Moores urges owners to stop punishing fans

David Moores and George Gillett before the takeover

Former Liverpool chairman David Moores has broken his silence over the disastrous American ownership of Liverpool Football Club insisting he ‘regrets selling’ to Tom Hicks and George Gillett and suggesting the owners should be realistic about the price of the club and ‘stop punishing the fans.’

A letter was sent yesterday to The Times Sports Editor after a request from the newspaper for an interview.

David Moores sold the club to Hicks and Gillett for £160M in January 2007 after being told the owners were ready to start work on the stadium, hand the manager significant transfer funds and would not place debt on to the club.

Liverpool, in debt of about £40M in 2007, are now in £350M of debt and pay £1M in interest alone every 9 days (enough to pay for 7 El Nino’s).

Moores started out reflecting on the 5 year anniversary of Istanbul and how the club has gone backwards since that day.

I hope against hope that Messrs Gillett and Hicks will see this letter, or some portion of it, and do the right thing.

He went on to outline how his priority was always the club, how his ethos was to support the manager as best he could, but after the 2002/03 season he realised that Liverpool needed a new stadium to be able to compete at the top.  Football was no longer, he said, about a wealthy local fan’s deep pockets, and more about turning a profit.  He said he came to realise that he simply didn’t have the financial firepower to improve Liverpool’s circumstances.

In fact the only way he could have done so, ironically, is buying putting the club in debt which he was keen to avoid.

A long 4 year search took place for a new owner with the right mentality.  Robert Kraft, Thaksin Shinawatra and DIC were all heavily involved. Kraft failed to take the bid further, Thaksin was rejected for ethical reasons and DIC had plans to put the club in up to £300M of debt to fund the new stadium.

In the end George Gillett, a man who had impressed him, came back with Tom Hicks – a man they admit they did not investigate as forensically as they could.  The former Liverpool chairman is clearly upset with the fact that the owners basically lied as to their intentions with the club.

Speaking of the owners deception he said:

I doubt there’s any procedure available that will legislate for a guy you’ve come to trust looking you in the eye, telling you one thing and doing the exact opposite.

David Moores concluded his letter with:

There’s also the very real possibility that, in speaking out, I might derail the process that many believe I can positively effect. But it has been hard for me, sitting mute on the sidelines as the club I love suffers one blow after another. Since resigning from the board I have not set foot inside Anfield – and it hurts. I hugely regret selling the club to George Gillett and Tom Hicks. I believe that, at best, they have bitten off much more than they can chew. Giving them that benefit of the doubt – that they started off with grand ideals that they were never realistically going to achieve – I call upon them now to stand back, accept their limitations as joint owners of Liverpool Football Club, acknowledge their role in the club‘s current demise, and stand aside, with dignity, to allow someone else to take up the challenge. Don’t punish the club’s supporters any more – God knows they’ve taken enough. Take an offer, be realistic over the price, make it possible. Let the club go. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to concede for the greater good.

** Anfield Online echoes his final comments.  The owners position at the club is untenable.  Not only are they damaging their own fragile reputations but they are also damaging Liverpool Football Club and the millions of its supporters.  The debt mountain they have placed on the club is nothing short of a disgrace.  Their £600M valuation of the club is ridiculous.  We believe a market valuation of £350M to still be generous.  We will remain committed to all efforts to remove them from the club and install owners who buy the club with their own funds, or at worst with funding that will not use Liverpool Football Club as collateral.

Only then with the Liverbird rise from the ashes.

8 comments on
Moores urges owners to stop punishing fans

  1. I don’t think people should be bashing David Moores in the way that they are. He totally believed he had taken the club as far as he could with regard to funding player transfers. Has everyone forgotten how much money he threw at Graeme Souness. It must amount to at least £200m by todays standards. At liverpool we don’t bail on people. We get behind them and we give them our full support. If we can no longer do this to the best of our ability then we step aside and let someone else have a go.

    Football is a different stratosphere nowadays. There have been two distinct eras. Pre Abramovich and post abramovich. Only Utd can compete and that’s only becuase of years of commercial success that allowed them to build a huge stadium.

  2. there is alot we can do,
    1 if enough liverpool fans get a petition together and send it rbs that will then start to add weight, all fans that have rbs/ attached bank accounts – move them away with a letter saying we are doing this because you are backing two con men owners.

    2, join sos, the spirit of shankly, and stop sitting their doing naff all?

    3, do not buy the liverpool new kit,

    4, do not go to the game,s email the club and say if they still are in charge of the club by the start of a new season then we will stay away from buying lfc products.

    5, email standard charterd and tell them you will not buy the new kit, while hicks and fuck face are still at the club.

    email david moores and ask him to get another statment

    • Thats good and all and i agree with the petition but what you’re suggesting isn’t feasible for all fans to achieve and especially those with families, demanding jobs and little money or who live outside Liverpool.
      Think of all the fans in ASIA, and other non-english speaking countries ! It would have to be a pretty intensive protest to gain movement over their.
      Theres the problem of keeping track of emails, phoning around paying for travel to join in protests if we are as you say to ‘Boycott Matches’ and this for anyone with other commitments would be a hard task.

      And wouldn’t this just be cutting off our nose to spite our face ? this would damage the club further if we all boycott matches, shirts & merchandise wouldn’t it ??

  3. Moores should save his crocodile tears for someone who is stupid enough to believe him!.Fact is he sold the club to the Yanks because it suited his pocket but now his guilty conscience won’t let him rest thus the attempt to vindicate himself.

    Always involved in talks that got nowhere Liverpool FC has been battered senseless by those who have claimed to be it’s saviours to the point that there seems no return now.

  4. Look Torres doesn’t want to go ! , Gerrard doesn’t want to go! Masch dose because of his misses and all the ‘uncomfortable weather so he’s doing the same thing he did last year ! ( ether that or his agent is playing very dangerous games with the club)

    Whatever happens just Happens and theres not Shiite we can do other than protest, boycott or rant on the telephone or here. Thats just where we are and unless one of us on here is a closet billionaire of course.

    Iv spent ages complaining and moaning on here and on other forums, phone in’s etc and Im not going anywhere ! i think that in the end the real fans will all still be in the stands, protesting before matches and arguing whatever team comes out for us next season and Ill be one !!!!!

  5. Fans i ask you it is nearly the world cup,, we are not involved in transfers, the club is close to administration. make no mistake, we are close to being done for, and i ask all you internet fans to WAKE UP AND FIGHT FOR THIS GREAT CLUB, wake up and fight, Torres interview didn’t sound too good either. Make no mistake we are close to being over if we have to sell Torres, Gerrard and Masch.

  6. I can see why you say boycott matches but I am season ticket holder they will already have the money. The best option nobody ticks the Carling cup ticket scheme and don’t go to one of them games.

  7. Their is no doubt that mr Moores loves the club and is hurting over the decision to sell Liverpool fc to these two parasites, But and this is a big but he has to shoulder the blame for not doing his homework and carrying out the due dilligence that was needed. It is unforgivable for Moores and Parry to have placed our club in this position. If the club loose G&T over the summer then the fans must take avasive action and boycott all home games this coming season and force these two greedy bastards out.

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