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Interview with Tom Hicks: Sky Sports Video

Watching the recent Sky Sports interview with Tom Hicks, the first word that jumped into my mind after listening to the first two minutes was greed. Hicks talks about the poor results Liverpool CEO Rick Parry has achieved with sponsorships, in Asia, the stadium and how the team has fallen behind the other top clubs.

“We’ve got, still, the top brand, I think, in the world of football. We just don’t know how to commercialize it and get the money from it and use it to buy great players. It all goes together,” says Hicks.

Hicks’s focus isn’t just on generating more revenue to buy great players. It’s about making money for him. The new Anfield stadium at Stanley Park will be a large part of that, which is why Hicks is fighting to become the sole owner of Liverpool FC. He sees huge opportunities to increase revenue for the company, both at home and overseas (especially Asia).

After all, Hicks is a businessman with very little knowledge of football. In the interview below, he admits he didn’t know who Jurgen Klinsmann was and had to look his name up on the Internet to learn more. Get used to it. These are the type of tycoons that are becoming the owners of the modern football clubs.

Lastly, watch the video for ths staged scenes near the end where Hicks is wearing Liverpool paraphenalia as well as drinking from a Liverpool mug. His sons sit next to him in the sky box, both of them wearing Liverpool shirts. One of them visibly yawns. How fitting.

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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 →

8 Responses to Interview with Tom Hicks: Sky Sports Video

  1. LemmusLemmus says:

    I think the Liverpool owners are a disgrace, but in England, professional football clubs happen to be businesses, so you’ll get chairmen that aren’t in it for a love of the game. Accusing a businessmen of wanting to make money is a bit like accusing a striker of wanting to score goals.

  2. Simon Burke says:

    More and more of the clubs are going to experience these chairmen..
    Abramovich – couldnt be smaller than Maurinho.

    Shinawatra (should never have been allowed a club) is going to bullet Sven and his comments yesterday were hilarious about needing a new midfield…

    Liverpool, enough said.

    Pompey and Villa’s chairmen are quiet but we’ll see what happens when the clubs slide a bit..

  3. TT says:

    What noises have the fans takeover group been making lately?

  4. Michael says:

    I’m not supporting Hicks’ behavior by any means, but I do think that he’s spot on in saying that Liverpool FC can do more as a club to promote their brand and increase commercialization.

    Liverpool is the most successful team in England and are one of the biggest clubs in the world. You wouldn’t know it by merchandise, though; I see Man U, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, etc. jerseys all the time, but that’s not the case with Liverpool. They also haven’t been big historically on touring abroad in the preseason to gain more international recognition.

    In this sense, I think Hicks is right. There’s a lot of untapped financial potential there and it would make sense for him and the board to pursue those opportunities and be a little more serious about their brand. In all honestly, it boggles my mind that Liverpool haven’t capitalized as much on their history as they are capable of.

  5. TheScout says:

    I concur with Michael’s remarks. Liverpool have fallen behind other clubs in exploring other markets and generating new capital. That said, I still Hicks should not be making this discussion public. It’s unprofessional and if he’s worried about marketing and revenue, he should think about the damage he is doing to the Liverpool brand with his actions.

  6. Simon Burke says:

    BBC yesterday echoes these sentiment about Liverpool falling behind but I am not sure thats true – they are doing very well in the very lucrative Asian markets like Singapore.

    Liverpool in some sense sell themselves, they are a brand.

    United will probably always be bigger just because they are United – Munich sort of made them even more globally popular.

    Chelsea have improved and are branding everything but then you watch them play and think if only they could play some attractive football week in week out. This week was certainly a week out.

    Hicks sentiments were made out of spite and only spite this week, he is trying to oust Gillette and he hasnt the money to do it and is struggling to secure the money to go it alone, he needs approx 320 million dollars and one bank already said no (JP Morgan). Credit crunch will worsen and he will eventually have to sell or stick the club with tons of debt. Liverpool’s Euro exploits and hanging on to 4th with some fine results have made all this seem more petty than it really is – its potentially devastating.

  7. Chris says:

    In defense of the yawner, it was 7 am.

  8. Ivan says:

    This Parry issue that Hicks has brought up amuses myself. Its an astute move by Hicks and whether the fans buy it we will see. Not a liverpool fan myself but if you ask most liverpool supporters the distaste at the job that Parry has done over the years existed long before Hicks and Gilette took over. Not only did Parry not make the best out of Liverpool’s potential marketing ability, but he screwed up numerous transfer deals, just ask Rafa. All Hicks is trying to do is get the fans on side… in truth most fans understand that Parry attempts to do things in the best interest of the club but it is clearly evident that he is incapable of running a football club in the modern age.

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