The insults keep flying one way and then the next so much so that it’s hard to keep up. Having said that what is there to keep up with? Surely everyone knows the lie of the land now? Tom disagrees with George and Rick. George disagrees with Tom but supports Rick. Tom supports Rafa but we’re not sure if George and Rick do. Rafa is just concentrating on the next game but has said he wants to stay with the club, bless him!!
The Tom Hicks interview on Sky click here to view and hear did make me laugh and shake my head. You have to admit the guy is a game if misguided old bird. Lets get some nice pictures of me in a Liverpool fleece thing holding a strategically placed Liverpool mug (notice how the badge faced the camera). You see, he is a real fan. How could we ever have doubted him? Add in a nice homely interview in front of roaring fire and you have comfort and reassurance I was almost expecting Bing Crosby to walk on and start crooning. All together now “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…..”
Hicks’ chief gripe seemed to be the lack of commercialism in the club.
“If you look at what has happened under Rick’s leadership, it has been a disaster. We have fallen so far behind the other top clubs. The new stadium should have been built three or four years ago. We have two sponsors, maybe three. We should have 12 or 15. We are not doing anything in Asia the way Manchester United and Barcelona are.”
I can’t see how all this moaning squares with the appointment of Ian Ayre as Commercial Manager. An appointment made by Hicks last summer so presumably he himself is partly answerable to any lack of progress? It doesn’t really inspire confidence that Hicks can’t remember how many commercial deals we have at present and surely if you escalate “two sponsors may be three” into the dozen plus Hicks thinks there should be there is a danger of devaluing or diluting “the brand”?
As regards the stadium that Hicks said should have been built three or four years ago. He of all people should know how difficult it is to secure finances for such a venture not to mention the relevant permissions. The former is why the current build for the stadium has been delayed sparking concerns that it could jeopardize the related regeneration project? As far as I am aware spade has not struck sod yet but you can be sure that when it does Hicks will have something to say about it. He may even be there on site, in red hard hat with fifteen sponsor’s names on it with a roaring brazier in the background oh and a choir of children!
George Gillett’s response to the interview summed up what many are feeling about Hicks behaviour in general .
“I am saddened at this latest outburst from Tom Hicks. If Tom wanted a serious discussion on the issues to help the club move forward, he should bring his views to the board and not to Sky Sports. Here we are, a few days away from a vital Champions League semi-final match, and Tom has once again created turmoil with his public comments. Tom should stop.”
And stop (for now) is what I shall do and move on to Fulham today. Even if we lose this game fourth place will still be in our hands. Thanks to Everton’s defeat on Thursday we now sit five points clear with a game in hand. We go into the next four games knowing that a win and a draw should all but secure fourth place unless there is an amazing turnaround. This of course is a double edged sword because Chelsea, through playing the game on Thursday, have gained vital rest time before Tuesdays semi final
We lost the corresponding fixture last year and little did we know what that would start. Rafa fielded a weakened side giving Fulham three unlikely points. Fulham stayed up by one point which caused relegated Sheffield United to appeal over the Tevez and Mascherano affair.
Perhaps with this in mind Bolton’s Gary Megson has called on Rafa to select a strong side however, Rafa has said
“I will be thinking a little about Chelsea. I have players I don’t want to risk and I’ve enough quality in the squad to win at Fulham.”
Fair enough and if we win then Gary Megson will have no complaints. It’s already been reported that we will be without Gerrard who has a neck problem and with Voronin now fit and Crouch doing reasonably well, when he plays, one wonders if Torres and Kuyt will be rested? The same applies to Javier Maschernao even though he has served his ban.
Prediction? Fulham will be buoyed by their rare away win last week. But, even with some changes, we should be too strong for them? 2-0.