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Tom replaces Tom at Liverpool but NESV are not the same

Liverpool have new owners and their arrival at the club has been noticeable for the distinct difference to the arrival made by Tom Hicks and George Gillett a few years previously. Whereas Tom Hicks and George Gillett arrived as self proclaimed saviours and lapped up all the praise and plaudits awarded to them NESV, namely John Henry and Tom Werner, have done precisely the opposite. Tom Hicks and George Gillett were welcomed to Anfield, at first, because of their promise to begin the development of a new stadium within 60 days. Liverpool fans were delighted with the promise, taking it at word value, and so chose to applaud the American pair. In reality the pair ended up loading the club with enormous amounts of debt and failing to develop, or even begin development of, a new stadium. Tom Werner and John Henry have arrived and refused to publicly accept the status now afforded to them of saviours. Instead they wish to just be given a chance to prove their worth and the value they can bring to the club. The NESV group have promised to do everything they can to begin the development of a new stadium but they have also stressed that if such a construction is not economically feasible then they will choose to simply redevelop Anfield, improving the current corporate conditions and adding more seats. The NESV group, of which Tom Werner and John Henry appear as the public face, have also promised to make money available for transfers. They have not decided to do so because of a want of fan approval, NESV have already stressed, albeit indirectly, that they are not going to make populist decisions at the long term expensive of the club and their investment, but rather because the NESV group understands the need for investment on the field and how it can contribute to the club’s growth off of it. The group appears to understand that sustained investment on the field can contribute to success which in turn can develop the brand. Most importantly for the fans the NESV group have done two more things. They have pledged not to load any significant debt onto the club, which is something Tom Hicks and George Gillett did do, and they have removed the debts that were owed from previous ownerships. Some sensible analysis has noted that Tom Hicks and George Gillett were not inherently bad for Liverpool Football Club and did in fact, often, invest much of their own money. The problems were, seemingly, two angled. On the one hand their investment in the playing squad saw little benefit on the field. Poor purchases by Rafael Benitez, such as the likes of Glen Johnson, Alberto Aquilani and Ryan Babel, did not help (it’s not that Johnson, Aquilani or Babel are bad players but rather that the trio, for instance, were purchased for approximately £45 million yet only marginally improved the collective quality of the squad). On the other hand the previous American pair were on the wrong end of the global financial crisis. This predicament limited their access to finance, making their promise to begin development of the stadium rather more difficult. This combination of factors ensured that the Hicks and Gillet reign ended unceremoniously and the arrival of Werner and Henry was so welcomed by the supporters.

 

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