The news filtered through this weekend that Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has sold his baseball team, the Texas Rangers for a price of over £300 million following lengthy negotiations. Hicks was pleased with the deal, stating
“Together we have worked exhaustively since last month to attain this agreement, it’s a complex business deal that positions the franchise positively for the future.”
Obviously we’re all thrilled that Hicks has managed to make a complex business deal but, more importantly, does this mean anything for Liverpool? £300 million is a lot of money and, even though there’s a possibility that Hicks may not possess it until April due to hold-ups in the deal, Liverpool would be more than justified in expecting one of their owners to provide for the club using such a fortune. The transfer window has brought Liverpool just Maxi Rodriguez on a free transfer when a lot of strengthening is clearly required. £300 million would deal with debts, bring in as many new players as needed and could help re-ignite talk over a new stadium.
But chances are none of that will happen. A similar deal occurred last year when George Gillett sold his ice hockey team for £323 million and how much of that money did Liverpool see? None of it, that’s how much. You can see why there’s so much criticism of the American owners given how they regard the club; whilst other owners like Roman Abrahamovic, Randy Lerner and Carson Yeung care for their clubs and give them the money they need, Gillett and Hicks are solely looking to make themselves money and are putting the club in danger in doing so. What’s next? A £40 million sale of Steven Gerrard followed by each owner pocketing £20 million? They’d happily go along with that.
I would be very surprised if Hicks put one penny of the money made from the sale into Liverpool and thus the sooner Liverpool get bought by someone else who actually cares for the club the better. There was a time when football club’s owners actually had an interest in the sport but it’s owners like Gillett, Hicks and Manchester United’s Malcolm Glazer who screw their clubs over, taking all the money and only putting money in if they think it’ll pay dividends for themselves and the protests around Anfield should keep on going, even if it’s just to show Hicks and Gillett how unwelcome they are.
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