As Liverpool have gone 20 years without winning the top division, especially to a younger generation, the enormity of LFC has probably never seemed quite powerful as it does to those of us who grew up with the club as an imperious, all-conquering club who simply won everything.
It is testament to the legacy of those days that Liverpool, unlike many clubs who used to be very successful, they still have such enormous pulling power and is still supported worldwide. The fan base in Norway alone is phenomenal.
In the last few years they have had their good name dragged through the mud and tarnished the image of one of the legendary teams of world football. However, the power of LFC should not be under-estimated. It has a fiercely loyal fan base which can be relied on to turn up week after week, season after season. It is a special kind of sleeping giant that will rise again and when it does, the whole world will sit up and notice just as it did in the 70s and 80s.
With this in mind, the potential new owners are actually getting a bargain for £300 million. Hicks is probably right to think it undervalues it substantially because Liverpool is one of the few ailing clubs that have genuine potential to be a world power in the game again. They have the fans, the name, the history. It’s all waiting to happen and with the right investment and hands-on guidance, it can happen.
Liverpool FC is a unique football club; more like a religion to many than a mere sport. It badly wants and needs to be successful again. Any new owner that can deliver that will reap both the affectation of Merseyside but also huge profits too.
There is much investment need – not least a 60,000 capacity stadium to generate substantially more funds – and they would have no trouble selling it out every week. And it can’t all happen overnight but perhaps, with this weeks’ news, the darkest days are at last over and the light in the distance is that of a new dawn and not an on-rushing train.
The fact Hicks and Gillett have made such an almighty financial mess of the club should be no reflection on the club itself. A properly run, successful Liverpool is a licence to print money. It is one of the top marquees in world football, albeit with a few scuffs and scratches on her at the moment.
Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole” has received the massive honour of being listed as one of William Hill’s Sports Book Of The Year 2010 – the biggest, most prestigious sports books prize in UK.