top priority along with some new faces.

    I've read that our main scout is working throughout Europe to bring in four first team starters, Dalglish is starting to see some good young players soming through the ranks at the academy and the new owners are going to announce in the next 2 weeks what they will be doing with the stadium, so all in all its looking up (not difficult to look up from the bottom but we're still looking up!).

    Lets see how we build on the win at Blackburn.

  • Comment number 67.

    33. At 12:57pm on 25 Oct 2010, NIreland1-0England wrote:
    At #28

    You'll find that Utd are in fact one of the most profitable clubs in the world due to huge turnover on a scale Liverpool can only dream of at this stage
    ....................................................................

    Actually you'll find that you are spouting drivel.

    Liverpool have been paying off millions in acquisitional debt each year in exactly the same way that utd have, and our turnover is just as big, if not substantially bigger than that of utd's.

  • Comment number 68.

    59. At 2:25pm on 25 Oct 2010, AndyTSJ wrote:

    "Could have won the league title in 2009." Is that meant to be some kind of achievement... the rest of the Premiership "could" have won the league that and every other season as well. Haha...

    Liverpool supporters throw the word "bitter" around because they think everyone is "bitter" of their success. On the contrary, Liverpool supporters are infinitely more bitter of Man Utd's league title success in the last 20 years and are extremely bitter of the money that City and Chelsea have at their disposal.

    ------------------

    Liverpool finished 4 points behind United that season and secured second place in the final standings. Are you of sufficient intellect to realise that this is better than 18 of the remaining 19 clubs managed to achieve?

    And we're bitter because you say so?

    Right.

  • Comment number 69.

    67. At 2:37pm on 25 Oct 2010, _Formerly_Under_Crazy_Kiss_Of_Fate_For H and G wrote:

    33. At 12:57pm on 25 Oct 2010, NIreland1-0England wrote:
    At #28

    You'll find that Utd are in fact one of the most profitable clubs in the world due to huge turnover on a scale Liverpool can only dream of at this stage
    ....................................................................

    Actually you'll find that you are spouting drivel.

    Liverpool have been paying off millions in acquisitional debt each year in exactly the same way that utd have, and our turnover is just as big, if not substantially bigger than that of utd's.

    -------------------

    Actually, it's you who is spouting drivel.

    Liverpool have a healthy turnover, but do not think for one second that it is higher than that of United's.

    Please don't embarrass yourself any further.

  • Comment number 70.

    Liverpool finished 4 points behind United that season and secured second place in the final standings. Are you of sufficient intellect to realise that this is better than 18 of the remaining 19 clubs managed to achieve?

    And we're bitter because you say so?

    Right.

    =====================

    He listed that 2nd place finishing as one of benitez's never ending achievements.

    no one cares who wins the league year in year out.

    its all about that coveted 2nd spot.

  • Comment number 71.

    70. At 2:46pm on 25 Oct 2010, Mr Chelsea wrote:

    Liverpool finished 4 points behind United that season and secured second place in the final standings. Are you of sufficient intellect to realise that this is better than 18 of the remaining 19 clubs managed to achieve?

    And we're bitter because you say so?

    Right.

    =====================

    He listed that 2nd place finishing as one of benitez's never ending achievements.

    no one cares who wins the league year in year out.

    its all about that coveted 2nd spot.

    ----------------------

    Actually, he called us a relic of the 1980s and I pointed out that relics of that decade do not win the European Cup and do not finish second in the league.

    But then again, I'm not trolling for an argument or a particular kind of response.

  • Comment number 72.

    Turnover matters not, as has been the matter of the blog, a club can still go in to administion, the fact anyone comes on here and says that united are profitable is stupid, a typical united fan, if i am in dept of £5000, and i buy to bags of crisps at 50pence, and sell them both for £35 pound, am up £69 but i still ow £5000, so stop talking garbage and go post about rooney not being needed,

    .. oh wait.. he signed a new deal.. hes the best striker in the world then eh?

  • Comment number 73.

    #50: chriscatusa:
    Wonder if you chose Portsmouth because you read my profile??!!

    I'm not "a hater", not at all. I'm just sick and tired of correspondents on here thinking Americans are so good for everything until, of course, in Hicks' case they realise they were duped.
    Watch Red Sox games on NESN two or three times a week so I have some idea what I'm on about.
    Running a franchise without having to comply with anti-trust regulations is completely different from running an English football club. Which the BBC seems unable, or unprepared, to comprehend.

  • Comment number 74.

    No one has saved Liverpool yet..it is a ridiculous comment..no one knows the quality of the new owners yet except by this rather ambiguous comparison with a baseball side. If they are competetive thats great but still the 'bottom line' will come first. If events transpire they could be heros or villains yet. Oh, and people seem to forget that we won the CL '05 with Finnan, Kewell and Baros etc. playing. It's not the money its the players, teamwork and the confidence that counts.

    Plus, even as a Liverpool fan myself...write about other clubs...please!! there has to be something interesting happeneing somewhere else in the premier league. The BBC's ability to stretch stories past the point of intrigue and into the domain of absolute tedium has become astonishing recently...same with the Rooney saga. No insight on a footballing level, all amped up soap opera drama...how about if nothing of interest is really happening you just don't write much that day rather than rehashing the same story with a different title and the paragraphs rearranged.
    Cheers

  • Comment number 75.

    "Turnover matters not, as has been the matter of the blog, a club can still go in to administion, the fact anyone comes on here and says that united are profitable is stupid, a typical united fan, if i am in dept of £5000, and i buy to bags of crisps at 50pence, and sell them both for £35 pound, am up £69 but i still ow £5000, so stop talking garbage and go post about rooney not being needed,
    "
    ================================================
    profit and debt are completely seperate things, it's possible to be profitable but still have debts.

    The point is that Man U have a much higher turnover than we do, and we need to catch up to be able to compete. That will mean a bigger stadium, and more income through sponsership and merchendising.

  • Comment number 76.

    Actually you'll find that you are spouting drivel.

    Liverpool have been paying off millions in acquisitional debt each year in exactly the same way that utd have, and our turnover is just as big, if not substantially bigger than that of utd's.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This comment amused me... bravo! Manchester United do pay off acquisition debt, also known as Goodwill payments, which are payments made to fill the gap between the inflated price paid for a club to the actual sum of it's parts.

    Two things you should look at...

    1. The Forbes Fottball Club Rich List
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/21/soccer-value-teams-business-sports-soccer-10-wealth_land.html?boxes=listschannelinsidelists

    2. The Deloitte Football Money League for 2010.
    http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2866/analysis/2010/03/02/1813676/top-20-deloitte-football-money-league-in-full

    You'll find that Liverpool actually makes about £110 million pounds less than United and as a club they are worth significantly less.

    Please don't make me research to accommodate your ignorance again... it's embarrassing for you.

  • Comment number 77.

    For those complaining about the preponderance of BBC blogs on Manchester United and Liverpool, I suggest you identify a non-Premier League club close to where you live. http://www.mikeavery.co.uk/Philip%20Steinson/tottab.xls

    Go and watch them. Repeat.

    Copy and paste this wherever you can.

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 78.

    Liverpool finished 4 points behind United that season and secured second place in the final standings. Are you of sufficient intellect to realise that this is better than 18 of the remaining 19 clubs managed to achieve?
    And we're bitter because you say so?
    Right.

    =====================

    He listed that 2nd place finishing as one of benitez's never ending achievements.
    no one cares who wins the league year in year out.
    its all about that coveted 2nd spot.

    =====================

    To be fair, the comments about 2nd are true (in that it's not a major achievement), however it was seen at the time) to have been a season where Liverpool progressed, so in that respect it was an achievement.

    Unfortunately instead of progressing yet further, the team has slipped badly in the past 16 months or so.

  • Comment number 79.

    Even if Roy was given a lot of money, i doubt he has the ambition and vision to buy the right sort of players able to win the title for Liverpool. He will probably go for the failures at other clubs or mid-table fodder. I am concerned by his pronouncements and general comportment as LFC manager. It seems to me he is still stuck in the Swedish League or carrying mid-table mentality. To see this Liverpool team he manages unable to impose themselves against half-decent premiership teams and totally lack ambition against the other big teams is simply shocking!!!!!!

  • Comment number 80.

    American sports are more commercialized than European football? Perhaps one of the most stupid and ignorant comments ever.
    At least in baseball and the NFL, there is a much better chance for any team to win a title than in any European football league.
    Also, in their championships the ball is not a major talking point, and the finalists play to win.

  • Comment number 81.

    Off-field antics have never been the Liverpool Way at all, with little knowledge of such to outsiders and even large sections of fans. I will thank each and every one involved in our sale from those two unmentionables to NESV.

    Lost in all the gratitude is the part Rafa played, in helping encourage setting up of fan unions (and active support throughout, constantly returned back), to hightlighting (whistle-blowing) the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at the club.

    Whatever remains to be said, for LFC it's a day at a time, each bringing its own uniquenesses and challenges to be tackled. We've gone through a winningless spell, cutting across domestically to Europe, so yesterday's three were invaluable.

    In perspective, all they show is we are neither as bad or as good as made out. The quality's there, with eight of our starters yesterday having participated in our runners up season under Benitez. That clearly shows there is quality in the squad.

    Tactics wise we've been reserved to a fault, a matter that has cost us dearly. I saw the return of pressing, attacking, playing a high line, incessant crossing and related pressure, attacking the second ball and much more forward movement. It was hard to find a fault with the team, bar that unfortunate own goal from Carra, following Konchesky's goal line clearance. As an aside, Carra now trails only Richard Dunne in PL own goals - yet another record down at Anfield ;-)

    All notwithstanding, there are three tough fixtures next, with Bolton away (with Roy's atrocious away record under scrutiny), Chelsea at home and then Wigan. All will show just how much progress, if any, the Reds have made since the NESV takeover.

    However, I hope for my life I never see our business conducted in public ever again!

    PS: I also wish all debt-laden clubs, not least MUFC, speedy recovery. Contrary to some perceptions here, very juvenile I must add, no club should go down as it is not good for all concerned, not the fans, investors, even critics. We need all in competitive state. In that regard I remain happy for Portsmouth FC fans. Good read.

  • Comment number 82.

    72. At 2:56pm on 25 Oct 2010, Trotlfc wrote:
    Turnover matters not, as has been the matter of the blog, a club can still go in to administion, the fact anyone comes on here and says that united are profitable is stupid, a typical united fan, if i am in dept of £5000, and i buy to bags of crisps at 50pence, and sell them both for £35 pound, am up £69 but i still ow £5000, so stop talking garbage and go post about rooney not being needed,

    -----------------------------------

    You've totally missed the point. I was responding to a poster claiming that Utd would not be allowed to compete under new rules coming in that teams must not have an operating loss more than £13m.

    My comment was that Utd actually made an operating profit this year. The bottom line figure was a loss but not the operating figure therefore they wouldn't breach the rules.

    City on the other hand may well breach new rules. Admittedly I've not seen their accounts but clearly they have substantially less turnover than Utd (and Liverpool) and much higher expenses due to wages etc. They still have time to rectify this though and I'd imagine most clubs will be the time any new rules come in.

  • Comment number 83.

    So the same people who brought Hicks and Gillett to Liverpool have now brought NESV to Liverpool. Sounds like a great omen to me :)

    And Liverpool are an "unpolished diamond"? One of the most successful clubs in Europe an "unpolished diamond"? Perhaps he meant Everton, or Newcastle United, or Sheffield Wednesday, or a host of other clubs with a good historical fan base, have had success in the past, but haven't had much success of late. It's amazing how stupidity is passed off as a news story.

    American sport is business first, sport second. English football has traditionally been sport first, business second. That is changing. However, English football will have to break the shackles of FIFA and UEFA to complete the transition. That should be fun to watch.

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/the-potential-for-discord-in-world-football/

    In the meantime, a song for Hicks and Gillett, entitled "You'll Never Want A Loan", sung to the tune of You'll Never Walk Alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5yBScmTqpU

  • Comment number 84.

    As winners they should be able to spot a journeyman manager with their eyes closed.

  • Comment number 85.

    RE: Mudu123

    Don't get me wrong dude, I do understand the reasons for Liverpool's coverage of late, however, I just feel it's a real shame that so much of the blog space is being dedicated to every single aspect of it.

    Yes, it's all relevant to the modern game and (admittedly) very amusing to anyone who grew up in the eighties (as I did) with Liverpool the dominant force in domestic and European football.

    I didn't read the blog as I find the headline ridiculous. Liverpool has been 'saved'? Liverpool has been 'sold'. And I'm sure they'll end up mid-table where they deserve to be on current form and with the current squad. I just felt the need to urge the BBC to start looking elsewhere from here on in.

    I feel sorry for the likes of West Brom fans. Currently 6th in the Premiership in their first season back (again) which they've managed to achieve by playing passing football and on a budget that probably wouldn't cover Wayne Rooney's escort bills and nary a mention on the BBC.

    I'm a Stoke fan. So I, like most other fans, am a bit sick of the constant Man Utd/Liverpool talking points. Especially as the former beat us on Saturday by playing the type of physical game that we get vilified for every week (but, obviously, without falling foul of as severe disciplinary measures by the match officials). Where's the blog about the lack of parity in the game when it comes to refereeing decisions between the all powerful 'big' clubs and the so-called lesser ones?

    I'm not convinced even Liverpool fans want to read any more about this rubbish. I'm sure the real fans all go to the games every Saturday and just want to see their team start playing well again and challenging for honours. It's only the glory hunters and hangers on that want to know whether to jump ship or not who might still find any real points of interest in who negotiated the sale of the club and how.

    In the words of your very own Steven Gerrard this week, mate: "Enough is Enough."

  • Comment number 86.

    Matt wrote:
    I was living in the US when John W Henry took over the Red Sox and the transformation from a team of also rans to a championship winning team was very quick. Watch this space!

    ----------------

    Obviously you don't follow baseball. Redsox fisnhed 2nd in their division in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. They were bought by Henry in 2002. The finished second in 2002, 2nd in 2003, 2nd in 2004, 2nd in 2005, 3rd in 2006.

    Also winning the world series is more like winning the CL, winning the pennant (the division) is more like winning the PL. Redsox’s drought was painful precisely because they always had a strong team, that found a way to lose in the play-offs that are knock out type short series. They were not an also ran team. In fact the year they won their first title, they were second, and Yankees were considered on of the best teams, as the won 103 games (a incredible number of wins); and won the division. Ya’ll are making too much of Red sox world series wins. Teams like Arizona diamondbacks and Florida Marlins managed to win the world series when they were new expansion teams (sort of like a team that recently got to PL from championship). Both of them were fairly average teams in he regular season and got to the play-offs because they were in weak divisions, and once in the play-off, a hot pitcher can carry an average team.

    Please do not equate World series titles with PL titles.

  • Comment number 87.

    Liverpool has lost all of its mystique, and personality which was essentially derived from a heady mix of players and fans their love and respect for each other and the belief that Shanks instilled in us that together, united, we could never be beaten. Foreign influences have destroyed the club ethic, Houllier and Rafa are to be blamed directly for this. The romance once associated with The Kop has also been erased by the constant hunt for corporate deals and hospitality boxes. Ticket prices are insane, and that is the fault of greedy agents and players driving up transfer fees. English football is now the Sick Old Man of Europe, teetering on the edge of a steep and slippery slope from which there will be no saving him if he should trip and fall. Once upon a time, Liverpool stood for something different in football, something to do with loyalty, integrity and unity.

    All we ever had is now lost. Liverpool FC is dead. Long live LFC.

  • Comment number 88.

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

  • Comment number 89.

    Can people just leave Liverpool FC alone to focus on the football. Instead, of focusing on the off-field ownership battle.

  • Comment number 90.

    "Don't care about baseball and never heard of the "Red Sox", apart from owning my own Red Socks!! Actually, the only baseball team I've heard of is "Yankees", so NESV couldn't have done such a great job!!"

    Some info for you... The Yankees are the Man Utd / Chelsea of Baseball...

  • Comment number 91.

    Obviously you don't follow baseball. Redsox fisnhed 2nd in their division in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. They were bought by Henry in 2002. The finished second in 2002, 2nd in 2003, 2nd in 2004, 2nd in 2005, 3rd in 2006.

    Also winning the world series is more like winning the CL, winning the pennant (the division) is more like winning the PL. Redsox’s drought was painful precisely because they always had a strong team, that found a way to lose in the play-offs that are knock out type short series. They were not an also ran team. In fact the year they won their first title, they were second, and Yankees were considered on of the best teams, as the won 103 games (a incredible number of wins); and won the division. Ya’ll are making too much of Red sox world series wins. Teams like Arizona diamondbacks and Florida Marlins managed to win the world series when they were new expansion teams (sort of like a team that recently got to PL from championship). Both of them were fairly average teams in he regular season and got to the play-offs because they were in weak divisions, and once in the play-off, a hot pitcher can carry an average team.

    Please do not equate World series titles with PL titles.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Couldn't agree more with you mate - Football is a truly global sport, whereas "Rounders" (aka Baseball)is a played only in few countries!! A better comparison for Rounders would be with the Indian Premier League (aka IPL) - both good money making scheme and appeals to niche people!!

  • Comment number 92.

    Football clubs are based on different value and the normal business rules do not apply. They should come under charitable status and should be booked and accounted for in this way.

  • Comment number 93.

    I am a lifetime Blacburn fan but watch liverpool games also because of a terrific Reds son-in law. Two things. On Saturday, Liverpool wanted the game. They played better than I've seen them for a while. They were united, together. Torres for the first time looked happy as did the rest of the team. They worked for each other. Robinson was on top form as usual otherwise we had shipped half a dozen!
    This was due in my opinion to the total situation being at last settled and clear for all parties. It has had NOTHING AT ALL in any way to do with Roy Hodgson. He is a top manager. His demise at Blackburn was the fault of a few of the better players NOT accepting his regime ( a recent Flitcroft article, who admired his style ) The flack he is getting from Liverpool supporters is unbecoming. A change of manager is senseless and not required. I can see them gradually winning more games and moving up the table. Let's see more positive talk from you Reds!

  • Comment number 94.

    @63. At 2:31pm on 25 Oct 2010, Mr Chelsea wrote:

    i had a liverpool mate text me one day after benitez left.
    he text me benitez's achievements in 5 years. this is how the text went.

    won champions league - fair enough

    beat man utd 4-1 at old trafford - WTF 1 result against Utd in 250 years

    beat real madrid barcelona and inter milan - WTF

    came 2nd in the league with the most points for a 2nd placed team - WTF is that an achievement??

    i forgot the rest of the garbage he text me.

    but you get my drift on what liverpool fans consider as achievement



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second in the league wasn't considered an achievement it was in response to people questioning rafa's record (I do believe Chelsea finished 3rd that season). The 4-1 win against utd was a special result but it was just that and we have moved on from this but it did form a memorable week of football when liverpool felt invincible beating real madrid 4-0 as well. However these weren't the only memorable results we have notched up at Old Trafford in our 250 year history (WTF!) including a great result there in 2006 when we beat some minows 2-1 in an FA cup semi final.

    Finally Liverpool fans only have two ways of measuring success, these are the league which we have won a record 18 times and the european cup which we have won five times (called the champions league now) but you wont know much about this as the only time you've been to the final, Terry bottled it.

    All this is rich coming from a team which until recently listed fa cup semi finals in their honours list on their website. We all had a good laugh at that on the Liverpool FC forum

  • Comment number 95.

    On the subject of NESV - you can not compare the success NESV has had in baseball with what they may do with football or Liverpool. They are a huge marketing company who looked after the fans, the investors and then the team hopefully enjoys the benefits of the profits and gets betters players. Sure, they'll be on high wages but to have the best you need to pay for it. If you research, NESV know how to market a product and that's what Liverpool is. The potential for return at Liverpool has never been fully exploited and I'm confident NESV will do that. They will make Liverpool FC the 21st Century Beatles! LFC has history, a unique stadium (age/location etc), huge fanbase all over the world, loyal fans, sense of humour.... they will make LFC a tourist attraction like no other. All of this will bring in the money which will only help us bring in better players to hopefully win trophies. I'm confident..... !!!! YNWA

  • Comment number 96.

    Please read the FACTS, no mention of Philip Hall!
    http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/how-an-email-helped-save-lfc

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

    An awful lot of 'same old, same old' comments here, so let me raise a less-observed issue, regarding the Americanization of the English Premier League. Four clubs are currently American owned. Much has been rightly written about the ire of fans against the owners of two clubs who imposed a heap of debt on what were already global brands. But how about the other two? Sunderland and Aston Villa are not and never will be 'global brands', and they are not going to break into the Top 4 - and yet no one has a bad word to say against the responsible ownership of those clubs - by Americans. So for me the nationality issue is a red herring; more relevant is the business model and track record. Will NESV keep their promises and lead Liverpool in a quietly restrained and businesslike manner like Ellis and Lerner, or will they break their promises a la Hicks & Gillet?

  • Comment number 99.

    This is directed at football journalism in general - not particularly this article... Why is it that the biggest stories in football are about money and disgrace? The headlines for the whole season have been about Liverpool's owners, Rooney's off-field antics/ money grabbing, agents and their power, etc. etc.

    I am only 24 and even I feel old and nostalgic as I remember just a few years ago when I could read about a promising new player, or a great passing team, Le Tissier's genius (OK I'm a Southampton fan) etc.

    I play fantasy football religiously, and the irony is that the football newspapers, websites and TV channels offer me about as much help in picking a new gem of a player as the back of my Coco Pops box.

    There should be a new realm of journalism called football politics. This website, most newspapers, skysports, indeed everything should be in there. Ironically one of my favourite programmes is match of the day, and it is nowadays labelled 'boring' because the pundits talk about football too much. I am dreading the day when instead of analysing the game they break into a discussion about money and disgrace, but I think we are fast approaching that day.

    There should be fantasy football politics too. You can pick a squad, a manager, an owner, and agents. You get plus points for contract extensions, paid holidays to Dubai, praising referees, not-diving, honesty, etc. And you get minus points for divorce, bankruptcy, using ladies of the night, taking out loans, drinking before match days, urinating in the streets, fighting on nights out in Liverpool, brawling with women in newcastle, etc.

    I don't think many players or teams would have positive scores, that's for sure.

  • Comment number 100.

    @63. At 2:31pm on 25 Oct 2010, Mr Chelsea wrote:

    i had a liverpool mate text me one day after benitez left.
    he text me benitez's achievements in 5 years. this is how the text went.

    won champions league - fair enough

    beat man utd 4-1 at old trafford - WTF 1 result against Utd in 250 years

    beat real madrid barcelona and inter milan - WTF

    came 2nd in the league with the most points for a 2nd placed team - WTF is that an achievement??

    i forgot the rest of the garbage he text me.

    but you get my drift on what liverpool fans consider as achievement



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As a Chelsea fan - Would you have considered these things an achievement in the days before you had a billionaire owner and bought the best players and manager available?

    In context of recent years, I think Liverpool's second place finish was a great achievement, when you consider the resources at hand. The fact that Hodgson is struggling with a similar team shows that Benitez had a hard job, and indeed anyone at Liverpool has a hard job.

    If Hodgson finishes 2nd this season will it be an achievement? Yes!

    If abromavic never came to Chelsea, I think finishing top 4 would be an achievement for them, as it is for Tottenham now. So I'm not quite sure where your comments come from, unless you're gauging liverpool's success by comparing it to their success in the 80's which is a bit like saying England should still be conquering countries and forming colonies around the world.

    It's a different era and a different measure of success.

    I'm a Southampton fan and so finishing 2nd in league 1 is an achievement for my team!

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.