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Liverpool FC Officially Up for Sale: Hicks and Gillett Want £500 Million

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 06:  American businessmen George Gillett (L) and Tom Hicks pose after their takeover of Liverpool Football Club on  February 6, 2007, in Liverpool, England. Gillett and Hicks have bought the football club in a deal thought to be worth GBP470m.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Nabeel KhokharCorrespondent IApril 16, 2010

In recent weeks the media has been awash with rumours and whispers of the comings and goings, and the trials and tribulations, in the boardroom of Liverpool Football Club.

 

However, the cat is finally out of the bag, and the worst kept secret in recent weeks is a secret no more.

 

Liverpool Football Club is now officially up for sale.

 

Finally today the club confirmed growing speculation that their joint American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, have put Liverpool Football Club on the market.

 

It has also been announced that Martin Broughton, the current chairman of British Airways PLC and deputy president of the Confederation of British Industry, has been appointed as chairman to oversee the sale and investment bank Barclays Capital to advise upon it.

 

It may disturb some fans that Hicks and Gillett have appointed a staunch supporter and a season ticket holder at Chelsea to be the person they have entrusted with the future of Liverpool Football Club.

 

Will this prove to be yet another error in judgement from Americans that came to the club preaching of their knowledge of Liverpool’s history, the Kop and its fans?

 

The current owners have reportedly slapped on a price tag of £500m, almost double what they paid for the club in 2007, leaving them to walk away with a handsome profit and the fans to be left with a club close to financial ruin.

 

To say the supporters welcome the news that they will finally be seeing the back of Hicks and Gillett would be as gross an understate as saying Lionel Messi is a good player.

 

The Hicks and Gillett era is one bereft of broken promises, false dawns and crippling debts, the ending of which cannot come quickly enough.

 

Arguably the biggest unfulfilled promise has been the stagnation of the construction of the new stadium, which is so badly needed for the club to compete at the financial top table of English and European football.

 

In this day and age, financial strength is tantamount to success on the pitch. It may well be a sad realization for the purists of the game, but without financial muscle, challenging for the Premier League and Champions League trophies is like whistling in the wind.

 

The worry is that, as the Americans look to make as much money as possible, any future owner(s) will be chosen based on the size of their offer, rather than whether they are best for the club.

 

And if history is anything to go by, trusting Hicks and Gillett to do what is best for the club, is not something fans should be expecting.

 

However, it is expected that potential suitors will not come to the fore before the end of the current season, when a fuller picture of the pieces they will need to pick up will emerge.

 

The hope of all fans and supporters is that the new owners will deliver upon the promises that they will undoubtedly make and take Liverpool Football Club back to where it belongs, to the upper echelons of English and European football and to winning trophies; in two small words, the top.

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