Thursday, February 01, 2007

Scousers double dealing upsets Arabs as DIC pulls out...

Without any shadow of a doubt the biggest event on the last day of the January transfer window surrounded Liverpool with the news that DIC, the investment arm of the Dubai government, withdrew their offer to buy Liverpool FC due to the Merseyside club stalling following renewed interest from US multi-millionaire George Gillett.

My first reaction was that this was good news because the last thing United fans wanted was to see was Liverpool being backed by one of the richest men in the world in the form of Sheikh Mohammed. According to reports DIC pulled out because of Liverpool double dealing after they'd given their word on the Dubai deal.

The BBC sports editor Mihir Bose gave an interview to Radio 5 live and says "Mohammed is a very angry man and that is why he has pulled out. He was given assurances by Liverpool that they would go with them but the talk of other offers has unsettled him and he has pulled out. With Gillett it won't be like an Roman Abramovich deep pockets scenario."

Added to which early indications appear to suggest that Gillett will not be universally welcomed by followers of the Anfield club, it looks like it could be similar to the Malcolm Glazer takeover at United, though I doubt it will be that bad personally.

Having looked at Gillett's CV it doesn't make for good reading with the American going bankrupt at one stage and also buying and selling companies for profit. On top of this, Gillett isn't in the same league as Roman Abramovich or Sheikh Mohammed, he isn't one of the richest people in the world. Gillett isn't even listed in America's top 400 in the Forbes rich list. Apparently Glazer (ranked 160 in the rich list) has $2 billion and Gillet under $1 billion, to be precise at today's exchange rates around £437m - so where is his money from? Most of Gillett's wealth will be tied up in assets, so it is likely that Gillett is taking Liverpool down the same path as Glazer in putting the club into debt by borrowing vast sums of money.

The Forbes rich list, in football parlance, Gillett isn't even in the top division

Is Gillett into Liverpool for the long term, or is he after turning the club into a cash-cow then selling it on?

IF Gillett is putting Liverpool into serious debt, then it will only lead to increased ticket prices and the game moving further away from working-class fans and its grass routes, here I do sympathise with Liverpool fans.

Football is nothing without the fans and it cannot carry on like it is now with supporters geeting fleeced week-in, week-out, as sooner or later fans will start voting with their feet and we've seen evidence of that already this season with attendances falling.

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