Gareth Roberts is the blogger of Well Red – a Liverpool FC blog.
There’s a lot of people wrapping themselves up in knots about the stories that have appeared in the media this week about George Gillett having a pop at Rafa Benitez.
Not at the amazing brass neck of the Liverpool co-owner saying Benitez is to blame if the club doesn’t “move forward”.
But at the media for daring to print an article that originated on a Liverpool fans’ forum. (TIA: The Gillett quotes originated from a post on The Liverpool Way from an SOS member who met with Gillett a few weeks ago).
Well what’s the problem? It seems The Times first got hold of the story. And as at least three members of the sport team there are die-hard Liverpool fans, as well as excellent journalists, it’s safe to say the origin of the story is a safe one.
So once they had established the authenticity of the source, what’s wrong with printing it?
I think it’s great – because, yet again, it shows up Gillett for what he is – a money-obsessed spin-doctor who doesn’t appear to give a flying f**k about Liverpool FC.
Gillett, who along with Hicks has led the club during a period when debts have rocketed from £40m upon their purchase in 2007 to £240m now, interestingly claims he and Hicks have put in £128m PLUS the £30m recouped from the sale of Xabi Alonso.
And yet Benitez seemed to miss out on a string of targets from Gareth Barry to David Silva, Ryan Shawcross to Michael Turner. And we ended up with a bargain basement Greek in the twilight of his career. But apparently there was millions sitting there waiting to be spent.
Not adding up is it?
Gillett, who also claims it was Hicks not he that made the infamous “60 days until there’s a spade in the ground” statement regarding a new stadium (the video below suggests otherwise), also said:
“We spent more than the 20m cap in our budget, plus all the money from sales, so there was plenty of money, so any complaints you have you should take a look at the ins and outs. We have put £128 million in to buy players on top of what’s come in in the last 18 months.
Well, I was researching this for the day job today (thanks to those who pointed me in the direction of LFC History for figures) so George, let’s do just that: (Figures since Gilett and Hicks took charge of Liverpool, February 2007)
Lucas Leiva £5m
Mikel San José Domínguez £270,000
Sebastian Leto £1.8m
Fernando Torres £20.2m
Andriy Voronin Free
Yossi Benayoun £5m
Ryan Babel £11,500,000
Charles Itandje Undisclosed
Emiliano Insúa £1.3m
Martin Skrtel £6.5m
Philipp Degen Free
Andrea Dossena £7m
Diego Cavalieri £3.5m
David N’gog £1.5m
Robbie Keane £19m
Albert Riera £8m
Glen Johnson £17.5m
Alberto Aquilani £17.1m
Sotirios Kyrgiakos £2m
Daniel Ayala Undisclosed
Florent S.-Pongolle £2.7m
Danny O’ Donnell £100,000
Jerzy Dudek Free
Boudewijn Zenden Free
Robbie Fowler Free
Luis Garcia £4m
Djibril Cissé £6m
Craig Bellamy £7.5m
Mark Gonzalez £3.5m
Gabriel Paletta £1.2m
James Smith Free
Mohamed Sissoko £8.2m
Lee Peltier Free
John Arne Riise £4m
Harry Kewell Free
Anthony Le Tallec Undisclosed
Peter Crouch £11m
Danny Guthrie £2.25m
Scott Carson £3.25m
Steve Finnan Undisclosed
Robbie Keane £16m
Jack Hobbs Undisclosed
Paul Anderson £250,000
Jermaine Pennant Free
Miki Roque Free
Sebastian Leto £3m
Álvaro Arbeloa £3.5m
Xabi Alonso £30m
NET SPEND IN HICKS & GILLETT’S REIGN: £28.6m
I’m no accountant (thankfully) but this doesn’t seem to illustrate a spend of £128m plus the money that has come in does it?
And for those of you who (amazingly) think the suns shines out of Hicks & Gillett’s arse – here’s something else to consider (figures courtesy of Paul Tomkins)
So for those of you who argue Benitez has had quite enough to spend, maybe a little food for thought?
Consider also, that Champions League participation is worth approximately £20m a year. And since Hicks & Gillett have been around we’ve always been it.
So again, I’m failing to see where this alleged huge investment is. If you can enlighten me, please do.
Finally, I quote George Gillett one final time – then urge you to immediately watch the video below.
“Where have we lied? Where’s the lie, for Christ’s sake? In those 60 days, what happened to the world? I didn’t say that. Hicks was the one who said. 60 days? Bulls**t. That was not me. It’s wrong. I have never talked about that.”
AVOIDING THE BULLSHIT: Today’s recommended read – Paul Tomkins’ rant.
For more from Gareth Roberts, visit his blog, Well Red.
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