Smoke And Mirrors Or Smokescreen? Yanks Panic As Chinese Takeaway Looms

Pav MandairCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2010

Another day, another week another month, another year........ Ok, with RBS thinning patience and the possibility of a huge portion of the loan to be paid later this calendar year, maybe what has replaced Brookside as the soap opera from Merseyside may finally cease broadcasting on world news outlets. But you get the storyline by now, as Liverpudlian emotions are yo-yoing from what was months, weeks, and now days (or in Gillett’s words 60 days) there is constantly a new owner on the horizon until less than 24 hours later Kopites Phoenix hopes are then eviscerated by the party themselves denying the reports. And so the saga of a Smoke and Mirrors type potential owner with unlimited wealth continues with yet another “potential investor” being handpicked by the Fleet Street intellectuals from the Forbes rich list to revolutionise the red half of Merseyside in Stanley Park, which was apparently three years ago supposed to have a swimming pool dug out by a certain Texan. From what were supposed “Princes in shining armour” are now just another piece of gossip looked upon by scousers with sceptical spectacles and with sarcastic hope. This is with good reason because if every Liverpool fan raised their hopes and had them expunged every time a possible new owner emerged The Royal Liverpool Hospital would have to detest to Liverpool City Council Liverpool Football Club’s lease on Stanley Park and use it to build a plethora of wards just to cope with yo-yoing blood pressure. But do we really have an insight into when this saga will finally end? Will it really be resolved by the end of the transfer window? Do we know who has actually submitted a bid? Are there really six bids? Have any been accepted?  Have any been negotiated?  Are there any bids at all? From the broken promises to the unmet goals in prolonged time spans how can any kopites find any news credible these days.  The story about the distorted ownership of Liverpool Football Club now up for sale (even though it was effectively up for sale upon Tom Hicks and George Gillett’s purchase from David Moores in February 2007) has exposed the cancerous effect of the scale finance has on football despite its many successes. There have been more parties linked with Liverpool than the contents of its trophy room which is a lot considering this is Britain’s most successful club I am referring to. But despite the twists and turns that have transpired between a time span of Olympics, Recessions, Swine Flu’s, World Cups, European Championships, the latest development maybe the key turning point in a saga that has had more twists and turns than the Dole Pineapple Maze.

Another Potential Investor

A Chinese business man emerged over a week ago by the name of Kenny Huang. At the emergence of the outbreak of this story it was deemed that the takeover could have been formalised by the end of the week with a bid believed to have already been submitted. Despite all the false rumours about “potential owners” beforehand, this bid was submitted to RBS to which would repay the loan and in intrigue fashion would cease 100% control Tom Hicks and George Gillett currently attain  with no profit being made. Who said Karma doesn’t exist? This prompted George Gillett into a frantic panic to where he suddenly revealed that Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi was in advanced negotiations to buy the club. As all Liverpool supporters know the same story emerged when the club (or franchise to the owners) was put up for sale that is was supposed Yahya Kirdi was in advanced negotiations to attain control of the club. With empathy to all the due diligence and red tape involved surely if the talks were advanced in April it surely should be near to completion now. Later that week it was confirmed that Mr Huang hadn’t made an offer after all (maybe also Everton’s proposed stadium in Kirby could also be used as another ward at this rate). However he has registered his interest in the club. You may be thinking why this news would be credible in relation in terms of the past hearsay. When other news emanating from has been reported in the past it has been brushed aside by various media outlets. However with insiders delving deeper into the fray in this generation there are lot of insiders who are indicating that this registration of interest from the Far East may be credible. Let’s be honest UK fans how often do you see Bryan Swanson sitting in BSkyB headquarters in Osterley discussing Liverpool takeover news? If armchair fans of all fans cannot answer that question then it is questionable what they do in the armchair, they can’t even live up to that moniker. The closest Sky Sports get to publishing the news is when they do their daily paper review with a Fleet Street guest which is only transmitted from the newspaper and not produced as their own news.  This is a credible development with Mr Huang believed to be one of the six bidders. It is said that RBS have welcomed this proposal and it has been greeted warmly by Liverpool officials such as Commercial Director Ian Ayre, Chairman Martin Broughton managing director Christian Purslow and Barclays Capital.  If all these members agree this would be enough votes to oust Tom Hicks and George Gillett from power. Therefore you can understand the smoke screen approach from George Gillett.

The Offers

Ken Huang is rumoured to have backing from the Chinese Government therefore a lot of money could be invested into the club. This would also help improve the Liverpool brand in the Far East where the market for Football has rose meteorically since the inception of the Premier League and with a strong fan rapport in China Liverpool could finally reap the benefits in where it has undersold themselves commercially. Taking into account their new £20m a year sponsorship with Standard Chartered, the seeds to improving their brand in the Far East have already been planted. However, Yahya Kirdi’s supposed offer has also promised to clear all debt and also build the long awaited stadium on Stanley Park.  

Final chapter?

Yahya Kirdi is said to be close friends with George Gillett and with his antics during his tenure in control can Kopites really trust an associate of one the most despised men in Liverpool folklore.  There is the possibility that Yahya Kirdi could invite him back  somewhere down the line as an investor which would be frowned upon by Liverpool fans. Promises were made by Mr Kirdi’s close friends before could his promises bear the same fruit. Is Mr Kirdi seeing this as an opportunity to emulate Hicks and Gillett’s venture with Weetabix?  Are the promised transfer funds planned to finally buy “snoogie doogie”? Do the close friends share the same metaphorical spade with a 60 day warranty? Seeing as they are close friends the proposal that seems so good it could be smoke and mirrors, could be seen as just a smokescreen by Liverpool fans. Therefore as the saga continues we have a very serious party entering the equation who can offer not only transfer funds but benefits over a sustained period. However, there also claims to be a bidder who is in “advanced negotiations” just as reported in April.  This is obviously a smokescreen by Hicks and Gillett as the walls close in on them. In recent years we have seen a major Spanish influence on the red half of Merseyside, could the red half be set for an increase in Chinese takeaways when East meets West as the Americans surrender control to the Chinese.