Is anything simple in the fortunes of this football club? As we are anticipating going to the High Courts to do battle with Tom Hicks and hopefully foil his last gasp, desperate attempts, to keep his greedy fingers in the Liverpool pie, up pops RBS who have, until now, been relatively quiet. Then, to add further intrigue to the plot rumours of a new bidder!
The RBS statement today which clarified their position in the lead up to the court case certainly seems to have dealt Hicks a further blow. This refers to Hicks and Gillett’s attempts to block the NESV bid by removing Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre from the Liverpool board and replace them with their own acolytes, Mack Hicks and Lori Kay McCutcheon. RBS has simply stated this was against various contractual undertakings that the Star Spangled Duo agreed with them and have served an injunction to prevent them from making these changes..
Hopefully this adds further strength to Martin Broughton’s side of the argument? Hicks at best can only hope to get his way on a technicality, a company law loophole or a contractual obscurity? One just wonders how far Hicks is prepared to go. His actions now appear to be boarding of the slightly manic? Surely it would have better for him to walk away and live to fight another day and do business with some other poor unsuspecting parties than drag this out? Of course there is money involved and lots of it so I guess he still feels there is hope until he is legally told there isn’t? Perhaps he is hoping that everyone will grow tired of him and negotiate a settlement or perhaps he is just mad!
What is the price of this stubbornness? Because it is Liverpool he has attracted enough publicity to fill the Kop End hundreds of times over and all of it bad. Over the weekend Hicks, in true eloquent style, described the fans opposition as a “noise” however given what has gone on perhaps he should stay silent? All this brings into sharper focus his other recent business “milestones” The Texas Rangers bankruptcy, the NASCAR loan default not to mention the obvious lack of confidence RBS has in him. Factors all pointing to an “impressive” CV which no doubt other financial institutions and businesses’ will be more than happy to er… ignore?
Even if Hicks wins this week what does he hope to achieve? RBS will surely call in the loan anyway. It’s been suggested that if this happens and we get hit for nine points, NESV will walk away. Surely this won’t happen? If they are to take such a short term view and are willing to give up at the first sign of something going wrong then perhaps, for all the good write ups they have received this week, we are better off without them?
Which brings us yesterdays reported other bid from someone called Peter Lim. This has all the signs of the last takeover? Just as we looked to be doing a deal with DIC we left them at the alter and ran off with Hicks and Gillett? Is it any surprise that it’s been suggested that this is better NESV’s? No loans, debt, more financial clout so more money to spend on players. The only negative point it seems it that Lim owns several Manchester United themed bars in Asia!
So where do we go now? Damned if I know. It would be interesting to hear Broughton’s take on why he went with NESV. Perhaps they were talked up in the hope that Lim would increase his bid? Perhaps RBS were more willing to play ball with NESV? Perhaps they were more impressed with NESV’s demonstrable track record in sports club management? I guess, even at this late stage, such competition can be healthy but above all I hope we take our time and ensure that we don’t get a repeat of the Statler and Waldorf shenanigans? On which subject I’ll leave you words of Christian Purslow
“Right now, they (Statler and Waldorf) do have an opportunity … to allow a sale to complete and that would clear the club of all the acquisition debt and give us a massive lift before Sunday’s Everton game. That’s in their gift and would enable them to leave with some peace rather than precipitating a messy dispute. I hope they’ll think about that”
Nice words Mr Purslow but over the last three years the word “think” hasn’t really been a word that either owner has shown they understand.