Have Liverpool Fans Damaged the Search for a New Billionaire Owner?
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Now don't get me wrong, I like the passion that Liverpool fans have shown throughout their campaign to oust Hicks and Gillett.
I have read a number of articles in which they took pride in their quasi-guerilla tactics to comabt the current owners when they sought out finance.
Email addresses were bombarded, and denial of service attacks took place on websites.
Liverpool fans were showing they have muscle and that they can organise themselves into an effective force.
There are plenty of posts on football forums where fans of the club made bold and clear statements, even threats to anyone who was considering doing business with H and G (though recently it has been more about H than G).
It seems that part one of the supporters' plan has worked a treat.
Nobody is jumping into bed with Hicks, at least publically.
"Great news," some will say.
Better still, the threats to the RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) regarding mass account closures, picketing of branches and less savoury suggestions led the bank to do as asked—they dutifully backed the recent bid to take over the club. Of course the RBS will get every penny they are owed back as well.
But perhaps the various supporter organisations over-egged the pudding somewhat.
The club are in the process of being bought out by new American investors, but fans of these new Americans' other US sports teams aren't happy about the months of "Yanks Out!" protests.
Perhaps the new owners are only being cautiously welcomed by fans on Merseyside because of their nationality, which could mean that they will start off their tenure with a slightly strained relationship with the Spirit of Shankly and the membership of RAWK.
But the kicker seems to have been included in an interview with Martin Broughton, the man who searched all over the world for new owners.
He suggested that he expected to find a "sugar daddy" owner out there but has conceded in recent interviews that no such buyer could be found.
Apparently there is "only one Abramovich and only one Sheikh Mansour," and they were alas already in place at Chelsea and Manchester City.
Broughton went further in stating that "with all of Liverpool's traditions, heritage, history and powerful global brand, I must admit I thought it would be possible to find one (a Billionaire buyer)."
He said, "So no matter how far and wide we looked there was no evidence of a sugar daddy type around.”
But here is a thought, Martin: Perhaps the fans are to blame?
Broughton was directly quoted again, saying, "We hoped for someone who wanted a 'trophy asset,' but having scoured the world without finding one the conclusion is that there are no more Romans [Abramovich] out there."
I would think a billionaire who wants a "trophy asset" certainly won't be interested in the possible hassle of fans who are so well organised the moment things don't go well.
Maybe, just maybe, the fans and their highly effective campaigning are the reason that the club has been sold to someone with just enough money to refurbish Anfield but not replace it?
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