Fan Diary – 17 October 2010: Goodbye, Hicks and Gillett (And The Crowd Went Wild…)
It will be some time before Liverpool supporters know what we’re getting with John Henry and NESV, but we can at least bask in the joy that comes with departure of tweedle-dee and tweedle-jackass: Mr Tom Hicks and Mr George Gillett.
For us, the news of their ousting as club owners was like having our doctor tell us we had one week to live only to announce a week later that whatever we had was actually curable and, though it may be a long recovery, the future looks bright and we can be fully fit again given time. It was tense, waiting to see if the sale would go through and whether or not the club would go into administration and be (amongst other disasters) fined nine points off an already dismal table standing. But Hicks and Gillett lost their court case and dropped their restraining order against proceedings. They are still threatening to sue, but hopefully any and all sensible judges will continue with the recent trend of shrugging off the inanity of these douchebags desperate attempt to salvage a profit from the club they abused and misused these past couple of years.
Now, I can’t promise that Mr Henry and his gang are the absolute answer to all our prayers and concerns. But I feel confident they can’t be worse than Hicks and Gillett’s wrenching real life Punch and Judy Show. Liverpool are bloodied and battered. But as a life-long (spiritually tortured) Red Sox fan, I have a stoic sense of optimism following the entry of Henry and NESV. The Red Sox went 86 years without a title until Henry came in and bolstered the roster into a winning side. The Sox took home titles in 2004 and 2007. Henry and NESV rightfully take the credit for transforming the club and restoring its long-lost winning ways.
Henry may not prove to understand football any better than those outgoing muppets (time will tell us), but he understands that investing in a team means investing to win. He understands this isn’t a short-term relationship. Hicks and Gillett never had the competence to understand that only by serving the needs of Liverpool FC would they serve themselves. Henry at least understands that restoring the team to winningness is the most important step. But this is the model he applied to the Red Sox and I trust him to apply it to Liverpool FC as well. Whether he gets all the other important details will remain to be seen. But I hope my fellow supporters give him and his crew the benefit of the doubt and wait until he proves otherwise to lump them in the category of “More Dipshit American Owners.”
Hicks and Gillett’s major flaw has nothing to do with being American. This is incidental. They are simply bad people and bad businessmen. I mean, half of them were once in business with George W Bush. That must be a sure sign of fiscal apocalypse. The fact that they are now trying to sue to make up for squandered profits is a farce. They ran Liverpool badly. There must be no financial reward.
By the time this article goes up, I’ll be at my pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, waiting for the kickoff against Everton. Supposedly, camera crews from BBC, ITV and CNN will be there as well, covering the reactions of Boston-based Liverpool supporters. It’s been a surreal experience as my home base for watching matches has garnered loads of attention since the Red Sox connection first materialized.
In fact, before Hicks and Gillett’s day in the high court last week, John Henry himself swung by the pub. I couldn’t be there, but my friend Tim implored him to run the club the right way and impressed him with stories of the massive turnouts at our pub (i.e. standing room only against Manchester United at 8am our time in a blizzard – my first year in Boston).
But through all the fanfare, I’m sure the local Boston Liverpool faithful (most of whom are no strangers to Fenway Park) will turn out and focus on the thing that will be most important to us for ninety minutes this morning: the result against Everton.
Erased debt, avoided administration and the ousting of those cancerous men are huge consolations to LFC supporters worldwide. But three points against the Blues at Goodison simply can’t be touched.
(Note: Thanks to JBM for inspiring the Waldorf/Statler styled drawing of Hicks and Gillett with his comment from my last diary entry.)