Hicks hints at Gillett’s groundshare desire

Co-owner Tom Hicks’ interview on Sky Sports News today hasn’t failed to provide plenty of talking points. Everything which he say’s must be taken with a pinch of salt under the circumstances which he speaks and serious PR spin was very clear.

However, many of his points are valid; notably Rick Parry’s incompetence and poor merchandising at the club. Something which is backed by the facts with commercial revenue being much less than Man United and Chelsea and increasing at a slower rate.

When discussing the breakdown of relationship with partner George Gillett he points at the new stadium being the main reason for their fall out. There were rumours last year that Gillett favoured a groundshare with neighbours Everton, while Hicks has always stated a desire to have a large stadium complete with the commercial revenue which it would create.

When asked about buying the football club outright Hicks insisted “It’s complicated, but it’s gonna happen.”

But at the end of the day, while Hicks may make valid points, many fans will remain unmoved by his latest PR stunt. He hardly says anything new in the interview and continually states he “wants to fix it” when discussing finances, debt on the club and relationship with fans.

Here’s a brief outline of what is said:

– looking to buy the club himself
– wants to get the debt off the club
– wants to get finance in place for new stadium
– new stadium was main reason for fallout with Gillett
– wants to give Rafa Benitez a contract extension
– brands Rick Parry’s tenure a “disaster” due to:
— poor merchandising, particularly in Asia
— poor communication skills regarding transfers
– says the Klinsmann interview was set-up by Gillett
– admits speaking to DIC about 49% shareholding, but that they didn’t “see the same things he sees”

Questions that remain for Hicks to answer:

– just how does he intend to buyout Gillett?
– exactly how will he finance ridding the club of debt?
– why did he say the following: ‘œWhen I was in the leverage buy-out business we bought Weetabix and we leveraged it up to make our return. You could say that anyone who was eating Weetabix was paying for our purchase of Weetabix. It was just business. It is the same for Liverpool.’

Discuss the interview and read the press reports here
You can watch part of the interview here