Backed into a legal and financial corner, it seems only a matter of time before Tom Hicks and George Gillett’s disastrous tenure at Liverpool is finally brought to end, but replacing the American businessmen are a group of…well, American businessmen. John Baines takes a look at what’s new…
To the naked eye it’s difficult to tell. What New England Sports Ventures (NESV) do have going for them is they are not Tom Hicks or George Gillett. The current owners have burdened the club with over £200m of debt, with £27m a year coming out of the club coffers just to pay back the duo’s interest payments for the purchase. To the disgruntled Anfield faithful, just about anybody will do.
The bad news is that NESV are cut from a similar cloth to Hicks and Gillett, and for that matter, the equally unpopular Glazers down the M62. NESV are effectively a money making exercise. The conglomerate is made up of men that have gotten rich, and want to become richer. Mansour or Abramovich they are not, and, in the long run, NESV will aim for regular and healthy profit from the acquisition, with details of how they intend to do this so far conspicuous by their absence.
What NESV’s takeover will do is free the enormous debt Liverpool are currently shouldering. The group will raise £300m needed to acquire the club through the consortiums own shareholders, but the silence has been deafening as to the level of investment thereafter. It is highly unlikely that they will fund a lavish spending spree, whilst they have been non-committal on what to do about the proposed new stadium.
The by-line is they will evaluate all options once the takeover is complete. But this is not Field
There is a direct correlation between on-field success and financial rewards, and it is clear the squad needs considerable rebuilding before they can challenge for the economic gains of the Champions League places, let alone the elusive league title so craved. New signings can be expected to be prudent and cerebral rather than exuberant, but more indicative of the new boards intentions will be what happens if and when faxes land on the desk for the likes of Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres.
Clearly the people involved with NESV are astute businessmen and therefore you would think they will have noted the downfall of Messrs Hicks and Gillett. Stateside they have achieved relative on-field success with the Boston Red Socks Baseball team, though trying to convert that into an indicator of how things should improve at Anfield is nigh on impossible. It really is just as difficult to predict what will come of the proposed new regime. Liverpool fans should hope that the New England Sports Venture is not the same old American misadventure.