Money matter$

Why the credit crunch could bring good news to Liverpool

Financial turmoil could flush out unwanted owners

Yanks Out graffitti

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?


2 responses so far
  • Bokolis // November 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Hicks will hang on for as long as it takes to get a windfall from a new stadium. He won’t sell unless his overall situation is dire. With baseball doing better than ever, there’s a good chance that he’s well-insulated from whatever losses (paper and real) are generated by LFC.

    The good news is that, if he is made to wait a few more years for the new ground, he might be bored away from the football operations.

    You Brits must have too much time on your hands. We never get this riled up over the owners, even for Steinbrenner.

  • Jofrad // November 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    That’s all you know. Hicks can make £25 m for himself right now by selling to Sheikh Mohammed whose offer is still on the table. If he does hang on he will face either.
    a) Further borrowing (hardly feasible)
    a) Selling the club for less than the Sheikh’s offer
    b) Selling Liverpool’s best players which be the end of Liverpool as it has been down and could put Hicks’ life in danger.
    You know as much about football (sorry soccer) as I do about baseball.
    NB Liverpool is not just another sports club.

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