Gillett reveals Reds relationship with Hicks is ‘unworkable’

GEORGE GILLETT yesterday revealed his relationship with fellow Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks “has been unworkable for some time”.

Speaking in Canada, he also said he and his wife have been subjected to death threats.

Gillett and US business partner Tom Hicks are unpopular with some Reds fans after their disagreements with manager Rafael Benitez and their controversial refinancing of the club.

Dubai International Capital (DIC) recently failed with a bid to buy a 49% stake in the club, which would have seen Hicks retaining a controlling interest.

Gillett said: “This partnership has been unworkable for some time.”

He also said he and his wife “receive many phone calls in the middle of the night threatening our lives”.

As it became clear all was not well in the Anfield boardroom, it seemed likely Gillett would sell his 50% stake to either Hicks or DIC.

Gillett initially wanted to buy the club on his own in January last year, but brought in Hicks when he could not do the deal himself. And he claims Hicks not only failed to take up an offer to buy his share, but also tried to stop Gillett selling to DIC.

Gillett has also revealed that instead of selling the club, he may try to buy out Hicks and take full control.

Gillett said: “This partnership has been unworkable for some time.

“We have tried to be cooperative, we have tried to be supportive but when your public persona is more important than the facts, that makes it difficult to have a rational relationship.

“We gave our partner (Hicks) a long period of time to try to make arrangements to buy us out. We didn’t put pressure on him but he ultimately did not get to the finish line.

“In the meantime, because of the things he said, the fans’ reaction has been so negative towards him — and us if we sold to him — that has made that an untenable alternative for us.

“He threatened to block me selling to Dubai — that was certainly one of the things that made the fans upset.

“Lord knows DIC have the money; with oil prices going up every day, that’s not an issue. They have the history and are fans. I think they would have been very responsible owners. But making that not possible or difficult didn’t endear people to the fans.”

Gillett revealed he has received abuse which he believes has been brought about by Hicks’ comments in the media.

“We get as many as 2,000 emails a week,” he said.

“Some 95% of them have been directed at some of the comments made by my partner. And 5% aimed at both of us — ‘Go Home Americans!’

“The calls are not against my wife or myself or my son or my daughter-in-law, as much as they are against us selling to our partner.

“So we are rethinking that. Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair for me to put my family in that kind of danger.

“So instead of thinking about selling, I might think about buying.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox