So the latest news is that DIC look to be priced out of a move and that hicks and gillett (they don’t deserve capital letters) are here for the long haul.
When you think about it, it’s hardly surprising is it? All hicks and gillett care about is money ‘“ they don’t care about our club or us. We are just commodities to them. Therefore the only reason they would sell up, unless circumstances forced them to, is for a nice big fat profit. This however presents us with a catch 22 situation. DIC are nobody’s fools and they won’t pay over the odds. h & g sticking to their guns and waiting for the mother of all paydays will only serve to push DIC away. But even IF they did pay over the odds, it’s still money that would have to be paid out of the club’s future profits. Look at it this way ‘“ for every million pounds extra that DIC would pay h & g, that’s a million pounds less that we’ll have for player transfers. A million pounds more that the club has to claw back before it’s on an even keel again. A million pounds further away from the top clubs.
So what are they going to do then? Financial experts have predicted that there’s little chance that the club will now be sold as there is no financial reason for any party to do so.
There is a way out of this. There is a way to make these 2 clowns really see that we mean business. A way that is the only guaranteed way ‘“ via their wallets.
BOYCOTT ONE GAME ‘¦ MAYBE EVEN MORE GAMES
Yes this sounds harsh and desperate. But these are harsh and desperate times.
h & g clearly don’t want to risk their own money ‘“ or at least they want to minimise their risks. We know this as they have gone back on their word and are about to load the debt onto our club. The two banks doing the re-financing, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, will have a vested interest in the club being stable financially as ultimately the two Americans, and most importantly the club, will be liable for the repayments.
Following on from this, how do you think they’d react to seeing an empty stadium on Saturday match day? All that lost revenue? All that lost revenue that would prevent them from being able to repay their loans? It’s the kind of statement that would make all parties involved start to panic. It’s the kind of action that might just force the Americans to sell up and move on. Shouting our discontent to them from the terraces is one thing ‘“ but it will have little impact on them as they watch the game from their executive boardrooms thousands of miles away. Directly affecting their revenue stream ‘“ now that’s an entirely different matter and would certainly make them sit up and listen to us.
So what is at stake for them if it all goes belly up? The initial loan, due for repayment within a matter of weeks, will no doubt have been secured against personal guarantees by hicks and gillett. Quite simply, if the loan isn’t repaid then the banks can go after the two of them personally. How the new debt is going to be re-structured is unclear. We know that a large part of the loan is going to be guaranteed against the club and its assets, but I would be VERY surprised if a portion of it won’t still be guaranteed by h & g. As long as they have something to lose then they won’t risk the club going under. To put it simply, they will do anything to stop the club going under. A club without match day revenues won’t last very long.
So what if we do nothing? Well, the re-financing will more than likely be concluded, if it hasn’t already been. As a club, we will more-than-likely drop down to being a mid-table team as there will be little money for new players. God forbid that we have to sell players in order for the club to survive financially. But do h & g really care if we are a mid table team? As long as the club can service its debt and meet its repayments then their asset, ie: the club, will continue to grow in value. In 3 or 4 years when the stadium is eventually built then the greatly increased revenue will be a handsome payback for the Americans. TV rights will be re-negotiated at some stage ‘“ yet more revenue for the Americans. But ultimately, h & g will be waiting for a bumper payday in 5 ‘“ 10 years time. The club, even if it is not winning trophies any more (or much less frequently) will become a cash cow ‘“ getting bigger and bigger by the year. Jurgen Klinnsmann is hardly a statement-of-intent that h & g want the premiership at all costs, is it?
OR, the worst possible scenario could happen ‘“ we could become another ‘œLeeds’. h & g might default on payments, we may have to sell our best players and consequently our results get worse and worse leading us to slide further and further down the table. Relegation? Unlikely maybe, but not impossible. Premiership clubs across the board are getting wealthier and wealthier with wealthy billionaire owners splashing their millions on better and better players in pursuit of success. More and more money is being spent on players across all 20 teams and there is a very fine line between winning and losing games. Look at Charlton ‘“ a top 10 team for years and now they’re battling it out with Championship sides. I’m not saying their decline was for financial reasons ‘“ I’m just illustrating the fine line between being safe and successful in the Premiership and dropping down through the divisions. The lower leagues are littered with once great clubs ‘“ Leeds, Nottingham Forrest and Sheffield Wednesday to name but a few. Don’t think for one minute that we are safe from following their lead’¦
So what do you think? Faced with a choice of ‘œwaiting to see what happens’ or boycotting games to try and force hicks and gillett out and ultimately give us a say on our club and who runs it, what would you do?
For me, painful as it would be, I know which option looks the least favourable’¦
Vote now on the This Is Anfield poll (to the right of this article) and let us know what you would do.