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Thread: Liverpool fans protest against owners

  1. #1
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    Liverpool fans protest against owners

    BD, what's up? I didn't know things were this gloomy.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....ap/index.html

    Liverpool fans protest U.S. owners

    Posted: Monday January 21, 2008 5:35PM; Updated: Monday January 21, 2008 5:45PM

    LONDON (AP) -- "You'll never walk alone," says the famous song roared by Liverpool's soccer fans.

    Forgive Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. if the sentiment is lost on them. At Anfield right now, some fans want the American owners to start walking and sell the famous English team.

    Hicks and Gillett are trying to refinance the loan that enabled them to buy the club last March. There reportedly is a wealthy consortium from Dubai with a buyout bid on the table.

    Hicks and Gillett, who own baseball and hockey franchises, say they have no intention of selling, however. That means the Reds, for so long the most stable club in English soccer, lurch from crisis to crisis.

    Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez accused the Americans of failing to pledge financial support for new players. Hicks acknowledged he and Gillett talked to former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann in November as a potential replacement for the Spaniard. Hicks said it was in case Benitez left the club, but the talks prompted a furious response from Liverpool fans.

    The fans in Liverpool also might be angered by comments Hicks made in an interview last year.

    "People are worried that I might take money away from the (Texas) Rangers to build Liverpool," Hicks said, referring to his baseball team. "It's just the reverse."

    The lingering dispute seems a long way from the days when Liverpool reeled off nine league championships between 1976-90 to run up a record of 18 titles which still stands.

    After Bill Shankly launched the Liverpool title charge in the mid-60s, the owners rarely interfered with his successors Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish, who also added four triumphs in the European Cup -- later to become the Champions League.

    The trouble is Liverpool hasn't added to that record of league titles since 1990. Manchester United has won nine Premier League titles in the past 15 years and, at the top of the standings, could make it 10 in 16 this season.

    Liverpool has fallen so far behind United and Arsenal in the title race that it is virtually out of contention again this year. Its only chance of a major success lies in the Champions League, a competition it won three seasons ago and reached the final last year.

    That means Liverpool fans, for so long able to hail their team as the best in the country, haven't been able to say that for more than 17 years. If neighbor Everton maintains fourth place in the standings, Liverpool may not be able to say it's the top team in the city.

    Yet the fans are staunchly behind Benitez, largely because he has a standout record in European soccer.

    Having upset Benitez and the fans, Hicks and Gillett appear to be in a corner.

    They bought out Liverpool's shareholders with a then $431 million offer, which included an agreement to pay off about $89 million of club debt and finance a new, bigger stadium.

    But they have until the end of February to refinance the loan they needed to complete the buyout. If they fail to do it, then Dubai International Capital, which tried to buy the club before Hicks and Gillett came along, reportedly are standing by with an offer.

    "I have not received any offer to purchase the club from the DIC or anyone else, much less accepted any such offer," Hicks said Sunday in a statement. "Nor do I have any intention of doing so."

    If Hicks and Gillett obtain the backing to refinance the loan and DIC is thwarted again, then the embarrassing impasse with Benitez and the fans could go on. It may well have gone too far for the wounds to heal.

    Benitez refuses to comment on the issue, maintaining he's focusing on Liverpool's next game.

    He doesn't really need to say anything. Unlike Hicks and Gillett, he has the fans to say it for him, and he's not walking alone.

  2. #2
    Waterboy
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    That's interesting. I can imagine how much the English fans hate their American owners.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    BD, what's up? I didn't know things were this gloomy.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....ap/index.html
    Many of us Liverpool supporters wanted the Arabs to take over the club. Originally I had nothing against the Americans but just felt they didn't have enough money to put the club where it should be. Turns out I was right - they are having problems securing the loan for the new stadium and to rub salt into the wound they have made constant eff ups like talking to Klinsmann about managing Liverpool. Almost every supporter is behind Rafa Benitez as manager and now almost every supporter wants the Americans to sell the club to the DIC.

    Check out the website redandwhitekop.com and you will see this has really ripped the ordinairy supporters apart. It is a great club that doesn't deserve to go through what it is going through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    Many of us Liverpool supporters wanted the Arabs to take over the club. Originally I had nothing against the Americans but just felt they didn't have enough money to put the club where it should be. Turns out I was right - they are having problems securing the loan for the new stadium and to rub salt into the wound they have made constant eff ups like talking to Klinsmann about managing Liverpool. Almost every supporter is behind Rafa Benitez as manager and now almost every supporter wants the Americans to sell the club to the DIC.

    Check out the website redandwhitekop.com and you will see this has really ripped the ordinairy supporters apart. It is a great club that doesn't deserve to go through what it is going through.
    I kind of have mixed feelings about all this. Premiership teams are attracting all kinds of foreign tycoons: legit and shady. Ideally, you'd want a guy who's loaded and has loved your team since he was a kid. Obviously, that rarely happens.

    In any case, I wouldn't want the owner of my team to own other sports franchises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    I kind of have mixed feelings about all this. Premiership teams are attracting all kinds of foreign tycoons: legit and shady. Ideally, you'd want a guy who's loaded and has loved your team since he was a kid. Obviously, that rarely happens.

    In any case, I wouldn't want the owner of my team to own other sports franchises.
    Yep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    Yep.
    You should send Tony Yeboah to their homes.

    "Sell or else..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    Many of us Liverpool supporters wanted the Arabs to take over the club. Originally I had nothing against the Americans but just felt they didn't have enough money to put the club where it should be. Turns out I was right - they are having problems securing the loan for the new stadium and to rub salt into the wound they have made constant eff ups like talking to Klinsmann about managing Liverpool. Almost every supporter is behind Rafa Benitez as manager and now almost every supporter wants the Americans to sell the club to the DIC.

    Check out the website redandwhitekop.com and you will see this has really ripped the ordinairy supporters apart. It is a great club that doesn't deserve to go through what it is going through.
    And to think a few months ago they were pissing themselves laughing at the Glazers. No sympathy here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jesper stromblad rules View Post
    And to think a few months ago they were pissing themselves laughing at the Glazers. No sympathy here.
    Yeah, well the two clubs don't exactly get along.

    Talking of which, Alex Ferguson has come out in support of Rafa Benitez. Unheard of in English football - the ManU manager publicly supporting the Liverpool one.

  9. #9
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    Black Death I was just wandering your Liverpool sympathy is it common in Australia or you just happened to be a Liverpool supporter for your own particular reason.

    I ask becase Liverpool is almost like a second team to many in europe. As far as I know the former FDL in Milan's terraces and Boixes Nois from Barcelona both have good relations with Liverpool. In Turkey also you can frequently see a Liverpool scarf in Galatasaray terraces, back when we were drawn against each other 5-6 years ago we had a fan initative called "the lion and the liverbird" and so on. It's just interesting to me even with the money and exposure ManU, madrid, Milan, Barça and others can't reach the level of international sympathy that Liverpool enjoy.

    I personally support them as well in the premiership.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Turk View Post
    Black Death I was just wandering your Liverpool sympathy is it common in Australia or you just happened to be a Liverpool supporter for your own particular reason.

    I ask becase Liverpool is almost like a second team to many in europe. As far as I know the former FDL in Milan's terraces and Boixes Nois from Barcelona both have good relations with Liverpool. In Turkey also you can frequently see a Liverpool scarf in Galatasaray terraces, back when we were drawn against each other 5-6 years ago we had a fan initative called "the lion and the liverbird" and so on. It's just interesting to me even with the money and exposure ManU, madrid, Milan, Barça and others can't reach the level of international sympathy that Liverpool enjoy.

    I personally support them as well in the premiership.
    It isn't all that common to see 'Pool supporters out here; I have supported them since I was a kid because when I was growing up they were the most successful side around and they would almost always be featured on 'Match of the Day' which was sometimes shown two weeks after the matches had been played, on Saturday afternoons on national TV. This was in the late '70s and into the 80's. The fact I was watching them all the time made me follow them - plus as a kid seeing a club win all the time makes you want to support them!

    If there are any Liverpool supporters here a lot of them are recent because one of our best players plays for them in Harry Kewell (not so good in recent seasons - I expect him to be moved on this northern Summer).

    The Liverpool fans seem to have strong ties with quite a number of European clubs - I guess that comes from having a fantastic set of fans (most Scousers are pretty good people - the few arseholes aside) and also playing a lot of European games over a long time. Plus there are the tribulations Liverpool has been through, with Hillsbrough and Heysel, and the fact that Liverpool was a great European club for a very long time.

    Even though AC Milan and Liverpool have good relations I think many fans of other clubs in Europe, and especially Italy, were overjoyed we came from 3 nil down to beat Milan in the Champions League final in '05 - I think that has won Liverpool more sympathy, plus the fact we knocked out Abramovich's Chelsea in the semis along the way.

    There is a lot of romance associated with a club like Liverpool - its a damn shame a lot of that is probably going to be wasted by the clubs new owners.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    Yeah, well the two clubs don't exactly get along.

    Talking of which, Alex Ferguson has come out in support of Rafa Benitez. Unheard of in English football - the ManU manager publicly supporting the Liverpool one.
    Naturally. He knows you'll never win the title with Rafa.

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