Hicks: Parry's reign 'a disaster'

Tom Hicks today branded Rick Parry’s time as Liverpool chief executive “a disaster” and warned co-owner George Gillett that the stalemate over the club’s future will continue until he agrees to sell his stake.

Tom Hicks today branded Rick Parry’s time as Liverpool chief executive “a disaster” and warned co-owner George Gillett that the stalemate over the club’s future will continue until he agrees to sell his stake.

Hicks has demanded Parry’s resignation and vowed that his top priority if Gillett were to sell to him would be to offer Reds manager Rafael Benitez a one-year extension to his current deal.

The Texan also revealed that he plans to rid the club of all debt by heading up a group of financial backers willing to invest in the club.

Hicks, who revealed that Parry had taken part in the meeting with Jurgen Klinsmann that undermined Benitez, blamed him for Liverpool’s failure to compete commercially with their Premier League rivals in a Sky Sports News interview.

“Look at what’s happened under Rick. It has been a disaster,” claimed Hicks. “We have fallen so far behind the other leading clubs.

“We should have the stadium built by now. We have a few major sponsors when we should have 15.

“We have still got the top brand in the world of football but that’s no good if you don’t know how to commercialise it.

“Rick needs to resign from Liverpool FC. He has put his heart into it but it is time for a change. You have to be able to work with the manager and Rick has proved he can’t do that.”

On the meeting in New York last year about Klinsmann becoming manager, Hicks added: ``George became good friends with him (Klinsmann) a year ago.

“I get this call from George out of the blue in which he says ’have your people do their research on Klinsmann’. He and Rick set up the meeting in New York. I did go to the meeting along with my son Tom.

“Rick Parry had already met with Jurgen alone for a couple of hours when we arrived. We all then spoke to him for another four hours.

“Afterwards I told the truth to a reporter who asked the question and suddenly it is ’Tom Hicks tried to get Jurgen Klinsmann’. George initiated it but we all participated.”

Hicks and Gillett took over the club in February 2007 but Hicks admitted their relationship has now completely broken down.

“At this point it is unworkable,” he told Sky Sports News. “We started this as friends but 50-50 is a difficult business proposition because you cannot do anything without your partner’s approval.

“We had a good honeymoon but, over a period of time, there have been issues, the stadium being the main one.

“If George doesn’t sell – because I am not going to sell – I guess we stay in this position that we are in.

“It’s complicated but it’s going to happen (Hicks buying Gillett out) although I can’t force George to accept.

“I am planning to make him a very attractive offer. If I had a majority on it (ownership of Liverpool) I could put more capital in.

“My goal is take all the debt off the club except the working capital needed and get the permanent financing totally in place for the stadium.

“I want the finances of the club to be secure. I want to be the majority owner of a group that buys the club and I have got a 25-year track record of being a very successful investor around the world.

“The fans don’t like the fact that we borrowed a lot of money to buy the club but I will fix that.”

Hicks ruled out any chance of Dubai International Capital (DIC), who came close to taking over Liverpool before the Reds turned instead to Hicks and Gillett, doing so now but admitted he had held meetings with them in the past.

“DIC has no seat at the table. They are masters of the British tabloid spin. They want to stir the pot of Liverpool to create dissension,” he said.

“I did talk to Dubai about being a 49% partner but it just didn’t work out. They didn’t share the same vision I have and I didn’t think they could become minority partners. I am not going to have any more 50-50 partners.

Turning to his relationship with Benitez, Hicks told Sky Sports News: ``If I were to buy George out the first thing I would do is offer Rafa a one-year extension to make sure he is going to be here up to when we get the stadium.

“Hopefully we could have some success and then extend him again.

“Rafa and the players have their heads down. They are playing great. We communicate regularly. I know he feels comfortable with the way things are going.

“I think we will continue to have success. I think Rafa has unique skills, he motivates the team and we have some great players who are learning how to play with each other.”

Hicks admitted it was frustrating that his unpopularity with Liverpool fans has prevented him from bringing his whole family to Anfield to watch matches.

“My family loves Liverpool. The sad thing is that right now we can’t go there as a family until we get this thing sorted out,” he added.

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