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Since taking over Bascombes role at the Echo i think Tony has let no-one down and i trust his view more then any other journo out there.

 

During the whole take over Barrett has proven to be a true red with his writing and hopefully he will be able to break the news soon that DIC have taken over from Hicks and Gillett.

 

To be honest I thought Tony would be apoor relation of Chris but I prefer his style of writing.

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I feel that if Rafa stays Carra's days are numbered, providing Agger ever gets fit, and maybe there is some discontent there? God fucking knows, too pissec to know anything at all.

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Bascombe protrays Moores and Parry as heroes but i can only picture them as Delboy and Rodney dressed as Batman and Robin.

 

'He who dares wins Rodders'

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How it all went wrong for Kop cowboys

 

 

By Chris Bascombe

February 17, 2008 at 12:01 AM

 

HOW can you ask that?" said an aghast David Moores. "Of course they're the right people for the club."

 

It was just six months ago that Liverpool's former chairman chastised the reporter who dared suggest Anfield's American dream was not what was presented in the brochure.

 

 

 

In the eyes of the Kop, George Gillett Jnr and Thomas O. Hicks were still friendly uncles rather than demons.

 

Moores, as sincere as they come but a reluctant participant in the cold-hearted business of football, dared not believe the sniping.

 

That was until last October, when he and chief executive Rick Parry were confronted with the uncomfortable truth about the Americans' intentions to break the promises which led to their takeover.

 

Moores' mood changed on hearing plans to saddle £600million worth of debts on Anfield.

 

His hopes of drifting quietly into semi-retirement were put on hold as he and Parry used what boardroom influence they had to block plans.

Duped

 

Legal advice was taken as every last detail of the contract which gave Gillett and Hicks power was re-read. Hicks and Gillett had vowed not to 'do a Glazer', but they had chosen their words carefully.

 

Not piling debt on the club to fund their purchase was not the same as saying they would never do so at a later date.

 

The so-called promises were not worth the paper they weren't written on and those closest to Moores felt he had been duped.

 

The plot to end the American revolution was under way. The Anfield civil war had begun — and the cavalry was arriving from the east.

 

Alerted to fresh financial concerns at Anfield, Dubai International Capital felt encouraged to return to the fray. The first tentative approaches were made in November.

 

DIC found the Americans, recognising the business of English football was more expensive than they thought, were willing to talk, initially with a view to selling a minority shareholding.

Worst

 

Gillett, who had bought Liverpool to pass on to his son Foster, was more sympathetic to the growing concerns of the old hierarchy, who pleaded with him to act in the broader interests of the club.

 

From the outset, when Hicks was arriving for games in his Liver Bird-crested cowboy boots, the old board feared the worst. They were comforted to know Gillett shared their concerns.

 

Hicks and Gillett were almost instantly at odds. Hicks insisted his own architects from Dallas re-design the planned £400m venue on Stanley Park, seemingly oblivious to the financial and planning consequences.

 

Torres300_3It seemed Gillett distrusted his partner's high-profile approach. But he was not shy to indulge in some PR of his own, pulling out some dollar bills on TV and saying Benitez could sign ‘Snoogy Doogy' if that was who he wanted.

 

A comment heard repeatedly during the course of the next few months made its debut: "This is not the Liverpool way."

 

Gillett and Hicks' relationship deteriorated as they clashed on the cost and structure of the stadium, and the level of debt.

 

 

Cracks in their co-ownership were increasingly visible as they sat apart during their infrequent visits to Anfield and employed separate accountants to assess club finances.

 

The pair were united on one subject, however. Following his outburst in Athens after the 2007 Champions League Final and successive seasons when he had courted the attention of Real Madrid, they agreed Rafa Benitez's long-term future demanded re-assessment.

 

Benitez, who claimed he resisted the lure of the Bernabeu after being made promises of his own, was fuming that the public commitment of a greater transfer kitty was not matched by the cheques.

 

He had summer funds, but no more or less than Moores had provided, and felt it was still based on player sales and European winnings. He was desperate for the fans to know the truth, and when private briefings had no impact, he went public.

 

The result was a spree which brought Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel, Lucas Leiva and Yossi Benayoun to Anfield for combined fees of about £42m, although Benitez recouped plenty by selling Craig Bellamy and Luis Garcia.

 

When the Premier League challenge stuttered and the Champions League started badly, Hicks and Gillett sensed a chance to wield the axe.

Controversial

 

Benitez e-mailed his January transfer plans across the Atlantic and received the cold response he should ‘focus on coaching and training'. He believed the transfer embargo was because the Americans wanted him out. He was right.

 

The News of the World printed the story of the plot to sack Benitez on November 25, allowing him to galvanise the fans' support and expose the rift ripping through the heart of the club.

 

The Kop still stopped short of anti-American protests, but that soon changed when Hicks admitted the plot to sack Benitez and replace him with Jurgen Klinsmann. Contempt for Hicks was at its peak and fans' protests intensified. In the meantime, Hicks' stadium plans had been redesigned to cut costs. The controversial refinancing package was also altered, reducing the level of debt against the club.

 

Significantly, Gillett remained silent, refusing to endorse the new stadium or £350m refinancing agreement. He wanted out and was already deep into negotiations with DIC.

 

 

"It's now a question of when, not if DIC get in," club sources said.

 

By now, the public perception matched the reality. Liverpool were a club in crisis, deeply divided at every level.

 

Parry and Moores were desperate for DIC to secure a deal, even though they recognised their own futures were as uncertain as the manager's.

 

Troubling though the obstacles and delays were, they remained confident of a successful resolution.

 

By now, Benitez was relying more on political alliances than results to secure his position, as the latest title challenge ended prematurely. Initially, the feud with his bosses offered a shield against events on the pitch.

 

In recent weeks an unlikely bond has formed between Hicks and Benitez. The bust-up which prompted so much bad blood splattered across the back pages has been mended.

 

Whatever his future holds, Benitez will be thanked for his role in exposing the Americans.

 

He helped put the first nail in the coffin of their joint reign and will be loved for it by the Kop. However, when the ink has eventually dried on the imminent deal with DIC, which will remedy their serious error of 12 months ago, it is Moores and Parry who will have redeemed themselves as the men whose internal resistance truly saved the club from meltdown.

__________________

 

 

Strange piece that.

Spends most of it slagging off Hicks but then mentions at the end a bond wth Rafa, yet doesn't explain whatever is behind that comment.

 

Tune in next week, to your friendly neighbourhood NOTW, to find out more.

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So Moores and Parry is actually our saviours? Hahaaahahahahahahahahaha, what a crock of shite.

 

Anyone want to guess who his current sources within the club are?

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If anyone gets the blame for their second goal it has to be Carra who made no effort at all to close him down but he's won so many games for us he's entitled to a few mistakes.

 

Blaming the keeper for that goal makes as much sense as insulting Skrtel after one game.

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Bascombe is 100% correct. Time for Rafa to look in the mirror.

 

'Moores and Parry who will have redeemed themselves as the men whose internal resistance truly saved the club from meltdown.'

 

excuse me while I vomit

 

Maybe, and they are easy to blame, but if they do have a hand in rectifying this mess then that suggests the original decision was down to plain stupidity.

 

Now, you might not want stupid people in charge of the club, but you don't want stupid people who also don't love the club. Like Hicks and thingy.

 

I am drunk. Yeah me.

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If anyone gets the blame for their second goal it has to be Carra who made no effort at all to close him down but he's won so many games for us he's entitled to a few mistakes.

 

Blaming the keeper for that goal makes as much sense as insulting Skrtel after one game.

 

 

Correct, Carra has the luxury of blind faith at times and as such should shoulder criticism when it's due.

 

The slating that Skrtel got made me sick.

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I love how Bascombe's now the whipping boy and how so many people are going 'I'm just waiting for Tony to break the news that DIC have taken over'

 

I can't give a fuck who breaks the news as long as it's true.

 

Get over it. It's journalism, not a popularity contest.

 

Stop doing the 'holier than thou' attitude towards everyone and everything and just face facts.

 

We weren't good enough, we haven't been good enough all season, and it's about time reality sinks in rather than castles in the fucking sky.

 

I'm a fan as much as anybody else here, but look at yourselves in the mirror and tell me you don't get depressed when watching us play. If you do get depressed, which I'm sure a majority of people do, then you'll realise fully that there is something more wrong than the owners.

 

The owners don't plan our tactics, pick our team or train them, Rafa does. He might not have been backed in the transfer window fully, but he surely had enough to get us 4th and enough of a team to beat half the shite we've drawn or lost against.

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I love how Bascombe's now the whipping boy and how so many people are going 'I'm just waiting for Tony to break the news that DIC have taken over'

 

I can't give a fuck who breaks the news as long as it's true.

 

Get over it. It's journalism, not a popularity contest.

 

Stop doing the 'holier than thou' attitude towards everyone and everything and just face facts.

 

We weren't good enough, we haven't been good enough all season, and it's about time reality sinks in rather than castles in the fucking sky.

 

I'm a fan as much as anybody else here, but look at yourselves in the mirror and tell me you don't get depressed when watching us play. If you do get depressed, which I'm sure a majority of people do, then you'll realise fully that there is something more wrong than the owners.

 

The owners don't plan our tactics, pick our team or train them, Rafa does. He might not have been backed in the transfer window fully, but he surely had enough to get us 4th and enough of a team to beat half the shite we've drawn or lost against.

 

It's the way he is saying things, "Reserve Charles Itandje isn't just an accident waiting to happen, he ought to be wearing an ambulance siren on his head. "

 

I mean is that really necessary, does he not understand dignity, he's adopted the morals of the Sun and he should drown in it's effluence.

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fuck me CB just writes his opinions if people just said dickhead and moved on when they didn't agree with it instead of trying to follow his path like the chosen one of sports reporting they might not be so crest fallen when he buts to print stuff they dont agree with We wouldnt have this weekly pendulum swing if he writes what we like he's the greatest

If he he writes what we dont hes a Twat who sold his soul when neither is true

 

He is a Reds fan who writes a peice on the club who has a better idea of what is/was going on at the club than most fans

 

doesnt mean you have to agree with it read it form your own opinion regarding its content and move on

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This is the really evil piece which I guarantee is absolutely bullshit.

 

"In recent weeks an unlikely bond has formed between Hicks and Benitez".

 

He's trying to setup a zero sum game where a vote for Rafa is a vote for Hicks. What an odious piece of decomposing, effluent!

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That's not true Speedy.

 

What is true though is that Rafa, Moores, Parry and several players will be out of the door in the summer when DIC come in. Chris's writing this weekend although sounds harsh has been spot on and people won't admit it but it was his piece in November that started this and saved Rafa from the sack.

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Top work by Jim again.

 

Report: Hicks softening where DIC concerned

Posted on February 17th, 2008 by Jim Boardman

Texan Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks is beginning to soften his stubborn approach to selling his share in Liverpool Football Club, as Dubai International step up their efforts to buy the club they missed out on just over a year ago.

 

According to Chris Bascombe in an article on the News of the World’s website, George Gillett Junior will be the most likely of the two to bail out first, with a healthy profit coming his way as soon as he does. The report says that the duo would share £50m between them, with the negotiations having reached a “key stage”.

 

The report also says Hicks is “the main obstacle”, with DIC seeking a “swift conclusion”.

 

Regardless of how hard Hicks tries to deny it, there’s no doubt whatsoever that DIC are in talks with the current owners about buying into the club. PR firms have been engaged to deal with the press on behalf of DIC, and even before that key journalists were getting information to pass on to their readers. And that’s not only coming from DIC, there are people inside the club other than Hicks and Gillett who need to be involved in at least certain aspects of the interest from Dubai.

 

What is in doubt is just how much money is being put on the table by DIC, and how much the US owners are now demanding. They paid £174m for the club last year. Or at least they borrowed the money to pay for the club, including an additional £45m to pay off the club’s debt at the time of making their offer to shareholders, a total of £219m. In theory you could have gazumped the duo with a quarter-of-a-billion a year ago had you got it to spare (or were able to borrow it).

 

By the autumn gazumping was out of the question because you’d now have to convince Hicks and Gillett to sell rather than David Moores. And Hicks and Gillett were willing to sell part of their share in the club by then - and began talks with DIC to negotiate such a deal, as Tom Hicks confirmed earlier this year. But now a quarter of a billion wasn’t enough. Hicks and Gillett’s asking price for the partial share in the club was based on a value of £1billion for the whole club.

 

In six or seven months the club’s value, if Hicks and Gillett were to be humoured, was four times greater. Yet nothing had changed. Drawings of a stadium that turned out to be a fantasy had been produced, and given planning permission too based on £60,000 capacity. But drawings don’t add value to a club to the extent that it becomes worth four times its previous value. Transfer dealings were no different significantly to other seasons, Rafa spending a pretty standard £20m net in 2007, so the squad wasn’t now worth three-quarters of a billion more than before. Nothing new had happened in terms of new potential income streams either - TV deals were in place before the owners took over, thirty-ninth games hadn’t been mentioned. And thirty-ninth games don’t make a club £750m more expensive either.

 

With that in mind, DIC politely declined, but their interest had been rekindled.

 

Hicks and Gillett were sweating on getting a refinancing package in place to replace their loan from a year ago and it went right to the wire before they got it, and not on terms they liked. They wanted to load all £350m of their newer, bigger loan onto the club. The banks weren’t keen, nor were the non-family members of the board. Eventually the loan was split into two portions. £105m went onto the club’s books and the rest was put onto the holding company’s books, but secured against assets owned by the two families. Some of the club’s £105m was to be used, the owners claimed, for transfers and initial work on the new stadium. By then it was too late for the winter transfer window, which had just closed, and we’ve still heard nothing about progress on getting the latest version of the stadium project underway.

 

According to the report in the News of the World, the club is valued at £400m, and this would leave the £50m for the US owners to split with each other after the £350m had been settled with the banks. Other reports recently have referred to figures as high as £550m, but it seems that a figure in the mid-£400m range is most likely to be a maximum.

 

Another complication to any DIC takeover which has been suggested previously is a condition of the owners’ original purchase. Both owners are believed to have first refusal on each others’ holdings should one party wish to sell, and this is mentioned again in today’s report. A common business practice, it does leave us all with what Chris Bascombe describes as a “nightmare scenario” - the possibility that Hicks could take that option and become the 100% shareholder in the club.

 

Gillett certainly couldn’t afford to buy Hicks out; his finances are believed to have been stretched to the limit with the guarantees he had to put in place for the recent loan. Hicks too would struggle to raise that kind of money and no doubt would already have bought Gillett out some time ago had he been both willing and able.

 

That recent loan was hard for the owners to raise, and Bascombe suggests that perhaps the next stage on that obstacle-laden path to the new stadium, a further loan of £300m, may be one bridge too far for Hicks. He writes that with this in mind, “even Hicks’ hardline stance has softened in recent days.”

 

Elsewhere there remain rumours that Hicks will retain some interest in the club, a minority holding which would allow him to make further profit in the future if the new regime run the club successfully. In fact depending on the final price paid, he could retain a 10% share of the club having had all his share of the £350m debt paid off.

 

If DIC valued the club at £450m, but Hicks wanted to retain a 10% share of the club DIC would therefore pay Gillett £225m - 50% of the club’s value - and Hicks would get £180m - 40% of the club’s value. Hicks currently owes half of the £350m loan that was recently taken out, which is £175m. The money from DIC would cover that, and leave him with a nice £5m windfall to spend on a gift for the family. Obviously those figures are nice round numbers, and with £105m of the debt now actually in the club’s name it may work slightly differently, but Hicks could retain a partial ownership of the club, get a say in what happens in the future, and continue to make money from it. And it would have cost him nothing, other than time and aggravation.

 

Whether we get a complete takeover by DIC or otherwise, it’s now extremely likely that the Arabs will be running the club quite soon. This season has been a write-off in so many ways the summer break can’t come soon enough. We have to hope that it comes back stronger, as it should have done last summer.

 

From the first signs of trouble last summer, through the mess we’ve seen both sides of Christmas, many of the facts have been broken by Chris Bascombe in both the Echo and more recently in the News of the World. He’s written an interesting chronology of events that lead up to today’s hopeful proximity to a new era for the club, and reveals something which might surprise you:

 

“In recent weeks an unlikely bond has formed between Hicks and Benitez. The bust-up which prompted so much bad blood splattered across the back pages has been mended.”

 

This ties in with what was being said earlier in the month that Rafa had been reassured privately about his future and had accepted those reassurances. The reassurances were said to be from Hicks, not Gillett, who remains silent. Rafa now seems to have softened in terms of his view of Hicks, which is quite some turnaround, but of course planning his off-field tactics is as big a part of Rafa’s day now as planning the on-field ones.

 

Cynics might suggest that Chris’s chronological article, accompanied by images of certain back pages from the paper, is a plug for the News of the World to try and win back some credit after last week.

 

Rob Beasley’s “exclusive” was considered by Rafa to have sufficiently twisted his words that he started to take legal action. In reality the article serves more as a plug for Chris’s work and the stories he’s managed to break through the long-term building of LFC-related sources. It serves as a reminder that not all the NotW reporters should be tarred with the same brush, and that what Chris writes is important for Reds to read now as it was when he was writing in the Echo. You can read the article in full on the NotW website - Sport: How it all went wrong for Kop cowboys - it makes interesting reading.

 

Also making interesting reading is an article in the Telegraph. It seems they’ve been tipped off that Peter Crouch is considering using a new ruling that allows players to leave for a fee equal to their remaining wages if they’ve served a specific portion of their contract. This ruling was one of the reasons Rafa made it clear that new deals for Gerrard, Reina, Alonso and others were so important last summer. Before supporters get angry with the England international, the article does suggest that Crouch would be looking to use the ruling to boost his bargaining power in contract renewal negotiations, rather than in a real attempt to leave Anfield.

 

Crouch… is the latest big name to consider using the loophole. The Sunday Telegraph understands that Crouch is carefully considering exploiting the ruling, one of several options open to the England striker whose current deal expires at the end of next season.

 

Although both Liverpool and Crouch’s agent Jonathan Barnett refused to confirm that similar action was being taken by the player, it is understood that the threat of buying out his contract and leaving for far less than his market value is likely to form part of Crouch’s negotiations.

 

Barnett said clubs had nothing to worry about if they behaved responsibly: “Certainly it will change the way things are conducted and we are probably heading for a period of shorter contracts. But I’ve never heard of a player volunteering to leave a club when he is happy and being well-paid.” Whether Crouch is happy is another matter, however; he played yesterday, but has started only six Premier League games this season.

 

Although the rule applies only to cross-border transfers, Graham Shear, one of the country’s top sports lawyers, says this was an unviable restraint and “would certainly be challenged”.

 

Crouch was reportedly attracting offers of around £10m last summer, a clear profit on the £7m he was bought for. A players with 16 months left on a £50,000 a week contract could leave for less than £3.5m under this new rule.

 

I suppose it gives us all something else to think about for a change.

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real red - I found that article by Barrett absolute rubbish and reason for it is because he writes as if it is a pre-season game that means nothing. There is no emotion in that report, nothing at all. It's like going to the game, losing to a shit team, shrugging the shoulders and singing to the radio on the way home. Oblivious is how I'd describe it.

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I really fucking despair with Liverpool fans right now...

 

Retarded sky u2ustwats fans and "rational agonisers" with no regard to what the future holds for the club if we get rid of one of the best Managers in the world.

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The Kop boss began the day saying he would know within five days if his team had "turned the corner".

 

coach's persecution complex has been intensifying by the week

 

Reminders of Ged there.

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real red - I found that article by Barrett absolute rubbish and reason for it is because he writes as if it is a pre-season game that means nothing. There is no emotion in that report, nothing at all. It's like going to the game, losing to a shit team, shrugging the shoulders and singing to the radio on the way home. Oblivious is how I'd describe it.

 

I take back what I have said about TB - I guess he will do a more thorough report on Monday which I really want to see. I just don't want him going the way of Paul Tomkins! :thumbsup:

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