Why the credit crunch could bring good news to Liverpool
Financial turmoil could flush out unwanted owners
Earlier this year, Hank Hicks and Billy Bob Gillett ran into a little money trouble and faced the prospect of offloading Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel just to pay the heating bills. Today, the papers are awash with the news that the American investors have suffered at the hands of the current financial apocalypse and will owe two banks (Wachovia and the Royal Bank of Scotland) £350m in January. They do not currently have the cash, and refinancing loans from two of the worst hit banks in the crisis will be harder than getting Ledley King to stay sober in a nightclub.
While the prospect of a fire sale right in the middle of a serious title campaign is a possible (and potentially disastrous) way of raising much-needed equity, the current predicament does have a rather large silver lining: Hicks and Gillett may be desperate to bail out, forcing a sale to Dubai International Capital. While Keith ‘dealbreaker’ Harris correctly says the economic environment is less than perfect for those wishing to buy and sell clubs (“It’s no longer a question of price negotiation – it’s ‘should we?’ People are wondering if now is the time to spend.”), the Americans may be willing to accept a massively discounted offer just to get away from Merseyside.
Also, in the unlikely event that the banks actually took control of the club (it is in their interest to reach a mutually beneficial agreement), it is much more likely that they will find a willing buyer than let Pepe Reina work behind the counter in the Liverpool branch of RBS.
So, perhaps the financial collapse of western civilisation bring a nice Chritstmas present for the Anfield faithful?