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Liverpool: It could be all over

Robert Peston | 10:21 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

Royal Bank of Scotland tells me that if it's true that Mill has taken the Hicks/Gillett shares and if Mill repays the £200m long-term debt owed by Liverpool FC (plus penalty fees) to RBS and Wachovia, then Mill is in the driving seat.

Once the debt is repaid, RBS's power ends.

At that point, the deal with New England Sports Ventures collapses.

Liverpool would have a new owner, Mill. And Mill will do with Liverpool what it pleases.

Update 1156: RBS feels its hands would be tied if £200m were to turn up in its accounts from Mill Financial.

At that point, its ability to determine the fate of Liverpool FC would be over.

What I cannot ascertain is what Mill would then do with Liverpool.

Is it buying to hold or buying to sell? And would there be any continuing relationship with Tom Hicks?

As and when I get answers, you will be the second to know.

Update, 1209: Liverpool's directors are due back in court at 1400, in an attempt - I am told - to somehow get around the Texas injunction on the sale to NESV.

So the race is on to see who can get the £200m into RBS's coffers faster - NESV or Mill?

After months of fearing they'd never get their money back, RBS must be laughing all the way to the...

Update, 1248: As I understand it, Liverpool's directors will try to get the UK courts to injunct Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett, to prevent them frustrating the sale to NESV via the Texas courts.

Sources close to Mr Hicks are confident that Liverpool's lawyers will not succeed.

Also, bankers at RBS are beginning to wonder whether the money from Mill Financial will actually turn up.

"It could have arrived any time in the past few months, so I see no reason why it should arrive today", said one.

I fear Liverpool will be stuck in limbo for some time yet.


  • Comment number 1.

    Do we know that it is true, that Mill has taken these shares? I thought they where only into Gilletts half?
    It would be good to substantiate first, before making glorious statments...

  • Comment number 2.

    Very interesting. Although I have nothing against hedge funds (I work in the industry and they're nothing like they're portrayed), they are entirely profit-focused. For a football club, that isn't necessarily ideal.

    It would seem a good result for Liverpool if Mill takes control and sells it on quickly for a fast buck.

  • Comment number 3.

    This is sickening.

    More carpet baggers...Hopefully the Premier Leage grows some footBALLS and dismisses them as not good owners.

  • Comment number 4.

    At 10:54am on 14 Oct 2010, Westmorlandia wrote:
    "It would seem a good result for Liverpool if Mill takes control and sells it on quickly for a fast buck."

    But not if they hold on to it without investing and wait for a big profit.

  • Comment number 5.

    If Mill Financial have not passed the FA's fit and proper person test but now own the club, can we play Everton on Sunday?

  • Comment number 6.

    Robert, who cares about football? Its an overhyped, overpriced excuse for the poor man to forget about this troubles. It used to be the last affordable pass time till the leveraged to the hilt cowboys rode into town. The less media attention on football clubs the better.

    Back to proper business now Robert. How is RBS's exposure to foreclosuregate holding up?

  • Comment number 7.

    I just woke up and saw the news, loads of miners and scousers celebrating. Has Thatcher died ? :)

  • Comment number 8.

    If this is true (a) why are we where we are today? (b) the TX court has been misled.

  • Comment number 9.

    Slavery on a seven figure salary doesn't seem to work.

  • Comment number 10.

    Not really surprising - Hicks wasn't about to take a £140 million hit without doing SOMETHING was he?

    Awful news for Liverpool and its fans, though. This time yesterday they'd effectively had £140 million wiped from its balance sheet, now it's back on there and they're owned by a hedge fund who may well look to flog them on, but not at the bargain price NESV were about to pay.

    Maybe Kenny Huang and the Chinese government will come back into play?

  • Comment number 11.

    RiskAnalyst, sorry, we all forgot you set the agenda, Robert you'll need to get his approval next time before posting.

    Interesting point on the fit-and-proper test given that Mill may have acquired the shares on the quiet, and does this contravene the written commitment that Hicks and Gillett apparently made to the banks that only Broughton could approve the sale of the club?

    On purchasing Hicks' and Gillett's shares, would Mill also acquire their commitments i.e. those written agreements with the Banks?

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm confused - I thought the whole point of the litigation was that Hicks and Gill were locked into selling to whomever the board directed?

    Why did they bother going through the litigation if they were entitled to sell their shares elsewhere anyway?

  • Comment number 13.

    Why didnt this come out earlier if its true because Gillet defaulted with Mill financial over a week ago. I still don't understand how Liverpool were allowed to compete in the Europa League as all clubs have to prove they are financially able to complete the season, and the current board have been in debt to RBS for months now.

  • Comment number 14.

    11. At 11:28am on 14 Oct 2010, Martin Greenaway wrote:

    I work for a bank... that should explain a lot.

  • Comment number 15.

    It is entirely the case that, if a secured lender wishes to assign its debt to a third party, the third party would take over the position of the lender and assume all rights and obligations that are attached to the loan.

    But taking over a loan does not make you a shareholder - to become a shareholder Gillett would have to transfer his shares to Mill. If Mill has taken ownership of Gillett's shares already through forfeiture, why have they not been subject already to the "Fit and Proper" test of the Premier League?

    If they do replace Gillett, it does not however alter the fact that the shareholders would then be Hicks and Mill, instead of Hicks and Gillett.

    If Mill pays off RBS and RBS walk away then Mill, as senior secured lender, would have the power to vary the loan agreement and not call in the loan, which would restore power to the shareholders, who could then change the board and tear up the agreement that the old board made with NESV, or anybody else. Then it is NESV who may sue, and so on ad nauseam, if not ad infinitum.

    It would be interesting to know if any commentator out there knows of the availability of sanctions, if any, if a shareholder of a Premier League club sells his/her shareholding without the new owner taking or passing the "Fit and Proper" test. After all, the Premier League cannot actually stop a shareholder selling the asset of the shares.

    This could run and run and could be an absolute disaster for LFC. The supporters must despair that Hicks was ever involved.

  • Comment number 16.

    If the club has been sold (by virtue of Hicks selling his shares) does that not mean the Temporary Restraining Order has been breached by the very man who took it out?

  • Comment number 17.

    Can Hicks sell his shares without the approval of the board?

  • Comment number 18.

    Rbs should foreclose and stop messing about.
    The expensive players with their over-inflated egos then go elsewhere leaving a weak team. - no change there then.
    The loss of 9 points means that LFC have to look at their business plan, look to train more local youngsters and accept that for a year or two they won't be a premier club.
    So halve the cost of tickets to the fans.
    Give it 5 years and they'd see off Man U with no trouble.
    Painful and cathartic medicine which might just set a new trend in football.

  • Comment number 19.

    How about some serious journalism here instead of speculation about rumours? What are the facts here regarding Mill and G & H's shares? And while you're at it, how about substantiating the claim about the £140m loss that H & G are allegedly facing through the NESV deal? Where and when did they put any of their own money into the club? They paid £219m for it, have borrowed £280m(?) against the asset, income has increased significantly, yet net transfer fees since 2007 have been only £9.5m and there's not the slightest sign of a new stadium (although £60m of the club's money has been wasted on architects fees & associated costs).

  • Comment number 20.

    15. At 11:39am on 14 Oct 2010, Albuquirky wrote:

    No quite, and heres why.

    Hedge funds have been doing this for years. RBS will be forced to into selling the debt at a distressed price (lets face it, RBS wouldnt want to own a delusional club still holding onto the remnants of former glory from a bygone era). The hedge fund will buy the distressed debt with the hope that no rescue can be agreed upon. When the club is placed into administration the HF will convert its debt into equity as part of a restructuring deal and win full control of the club, which it look to shakeup and sell at a profit at a later date.

  • Comment number 21.

    If it is true that Hicks has now sold his shares to Mill Financial, then subject to the date of sale, does not the board have grounds for overturning the sale on the basis of the side letter and court ruling? By this I mean that only the board could sanction a sale of the club. By selling his shares Hicks has "sold" the club to Mill but if he did not have board approval such a sale might be invalid?

  • Comment number 22.

    I am having difficulty understanding how a shareholder could pledge the shares as collateral for a loan when those shares were up for sale as part of a separate agreement to repay another loan.

  • Comment number 23.

    Does the BBC, as a matter of policy, exclude any comment which is critical of its reporters, bloggers etc?

  • Comment number 24.


    You fail to take into account some important questions.

    Hicks was responsible for either refinancing his debt or working with the board to approve a sale (as it turned out the board didn't need Hicks or Gillett for that).

    The transfer of debt to Mill is not a refinancing, it is an attempted ownership spill - which is illegal without board approval.

    Given that Gillett sold his share to Mill a while ago, who represented him on the board all this time? Was this declared?

    The board approved a sale to NESV over a week ago, all attempts by Hicks has been designed to delay, and the High court ruled he was in breech then and they will again after his pathetic effort at a restraining order in Texas, which has not jurisdiction but that is no longer relevant as Hicks no longer owns the debt.

    These are noithing short of gross breeches by Hicks, and he will get nothing, Mill will end up with nothing, and the high court will rule the sale to NESV was valid from the off.

  • Comment number 25.

    I think Liverpool are a great club , but I struggle to understand why anyone would be interested in the team at a cost of £300 million plus.

    NO one has define right to a top 4 place , so the income from Europe is not always guaranteed.

    Even Man Utd the most successful team in recent years with a redeveloped 70,000 seat ground are barely profitable once the debts are taken into account.

    The idea that £300 million will be "paid off" is false and simplistic .Capital is capital and needs a return , say £30 million a year for interest plus say another £30 million for profit. So who ever wins, approx £60 million a year will be disappearing out of the club,just like the previous owners.

  • Comment number 26.

    How can a company take effective control of a club in this way, without having to take the 'Fit and Proper' test?

  • Comment number 27.

    #3 "More carpet baggers...Hopefully the Premier Leage grows some footBALLS and dismisses them as not good owners."

    Why are Americans (the implied ethnocentric theme here) not good owners?

    There are numerous League managers of English stock who have been jailed or failled suitability tests for managing English clubs!

    But let's not digress. I am not anti-Liverpool, but facts are the facts. Please accept these:

    - H&G - despite any misinformed public angst - invested heavily in LFC
    - They used the concept of leveraging - which is entirely legal (blame the law, not the person), to fund the acquisition.
    - This investment has not yielded the income forecasted or required to sustain the business model, largely due to inappropriate player purchases, and inadequate league position! (this I suspect is the other sore point)
    - LFC is an American owned club, whose financial ownership is based in AMERICA (not Britain), under American law, which performs business (ie: plays its games) in Britain. Or think of it another way. The injunction in Texas was about one American (Gillet) seeking a proper review prior to any steps for sale of an American asset (LFC) to another American (NESV).

    The sore point here is entirely missed: Financial rules on acquisition have been applied to football clubs. It is used extensively in the city. This is what is considered to be acceptable in business. Clearly, from a moral view, this is not the case.

    Are you going to shoot down the Glazers, the Romans, or anyone else who uses a leveraging facility? It is legally enforceable in this country. We Brits use it / do it too. If the view is the law is wrong, then perhaps energy needs to be invested elsewhere.

    Coming back to the point, I wonder how much influence RBS and Wachovia have had in this saga up to now? No doubt part of the truth will come out tomorrow... I wonder if RBS will call in their loan?

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    What an absolute mess.

    Can't see LFC as a football team staying in the Premier League for much longer. Pity but as stated before maybe some harsh medicine will sort out those clubs in a financially sound situation (are any of them).

  • Comment number 30.

    Could somebody explain to me why a court in Texas can interfere with this UK process?

  • Comment number 31.

    Robert, I don't know much about company law, but you've been working in this area a long time so I have to assume that you're only reporting on this with the heading "Liverpool: It could be all over" because you think the sale of the shares without the board's consent is viable (maybe that's me being naive...).

    So, I wonder if you (or anyone else) would have an opinion whether the following scenario is feasible - could Mill Financial have bought the shares off Hicks at a significantly knocked down rate (owt's better than nowt they say near me...) with the intention of allowing the RBS loan to default, lumbering Liverpool with the deduction and clearing the debts, but then putting them in a position to buy the club back at a reduced rate from RBS. If the answer to my question in comment 5 was "er, No", could that suggest Mill Financial have no interest in Liverpool's core business (playing football, once upon a time), but rather see value in the resale value of it's assets. I dunno, maybe this all is nonsense, but it's the club that the RBS loan is secured against isn't it?

  • Comment number 32.

    "Royal Bank of Scotland tells me..."

    Is it normal for banks these days to discuss with journalists their customers' business affairs?

  • Comment number 33.

    @ rowerdave1

    Mate, you are very clueless on this issue.

    Don't comment on what you do not know.

  • Comment number 34.

    This is really fascinating, there are suggestions that Mill Financial is acting on behalf of Kenny Huang, remember him

  • Comment number 35.

    Much as it pains me. Hicks and Gillett are still directors. If HIcks can secure 200 Mil from Mill and pay off RBS, then the contract with RBS becomes fulfilled and their conditions lapse. This then means Hicks can sack and replace the existing board which would result in stopping the sale. In theory nothing can stop Hicks sinking 200 mil into a company he part owns if somebody is willing to lend him the money.

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.


    Mill can't buy the club without the ok from the Premier League.

  • Comment number 38.

    It would appear that claims Mill have Hicks shares are not true (which is kind of obvious anyway - why would they continue with the case if Mill owned all the shares?)
    It would be good Robert, to have verified news items on this blog rather than unsubstantiated rumour and just trying to be 'first' with the news! I would prefer it be factual rather than your opinion or hunch....

  • Comment number 39.

    Football club gets itself into a financial mess = football club pays the penalty (docked points, forced to sell players, has scorn poured on it by one and all).

    This is what has happened to Portsmouth, Luton, Leeds, Chester, Southampton...

    Why should Liverpool be any different?

  • Comment number 40.

    Ahhh the emotions that get drummed up when discussing the fate of a poxy football club. Whilst in the background the government is continuing to pull the rug from under the feet the British Public -

    But lets debate about football some more :o)

  • Comment number 41.

    33. LFCPool

    Unlikely. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The facts are however the facts.

  • Comment number 42.


    'gross breeches by Hicks'

    Some kind of oversized 18th cetnury clothing?

  • Comment number 43.

    Robert - you stole my joke! I was planning this from last night.

    You think it's all over - it isn't yet!

    Upstaged in comedic value by the dryest journalist in the history of journalism.

    I must say Hick and Gillete certainly know how to endear themselves to the Liverpool fans.

    I'm more concerned with the new owner - why does anyone think he will be any different? I'm sure there were similar plaudits played out by the media when Hicks and Gillete were in the frame for the takeover.

    It's all about money folks - football is secondary.

  • Comment number 44.

    24. At 12:17pm on 14 Oct 2010, LFCPool wrote:
    "The board approved a sale to NESV over a week ago, all attempts by Hicks has been designed to delay, and the High court ruled he was in breech" ... "These are nothing short of gross breeches by Hicks, and he will get nothing"

    Perhaps you meant Hicks was in an arse and that these are nothing short of huge arses ... or did you mean breach? or are you also "very clueless on this issue"?

  • Comment number 45.

    It would help if you could give us some guidance on how Mill Financial could own the club without passing the fit and proper person test.

  • Comment number 46.

    "A UK-based spokesman for Tom Hicks told Press Association Sport Mill Financial had not acquired Hicks’ shares." So this could all be 'Hot air' .

  • Comment number 47.

    I think Roberts blog raises more questions than it answers.

    I thought Liverpool Football Club was wholly owned by a holding company (Kop) and that Hicks and Gillett owned shares (possibly through other companies) in the holding company.

    RBS almost certainly has security from LFC and the holding company (which would include the shares holding company owns in LFC)

    So what the Texan court must have done is prevent the directors of the holding company selling their assets (ie the shares in LFC)

    As RBS has simply security, if the underlying loan is repaid then the security falls away and RBS can no longer force a sale.

    But if Hicks/Gillett have ability to repay RBS or a bidder lined up who will do that, the obvious question is why have that not already paid off RBS.

    My next question is where is the holding company based? Does it have any connection with Texas? If it is based in UK and has no connection with Texas then the English courts can declare that the Texan courts have no jurisdiction this then becomes a legal bun fight between Texas and English courts. Last time this happened was with Delaware and the judges sorted it out with a phone call

  • Comment number 48.

    so what your basically saying is if someone puts in £200milion into RBS coughers and says its on behalf of LFC, they wont care anymore?? i thought it was the banks right to care for its customers?
    i have a feeling that we will be alright in that adminsitration/9 points wont happen, but the actual ownership will go on for days, months and possibly years.. which then creates a bad argument for Hodgson trying to buy and sell players, who does he turn to, does he have any power? and then the current players are left in limbo as they wont be able to get sold because one person says yes and the other four say no! Perhaps the best thing to happen is administration and the docking of 9 points, perhaps that will put an end to all of the egos flying around!

  • Comment number 49.

    The Liverpool Daily Post are reporting they have spoken to Hick's US spokesman, and he has denied that Hicks has sold his shares to Mill Financial.

  • Comment number 50.

    41. At 1:19pm on 14 Oct 2010, rowerdave1 wrote:
    33. LFCPool

    Unlikely. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The facts are however the facts.

    The facts are always the facts. You don't seem too well acquainted with them though.

  • Comment number 51.

    I wonder what would have happened if RBS was not bailled out anyone know?

  • Comment number 52.

    The law needs changing so that business can not be taken over with borrowed money.

  • Comment number 53.

    The ownership of the shares only conveys the rights that those shares have. If the business has breached banking covenents that stipulate the lender has ownership rights if default occurs then RBS is now the owner. It makes no odds if the shares are passed to the tooth fairy. They are worthless.

    Hicks has borrowed money and not made his payments he has had 18 months to repay his lender. He is being reposessed. His shares are worthless if the sale price is lower than the total debt. (see house repossession.)

    Goodbye yanks

  • Comment number 54.

    Appreciate the updates Robert but not sure your sources have called this one right.

    Hicks and Gillet only got past a previous refinancing deadline by agreeing that they would cede control over the sale of the club.

    If you sell 100% of the shares without Board approval, you have broken that agreement.

  • Comment number 55.

    Robert - could you look into the Geneva convention and check to see if ignoring a texas court injunction are grounds for an invasion?

    Once the US is finished in Iraq they may want to 'officialise' the uK as it's 51st state.

    Who do they think they are? coming over here - stealing our clubs.....I'm not a racist but...

  • Comment number 56.


    A blog based on a phenomenal amount of uncertainty, based on "sources".

    While the story may be true about Mill Finance may be true and credible, there's a different story being reported by PA.

    Would it not have been more insightful to add comment once all the facts are known rather than the breathless updates which only seem to confirm that yourre knowledge of what's going on isn't a whole lot more than everyone else's at this stage?

  • Comment number 57.

  • Comment number 58.

    Looks like I was being naive - cheers for that Robert, that's my morning wasted. Perhaps I can get back to work now, rather than wait for more of your nonsense

  • Comment number 59.

    45. At 1:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, goldngreen wrote:

    "It would help if you could give us some guidance on how Mill Financial could own the club without passing the fit and proper person test."

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha really...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (choke, choke)

    Fit and proper?

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Have you looked at the 'rogues gallery' of premiership owners lately?

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Fit and proper....brilliant

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha - I think I'm going to wet myself that is so funny.

    It would be easier to identify those who are ruled out of owning clubs than those ruled in.

    ...seriously though - I am crying now...

  • Comment number 60.

    As I understand it from reading these posts, Gillett did NOT sell his shares to Mill, they were seized by Mill because Gillett defaulted on a loan against which the shares were used as security. On the other hand, Kop Holdings, ie Gillet and Hicks' shares, had already been used as security against a loan from RBS. How can any asset against which there is an existing caveat, then be sold to, or used as collateral for a further loan from, another lender without lifting the original caveat?
    Putting this into simplified terms, isn't this rather akin to taking out a personal loan for say 5,000 to buy a car, and then using that car - which is collateral for the original loan - as collateral for another 5,000 loan?
    Surely there are laws against such dealings?

  • Comment number 61.

    10. At 11:14am on 14 Oct 2010, nick78447 wrote:

    "Maybe Kenny Huang and the Chinese government will come back into play? "

    ...and I've just invented the perpetual motion machine!

    You've got a better chance of Kenny G and a chinese chop suey making a comeback than those pair.

    I'm not sure Kenny Huang even existed - I think the board dreamt him up hoping to encourage other bidders.

    The same with the latest crop of offers - I mean after having watched G&H (potentially) lose £140 million in the club - who in their right mind would want to have a go next?

    RiskAnalyst is right - this is an overpaid and overhyped industry which is going to fail like the Italian league did and where the few survivours are at the whim of media moguls and Berlosconi types.

    You're much better off playing football than watching it - like I just did and won 13-8 - nobody got paid and everyone enjoyed it....and most importantly none of us felt 'lonely' after the game that we had to rush off to find a prostitute or stripper to comfort us!

  • Comment number 62.

    Even so-called "proper" journalists are starting to behave with the sort of breathless hunger for melodrama that usually characterises the behaviour of water-cooler gossips.

    Wouldn't it be useful if people checked the facts first? Or are we in "shoot first and ask questions later" territory?

    Even if Preston and others want to be part of the LFC soap opera - they might start each blog with a health warning that most of what they are writing is unsubstantiated or simply inaccurate.

    Nice to see the BBC has finally worked out that Wachovia was subsumed into Wells Fargo some time ago. So Hicks has sold his share to Mill Financial? LFC's "market value" is between £300m-£600m? Mill Financial could repay RBS by Friday and then extricate themselves from a binding sale agreement with NESV on the basis of what - that the change of name on the ownership registration means they are magically exempt from all pre-existing legal agreements?

    Sigh. Maybe we could take out an injunction against Everton to prevent them scoring on Sunday?

  • Comment number 63.

    Can't you people read? Nobody is saying Hicks has sold his shares to Mill, rather that he has defaulted on his obligations and that Mill are now the rightful owners of his shares. We're not going to believe Hicks on this one. He recently put out a statement as follows:

    "In furtherance of this grand conspiracy, on information and belief, RBS has improperly used its influence as the club's creditor and as a worldwide banking leader to prevent any transaction that would permit Messrs. Hicks and Gillett to recover any of their initial investment in the club, much less share in the substantial appreciation in the value of Liverpool FC that their investments have created." (My emphasis)

    Just read it. The man's in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

  • Comment number 64.

    61 WOTW - but you're not saying that we CAN'T rush off to find a prostitute or stripper to comfort us after playing though are you??

  • Comment number 65.

    "52. At 2:01pm on 14 Oct 2010, PalusKeg wrote:
    The law needs changing so that business can not be taken over with borrowed money"

    And that sir is the crux of the problem.

    "60. At 2:15pm on 14 Oct 2010, Redeyed wrote:
    Surely there are laws against such dealings?"

    Excellent post, but we as the general public need to stop saying things like 'surely' and more along the lines of 'why' and 'it cannot happen'

  • Comment number 66.

    This article is probably based on a bit of malicious gossip.
    Is that any better and more enlightening than the usual press release presentation?

  • Comment number 67.

    So much fun reading this, its great to see, something has to be done soon!
    Football should introduce salary cap like Rughby Legaue, we may all then support teams capable of surviving without rediculous capital/loan injections & competing for honours.
    Liverpool now, Man City next

  • Comment number 68.

    LFCPool - calm down calm down

  • Comment number 69.

  • Comment number 70.

    @Redeyed - I am entirely speculating on this, but it is possible that (a) Mill Financial could seize Hicks' shares in Kop Holdings because Hicks defaults on a loan and (b) RBS could seize Kop Holdings' shares in LFC if Kop Holdings defaults on a loan. In other words, it seems we may be talking about different assets.

    But who knows? Facts seem hard to come by on these news websites...

  • Comment number 71.

    48. At 1:46pm on 14 Oct 2010, karim1981 wrote:

    "so what your basically saying is if someone puts in £200milion into RBS coughers and says its on behalf of LFC, they wont care anymore?? i thought it was the banks right to care for its customers?"

    Did overdraft charges and PPI teach you nothing? Why do people have this idealistic view that a bank - which prime goal is profit for shareholders - gives a monkeys about their customers?

    All those fluffy adverts on telly don't mean a thing - they only care for their customers as much as any parasite cares for it's host.

    Take enough blood to gorge yourself - but just a bit less than will bleed the host dry.

    You need to switch off the TV mate - next you'll be telling me that some Lawyers have your interests at heart when you've been unfortunate to have an accident at work - or that certain ex-tv hosts are to be trusted when they try to sell you an annuity - or best of all - the companies offering cash for Gold are doing it to help you get cash and not to rip anyone off!

  • Comment number 72.

    Can somebody please explain this one to me ?

    H&G bought the club for something around the £150m three years ago yes ? Now regardless of whether they have invested their's or anyone else's money in the business since then, or whether they have been seen by the club's supporters to have invested enough, the club is now worth at least £300m (the deal on the table from NESV) and there are other parties out there perhaps willing to pay more.

    That means the club's value has doubled in three years and in any othere business, regardless of how you have achieved that increase in value the owners are the ones perfectly entitled to expect to profit from it.

    Now there is the small matter of loans outstanding to RBS that pretty much cover that whole £300m which they too are perfectly entitled to have back, but what I don't get is why Liverpool fans, the British press and even the British Court system are prejudicing their opinion of H&G as greedy chancers who are not entitled to fight for what it theirs ?

  • Comment number 73.

    52. At 2:01pm on 14 Oct 2010, PalusKeg wrote:

    "The law needs changing so that business can not be taken over with borrowed money. "

    This would be nice - no banks, no bankers and people actually proving there is a demand before creating a supply.

    Nah - it would never work - how would we enslave the population then?

  • Comment number 74.

    64. At 2:34pm on 14 Oct 2010, ejSwede wrote:

    "61 WOTW - but you're not saying that we CAN'T rush off to find a prostitute or stripper to comfort us after playing though are you??"

    I'm saying we have no need - you can do what you want - just make sure you're protected (and I don't mean with PPI) - we don't want more child benefit claimants.

  • Comment number 75.

    67. At 2:41pm on 14 Oct 2010, Upseedaisy wrote:

    "So much fun reading this, its great to see, something has to be done soon!
    Football should introduce salary cap like Rughby Legaue, we may all then support teams capable of surviving without rediculous capital/loan injections & competing for honours.
    Liverpool now, Man City next"

    I used to be a big football league fan - but the money has ruined it for me. It now no longer a case of yor team gets a good manager and builds a good team - now it's you 'get lucky' and a wealthy benefactor takes over and you buy someone else's team.
    ...oh and if it doesn't work out your benefactor leaves and your club is ruined and you're in the first division before you know it.

    ...on the bright side at least you can afford to go to the games again.

  • Comment number 76.

    Could please somebody explain what any of this has to do with the judiciary in Texas?

  • Comment number 77.

    74. Ha ha. I'll be careful

  • Comment number 78.

    72. At 2:53pm on 14 Oct 2010, GregF wrote:

    "That means the club's value has doubled in three years and in any othere business, regardless of how you have achieved that increase in value the owners are the ones perfectly entitled to expect to profit from it."

    ...but that's it Greg - the value of the club hasn't changed - the perceived value by the new owners is £300 million. This is affected by the fact they don't intend to pay for it (they will use debt) - it's the same way house prices get overinflated - because people buy them knowing that whilst they can just cover the mortgage - the value of it (should) rise.

    ...the problem comes when it doesn't rise any longer - and suddenly all those assumptions fall by the wayside. This type of market is one based on the hope that "there is always someone stupider and richer around the corner"

    No premiership clubs are 'worth their valuation' - they barely make any money and profit is totally reliant on asset values rising. There is a lot of choice out there for a would-be owner - so what's that going to do for the asset prices?

  • Comment number 79.

    The endless debate concerning the dealings of Messrs Hicks and Gillett raise a far greater question concerning the business model that the British private sector is meant to develop under the "coalition" government.

    The "hidden deals" of vested interests for monetary gain at the expense of the interests of the service users (i.e. Liverpool supporters; season ticket holders and club members). Two American business men undertook the common practice for such business models - borrowing heavily in the hope of making large profits in a short period. When the business started to fail, they enginerred a complex debt structuring that some how payed them monies by increasing the "company's debts". The banks involved, as in all such excessively large debts, could not afford to lose the investment so allowed the two Americans to restructure - until it became obvious that they were unable to meet their commitments.

    At this point the legal system kicks in, the banks owed money force the two American debtors into selling their asset in order to pay-off their debt, insisting on the restructing of the Board of Directors to facilitate an appropriate sale. The two American debtors/bussinessmen still desperate for a quick profit, as their other business interests are quickly vanishing through their "hall of mirrors" financial operations call in the "judges" for various "we are not getting rich" injunctions. When the courts in Britain fail their intentions they turn to their local judiciary which is more compliant; the Board turns to its local judiciary - and so the tale continues. the football club goes into an drastic decline; the banks kiss goodbye to their money (which I do not know if anybody noticed is "taxpayers money" as we own 80% of RBS). The lawyers become inceasingly wealthy; Liverpool FC goes the way of Leeds United; the American business men stay in America, probably the wealthier; we the taxpayers carry another bill for American generated debt.

    I raise this tale in conjunction with the "coalition" government's notion that NHS hospitals will be liable to a similar model in the near future, as could possibly happen with GP consortium. We only have to look at the endgame of the health service - the funeral directors- to see what happens when American business models take over the "caring businesses" in Britain. It also raises considerable concern for the operations of RBS, whose previous rash debts we the British taxpayers so conveniently paid for last time. How much more of our money are they going to be allowed to pour into America - Liverpool FC, Cadbury, etc., all British successful enterprises takenover by American "marginally profitable" business on the back of British bank debt- not American debt. The crucial point being since Thatcher much of this nations enterprise (ownership of) has gone abroad (the utilities, manufacturing, financial institutions) now the possibility that the same will happen to schools/colleges/universities as well as hospitals/GP consortia. Our taxes will be making profit for foreign interests not for the users of the services. What would the wealth of Britain be if Thatcherism had not sold the "silverware" of the utilities, controlling interests in BP and large stake in Shell? What "black hole" would there be in the public finances if much of the GDP was not going abroad?

    Mr Cable has an opportunity to intervene in the failing business model of our financial institutions and business practices - to take the stance that his Party put to the electorate prior to slipping-in the back door of No. 10. The furore that misled the public before the election on morality in business/banks/politics, on openess and accountability in public services and management, on support for the NHS/universities/research/etc., all a smokescreen or at worse possibly intentionally misleading. Does anybody, anywhere, still agree with Nick?

  • Comment number 80.

    Honestgeraldinho - where are you standing for election, because you've definately got my vote mate.

  • Comment number 81.

    It is true that much of British assets have been sold abroad. It is however even more true that most of those assets are in the hands of international businesses of which many British people have an interest, either through shares, or more likely pensions and insurance. In addition many 'British' companies like BP are really international companies and many American have the same xenophobic feelings to that as many people here have with the owners of Liverpool F.C.

    Had all our 'silverware' still been in the incompetent hands of the state, or rather unions, then the drain on our finances, from repeated blackmail requiring massive subsidies, would have become so huge by now that we would never have been able to afford the NHS.

  • Comment number 82.

    Surely this is about the legality of the actions of the "home team"? If they were legally entitled to sell the club then the club is already sold, as NESV have binding agreements to sell it.

  • Comment number 83.

    Please please let it be over. A Premiership team going bust and all those poor footballers having to go home without any money. Bring it on.

    If the inept management of the Premier League keep going at this rate all the teams will go bust and theh UK populous could be saved from having the over paid, under performing premadonnas of modern football paraded before us warts and all.


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