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Liverpool Deserves Better Owners Than Hicks & Gillett


It seems that Liverpool FC co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett will not learn from their mistakes. The American owners continue to air their dirty laundry in public, which is doing a disservice not only to them (as professionals), but also to Liverpool FC and its fans.

The latest episode in this real-life soap opera is George Gillett’s frank interview with a Canadian radio station where he publicly said the following things:

  • “This partnership [with Tom Hicks] has been unworkable for some time.”
  • “[Selling his share of the club to Hicks is now] an untenable alternative.”
  • “He (Hicks) threatened to block me selling to Dubai – that was certainly one of the things that made the fans upset.”
  • “Instead of thinking about selling I might think about buying.”
  • “I think they (DIC) would have been very responsible owners.”
  • “When your public persona (i.e. Hicks) is more important than the facts, it’s tough to have a rational relationship.”
  • “We were very fair. We gave our partner (Hicks) a long period of time to try to make arrangements to buy us out.”

Historically Liverpool has always been a club that has never aired its dirty laundry in public. However, what Hicks and Gillett are doing (and have done) is to wage a petty war between themselves rather than considering what type of impact this may have on Liverpool FC and its fans.

While Gillett blabbed too many details on the Canadian radio show, Hicks is no saint either. It was Hicks’s remarks in the press that revealed how he had talks with Jurgen Klinsmann regarding the German possibly taking over from Rafa Benitez. For a chairman to publicly admit this to the press shows how clueless he is regarding football matters, and hopefully Hicks now regrets this mistake.

With Hicks and Gillett now seemingly at odds against each other in a relationship which Gillett describes as “unworkable,” the best scenario for both co-owners would be for them to cash in their chips and sell to DIC. Otherwise, the feuding co-owners will only continue to disgrace Liverpool FC and drag its name through the mud.

As a Brit who has lived in America for more than 20 years, I must admit that the actions of Hicks and Gillett – as Americans – have been embarrassing. And most importantly of all, they do little to help change the misperception among Brits that Americans know little about the game of soccer.

While it’s refreshing to hear chairmen, such as Gillett, speak so frankly during interviews, sometimes it’s better that they keep quiet. Please.

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  1. Lynn

    January 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    You dont know why the Liverpool Faithful are complaining? Then read the history of LFC. We win trophies, that's what we're for. YNWA.

  2. Anonymous

    March 29, 2008 at 5:19 am

    sorry guys you americans are still clueless about football sorry soccer

  3. Django

    March 28, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Feel free to paint with a broad brush, casting all Liverpool fans as classless thugs who threaten their owners with death and spit on their sons. If you want to do this, at least get the facts right Michael–they spit on Hicks’ son, it was classless and foolish. Death threats–outrageous. But it’s insulting that you would place me in the same category.

  4. Obsidian

    March 28, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I must say that I disagree with you wholeheartly on this one Gaffer. I was listening to the interview on The Fan on Thursday and it was refreshing to hear an owner who is not afraid to say what’s on his mind. I think this whole notion that everything is suppose to be hush hush with Liverpool is a little rediculous nowadays, just take a look at the fanatical media in Britain, things haven’t been hush hush over their in years.

    Frankly, everytime I hear someone whining about these owners, when I have a hard time seeing what they did wrong, it makes the fans seem like a bunch of babies.

  5. Michael

    March 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    You’re absolutely right, Christian. These are the same fans who spit and hurled insults on Gillett’s son when he went into a pub in Liverpool.

    Respect and just common decency don’t seem to be valued amongst Liverpool’s residents.

  6. Christian

    March 28, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I don’t disagree with your view Gaffer, but you should have pointed out that both owners have received death threats. If LFC deserve better owners, then they also deserve better fans.

  7. The Scout

    March 28, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I don’t agree that Gillett should remain quiet. The fans of Liverpool FC deserve to know what’s going on behind the scenes at the club they put their money into.

    It seems to me that Hicks is the bigger problem in this mess.

  8. dragonki2012

    March 28, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I must say I agree with you.

    I’m not a Liverpool fan, far from it. But what they’re attempting to do or have tried, the fan’s buy out their club, is just silly. Even if they’re able to buy it out, how do they keep the financial status going? Buy player…. etc?

    They seem to be willing to splash cash, Hicks and Gillett, which is more than some new owners can say, must be an American thing.

    I don’t really know why the Liverpool faithful are complaining, they’ve won the CL once, in the last 3 years. Which is more than some clubs can say they’ve won…

    You could tell that Liverpool’s season would be one of disappointment if you watched their first game against Aston Villa at Villa Park. An 85th minute wickedly well taken free kick by Steven Gerrard ended in celebrations that made the team look like they just won the CL again.

    I don’t think anyone’s made it clear to Rafa that the rotation policy thing only should kick in when one of your first team players is injured. Taking a guy like Benayoun who was in hot form at one point and sitting him on the bench because Babel hasn’t played enough is not going to win you the title.

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