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Arabian Nights at Anfield?


Tom and George’s excellent adventure may come to an end, according to The Observer, as Liverpool owners Hicks and Gillett have not been able to transfer their 350m GBP of debt onto the club.  Should they not meet a Feburary deadline, the duo would likely accept a 500m GBP bid for the club by Dubai International Capital (DIC).

Hicks and Gillett finally have something in common with the rest of us plebs who don’t own our own private jet, they are getting rammed from behind by the sub-prime mortgage and housing crises and eroded bank confidence.  The Royal Bank of Scotland, who furnished the loan for the team, have asked the two owners to put in 20m GBP each from their own coffers as part of a restructuring deal.  At least one of the owners has refused.  What?  You have to pay money to buy one of the largest football clubs in the world?

The DIC bid is headed by Sameer Al Ansari, a Liverpool fan.  Should the bid go through, DIC would, according to The Observer, refocus spending into the development of a new stadium and improving the quality of the squad.  They also will look to pry The Special One away from his undoubtedly lucrative Setanta deal.

The sale has hardly been close to finalized, and the fat-cats at the bank will surely not want to see two of their fellow brethren caught with their pants around their ankles.  There is a high probability they come to some sort of a deal.  However, it will engender some good old fashioned racist rumor-mongering from the tabloids, to be followed with a moralistic rant from Gabriele Marcotti on The Game Podcast.  At least it will provide a welcome respite from transfer rumors and the bipolar Manchester United – Arsenal hubbub.

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  1. Jurpobeidiodo

    March 11, 2008 at 5:43 am

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

  2. TT

    January 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Come On You Reds, are you LJ in disguise?

  3. Shakira Graham

    January 13, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Nice to see typical vermin attitude never changes. I’m sure everything bad that Liverpool has been invovled with isn’t thier fault either, right?

  4. Michael

    January 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Come On You Reds, you capitalized Paul Robinson as if to indicate that it was a joke, that he’s rubbish in goal.

    But you said England produces the best players in the world. Surely Paul Robinson must be a good goalkeeper since he’s appeared 41 times for almighty England? Obviously since he was the nation’s number one choice over the past few years and because you believe England to be better than Germany or any other country in the world, for that matter, he has to be good. Right?

  5. Kartik

    January 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Here is a piece from CSRN’s website I wrote about the previous success (if you can call it that) of English players in MLS. Ian Bishop is not on the list because he was actually decent. But check out the rest:

    * Steve Howey played 191 games for Newcastle United and 76 for Manchester City before coming to MLS at age 30 in 2003 to play for Steve Nicol and New England. Howey had been capped five times by England as a Senior International in “A” matches. Yet Howey lasted four games in MLS and was quickly looking for work again in England. He landed with Bolton of the EPL before being let go and playing in the Championship with Leicester City.
    * Steve Guppy was another player capped by England at the Senior National Team level. In 2004 he came to the US and started for DC United in the highest rated game ever for the league on ABC, when Freddy Adu made his debut. Less than two months later Guppy, whose lack of quality touches and inability to play the Latin brand of Football DC United has become known for was released and he signed with Leeds United.
    * Mark Wlson was a highly touted English midfielder that even played for Manchester United in a Champions League match. After a failed stint at Boro, he came to the US and flopped totally at FC Dallas, demonstrating an inability to cope with the summer heat. He was released when the club signed Shaka Hislop, my next footballer to discuss.
    * Shaka Hislop was a top keeper in the Premier League. The English born keeper choose to play for his parents home nation of Trinidad and Tobago and he has been excellent for the national team and of course had a great World Cup. Hislop even started the FA Cup final in 2006 for West Ham just weeks before his awesome World Cup and a month before he signed for FC Dallas. Hislop however only started matches for the Hoops when Argentine net-minder Dario Sala was injured or suspended, and when Sala was suspended most recently, Hislop was beaten out in training by American youth team keeper Ray Burse Jr. Hislop has now been released by FC Dallas.
    * In 1995 Paul Rideout scored the winning goal for Everton in the FA Cup final against Manchester United. Two years later Rideout with a decent amount of fanfare signed with MLS and was allocated to Kansas City. A year later after scoring only one goal in league play Rideout was released. He is now back with the Wizards as the coach of the clubs U-18 team.
    * Chris Woods was one of the best goalkeepers in England during the 1990s. His play with Sheffield Wednesday and the National Team was outstanding. Woods career with Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday was near legendary. However when he arrived in MLS as a big signing in the league’s first year he had trouble judging the ball flight and looked miserable. He was eventually replaced by Marcus Hannehman who had been signed from the Seattle Sounders of the A-League. Woods returned to England to play in the EPL with Southampton and Blackburn.

    The number of players who have come from other nations who have flopped here is equally long and in some cases more impressive. The reality is the style of play in the US is VERY DIFFERENT from Northern Europe. You may not recognize it because it doesn’t match what you are used to but to go on and deem it as inferior and unworthy, when your own national team can’t qualify for your continental championship (we’ve won our continental championship 3 times this decade BTW)
    shows your ignorance of the game in general.

  6. Kartik

    January 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm


  7. Passing by

    January 13, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    To Come On You Reds,

    You asked for MLS players and you got them.

    Sorry you can’t handle the truth.

  8. Come On You Reds!

    January 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Friedel?????????? You are having a laugh! Howard? no Toffees for me, thank you.

    Kasey Keller had a nice run with Rayo Vallacano and Spurs before giving way to guess who, PAUL ROBINSON.

    Mike Amman was a good keeper back in the day for Charlton and Ian Feuer for Luton Town. Hannehman is solid, but still not on the level Rob Green or Scott Carson will be very soon.

  9. Come On You Reds!

    January 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Passing by, the German manipulate the media and intimidate both the match referees and the opponents with their boorish behavior. They have no talent and no skill. How many Germans are on the transfer wish list of Liverpool, Real Madrid or AC Milan?

  10. Come On You Reds!

    January 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Kartik, you are dead wrong. Ryan Nelson is from New Zealand not the USA! Shaun Bartlett is from Niegria I believe and Stern John is from T&T. Funny how you try and claim players who are passable from other places because you don’t have any Yanks who are!

  11. BillE Shears

    January 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I would take Howard, Friedel, or Hahnemann over beer belly knees Robinson.

  12. Kartik

    January 13, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    How about Steve Howey, Steve Guppy, Chris Woods, John Spencer, Adreas Limpar, etc. These guys were all above average PL players who except for Spencer completely flopped in MLS. Guppy and Howey both capped by England lasted for a cup of coffee before returning to England.

    Come on you reds, you are a jingositic fool if you really believe Germany is “rubbish” and only wins because of the officials. By the way Demrot my eyes must have played tricks on me because I was actually in attendance the day the US beat Germany 3 to nill in 1999. Must have been a dream masking as reality, as is the game I have on tape from the Confederations Cup where the US beat Germany 2-0. I also have a tape of a game where the US dominated England in 1994, in the same event the US was shown up by Brazil and Italy in the other group games.

    Must make you proud to have not beaten Sweden in almost 40 years!

    And going to PL? How about Ryan Nelson, Shaun Bartlett, and Stern John in addition to the American players that Michael mentioned. Recall Joe Max Moore or John Harkes? They were MLS imports to the PL also.

  13. Passing by

    January 13, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    To Dermot,

    Boy what an idiot. The US has never beaten Germany and England…maybe do some research before spewing garbage.

    To Come On You Reds,

    Do you not realize that a goal keeper is a member of the football pitch?
    As for Germany being a rubbish league. What’s the matter, you don’t understand tactics? I guess the English wouldn’t get that.
    Germany a media machine…wow you are a riot. And the English media isn’t a media machine?

    The both of you could do yourselves a favor and keep your mouth shut. At least then we wouldn’t realize how stupid, pathetic and uneducated you really are.

  14. Michael

    January 13, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    One quality international who now plays in England? Why just one? I can name a few just off the top of my head.

    Clint Dempsey
    Brian McBride
    Bobby Convey

    One Premiership export who didn’t dominate MLS? Again, I can name a few.

    Danny Dichio
    Ronnie O’Brien
    Abel Xavier
    Shaka Hislop

    Look, the point of this post wasn’t to bash MLS or praise the PL. Your ignorance is amusing to those of us who actually understand soccer and aren’t biased towards it from one point of view or another. England haven’t done anything of note in international competitions in a long, long time. Their best players aren’t good enough to go abroad and play in the other leagues in Europe.

    I have the credibility to respond to you; to say that I don’t is ludicrous. Don’t flatter yourself.

  15. Demrot McQuarry

    January 13, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I agree with Come on you Reds about Germany. Total rubbish and a media machine to boot. Do you recall 5-1 when Sven’s boys dismantled the myth? Oh you Americans would probably not know about that because you’ve never beaten Germany or England and live in awe of us both!

    Tim Howard is better than any English keeper. So what? I say only one American player, Landon Donovan makes the England 23 for a competition. The rest of the Americans are utter rubbish. Bad ball skills and no technique.

  16. Come on You Reds

    January 13, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Tim Howard?!!!!

    He lost Manchester United the Champions League!!!!

    He could not even make the England squad let alone start.

    Name one quality international the US has EVER produced that has done well in England? ….do not name keepers and DO NOT name players who have played well in the rubbish Bundesliga. For any true England supporter we know that Germany is rubbish and they win because of the referees and the brute tactics they exhibit.

    Name one quality international who has remained quality while playing in Major League Soccer.

    Name one decent MLS export to England and name one English Premiership export to the MLS that didn’t dominate?

    Then you have the credibility to respond to me.

  17. Michael

    January 13, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Seriously, Come On You Reds. What are you smoking??

    No one here has any time for you and your embarrassing ignorance. There’s a reason you English lads aren’t going to Euro 2008 and get bounced out at the quarterfinal stage of every single major tournament. You sound so full of yourself and it’s just shameful.

    Look, Timmy Howard could walk into the England squad right now and be the number one keeper. I would take Bobby Convey over anyone you could put on the left side of midfield (except Ashley Young) any day of the week. In just two years’ time, I would also be willing to bet that some of the players from the most recent US U-20 team like Freddy Adu, Sal Zizzo, Danny Szetela, and Robbie Rogers would be able to fit into a British side.

    England does not produce the best players in the world; last time I checked, guys like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessandro Nesta, Kaka, and GiGi Buffon aren’t English. Name one English player you could put into a World XI. Your boy Steven Gerrard from Liverpool? Please.

    You’re right about American owners though. They are wealthy businessmen and can afford to buy teams. They didn’t just stumble across their money; they’re obviously doing something right in life to accumulate that wealth. The Englishmen you see can only afford to buy small-market, mediocre clubs.

  18. BillE Shears

    January 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Come on you Reds!

    You are completely right. Look how terrible Manchester United are doing under American ownership.

    As far as decent American footballers, we have three goalkeepers in the Premiership who would be an automatic first choice for England.

    If England really produces the best footballers why can’t they qualify for a major tournament? And why are there Americans playing in virtually every major European league but no English players?

    I agree with you that Hicks and Gillett are shameful buffoons, but neither of them are particularly brilliant owners of American teams. However, it is hardly sensible to attack the character of an entire country based on two people.

    Should us Americans judge England on the basis of Cheryl and Ashley Cole?

  19. Passing by

    January 13, 2008 at 10:02 am

    To Come On You Reds:

    Wow, what a bigoted, border lining on racist comments.

    Thanks for validating that you know nothing about football by comparing MLS to Conference North. We now know to never bother with anything you comment on here.

    So why are you commenting on an article written by an American if Americans know nothing about the game?

  20. Come On You Reds!

    January 13, 2008 at 9:48 am

    This is what happens when you let the Americans buy clubs. I am not against foreign ownership as the Thai bloke with Citeh is doing a good job because he comes from a footballing culture.

    Americans screw everything up. They have messed up the world economy and the middle east peace. They profiteer off the little guy and as far as football they know zilch about the game.

    How many truly decent footballers has the United States EVER produced? Is their a single American someone on this site can name that would actually play for our Three Lions or even for the Scots or the Welsh. Why is the American First Division an equivalent to the Conference North?

    It has been proven beyond any reasonable standard that Americans don’t understand football, so then why allow them to buy our most treasured clubs in English football, the best football in the world.

    England produces the best footballers and football clubs we simply don’t have the business tycoons or robber barrons as I have seen them called that the United States has so blokes like this Hicks and Gillet characters come to make a quick buck and ruin a football club.

    The FA needs to ban American ownership of all English clubs in all divisions. that will solve this problem.

  21. mo

    January 13, 2008 at 8:35 am

    i think rick parry was looking at his own position when he tried to broker the deal with the current owners, and how he swiftly moved away from what the arabs offered. type in the owners names in google search engine, you will find one of them doesn’t even have money, has been bankrupt and this is what holds our club at the moment. im sure like me, all of you would love to see the yanks go out and the “philthy Rich” arabs come in. we can then pay for , the best names around the world, instead of settling for freebies, and they can recoup the money by maybe adding a 5 star hotel to the stadium plans.

  22. paul mifsud

    January 13, 2008 at 6:59 am

    I think those yanks that had bought our beloved club were not the right ones. Perry and company did not realy looked for the benifit of the club. they tooked years to choose new owners and finaly they throw away the DIC for these yanks who had done nothing speciall just talking about a ground that will be state of the art and nothing had been done. I hope that these yanks we will get rid of them and invest who realy love our club.

  23. King Kong

    January 13, 2008 at 5:00 am

    12 months ago we were promised money and the stadium, the sale would not involve saddling the club with debts. 12 months later, asking money is like asking a penny from beggar under the London bridge. No stadium and talks about saddling the club with debts.

    In DIC we have all the three. Petrol prices are three times the price 12 months ago. Moores and Parry, you have sold the soul of the club to the devils…you foul names will be recorded in the history books of LFC.

  24. Dubai Scouser

    January 13, 2008 at 4:04 am

    I believe this would be amazing news for all Red fans around the world. I for one was extremely disappointed when the Americans took over the club last year ahead of the DIC bid, as I truly believed that the bid from Dubai gave us solidity and continuity with an unrivalled financial backing. If you guys thought Abrahamovic’s wealth was significant, it has nothing on that of the Chairman of DIC, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum. Furthermore, the purchase of Liverpool would not have just been a financial move for the new owners, as it clearly is with Messrs Hicks & Gillette, it would have been a PR and promotional acquisition to put Dubai further in the public light, and they would have gone to unrivalled lengths to ensure that the Reds were successful at the highest level once again.

    Having said that, it would be an amazing twist of events if the Americans were forced out, albeit with a handsome $150million profit each, and the DIC were to become the new owners of Liverpool.

    Now for the matter of manager, I have been a massive supporter and admirer of Rafa Benitez. He’s a true Red, a living legend, and exactly what we needed after a directionless last 2 years under Gerrard Houllier. Having said that, Houllier was exactly what we needed to instill order and discipline after the Spice Boys era of Roy Evans, and for a few seasons we saw some success with Ged. But I believe we are at that same point once more, with Rafa’s ideas and stubborness frustrating me a bit. His substitutions, the timing of them, or in fact the lack of them, extremely frustrating. His team selections and formations baffling. And I really do believe that there is a sense of frustration and lack of belief from some of the players. We should definitely keep faith with him till the end of the season and I believe a long run in the Champions League is again upon us, but I’ve lost a bit of faith.

    And if the DIC deal were to happen and a certain Jose Mourinho was still available, I would jump at that chance. Yes we all hated him when he was manager of Chelsea, but what a great man manager. He single handedly made John Terry, Joe Cole, and Drogba the players they are. He takes all the pressure and responsibility of the club on his shoulders and makes people play for him, a bit like Shankly.

    New Owners, New Manager, New Stadium and finally the Holy Grail of the League Title at Anfield in 2009.

  25. Ezezkiel 2517

    January 13, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Personally I wouldn’t like to see Rafa leave, but my personal opinion is hopefully the Arab deals goes thru, and IF Rafa still doesn’t get us any improvement this year, I supposed that’s as far as he could go, and would be ideal if the Special One take over, Again, my opinion is that isn’t The Special One resemble a bit like the great Shanks, arrogant in his comment to opposing teams but inspiring to our own???

  26. Stuart

    January 13, 2008 at 3:05 am

    Moores should’ve sold the club to DIC in the first place, instead we’re left with two money grabbing yanks who are in great danger of losing us our best manager for nearly 20 years. It hurts to watch whats going on at our beloved club, i just hope we come out of it unscathed.

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