Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hicks and Gillett save their bank accounts....for the moment

The drama that is Liverpool continues now that Gillett and Hicks secured refinancing for the club to allow themselves some protection from what appeared to be a dire financial situation. Of course from all reports all this does is buy the two American maverick owners another 18 months....probably buys then 18 minutes of freedom from the attacks from the Liverpool faithful. With DIC sitting on the sidelines waiting to pounce, Hicks and Gillett better ensure their finances are indeed in order.

So why is this such a controversy? It is not the first time a bunch of grown up boys with too much money have looked towards sporting teams as their new "toy"....Hicks being a great example, look what he has done with the Texas Rangers of MLB....when is the last time that team has mounted any serious World Series challenge???? However I think that when it comes to "playing" with historic European football teams, it seems to be a little more distasteful. Hicks and Gillett clearly have no clue about the true importance of Liverpool FC to both the city and football in general, but rather these two gentlemen saw an opportunity to fatten their wallets. They are now facing the reality that they are dealing with passionate fans, more passionate than the American fan that tends to have multiple professional teams on which to waste their hard earned money. Fans who will be vocal in their protests, fans who are the very reason why teams such as Liverpool are so valued. Between the controversy in Liverpool and Manchester United and their US goofy owners, it is becoming clear that the issue of foreign ownership is becoming an "issue" for the FA.

The main issue is that football is a business....while fans such as myself are drawn because of the competition, history, and is a business just like software, home building, magazine printing, etc....and therefore it will be subject to the desire to maximize profits, fatten wallets, manage the bottom line, and all the other aspects of business and work we try to escape through our sporting teams. Maybe this is another reason why it feels so distasteful...the realities we deal with when we are working are not the ones we want to deal with when we are sitting in the stands at Parc des Princes, Emirates, Stanford Bridge, The Bernabeu, or any other stadium, eating our bangers and mash, washing it down with a bitter, and cheering on our team to eternal glory....alas this very fact means that this is a business where vast sums of money can be made and lost, and when these situations arise gentlemen such as Hicks and Gillett will be attracted....just as if it were a paper mill they see as a undervalued.....

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