Have been becalmed recently due to a small break away with the family and no access to the internet.
The announcement that George Gillett has sold his majority share in the Montreal Canadians ice hockey team in a deal worth an estimated £330m, has been interpreted by many as good news for Liverpool FC. However are we being too simplistic?
The assumption that Gillett will use ALL this money to the benefit of Liverpool should not be an automatic one. Gillett has many business’ which presumably have been hit hard in the current economic climate so perhaps The Reds will only receive a slice of it, or none at all? Nonetheless many will point to the timing of the deal as evidence that this is not the case. Next month the Star Spangled Duo are due to negotiate their financing deal with the banks. Presumably Tom Hicks, who has also been seeking to sell off some off his assets, such as Texas Rangers baseball team and the Dallas Stars ice hockey team, will soon be able to provide similar financial guarantees for the banks?
I guess the next questions are will this mean that that things will get moving on the stadium front? The stadium and the unfulfilled promises to date has increasingly becoming an issue. The delay means that grants have been lost and the associated development of the surrounding locality is also delayed. Perhaps many were thinking that June and July would be the tipping points for the Star Spangled Duo, the point where they cut their losses and decide to sell rather than renegotiate with the banks. However, actions speak louder than words and it seems that these attempts to free up money mean the Americans intend to, stubbornly, stay put?
A more short term ask is will some of this money be used to top up Rafa’s transfer kitty? This summer we are increasingly looking like much less than second best when it comes to funds and therefore clout in the market. The Mancs will be buoyed by the £60m for Ronaldo, for City the sky’s the limit and Chelsea, if they’ve the mind, can flex their financial muscles way beyond anything we can afford. One of our long term targets David Villa looks like going elsewhere, we can’t afford Tevez and in general we have become “the hunted” (Mascherano, Alonso and Torres) rather than “the hunters”?
However, perhaps I’m too negative, too premature. Since the last post not much has changed on the transfer front in terms of leavers and the bid for Glen Johnson has been firmed up and accepted. It’s been said that Johnson now has the choice – between us and Chelsea. However, would he really want to go back to his former club where his chances of first team football will be more limited? I guess the rapid announcement regarding this can be put down to Rafa’s new powers of transfer negotiation that he acquired with the signing of his new contract? At £18m or so Johnson looks expensive. Although we’ve called in the £7m Portsmouth owe us for Peter Crouch it doesn’t make the deal any better. If we’ve got Johnson for £11m net then we’ve basically given Crouch away?
As a response to the Johnson saga Andrea Dossena and Alvaro Arbeloa, perhaps anticipating what they see as the inevitable, have gone on record over their Liverpool futures. Dossena seems more enthusiastic about a move to Juventus. Said his agent.
“He is happy at Liverpool but Juventus is Juventus, and he’s a little nostalgic for Italy.”
Arbeloa was more non committal saying he was happy to stay but won’t complain if he went to back to Spain.
“I have one more year remaining on my Liverpool deal, but anything can happen. A contract renewal is in the air. I am contracted for one more year, but if Liverpool get an offer, they will consider it. It is all in the hands of my agent.”
I think it’s a certainty that Rafa will sell at least one full back. Dossena appears favourite despite having only had one season with us. However, of more concern is the projected move of Xavier Mascherano. I guess it’s easy to forget that, as in every career, there are other considerations besides football that might determine a player’s decision to move. Family matters for example? Mascherano’s wife is pregnant and apparently hasn’t settled in the North West. Then there is money. Real can pay more and the weakening of the pound against the Euro could also be a significant factor?
Although Rafa has mentioned that £50m wouldn’t buy Mascherano he can’t hold him against his will. If he wants to go then you can’t stop it and I doubt we will get the sum mentioned with £30m or so being a more realistic amount for a player of Mascherano’s type?
If it happens we will just have to take the medicine and Rafa will hopefully use the money wisely. For every cloud…..?