Liverpool news – Takeover complete, Hicks speaks out, Derby time

Takeover complete.

Bringing to a conclusion perhaps the most dramatic boardroom struggle in recent English football history, New England Sports Ventures yesterday completed their takeover of Liverpool Football Club. The deal agreed, thought to be worth approximately £300 million, means they are now free to wipe clear Liverpool’s outstanding £200 million debts.

The relief around Anfield was understandably palpable, and John W. Henry, the head of NESV, immediately looked to a brighter future. “We have a lot of work to do and I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’ve finally got to this point,” he is quoted in The Guardian. “But obviously we’re here to win and we’ll do whatever is necessary.”

Although Tom Hicks and George Gillett seem prepared to sue for £1 billion in damages, NESV are finally in a position to return the club to stability.

Never a shrinking violet type, Tom Hicks had some strong words to say to Sky Sports News as he left Liverpool. The belligerent Texan businessman defended leveraging the club with debt, arguing that it meant that Rafa Benitez was given a budget favourable to most Premier League managers. The only problem, he said, were the poor choices of signing by the previous manager.

Hicks speaks out.

Never a shrinking violet type, Tom Hicks had some strong words to say to Sky Sports News as he left Liverpool. The belligerent Texan businessman defended leveraging the club with debt, arguing that it meant that Rafa Benitez was given a budget favourable to most Premier League managers. The only problem, he said, were the poor choices of signing by the previous manager.

“I read a very interesting article in which Alex Ferguson [the Manchester United manager] said: ‘Rafa had more money to spend than the rest of us, he just bought bad players’,” Hicks argued, claiming that his former manager had been given a net spend of £150 million – a warchest surely enough to build a team capable of capturing the title.

His resentment at the new owners was also thinly veiled, saying in The Guardian that he felt undermined as discussions with potentially better buyers had been sabotaged. “The interested buyers that we knew would be the right type of buyers for the club – look what’s happened to Manchester City now with their new ownership – that’s the kind of buyer we were trying to find for Liverpool and those people were scared off by the distress chatter,” he claimed.

Derby time.

One might well think that this most dramatic of weeks for Liverpool Football Club had reached its crescendo yesterday as the ownership of the club finally changed hands. Those people may be forgetting the little matter of a match at Goodison Park this Sunday afternoon. With both sides at the wrong end of the table, and Liverpool’s new ownership in place, it takes on greater significance – something to which Roy Hodgson is well aware. “We can’t go from third bottom to top in the next four weeks, but if we can turn this round with the new owners it would be a wonderful feeling,” he told The Telegraph in the run up to the game.

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