Dubai dosh closes Premiership gulf

IT doesn’t pay to be cynical sometimes. I’d received a text saying “three definite bids, club will pick one Monday” and I replied “Whatever”.

This drama’s run longer than ‘The Mousetrap’ so how was I to know this information was kosher (if our eventual owners will pardon or even allow the expression).

The Grapevine is all well and good when it’s telling Marvin Gaye he’s been dumped, but not so hot when it comes to football — especially in Rumour City, where you learn to ignore just about everything.

Oops, sorry. Instead of telling you about the biggest change in the club’s history I was wittering on about little Wigan.

Not that we’ll be stepping out of stretch limousines, lighting cigars with banknotes and guzzling champagne while kicking tramps just yet. This doesn’t solve all our problems; it even exposes a whole raft of new ones.

For a start, they haven’t said “yes” yet. They’ve got to look at the books. I sincerely hope there are actual books, written in ink by an ageing drone locked in a cupboard since the 60’s with just a flickering candle for company. Bob Cratchit with a moptop.

When they say “due diligence” what they really mean is the mother of all cavity searches. I doubt they’ll find any skeletons in David Moores’ closet (tucked behind the King Crimson records).

All they’ll discover is a chairman whose main flaw was a staggering overconfidence in his managers’ judgement.

Maybe that’s why I’m so underwhelmed. Money isn’t talent. People are projecting an image of LFC as an emaciated shoeless urchin tugging a forelock and croaking “God bless ya governor” whilst wiping away a tear.

We’ve spent a sizeable fortune in the last dozen or so years trying to put us back on top. It hasn’t worked, and Dubai will want to know why the real source of any modern success is an Academy that’s dried up since Steven Gerrard gushed forth.

I suppose you’re all being hectored by United and Chelsea fans, but this does look strictly business. I doubt we’ll be on tenterhooks waiting for our guy to be served a plateful of polonium. Let’s not even mention Glazer and his debts for fear of ‘them’ throwing a tantrum and forming yet another protest group or splinter club. There’ll be no FC Liverpool, put it that way.

There’s also the small matter of questionable human rights and living in a country where anti-Arab sentiment is always likely to flare up at any moment. Many supporters see it as a final conscience call; others couldn’t care less.

Whether this is a profit raising or profile-expanding exercise only time will tell. If we fail on the pitch the consequences off it may be catastrophic, but, as someone whose emotional bond to a club I’d loved for decades was systematically severed by years of greed, the simple observance of what happens next excites me. It appeals to the inner rubbernecker, and appalls in equal measure.

Besides, does anyone in Liverpool have £450m lying around? I looked down the back of the sofa, and I came up £449,999,999 short. Still, at least I can afford to buy James Beattie and get a coffee with the change.

The stakes, if this goes ahead, couldn’t be higher. Chelsea have thrown down a gauntlet and instead of cowering in a corner mewling pitifully about ethics and principles we may be about to pick it up. In financial terms we’re 3-0 down at half time. Do we opt for damage limitation or come out swinging for glory? Speaking of which, the return to the Ataturk could easily be the most pointless game in our history. All Group C places were settled, nothing would happen in game six to change them.

A lot of teams in this league are simply not up to much.

You go at them and they crumble into dust. That’s three consecutive home games where the opposition just sat back and invited us to attack. It’s an invitation we cannot afford to pass up any longer.

As against Wigan, the conversion of chances into goals acts like wallpaper. A few cracks here and there escape detection.

Gerrard strolls around like he owns the place (not for much longer!) and Garcia was dreadful — but they scored so what else matters?

In a week when it seemed the club would be prised out of Moores’ Scouse hands it was significant that Carragher’s goal brought the house down.

Football isn’t just about money. Pride passion and honour still matter. Whichever road the club heads down now it cannot get anywhere without the total backing of the city whose name it bears.

The heart and the head, both must be obeyed.

Finding the right balance is the tricky bit.

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