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Why Hicks & Gillette Are Giving Americans A Bad Name

hicks and gillette Why Hicks & Gillette Are Giving Americans A Bad NameAmericans 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.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

20 Responses to Why Hicks & Gillette Are Giving Americans A Bad Name

  1. Pingback: Bad Debt » Blog Archive » Why Hicks & Gillette Are Giving Americans A Bad Name

  2. CB says:

    Now there is no doubt that H&G have made themselves look like fools, but let’s be reasonable. I don’t think they have been any bigger idiots than many others in the EPL this season. Never mind that we are on our, what, eighth sacked manager so far. (I mean, really, who fires someone like Mourinho???) Benitez hasn’t exactly made life easy for the Scouser faithful either with the squad rotation nonsense and his early persistence in shooting his own mouth off. And before we start calling Liverpool a laughing stock, let’s not forget that they are in the same league as Derby County.

  3. eplnfl says:

    Well, H&G are simply the wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time. Rafa started the American’s don’t understand stuff, although the press was still not finish with their fit over the whole Beckham/MLS uproar over the summer. Yes, it’s true that the great success of Man U. is never credited to the Ameircan’s there.

    I do beg to differ on the USMNT, they scheduled a lot of events last summer knowing that it was the only way to get the younger players playing time and find new talent. They put forward their best squad in the Gold Cup and won. England with the Golden Generation couldn’t qualify for their regional championship. So, I beg to differ on that point.

  4. Demrot McQuarry says:

    Well said. Get all the Americans out of English Football!

  5. Kartik says:

    Gaffer, typically I agree with much of what you write but this post is reeking with hyperbole that not only I disagree with but simply needs to be corrected. Let me begin at the top, but first preface by saying knowing what I know Tom Hicks business practices here in the US I dislike the man tremendously, but here he is being held to another standard because he is American:

    1- ” The U.S. national team is still reeling after their pitiful performance in their last major competition”

    The US was an invited out of Confederation guest for Copa America, thus we didn’t have the ability to select our best team. That is a fact. European clubs wouldn’t release any of our top players for the competition. Of the clubs in England, only Watford cooperated in allowing a player to play in Copa after playing the Gold Cup, which by the way is our continental championship and which we by the way won.

    Secondly, to call the national team reeling based on three losses with a “B” team, a 1-0 loss at Sweden and bitterly disputed game against Brazil in a friendly is questionable at best. Then to ignore the fact that the US has won its last two friendlies on the road at Switzerland and at South Africa makes the argument even more laughable.

    The National Team isn’t performing at the level it did 5-7 years ago. That is no secret but to use the word “reeling” instead of rebuilding especially on the heels of two wins in another hemisphere is again stretching the reality.

    2- The American lads at Fulham, despite playing well individually, are staring into the face of relegation.

    Are the Americans at Fulham the only Americans playing in Europe or first division football anywhere on the globe? Does Fulham’s fate condemn an entire national team program and an entire nation to gloom and doom?

    3- 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.

    I don’t recall seeing similar posts or comments when Daniel Levy and the ingrates at Spurs behaved in this fashion towards Martin Jol, or when the Manchester City board began publicly weighing managerial candidates while Stuart Pearce was still at the club.

    4- 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.

    If the British press did some legitimate digging they’d realize Hicks and Lerner are both sharks who have used their political connections to maximum advantage financially and haven’t been particularly successful running their sporting entities in the US. Malcom Glazer on the other hand rescued the Bucs from twenty years of the Culverhouse family disaster and is qualified to run a Premier League Team. But the media tends to pick on all three because they are Americans. Thankfully the one redeeming quality of this ill advised post is that the good work of Lerner (thus far……wait for the s#$@ to hit the fan there) and Glazer is pointed out.

    4- 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.

    Who do you propose? The sharks from Dubai or Milan Manderic. Why when Englishmen make mistakes like Hicks and Gillet have made do we not have editorials like this? Is being an American an automatic disqualification for understanding European or particularly British football?

    5- 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.

    If Ken Bates could survive, if Ray Ranson could survive in some fashion, if Daniel Levy could survive why should Hicks and Gillet be disqualified based on ONE EVENT? Is it because they happen to be of the wrong nationality?

  6. The Gaffer says:

    Kartik, you know and I know that the US team has improved considerably since Copa America. But on the world’s stage and in the mainstream within the UK, the last memory they have of seeing the US perform on TV was from Copa America.

    Yes, it was a young team but the performances put on by the U.S. team during that tournament were, except for the first half of the game against Argentina, embarrassing.

    Again, with Fulham, I’m writing this from the perspective of what the Brits think. They see Fulham as having the most Americans on their team and, as a result, will condemn the U.S. if the form of the club does poorly, as it is doing now.

    Unfortunately, Hicks and Gillette — in the eyes of Brits — represent Americans as a whole (I know, it’s stereotypical, but that’s how some people think). All I’m saying is that they’re giving Americans a bad name, which isn’t fair because most American soccer fans know more than Hicks and Gillette combined.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  7. Demrot McQuarry says:

    The US is rubbish. Not a single American plays on a Champions League club. Not one. Not a single American outside of goalkeepers plays for a club in the top ten in the league. again, not one. Not a single American plays in La Liga or Serie A. Again not one. To my knowledge not one American manager exists outside the US domestic league which in itself is a joke. Again not one.

    Simply put the Yanks on here get all defensive when the truth is pointed out. America will never understand football nor produce any worthwhile footballers. The entire premise of this argument was outstanding and I wish the Yanks would simply leave us alone.

  8. Michael says:

    Actually, Danny Szetela plays for Racing Santander, who are currently in 6th place in La Liga, and Jozy Altidore is still being rumored to go to Real Madrid at some point. Gabe Ferrari plays for Sampdoria, who are currently 7th in Serie A.

    Let me ask you something Demrot. Name me a few English players who play in Serie A or La Liga. Michael Owen didn’t exactly set the world on fire when he was at Madrid and neither did David Beckham, and those are the two biggest names in recent memory to play somewhere else other than Britain.

    If you knew anything about soccer here in America, you’d understand that there are far more Americans playing overseas than there are English players, who can’t even get into their own Premiership teams right now, but are hesitant to go outside of England because they know their technical ability wouldn’t cut it.

    You mentioned Champions League clubs, it’s funny. Last time I checked, Arsenal didn’t have any English players who contribute anything regularly (if you mention Theo Walcott, you’re a moron).

    Freddy Adu plays for Benfica, who played in the Champions League this season (third qualifying round). Lee Nguyen plays for PSV Eindhoven, who made the Group Stage. DaMarcus Beasley plays for Rangers, who did the same.

    Name me an English manager currently managing outside of the PL other than Chris Coleman, who was so incompetent that he got run out of Fulham, a bottom-feeding side.

    Listen. If you’re going to come on this site and try and put Americans down, at least do the research and speak factually before you say anything.

  9. iBO says:

    well said Michael.

  10. Kartik says:

    Well said Michael. BTW, Chris Coleman is Welsh, so England probably has zero managers outside England.

    And how many English stars play outside England? One!

    It’s interesting that England’s media creates these perceptions as Gaffer alluded to. They have created the deluded impression that they are some sort of world power in the sport when nobody outside of England rates their chances to win trophies! Route one football doesn’t win trophies- every tournament since 1970 has proven that.

  11. Michael says:

    That’s right, I forgot Coleman was Welsh and not England, my mistake. I think that just proves the point further though..

  12. Jao says:

    England’s big 4 wouldn’t be able to field a 23 man England squad if given. And I am not talking about putting those garbage reserves they have for respectable purposes on there. Right when they turn 20 or 21, they are sold to some lowly league 1 or 2 side right where they are suppose to be.

  13. Kartik says:

    In addition to Michael’s outstanding points, I must mention that Beasley actually scored a goal in the Champions League this year and set up several more. If you are right Demrot I must have hallucinating when I witnessed that.

  14. eplnfl says:

    Demrot:

    I take it your not planing a visit to the US soon?

    Michael good job!

  15. Pork Romeo says:

    i “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.”

    Only true if you can find an English consortium. The Dubai group probably looks at all this jingoistic blah blah, and wonders if they really need the headache.

    To be sure, there is only one story at Anfield. Why can’t Raffa challenge for the League Championship. At the end of the day, he is a cup manager.

  16. Rafa Needs to Take a Hike says:

    How much transfer money has Rafa spent on Spanish players who never panned out since he arrived? How come when he got his top transfer target over the summer he demanded more money from Hicks and Gillet? Rafa is a joke. Houllier won five trophies. He’s won two. He got lucky in Istanbul and is living off that since.

    As far as the Americans, I find MLS to be a decent level of play. Certainly it is not the Premier League but having watched some of it on the telly I think it is comrpable the the upper 10 teams in the Championship, and maybe the lower 6 or so Premier League teams. I do not think the level of play in Portugal where Michael is impressed by Adu is as good as MLS. That is easily explainable by the fact that Freddy Adu is contributing more there than he ever did in the US.

    Enough about MLS. Back to Rafa. I appluad Hicks for trying to improve the club. Some of us are tired of finishing 3rd or 4th every season.

  17. Soccer Guru says:

    All of these attacks on Americans are spiteful and reek of outright ignorance and hatred. Michael’s list was outstanding, yet incomplete. That covers today, but how about the number of Americans who have played in deeper rounds of the Champions League in the past? Heck, Jovan Kirovski even played in the final and won a final. DaMarcus Beasley started a semi-final with PSV. Frankie Hedjuk started several games in the CL with Bayer Leverkusen. Claudio Reyna played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup with Bayer Leverkusen, Rangers, and Manchester City .

    And Gaffer, I love your work but is this meant to be YOUR opinion or the you REPEATING the opinion of the British press?

  18. The Gaffer says:

    My opinion is that Hicks and Gillette are giving Americans a bad name. And that they’re creating too much negative publicity for Liverpool and, as a result, Americans in general.

    I haven’t read anything in the past week or two that has been an attack on Americans in the British press, so it’s definitely my opinion.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  19. jboy3533 says:

    @ eplnfl
    You cannot compare the two tournaments, the Euro 2008 qualifiers have way more better quality opponents than the Gold Cup, so your point is mute.

    @ mike
    I’m not one to bash american football (just the moronic suits who run the MLS) but i think it’s a bit naive to spit out american names playing in quality sides and in a sense attributing the team’s success to those americans. Trust me when i say Rangers would still doing well without Beasley and so would Benfica or PSV without Adu and Nguyen respectively.

    @Demort
    Seriously mate, the US hating isn’t justified.

    Gaffer, I think what this whole H&G fiasco just shows is that both owners were never in it for the football and also confirms to everyone else that they know squat about football, it’s politics and liverpool’s footballing culture.

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