Peter Kilfoyle the MP for Walton (an area of Liverpool not too far away from Anfield and Goodison Park) has come out with an attack on the owners of Liverpool and says that the club risked “going down the tubes” unless the current ownership is changed.
Mr Kilfoyle told the Liverpool ECHO: “It’s going to go down the tubes if it’s not careful. I’ve got no idea who runs the club since Rick Parry left. Christian Purslow is a managing director, he’s not the chief executive. As far as I’m aware, and what he has told me three times, is he is there to sell the club, not to run it. Running a football club is a hell of a lot different from being a banker, which is what he is. He is there to sell the club – that’s what he’s there for, that’s what he is employed to do.”
Well yes, Christian Purslow doesn’t have a background in football. Is that really a pre-requisite of the job? Personally, I’m very happy with the work he has done for the club this season. He has secured the biggest sponsorship deal in the club’s history and has helped to reduce the debt associated with Liverpool (remember folks, the vast majority of the debt is on Kop Holdings, the parent club of Liverpool, rather than the club itself). He’s here to run the business side of things, not the football side of things so I see no problem with him not having a background in football.
As for him being there to sell the club, that’s what most fans want isn’t it? I’ve read a few forums on this and some people are still under the impression that if DIC owned the club it’d all be sunshine and roses. DIC were the investment arm of the Dubai government, not one man’s private equity. That’s the same Dubai that came really close to going bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the government of Abu Dhabi. Unlike Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s money wasn’t from oil either, but other revenue streams including tourism, which has dipped. To say we’d be in a stronger financial position if we had accepted their bid is in all likelihood, incorrect.
Mr Kilfoyle also said “It’s all about culture, it’s about attitude. The Americans view football clubs as an asset to be bought and sold.”
To those fans who say Hicks and Gillett are only out to make a profit, so what? Any fan that expects someone to come in, throw a crapload of money at the club and then expect nothing back in return is living in dreamland. DIC stated they would be looking to own Liverpool for seven years and sell it on. The point is, to make a profit when selling it on; they have to increase the value of the club. Hicks and Gillett have tried to do this by building the new stadium. It’s a matter of bad timing that they haven’t been able to do this, with the price of steel shooting up meaning that the cost nearly doubled and then the credit crunch meant that they couldn’t get the lines of credit they were depending on. Also, that doesn’t make them liars, which really pisses me off when people call them that. They were going on the information they had at the time.
The club have responded by saying “The management of Liverpool FC have great respect for Peter Kilfoyle and his record of public service in our local community. We also respect his passionate views as a football fan.
“He is right that there is a need for new investment into Liverpool FC and he should rest assured that the management are working round the clock to achieve this as well as trying to drive the business forward and, most importantly, support our management and players at this key time in the season.”
New investment maybe arriving sooner rather than later. The Rhone Group, a private equity firm based in New York, has apparently tabled a £110m bid for a 40% stake in the club, meaning they value Liverpool at £275m. That is below the value Hicks and Gillett have placed on the club. Also, a 40% investment would dilute both of their shareholdings in the club to 30%, which may not be acceptable to them.
Christian Purslow has stated that there are “six or seven” serious bidders and are maybe hoping that the Rhone Group bid will flush them out and a higher offer will come in. Regardless of whether the bid is accepted or not, it is at least a sign that the club is still seen as an attractive option to investors and that Purslow is bringing people in.
There is a bit of a time crunch for Liverpool with the Royal Bank of Scotland demanding that at least £100m of the debt owed by Kop Holdings (which is estimated to be between £200 and £240m) is repaid by July. If we can use this money to pay this off, the hope is that the club will be able to get credit on building the new stadium.
Also, it may mean that there is money available for the new manager (please God!) to bring players in during the summer transfer window.
As for Torres’ comments this weekend, they were those of a man who is pissed off. He is pissed off because he wants success with Liverpool. He said so in his statement. Ignore all the sensationalist headlines about him going and concentrate on the last part of his statement; “The fans are worried about players going, it’s a problem when you start to fear that your players are going because you know it’s because the club is not moving forward, but I don’t think that is going to be the situation here. Since the arrival of Christian Purslow, Liverpool have had an important boost, we signed with a big-money sponsor to match Real Madrid, then things are going to move forward”
Doesn’t sound like the words of a man leaving to me.
We play Lille tomorrow night and need to win, not go out not to lose but go out to win. Hopefully Benitez noted on Monday that when the players are actually allowed to go forwards, they can do it and do it well. Also, play Aquilani!