Some Liverpool fans are stressing their dissatisfaction at the likelihood of a deal between New England Sports Ventures and Tom Hicks and George Gillett concerning a takeover of Liverpool Football Club. On the one hand the Liverpool fans are upset at the basic principle that a club based in the North West of England and with the majority of its business operations in Europe is owned by Americans and on the other hand the Liverpool fans are displeased that even if the new owners are going to be American they are not philanthropic sports loving billionaires. New England Sports Ventures, a group which owns the Boston Red Sox among other sports interests, have yet to draw a clear line between themselves as proposed new owners and the seemingly outgoing current incumbents George Gillett and Tom Hicks. To a large number of Liverpudlians it is just a case of one American group replacing another.
New England Sports Ventures have stressed a couple of key points. On purchasing the club they have promised that they will immediately clear all outstanding debts held by the Royal Bank of Scotland which have, up until the takeover is completed, ensured a dark cloud hovers above Anfield. New England Sports Ventures have also proposed offering up the money to develop a new 60,000 seater stadium or alternatively guaranteeing the finance to re develop the current stadium, Anfield, and improve its capacity and capability to offer top of the range corporate services. More pertinently, at least in the immediate sense, the proposed takeover will also provide much needed funds to buy players in the transfer market. Roy Hodgson, the current manager of the club, will be delighted at this particular piece of news but might yet remain a little apprehensive about the stability of his position. Should new owners take over the club he will understand that they might wish to bring in a new manager, their own choice. Alternatively the takeover might solidify his position in the short term as New England Sports Ventures might consider him a safe option knowing that if he does well they can keep him on board and if he doesn’t do well they will be able to remove him from his position, perhaps at the end of the season, and lay the blame for his failure at the feet of the previous owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks who appointed him. Some key players like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard will, in all likelihood, welcome the news that new owners might be taking over. They will likely see the takeover as an opportunity for the club to find its feet and begin challenging for titles again. Liverpool fans will be cautious and not accept whatever the new owners will say, should they complete the takeover. The reason for this is that when George Gillett and Tom Hicks took control of the club they promised to not place any of the debt incurred in buying the club on the club’s own books but before long they reneged on this promise. Similarly the American pair also publicly promised to begin the development of a new stadium in Stanley Park, an area very close to Anfield, within a year of their takeover. The development of the stadium never began. Liverpool fans have some reason to be a little hopeful but they are also rightly cautious and sceptical about some of the promises.