What's wrong with Hicks and Gillett making a profit?

Well it looks as though the Liverpool takeover will happen sooner rather than later. Some fans are decrying the fact that it looks as though Tom Hicks and George Gillett may well end up making a profit after the sale. I personally have no problem whatsoever with that. Quite simply, the club is now worth more than when they took over and we have Hicks and Gillett to thank for that.
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If we are to believe what the media is reporting, there are two front-runners for the ownership of Liverpool. There is a bid led by Kenny Huang’s QSL group, or a consortium led by Canadian-based Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi.
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It’s rumoured that the Chinese government’s investment arm, China Investment Corporation (CIC), backs the bid fronted by Kenny Huang, though Huang has denied this. This seems to be the bid that excites the fans because they are ostensibly the richer bid and will potentially provide the club with the extreme spending power equal to that of Manchester City and will open up the Chinese market to Liverpool, which is a market all football clubs are jockeying for position in. Personally, I would hate for that to happen to Liverpool, I would much rather just enough money is made available for one or two good signings a season rather than going out and signing every good player available.
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Even less is known about Kirdi’s backers. All that is known is that it is a Middle Eastern/Canadian group of investors who have promised to clear the clubs debts and start work on a new stadium. What’s a bit weird about this is that the negotiations are being done directly with Hicks and Gillett, rather than with Barclays Capital, who have been brought in to sell the club. There is also some doubt over Kirdi himself, namely how serious a bidder is he?
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To be honest I’m pretty troubled by both bids. I don’t like the wall of secrecy that surrounds both parties involved. Both are consortia with a visible front man but there aren’t many details about where the money comes from. If, as Huang has claimed, his bid is not being backed financially by CIC, then exactly who are backing him? There are all kinds of rumours as to who these backers may be. There are also reports Huang hasn’t even made a formal offer yet. Also, from what I’ve heard, Huang is offering £450 in total for the club. £300m has been earmarked to clear the debt, leaving £150m for new players and a stadium. That isn’t enough, so it looks as though he may have to borrow money to build the stadium, which may not be palatable to some fans. As for the Kirdi bid, this is so little information being released at the moment it’s hard to know what to think about his bid.
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As to Hicks and Gillett potentially walking away with a profit, what did people expect? Who do these fans will think will come into the club, invest tons of money, then walk away with nothing to show for it? Even DIC, who some fans groups still believe would’ve done a better job running the club, stated they would’ve wanted to sell after seven years. Whoever will buy the club will look to make money from it. I don’t see the problem with that.
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With respect to Hicks and Gillett’s purported ‘lies’ I’ve made my position on that perfectly clear in previous postings. I don’t think they lied about the stadium and I think they were victims of bad timing and a bad economy. Same with the debt, I think it was inevitable the owners would have to borrow money.
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Also, I still don’t understand why people complain that they don’t understand football. Why is that a problem? They don’t need to understand football; they employ people who do. They needed to concentrate on the business side of things, which they have done a good job doing. Surely this is a better situation than someone who thinks they understand the game better than they actually do, and starts interfering with the playing side of things (e.g. Dan Snyder) rather than leaving that to the manager?
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The fact is that Rafa Benitez was provided with ample transfer funds under their stewardship. Remember Liverpool broke their transfer record in signing Fernando Torres and the five highest transfer fees in Liverpool’s history were paid under Hicks and Gillett. Yes, Benitez had to sell players to raise funds, but, with the exception of Abramovich-era Chelsea and Abu Dhabi-era Manchester City, what club hasn’t had to sell before they bought? I don’t recall many cases where teams have just acquired players for large fees without generating extra fees from sales. You can look at the financial records
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What is indisputable is that Liverpool has vastly increased its commercial operations and has secured far more money through sponsorship under Hicks and Gillett than ever before. Christian Purslow, some fan groups latest hate figure, has managed to get the club the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in football and if you take a look at the club website, the list of commercial partners has grown impressively.
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When I hear fans complaining incessantly about the owners, when you cut through the nonsensical arguments, it all seems to boil down to one thing. Money. The owners are being blamed for not having enough money, at least ready cash, to take the club forward on and off the pitch. They haven’t enough for us to compete with Chelsea and Man City in the transfer market, they haven’t enough to fund the building of the new stadium.
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That seems a bit of a ridiculous thing to blame them for, what are they supposed to do about that? Unfortunately Hicks and Gillett could wake up tomorrow and discover they now poo gold bullion and the fans would still hate them.
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While is also indisputable Hicks and Gillett have made horrible mistakes in their tenure, their public rows, the misinformation and smoke and mirrors coming out of the boardroom and perhaps most fatally, the lack of effective communication between them and the fans, meaning endless speculation about the club in the media and on fan sites. We do actually have a lot to thank them for. I personally would not begrudge them coming away from the club with a profit.