Liverpool's takeover bid replay
The news that Dubai International Capital made a formal offer for Liverpool to its American owners is essentially a replay of a take-over game that Reds fans, and the world, thought was done and dusted a year ago.
I believe we have barely reached half-time in this replayed encounter and it may take weeks if not months to finish but it is worth considering how DIC is now trying to pay back the Americans in the same way that the Americans, and in particular Gillett, stung DIC just over a year ago.
Then DIC, having thought it had got Liverpool, was thwarted almost in injury time by George Gillett in partnership with Tom Hicks.
Think back to mid-December 2006. Then it was announced that the Liverpool board had accepted the DIC offer and Gillett had been told to go away - at that stage no-one had heard of Tom Hicks.
That afternoon I was on my way to Heathrow for a short holiday when I got a call from a Gillett source saying the American was not walking away. He was still in there.
Soon a document drawn up by Dubai International Capital, called Project Oslo, came my way. It was a financial assessment of Liverpool.
It mentioned the sort of investment return that could be expected and, among other things, spoke of holding the investment for seven or eight years and then selling the club.
It was the kind of document that any sensible City of London investor would make of a purchase but, in a football world marked by emotion, it came as a bit of a shock.
Until that stage, fans of Liverpool had been quite taken by DIC taking over the club. Like all fans, ever since a certain Roman Abramovich suddenly jetted in to buy Chelsea, Liverpool fans were hoping for a money messiah.
My revelations of DIC's internal plans were cleverly exploited by Gillett. It helped build up fan unease about DIC and Gillett supplemented this by a higher offer - a wooing of the board to snatch the prize away from DIC.
The offer made David Moores an even richer man, richer by some £88m, and it also saw Rick Parry get £500,000 for managing to sell the club after years of effort which had involved wooing several investors including Thaksin Shinawatra, who has since taken over Manchester City.
Hicks, it is worth recalling, came in only at the last minute as the partner who would help Gillett fund the deal - Gillett having looked for other partners before settling on Hicks. Hicks' arrival was presented as a welcome bonus - two owners being better than one.
For a time, the Americans lapped up the praise and were contrasted favourably with the Glazers, their reclusive compatriots who never talk to the press and had loaded on a lot of debt to Manchester United.
The high point of the Gillett-Hicks honeymoon was, probably, the Champions League Final at Athens.
My abiding memory is of Gillett in an Athens hotel shaking hands with Liverpool fans, who were almost lining up to thank him for taking over the club. But the morning after the final defeat saw Rafa Benitez make his first unfavourable comments on the American owners.
Gillett later tried to put this down to Benitez having spent a sleepless night walking the streets of Athens - he had to give up his hotel room due to problems in accommodation. But that moment marked the turning of the tide.
Since then, a lot has happened between owners and manager and the owners themselves. The owners talked of replacing Rafa with Jurgen Klinsmann and, while that spat was patched up, the partnership of Gillett and Hicks has all but collapsed. Rarely in a partnership of this nature have two partners, who both own 50% of a club, given such contrasting messages.
There is also one other factor: When Gillett and Hicks bought Liverpool, although they were using borrowed money the point was made that the debt was not being loaded on to the club and this was not the sort of borrowing the Glazers indulged in to buy Manchester United.
The debt they had taken on had to be refinanced in February 2008, however, and, to keep the club going forward, it will continue to increase.
Last autumn, as Hicks looked at alternative sources of money, he spoke to DIC about coming in as an investor but valued Liverpool at £1bn - a figure DIC think was in dreamland.
That, however, was the cue for DIC to move again and, ever since then, a curious triangle has developed at Liverpool.
There is the Gillett/Hicks partnership which has all but broken down. Gillett, frustrated by Hicks inability to keep away from the press, cannot it seems get away soon enough and has, I am told, agreed in principle to sell to DIC, if the price is right.
Then there is DIC, which has cleared its decks and is keen and willing to buy the club but at what it considers a reasonable price.
The third part of the triangle is the club in the shape of Moores, the former owner, and Rick Parry, the chief executive. Once they welcomed DIC, before selling to Gillett and Hicks. Now they hope the situation can be resolved and peace can return. It seems this replay will go to extra time before this can happen.