Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A New Sheriff In Liverpool

The Liverpool Football Club has new majority owners today as Tom Hicks of the Texas Rangers and George Gillett Jr. of the Montreal Canadiens acquired 51% of the storied club from chairman David Moores for $430.8 million.

Liverpool will become the third Premiership club to be sold to American interests, joining Manchester United (Malcolm Glazer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Aston Villa (Randy Lerner of the Cleveland Browns).

I have to admit that, as a Liverpool fan, hearing that Hicks is one of the new Liverpool owners makes me a little wary. Despite his huge wealth, he's never impressed me as being the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to running a sports franchise. While the Dallas Stars of the NHL have had success (the other club Hicks owns), a lot of his moves regarding the Texas Rangers have left me shaking my head. He signed Alex Rodriguez to that absolutely odious contract in 2000, basically bidding against himself and giving him $100 million more that anyone else was prepared to offer. (He's still paying part his contract to play in the Bronx.)

If Hicks is smart, he'll let his accomplished soccer people run the franchise, and just be the absentee American money man in the whole operation. We'll see.

Here's more on the Liverpool acquisition, and on Hicks and Gillett, from ESPN:

Hicks promises a new stadium for Liverpool, replacing the legendary Anfield (pictured). He says he's committed to keeping a winning team in Liverpool and expects to see more championships there.

Let's hope his track record from Arlington, Texas doesn't follow him to Merseyside.


Suldog said...

As much as I'm a soccer fan at all - not too much - I'm a fan of Aston Villa. I have a scarf that I bought over there, but that's about my only proof of fandom.

The Omnipotent Q said...

On my trips over to England throughout the years, I've collected English soccer scarves, from teams such as Liverpool (the one I always wear), Newcastle, West Ham, Blackburn, Arsenal, and a few others. I've been to four matches in England, and it's unlike any sporting event here in America.

Aston Villa? Not a bad choice in clubs, Suldog...

Ken K. said...

I'm a Liverpool fan too, and Hicks REALLY scares me.

GW Bush a minority partner?

"Ah thought ah was buyin a FOOTBALL team, Tommy boy! These boys don't even wear pads!"

The Omnipotent Q said...

So we have something else in common, eh, Ken? As long as Hicks pumps money into the club and gets the stadium built (and keeps his nose out of the day-to-day operations), Liverpool should be fine.

I put up a link on my site to your blog site today....