columnist Rob Facey wonders if the end really is in sight for
Liverpool fans after reports suggest that their owners have launched a bid to
find a buyer.
Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the controversial American
owners of Liverpool, are actively searching for a buyer for the club.
The Times reports
that auditors from Merrill Lynch were brought in last week to go over the
club’s books with a view to finding a buyer, so does this mean the nightmare
for Liverpool fans is over?
On the pitch Liverpool are keeping pace with Chelsea, who
they face on Sunday, but off the pitch there is still an air of uncertainty
clouding the skies around Anfield.
Hicks and Gillett have found themselves unwanted after an
initial honeymoon period at Liverpool and are desperate to get out. The only
trouble is the restructuring of the £350m loan they used to purchase the club
is harder than imagined what with the current financial climate.
But, assuming they can get their house in order and are
prepared to sell, where will a buyer come from? With the often mentioned DIC
group buying into Charlton Athletic, it seems unlikely that they would move for
Robert Kraft, the owner of NFL team the New England
Patriots, is another name that is constantly linked, as is Sheikh Mohammed, the
Crown Prince of Dubai, but both are not interested at the £500m asking price
the Americans have asked for.
Naturally this will be bartered down, but are fans worried
that in their haste to reclaim the money they ventured into the club, they will
sell Liverpool down the river, or will anything be an improvement on the
One thing that has suffered, to the joy or despair of
Liverpool fans, depending who you ask, is the stadium. Plans for the elaborate
Stanley Park ground have now been placed on hold indefinitely, throwing the
clubs future into potential chaos.
Settled on the pitch, yet chaos reigns in the corridors at
Anfield. Is there finally light at the end of the tunnel for Liverpool fans,
are the American owners really ready to sell up?
Nobody at Liverpool will shed a tear when they leave, but
for all their faults, they did supply Rafa with the funds to break the clubs
transfer record. Their tenure may have been short-lived, but their impact on
the club, for good or for bad, will be long remembered.
So what next for Liverpool? Who do fans want to see come in
and is everyone unanimous in their hope that Hicks and Gillett leave as soon as
possible? Fans will be cautious about who comes in, so what sort of credentials
are you looking out for?
What will happen at Stanley Park, will the stadium ever be
built, and at what cost?
More importantly, is the end really in sight and will the
American nightmare soon be over?