Why doesn’t Hicks get the message? It’s difficult to think of a man more reviled in English football. No rhinoceros can have a hide thicker than the Texan. And what about the hypocrisy of the Premier League that, remember, deemed the Americans ‘fit and proper’ to take over at Anfield? Are they now seriously considering docking points when those to blame for the whole mess are so obviously acting outside the interests of the club? Aren’t they meant to distinguish between the debts of a club and those of its owners? Clearly, Liverpool would be financially solvent, healthy even, if it wasn’t for the debts loaded onto it by those hustlers from across the pond.
Dip into the ‘chat rooms’ and the phone-ins and it’s plain many are having a great time enjoying Liverpool’s distress. But they should ask themselves a question: would the potential demise of Liverpool be in the interests of English football? Of course not, it would make our game a laughing stock across the planet.
There may, of course and at last, be light at the end of the tunnel. John Henry and his associates do not appear to be shysters. In a recent poll, Henry was held up as the best owner of any sports operation in the United States. That’s because of his rejuvenation of the Boston Red Sox, a baseball club whose circumstances have much in common with Liverpool.
Henry seems fit and proper, he has the money and he won’t dump debt. So what if he’s in favour of extending the current ground rather than move to Stanley Park? But he could walk away if the club loses points and is, consequently, threatened with relegation. Is the Premier League listening? I don’t think this is bluff.
So in the near future momentous decisions will be taken in the High Court and I’d be lying if I said I’m confident they’ll be the right decisions for Liverpool and for English football.
In the meantime, we should offer a penny for the thoughts of David Moores and Rick Parry, respectively the former chairman and chief executive of the club.
Moores at least had the decency a while back to, I thought a little timidly, speak out against Gillett and Hicks. He couldn’t say too much of course since it was public knowledge Moores made more profit in selling up to them than he would have had done dealing with Dubai. I hope his bank account cushions his conscience.
From Parry … we’ve heard nothing. This is a man who was crucial in the formation of the Premier League and then took over at Anfield from Peter Robinson. And Parry would probably still be there if he hadn’t upset Rafa Benitez in his dilly-dallying over transfer dealings to the extent he was ushered out the exit door while the Spaniard still had power. Parry’s thoughts would be enlightening: his silence is deafening and inexcusable. Is he hurting as much as every Liverpool supporter?