Americans don’t need any more bad publicity. The economy is going into a recession. The U.S. national team is still reeling after their pitiful performance in their last major competition, and the American lads at Fulham, despite playing well individually, are staring into the face of relegation.
Now Tom Hicks has put his foot in his mouth by admitting he had serious talks with Jurgen Klinsmann about becoming the next Liverpool manager if the Reds failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
This decision by Hicks to blurt out the information to The Liverpool Echo newspaper, the paper that many Liverpudlians read, was inane. Before saying things like that, Hicks needs to realize what the consequences are. Benitez and the team must feel like sitting ducks. The Liverpool fans have lost belief in their owners, and the public at large probably consider Liverpool FC a laughing stock at this moment.
Unfortunately, it’s another dagger that Brits can use to pierce Americans with. They can use it as the perfect example of how “Americans” don’t understand football. Luckily, at the same time, the other American owners of Premier League clubs (Man United and Aston Villa) are enjoying success, so it could be worse.
The other issue about Hicks and Gillette is that they’re in a financial predicament with Liverpool FC and look likely to be interested in selling the club in the near future if they’re unable to get money to refinance the debt. The American owners haven’t been helped by the weak U.S. dollar which is making everything sterling almost twice as expensive, but it again doesn’t paint the Americans in a positive light.
The best thing that could happen to the American owners at this stage is that they sell the club to someone who does understand football and the business of football better. I don’t foresee Hicks and Gillette recovering from the stupid move of publicly disclosing the Klinsmann discussions unless the American owners buy a few decent players to take the focal point away from them. But I don’t see that happening either.