January 25, 2008

Why Liverpool shouldn't suck up to DIC: Lovely title, isn't it? It's Friday, and Liverpool is my team, but read the article, and see if it doesn't generate some distaste as to the prospect of having your team be owned by the Dubai International Corporation. Perhaps it can save as a warning to fans of other teams, should DIC swing its attentions away from Liverpool.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 01:26 PM - 17 comments

It seems that the re-financing has been settled. Also, talk like this doesn't really help, eh?

posted by geekyguy at 01:52 PM on January 25, 2008

It's been less than one year and Liverpool is just beginning to get a taste of the Tom Hicks ownership experience. Now consider the poor Texas Rangers baseball club and the torture their fans endure year after stinking Tom Hicks year.

posted by jaygolf at 02:52 PM on January 25, 2008

Neither the Hicks-Gillett, nor DCI ownerships really care about the club. That is what the Kop should be worried about. Both conglomerates see it as a short-term investment they can turn over in 3,4,5 years. However, given the choice between absent, greedy, cheap-skate, Yanks or absent, greedy, kidnapping, human rights' abusin', dirtbags; ya gotta go with the Yanks, right? I like Rafa and all, but the anger against the idea of replacing the coach is going overboard. Does Rafa really deserve all this support? If Liverpool lose to Inter they could miss the CL altogether, what does Rafa think the transfer kitty will be then? The Kop were just singing songs they didn't really mean. They have gotten used to it. Like when they sing: ...a team that plays the Liverpool way and wins a Championship in May... "The Liverpool Way"? Really? Two holding midfielders banging it to a lone big guy?

posted by r8rh8r27 at 02:56 PM on January 25, 2008

I don't think that anyone wants Liverpool. I don't want to offend anybody, but Arsenal is better than them cuz they play as a team. Even though I liked the signings of Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin, they need some better defenders. Gerrard and Alonso underachieve altho I don't think that's the only problem. I think that Liverpool plays with only one striker(Torres) when they should play the 4-4-2 formation with Voronin helping the young Spaniard up front.

posted by Scars at 03:53 PM on January 25, 2008

Scars said: I don't want to offend anybody, but Arsenal is better than them cuz they play as a team. As a Liverpool fan, I have to agree with Scars. Most times I watch Arsenal, I think, "That's the way Liverpool should play." And they used to, back in the glory days when they were winning the League, Cups and European Cup. It was awesome to watch them in full flow, players haring up off-the-ball, so the guy with the ball had more than one passing option, or he could just take off into the opening provided by defenders being dragged out of position by those off-the-ball runs. Plus the multi-passing moves, patiently probing for openings, and then taking the one killer, inventive pass that unlocks space for a goal, those were just a joy. But that's what Arsenal does today, not Liverpool. We have individual brilliance, but not team brilliance. I definitely enjoy Arsenal matches more than the Liverpool ones this season. The only real fun Liverpool match I've watched this season was the 6-0 Derby drubbing. But the others have been frustrating and disappointing, to say the least. We don't show enough confidence to be dominant.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:06 PM on January 25, 2008

And geekyguy, the refinancing may have been settled, but as Mihir Bose points out, it's only the beginning of a long, hard road. Liverpool FC have been saddled with increased debt (although not all of it) that was generated in Hicks and Gillett's purchase of the club. H&G have also increased their debt load. Kop Investments, the holding company under which LFC was purchased, also shoulders part of the debt load, altho, I don't understand how H&G can create and own Kop Investment, offload debt to it, and then say that neither they or LFC are responsible for that portion of the debt. When push comes to shove, I think we know where Kop Investment's share of the debt will fall. Also, there will need to be more funding for the building of the new stadium since the refinancing only contributes enough to continue the redesign (not the building) of the already over-budget designs of the new stadium. Bose's contention is that DIC will be waiting for any sign of vulnerability to pounce. And anywhere along this path, there are large opportunities for insolvency: building cost overruns, failure to refinance again, inability to win silverware or qualify for the Champions league, as well as H&G's patience running out on waiting for a return on investment.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:29 PM on January 25, 2008

"That's the way Liverpool should play." Well hell, run the same team out there a couple of times and maybe they would. The Yank ownership may be a problem, but they sure do a good job keeping the stink off Rafa.

posted by yerfatma at 04:38 PM on January 25, 2008

@catfish: I don't get it. If I were an "unidentified American consortium" I wouldn't be buying clubs like Derby County, I'd be buying clubs like Nottingham Forest or Leeds United. Do any American sports investors understand that you can buy a lower division club, put money into it, and work your way up to the Premier League? Do they understand that there are formerly "big" clubs now languishing in the lower divisions that have lots of history and a large fan base, and that it might be more cost effective to go after these sorts of clubs, rather than buying a club that is already in the Premiership (albeit not for long) and thus will have an overly inflated "value"? I'm guessing not many American billionaires understand the way the game is organized on the other side of the pond. And yes, I'm an American too. But not, unfortunately, a billionaire.

posted by dave2007 at 07:41 PM on January 25, 2008

yerfatma said: Well hell, run the same team out there a couple of times and maybe they would. You have no disagreement from me, yerfatty. Hicks and Gillett's machinations aside (e.g., talking to Klinsmann), Rafa hasn't exactly helped matters with the team and himself by being the new Tinkerman. I've already said as much in past comments.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:26 PM on January 25, 2008

And good luck to Derby. That's probably the best news they've had (and probably will have) all season.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:29 PM on January 25, 2008

The only real fun Liverpool match I've watched this season was the 6-0 Derby drubbing. You couldn't resist, could you? Even my ex-wife brings this up during our arguments over the house.

posted by owlhouse at 06:03 AM on January 26, 2008

Well, if it's any consolation, Liverpool have only just managed to equalize (for the second time) against Havant & Waterlooville, a team from Division 7. It's a real shocker. I mean, I can't believe anyone would name their team Havant & Waterlooville. Good luck with the house, owlie.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:55 AM on January 26, 2008

Good luck indeed. Especially as Derby are losing 3-0. At home. To a side in the Championship. Relegation zone. I've just had a punt on Liverpool to finish winners by three or more goals. No pressure, Rafa. now 1-3 - here comes the Ram comeback!

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:15 AM on January 26, 2008

w00t! I can now lend the Pool fifty quid toward their financial problems.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:50 PM on January 26, 2008

Actually dave2007, lower league teams are just as much a mixed bag as the upper levels. About 9 or 10 years ago, I was involved in the analysis an "unidentified American consortium" performed on Crystal Palace, who at the time were in what is now the Championship. Unfortunately, they had more debt that Derby does and we couldn't see any way to make it work, without much deeper pockets. As a local Rangers & Stars fan whose seen Hicks in action for years, the problem I have with a lot of US owners is that they are no different than your Average Joe, who's putting his Starbucks latte on his credit card. It just seems to me that most wealthy businessmen aren't willing to wait until they can actually afford the team, they'd rather leverage up and hope to hang on by the skin of their teeth. It's a wonder more of them don't go bankrupt. Actually, I guess it's us Average Joes who prevent them from going bankrupt, by supporting our teams no matter what. As a ManU fan, I just pray everyday that the Glazers, who I'd honestly never heard of before they bought ManU, can keep it together long enough to make it a truly successful run. Fortunately, I think they've managed to let Fergie and the boys do their jobs and have indirectly assisted in the continuing rise of ManU to the sports world stratosphere. Although, as some fans will argue, not that ManU needed the help.

posted by SupermanTrackCoach at 11:21 PM on January 26, 2008

now 1-3 - here comes the Ram comeback! Ahem. The sports news broadcasters down here automatically announce the Derby results with 'And Derby's woeful season continues, this time with a loss to (insert name here) in the Premier League/FA Cup/Carling Cup (delete as required)'. Thanks for the best wishes, wc2k2. Everything works out in the end.

posted by owlhouse at 07:09 AM on January 27, 2008

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.