October 30, 2006

"...........the sheikh was looking for a gift for his brother".........: just a little trinket; a trinket going by the name of Liverpool FC. The EPL is for sale, and no name is too grand to be bartered like cheap sombrero in a Tijuana market.

posted by Fat Buddha to soccer at 01:22 PM - 10 comments

Nothing cheap about thes deals. I do wonder about the anti-foreigner tone of the article, after all Britain (or rather its companies and their shareholders) makes plenty of dosh outside the UK so why should its listed companies not be owned by foriegners who will pay the top price? Otherwise the clubs should switch to the Spanish membership or American NFL model and back off from the public markets.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:35 PM on October 30, 2006

Look, they could have had Thaksin Shinawatra. But, if he had bought Liverpool, he might still be in power, given the EPL's popularity in Thailand.

posted by owlhouse at 01:40 PM on October 30, 2006

I kept thinking, god, what odd prose (I haven't seen the word oligarch overused like that since my seventh-grade essay on Popes of the Middle Ages), until I got to the bottom and saw that it was translated from the German. Which answers another question as well. This story paints a picture of the Premiership as on the verge of being turned into a money-laundering and false-front operation by the Russian (Israeli, Iranian, etc) mafia. This may be the case, but it does slyly mention in the middle that the Bundesliga, the second-biggest league in Europe, has no such problems at all. Which again may be the case, but that explains the tone. I would think PWC would take extra steps to ensure that anyone buying into the Prem would have their finances in order, as organized crime investing heavily in a product tends to devalue that product. I would think.

posted by chicobangs at 01:44 PM on October 30, 2006

As far as I understand it, the Bundesliga has strict financial rules about liquidity and debt. They can't pay the exorbitant salaries of England, Italy and Spain, but then again none of the clubs risk going broke. Given the state of some EPL club's finances, they are obvious targets for anyone with loads of cash to launder, er, spend.

posted by owlhouse at 03:04 PM on October 30, 2006

Premiership clubs looking new, generous owners should be careful - for every Roman Abramovich, there seems to be at least one Vladimir Romanov.

posted by afx237vi at 03:21 PM on October 30, 2006

Most supporters of clubs would have no scruples about where the money was coming from, if it guaranteed short term success a la Chelsea. It is certainly better (in their minds) than merging, moving or being relegated. But why, oh why, are none of these oligarchs showing any interest in Derby County? Fifty million quid in the red. That's one reason. Mid table in the Championship is another. But We Will Rise Again, like, er, Bolton or summat.

posted by owlhouse at 06:13 PM on October 30, 2006

You know, the more I think about this story, the more it sounds like something out of a Warren Zevon song.

posted by chicobangs at 06:58 PM on October 30, 2006

But which one? - Mister Bad Example - Lawyers Guns and Money, or - Werewolves of London?

posted by owlhouse at 07:08 PM on October 30, 2006

Any of 'em. The Envoy, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, something in that range.

posted by chicobangs at 07:17 PM on October 30, 2006

This report adds a Canadian to the list of interested parties: Habs owner George Gillett Jr.

posted by Amateur at 10:44 PM on October 30, 2006

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