An Open Letter To Messrs. Hicks & Gillett

TIA columnist Pidge shares an open letter to Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett in light of recent events and speculation surrounding the future of manager Rafael Benitez.

Dear Tom & George,

We have, over the last few days been subject to some rather disturbing ‘œrumblings’ shall we say over at our beloved club involving Rafael and your good selves.

Whilst we can only really speculate about what you have said in private in meetings between you all, (as this has always been the Liverpool way, never to air dirty linen in public), the whole debacle leaves a little to be desired and a somewhat sour taste in the mouth.

RafaI would like to make a few points regarding our beloved club since Rafa joined and also some since you guys took over;

  • Rafa did a hell of a job, as you well know in winning the Champions League in 2005, and then the FA Cup a year later.
  • He has stuck to his guns, and in the main, produced a side playing better football than we have played for some time.
  • He does not appear to us fans anything other than focused on the job in hand, that being getting Liverpool FC back where it belongs at the top of European football and of course challenging for the Premier League.
  • gillett and hicksNow over to your good selves;

  • You have invested in the future of our beloved club, seemingly interested in ‘œsoccer’ and willing to learn the way it works in the country that invented it.
  • You have put proposals in place for what looks to be an amazing stadium, that have been granted planning permission and we cannot wait to see it for real.
  • You have invested heavily in the squad during the last transfer window, during the off season.
  • Now just a few general points from a fans point who loves the game and Liverpool FC;

  • We love Rafa and we love you guys too.
  • We don’t like to see our players, managers, owners arguing in public.
  • We like certainty, and I think I can speak for us all when I say ‘œPlease back Rafa, so we can stop reading this drivel in the newspapers!’
  • Now in general terms, there are a few things that differ (or seem to differ) from the way sport in done in the U.S, now correct me if I am wrong but I am under the impression that when you guys want to buy a linebacker, pitcher, goalkeeper in the US sports leagues, it seems to us Brits that you just go to the owning club, say ‘œ We will give you $50 million for him, can we have him?’ they respond with a simple yes and that’s about it. It never seems to be more than that.

    In Europe when a player is wanted by a club like Liverpool, many others suddenly take notice and start to cause an uneasy tension to any negotiations, ready to pounce on any slackness. For a prime example, look at what happened with Stevie Gerrard after the Champions League win in 2005 and Chelsea. I think you may know what I am talking about. Of course it is Javier Mascherano. MSI own whatever the hell his ‘œeconomic’ rights are and we all know the hassle West Ham & Man United went through trying to sort out the deal for Carlos Tevez. We fans do not want Javier having any of the uncertainty and hassles Tevez had. Javier was plucked from obscurity at West Ham by Rafa who could see with the right nurturing would blossom. What a rose he has turned out to be. A complete team player with skill and tenacity needed for the Premiership. Please sort that out, back Rafa signing him and please ensure it is sorted quickly with as little fuss at all.

    I understand your concerns with money (if that is the case), all managers buy badly occasionally (with the exception it seems of Arsne Wenger!), just what possessed Alex Ferguson to buy Jordi Cruyff, or Gerard Houllier to buy Bruno Cheyrou?? But Rafa’s decision making is pretty much sound.

    However if all these rumblings are simply because he ‘œanswered back’ then it is school yard stuff and needs putting to bed before you travel over to the game on 16th December. Alright, by then we will have an idea if there is a good pot of money coming in for the next phase of the Champions League but if there is not, surely there is something available. Look at Voronin, he cost nothing and is good value, and Javier (I say again!) must be sorted. Then we can take stock and move forward in the new season (after raising the title for the first time in 18 year (I can hope because I think we will push it this season!))

    To this end, I beg of you to come out and show us fans that you have the same confidence in Benitez as all the fans do.


    Please do the right thing for the club, that being sort out the differences and do it like men in private and let us wake up to the sports pages telling us, it was all a clever plot to make others think we are not a club with internal troubles and you lured all the other teams into a false sense of security and we did what was needed, by getting out of the groups in the Champions League and climbed the Premiership!

    How can I put this???

    Since you have come, you guys have not been ‘œbig hat and no cattle’ and it should continue that way, but with Rafa not being the Ranch hand, but the Ranch Manager!

    Regards, and we look forward to seeing you in December,