Liverpool co-owner George Gillett has finally broken his silence on his strained relationship with Tom Hicks.
Gillett has not made a public statement on the current takeover turmoil at the club since the controversial financial repackaging of the loans Hicks and Gillett took out to buy the club last year.
Gillett’s son Foster – a board member – was withdrawn from the day-to-day operations at Anfield as Gillett prepared to sell his 50% stake to Dubai International Capital.
Gillett, who also owns the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, was speaking at a sports conference in California when – answering a question on whether he would remain a co-owner of Liverpool – he said: “I would say, choose your partners wisely.”
That remark, in answer to a question from Abraham Madkour, editor of a sports business journal in the US, explained much about the differences between Hicks and Gillett.
Gillett was appearing at the IMG world sports conference in California.
He also said: “He (Tom Hicks) is a great guy – but he has just got a different perspective on the media.”
Hicks has this week been critical of DIC’s use of the media to support their plans to buy out Gillett.
Dallas-based Hicks has criticised DIC’s tactics and terminated talks with the Dubai-based sports empire on Monday.
This followed his complaints about leaked documents and comments from DIC that implied they would want management control despite only buying a 49% stake.
He was also upset with what was considered triumphant comments that suggested DIC would soon buy his stake.
For Gillett to suggest he did not choose his partner wisely when he bought the club from former chairman David Moores says much about the current situation.
Gillett initially wanted to buy the club on his own, but brought in Hicks’ financial muscle when he could not do the deal himself.