YANKS OUT? OR YANKS IN?

Today was either a great day and a turning point in Liverpool’s 2010/11  football season, or the day when irony was proved not to be dead.

Liverpool was today sold to NESV (New England Sports Ventures) for £300 million. As a Liverpool fan myself, I am half delighted and half apprehensive. I am, to use the official fan club’s statement (of which I am not a member), feeling “cautiously optimistic.” The sale has been a fraught one, dampened with court cases and threats, but was completed this morning and, for better or worse, signals a new chapter for the Club.

 In February 2007 the Club was bought by Tom Hicks and George Gillett, both well-meaning Americans who promised titles, transfer money and a new stadium. None of which has actually happened. Liverpool has gone from being one of the best and most successful clubs in Premier League, winning trophies and international respect, to being a Europa League candidate, unable to beat League Two teams and lurking shiftily at the bottom of the table. To put it simply: Liverpool has gone from being a cracking team to a shite one.

Last week, as the sale of the Club to NESV was disputed by the owners and the managing board taken to court, fans were looking into the eyes of possible administration and a 9-point deduction.  This would have been catastrophic, leading to a relegation guaranteed position with -3 points in the table: a morale killer if there ever was one. I am delighted now that this particular disaster has been averted, but am well aware that Liverpool’s troubles are not over.

New England Sports Ventures could well be great owners for the Club. They, headed by millionaire John Henry, are the current owners of the Boston Red Socks (unexplainable American baseball game), and are said to have done a fantastic job with the Club, both on the pitch and off. Although Hicks and Gillett were forced to relinquish hold over the club, they have threatened to sue for £1.6 billion in damages, claiming the sale to have been “illegal”. This could cause a shadow to hang over the sale of the club, but it has to be hoped that the new owners can rise above it and put their minds and money to the job in hand: restoring the greatness of LFC.

Liverpool has been sold to one group of rich Americans from another group of rich Americans, and despite the renewed optimism, one has to wonder if history will not repeat itself. Hicks and Gillett too made promises, told everyone that their passports did not mean that they didn’t care. They too had good CV’s, big smiles and bulging wallets.

Yes, fans should be delighted that the Club no longer faces administration. Yes, optimism should prevail. And yes, we will never walk alone. But just don’t throw those “Yanks out” signs in the bin yet…

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4 Responses

  1. I don’t tend to read sports journalism as there aren’t too many sports that interest me and I tend to “zone out” when reading such material but I really like how you make the subject interesting, engaging the reader. Nicely ended blog too. Good stuff.

  2. I really rate this blog because it is written well and about an interesting topic. It is good to hear about it from a Liverpool fan’s perspective. To be quite honest the downward spiral that LFC are experiencing is a carbon copy of Newcastle – we were points away from claiming the Premier league title back in the glory days – and it slowly deteriorated into a club where we overpay footballers and they got us relegated. I wouldn’t be surprised if Liverpool, despite the new investment, are hovering above the relegation zone – because it is the fault of the players and management more than the owners in situations like this.

  3. I am also a Liverpool fan and agree with everything you have said, but at the end of the day there is no investments coming from people in the UK and Liverpool were always going to be sold to an American with a lot of money and no real guarantees. And if the new owners fail like the owners before, Liverpool will just be sold once again to the highest bidder. Thanks for the blog was well written.

  4. I do agree that the fault of Liverpool’s quick demise is not entirely down to the owners: there are so many reasons for our quick descent of the table. Selling decent players, buying average ones, using transfer money to pay off debts. And losing to Blackpool!!
    To be honest, I will believe in a change and more points when I see our name above the dotted line…

    thanks for the comments 🙂

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