Tag Archives: tom hicks

An Open Letter to Roy Hodgson

Woy rues the "walk on through the rain" bit of the song...

Dear Roy Hodgson,

Welcome to Anfield!  Sorry about the mess… hope it’s not a problem…

It’s only been two months but we noticed you’re already getting a bit snippy with the press. Perhaps your optimism has been dampened by the malaise of your players… and the fans… and the members of the board who don’t own team.

To be fair, Woy, it’s not been a good week for you. In seven days, you’ve lost to hated rivals Manchester United, and then to much-feared Northampton Town.  To top it off — on LFC’s first Saturday game of the season — the Reds put in such a lacklustre performance against Sunderland that the Kop went into a venti lather, extra-whipped, extra-foamy.

It hasn’t been a great start to the entire season either. Facing Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United in the first five Prem games can give any manager a bit of the “frownies”.  One has to wonder if bad results at the start of the season might send the team into a downward cycle of depression and self-loathing — just as Chelsea’s ridiculously easy start may have gone to their heads.  Perhaps you could have Kenny Daglish step in to give the boys a bit of a pep talk, eh?

You’ve also said you’re a bit concerned about the ownership situation.  Maybe you’ve realized that no one’s even come close to  Tom Hicks’ minimum bid for the team on eBay.  Or you could be miffed that he recently tried to pawn the players, stadium and team assets off just to pay the rent… because he’ll earn it back. You just have to trust him.

Conversely, you may be worried that Hicks and Gillet won’t make their debt deadline… meaning the Royal Bank of Scotland would own the team. Are you worried that the league would consider that a financial no-no and deducts points? Or are you worried that the club would be run by actual Scottish people? Hey, there’s King Kenny again, waving from his office… and he’s waiting for your call!

We can see how you’d be upset about losing points to administration. Let’s see: 6 minus 9… carry the “1”… a bit of a steep hill, no? If you listen closely, you can hear Wigan and West Ham fans laughing…

Look on the bright side: you are the manager of Liverpool FC, England’s most successful team! But now you’re miffed that the same media outlets that squeezed your cheeks and patted your bum — after you took little Fulham to the finals of that little tournament — are now reminding you that Liverpool has had its worst start in 57 years.  And they won’t stop.

But not to worry! You’ve got Steven Gerrard (when he’s not hurt), Fernando Torres (when he’s not hurt… or close to tears) and Joe Cole (when he’s not suspended… or hurt… or both). Just ask Stevie… this year, this is the year. He promises.

So turn that frown upside-down, and remember: it’s only three more months to go until the next transfer window. What could possibly go wrong between now and then?

Sincerely,
At The Rails

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Liverpool’s Summer of Love

Three months ago, I wrote that Liverpool faced a bleak off-season. Arrogant owners had plunged the club into obscene levels of debt, while bragging how they would reap record profits from its sale. The team finished a dismal seventh, ending another season where the trophy case remained dusty and unopened.  And Liverpool’s major stars — Gerrard, Torres and Mascherano — all appeared headed for the door.

Oh, what a difference three months has made.  Instead of panic, there has been a steely determination to weather the storm.  Roy Hodgson — a candidate by default, some would say — was hired to manage the team, if only for a little while. But instead of being a lame-duck leader, Hodgson started manning the phones.  He convinced Joe Cole to leave the safe confines of London… and then everything seemed to fall into place.

The commitment of Steven Gerrard to the club was an important step. Never mind the cynics who said he was unwanted abroad. The pledge showed that Liverpool’s captain — and heart and soul — believes there is a future on Merseyside.  But there was still a problem of finances.

Enter Kenny Huang.  It seems the Chinese businessman doesn’t see a club in turmoil, he sees a massive opportunity. Huang remembers that Liverpool is still the most successful English club in history… indeed, one of the most successful in the world.  He saw the survey that shows Fernando Torres shirts sold more units worldwide than any other Premier League player.  He knows owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are mucking about… and thinks he can do something about it.

Huang is being aggressive. The billionaire claims that the club’s debt is so massive, it’s made shares virtually worthless. If he successfully buys that debt from the bank, it’s curtains for Hicks and Gillett.  Good riddance.

Torres has said all along that the club needs new investment, and implied that new owners would be required to get him to stay.  Today, he committed his future to the club… another tremendous psychological boost.  Huang has promised to bring in big players and start in on a new stadium — promises heard from the current owners that ended up ringing hollow. But the rapidly dwindling millions of Hicks and Gillett are drops in the bucket when compared to Huang’s billions.

They say money can’t buy happiness. I think the Anfield faithful beg to differ.

Brent Lanthier

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Liverpool posts pre-tax loss


You don’t know what you’re doing…

So despite being the most decorated English team of all time, despite having one of the most loyal fan bases in the world, despite being a global brand… Liverpool FC still posted a pre-tax loss.  I’m not one to point fingers… but I blame the owners.

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