A letter to America

Dear Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett,

It is good to hear that you have both taken steps to sort out your differences. I’m sure that you will both agree that personal pride sometimes has to take place to business dealings when millions of pounds are at stake.

It has been a little over 15 months now since you both assumed control of Liverpool Football Club and I think it is worth taking a few moments to assess the current position so that you can ensure suitable planning is made for the future.

The Team Performance

I’m sure you’ll agree that the lack of a trophy or a serious challenge to the Premier League title was not the ideal season you had in mind. There were however some substantial positives about the season that should not be forgotten. Some of the performances from individual players and the team in general suggest that we have the foundations of an excellent squad.

Once again we proved to be one of the strongest sides in the Champions League, again getting to the later stages for the 3rd time in 4 years. In the league the start and end of the season suggested Champions form but the middle of the season ensured that we were unlikely to still be challenging in April and May and that no domestic cup competitions would be won.

The Competition

Though the team eventually finished comfortably in 4th place, this is the minimum acceptable position for the club due to the potential revenue available through the Champions League. Next season this will be available as long as the club makes it through the 3rd qualifying stage.

However, there are other clubs who will do everything they can to get into the top 4 places. Some of these clubs, Aston Villa, Tottenham, West Ham, Man City to name a few have the kind of financial backing to compete with Liverpool now in terms of buying players and paying wages. Having finished 4th, Liverpool are currently the most vulnerable team in the top 4 who could be overtaken by one of more of these teams.

The implications of finishing 5th or 6th in the league could be devastating. Not only would the Champions League revenue be gone but the top players in the game no longer want to be playing the UEFA Cup. The loyalty of Gerrard, Mascherano and Torres would be seriously tested if the club were to take a step backwards. Losing players of this ability would be a disaster and the ability to attract further world class players would be severely reduced.

This summer is absolutely critical for the club. We can not only offer the top players the chance to play in the Champions League but (with our record in the competition) a realistic chance of winning it. It is imperative that we use this to our advantage.

The Players

Clearly the stand out player in the team was Fernando Torres. He clearly showed the difference that a World Class player can make in a team compared to a number of good squad players that have been bought over the last few years.

The spine of the team now contains the players that we need to challenge for the top honour of the Premier League title. Reina, Carragher, Agger/Skrtel, Gerrard, Mascherano and Torres are players that almost any other Premier League team would be keen if not desperate to acquire. The problem remains in the wide positions where there are good but not established world class players.

There is little point in buying players in these positions in the £5-£8 Million range unless they are young players bought with a great potential for the future. Players expected to slot straight into the first team would usually attract a minimum of £10M and it is only these kind of players that will take the club forward.

The Finance

Buying 3 or 4 players for £10M plus is clearly going to involve some serious financial outlay. It is unlikely that this level of finance can be raised from the selling of squad players alone. It is therefore evident that further funds will have to be provided for the manager to acquire the players he wants. This may be easier said than done and in the current difficult economic conditions, spare cash may not be available. If this is the case you are left with 3 options:-

OPTION 1 – SELL THE ENTIRE CLUB FOR A PROFIT

It seems apparent that you have the option to sell your whole stake in Liverpool for a substantial profit to a company like DIC. Mr Hicks, you in particular seem unwilling to do this and we can assume that this is because you either feel some emotional football related connection to Liverpool as a fan and want to continue to be involved or that you feel there is even greater potential profits to be made over the longer-term.

OPTION 2 – SELL PART OF THE CLUB

This would allow you to retain a part/controlling share in Liverpool for future profits but would raise extra funds for player purchases. Options may include willing companies such as DIC or an alternative option to sell to the fans who have already expressed their desire to buy the club. In addition to the financial benefits, this option would be extremely popular with the fans and offer considerable PR rewards.

OPTION 3 – HOPE

Rafa Benitez is a proven manager of exceptional ability. Not only does he have superb tactical awareness and an unquestionable level of commitment to the job, he also has the support of the vast majority of Liverpool fans. Without significant player purchases, he may be able to challenge for the league title next season and once again for the Champions League. However, managers such as Wenger, Scolari and even sadly Ferguson also have excellent records in management. It is possible but not really very likely that Benitez will be able to surpass all 3 of these manager with no less ability but considerably less resources.

Risk Assessment

You are both businessmen and we hope now Liverpool fans as well. However, this assessment is measured purely on a financial basis.

In the following table, failure is measured as failing to realise a substantial profit on your investment in Liverpool FC.

LIKELIHOOD OF FAILURE                                 IMPACT OF FAILURE

Option 1                         Very Low (DIC shown high interest)                   Very low (DIC’s offer considerable)

Option 2                         Low (If extra funds are used to buy players)         Low (Risk of failure now shared)

Option 3                         Possible (with other clubs investing heavily)      V.High (lost revenue and players)

The Recommendation

The first course of action must be to provide the manager with the funds he requires. This does not need to be in the realms of £70M that clubs such as Chelsea or Man Utd spend without a second thought. With the funds brought about by player sales, an additional £25-£30M would enable 3 world class players to be purchased instead of more squad players.

If £25-£30M is simply not available then Option 1 or 2 must be selected. If you do not want to miss out on the potential future profits that Liverpool FC may provide, then Option 2 is the least drastic option that will still provide a share of this potential but with accompanying very low risk.

Unless you are prepared to gamble significantly with your investment, you should not choose Option 3 under any circumstances. If 1 or 2 clubs were to overtake Liverpool in the league, the value of your investment would fall substantially. In a couple of years you may be looking at selling Liverpool for no profit at all if events take this course and wishing you had been able to raise just £25-£30M when it was so badly needed.

22 comments on
A letter to America

  1. Hi I am a great fan of LFCsince Iwas 8yrs old ,I am 100%agree with your article.It’s true that we,all LFC fans write to these fu… Yanks to leave our legendary club as they are becoming too shit now.Parry and Moores are also shit like them.

  2. I agree 100% with LennyB but one aspect of this sorry saga is a mystery in that the two so called business partners have amassed a combined wealth of several million dollars yet on this deal both of them display a total lack of common sense and/or financial acumen .Am I missing something here-hidden agendas and ulterior motives come to mind

  3. Great article and hits the nail on the head. Im not a religious person but i pray everyday they will sell the club to someone who cares as much about the future of LFC as they do its history. We need new owners who share in the dream of LFC and who will back Rafa all the way. Get lost americans.

  4. Nothing will change under these people because at the end of the day they are business men and they really do not give a jot for football, they came to make big profits on the commercial side and they will never understand what being a supporter of LFC and Hicks still refuses to move and all I see coming is a disaster in the making made in America by Americans, nothing good ever came from lies and they have lied from the moment they came so all I ask is sell up now and go home because if you ever put any of your money in you would want a huge profit on it’s return..

  5. Hi I am from South Africa and a big liverpool fan. It hurts to see our club fighting for fourt place. I agree we should let DIC know we want them as owners and may be boycot liverpool matches to prove a point

  6. What a great open letter to the Americans. Truly a very good piece.
    and to Pete eves, your reply is also a very good.

    Well done to both!

  7. This is a great piece of writing,give this man a medal!! if only all LFC fans had the tact that you have shown here maybe the current owners might have left earlier. I think they feed on our misery. Good luck,i hope they listen!!!!

  8. Great article. Well said. The Yanks don’t give a crap about our great club. They have a chance to sell up with 25 mill profit in the hand. DIC would finanace transfers and build a new stadium without to much burden on the club as it will be from their own pocket mostly. We could be back at the top with DIC . With the Yanks on the other hand! don’t have a clue .Did not understand what they were getting involved with. Took the fans and the club for granted. Fooled Moores and Parry but that aint hard. When DIC made them an offer they refused it even though it was cash up front. When The Yanks made an offer, with out looking into who these cowboys were they took the Bsh!t the yanks spew out as the gospel and sold up. How Moores must be losing sleep over this now as I know he is a liverpool fan first and foremost but boy did he FU.. up by selling to these cowboys. Hicks and Gillett need to sell up take the money and lewt DIC run the club as they are fans of the club and I think they would have more passion about it. They have tons of money and would be able to back Rafa with money for top class players.YANKS OUT!

  9. Very good and true article, think we all want the owners to sell. However if not they have to splash there OWN cash and start to prove they have the heart to be maybe fans!!

  10. A very good and well balanced view.

    However, some of the people commenting on it should take a look at themselves. Do we really think that these people are bothered by childish insults. A reasoned argument like the one in this article is the only way forward.

  11. I have to say, yes the letter is a valiant attempt, but totally futile. If you all want to do something, bombard radio stations Gillett is going to go on. Write letters to the RBS stating how deep your digust that they continue to do buisness with two individuals whom show no respect for an entire community of people. Bombard the red-tops & broadsheets with E-letters, stating your reasons for the opposition. For me & this is the most important – Write as many letters as you can to DIC head offices. We have to show them we want them at Anfield & those feelings of support are sustained.

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  12. “Rafa Benitez is a proven manager of exceptional ability”
    How can anyone with even a minimal knowledge of football write this? Did he miss all the games last season, the season before that, the season before that??

    Benitez is super smart, no doubt about it, using the Ameican saga to distract attention from his own failings, to the extent that fans like Nick Clemons have simply stopped watching the football, such as it is at Anfield, and have got themselves totally embroiled in some meaningless boardroom spat.

    There is a cancer at the heart of Liverpool Football Club, and it aint Hicks, and it aint Parry, and it aint Gillette….

  13. Great article

    To late for the yanks, go home. Give Rafa a chance and give him some money. Heard rumour David Silva could be coming our way, dreamin if only we had some money. Let DIC take over.

    Fans are loyal to the club but are sick of what is going on.

    Were is the light at the end of the tunnel

  14. It is sad but an ongoing considerable investment in players has to be taken as a given for us to succeed. Players like Arshavin, Villa, Deco and Benzema are available (as they all are) but we won’t get them under the current ownership. Not that I subscribe to the Chelsea “open cheque-book” approach but one or two world-class names can dramatically increase the profile of a club and swell the coffers without necessarily being a roaring success on the pitch. Squad buys are more of a gamble when you consider wages, lack of commercial pulling-power and limited ability on the pitch. The cost overall of Kewell etc demonstrates that items from Poundstretchers and Lidl aren’t always cost effective purchases ! Sometimes a trip to Selfridges or even Harrods can be far more commercially viable and that is where LFC cannot compete at the moment. Not that we’ve ever been the most business-like Club……we never capitalized on the successes of the 70’s and 80’s and I’m actually mostly grateful but the Scum did, and look at them now ! Man(ure) have teams of accountants, business advisors and marketing experts. We have Rick Parry !!! (a man who almost lost us Gerard and sold the Club for a great profit to himself and the easily-led Moores to the Yanks). Change is desperately needed before we look up to the likes of West ham, Man City and Aston Villa …..not to mention the perennially inept Spurs and (God forbid) QPR who are CONSIDERABLY richer than us !! Do we continue to trade on our History and the fans’ enthusiasm and passion in the hope we can “wing it” to a Euro quarter final and the dizzy heights of 4th in the League? Do we ignore Senor Torres wish to sign top-class players and treat with contempt Steven Gerrard’s ambitions of playing in a world-class team?? Do we really have to sell useful squad players like Crouch, Guthrie and Riise to survive ? Survival is a word normally associated with other clubs…………isn’t it time, surely, that the Yanks realised that their lack of money, savvie and popularity is only going to be a case of “biting your nose off to spite your face” if they carry on. I, like many of my mates have promised not to buy LFC merchandise under the current ownership and if their involvement in the Club continues then an item won’t be worth a lot anyway !……………we’re talking about the difference between Top drawer and Laundry basket !!
    D.I.C. are almost certainly the way forward as I believe that they have the money and sporting acumen to compete…………also the love of LFC and sport in general, the commercial awareness and business awareness to kick Chelski, Scum and the others into touch.
    However, I still believe that football is in danger of becoming something that nobody really wants and may, sooner rather than later, disappear up it’s own backside !! (e.g. £200k a week for winking wanker one-trick pony when I work harder than he ever did for £500 a week and I have to pay slack-jawed Brown most of that in tax!!) Let’s get real…………..are footballers our Gods or our servants ?? At the moment they’re big business so sit up and listen Hicksy !!

  15. read this you two yankee clowns and get out of our club , you will go to your graves as the two men who made L.F.C. a laughing stock. on the way out take them other two clowns moores and parry with you. enough is enough you two are definitely takin the piss now. GO NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I’m totally against the Yanks in charge, they have shown themselves as “Dummy spitting”, “toy throwing”, tantrum having little boys, who aren’t getting what they want.

    With the amount of sales that are needed at Liverpool, we could easily buy 3 World Class players with £20m, which is what the Yanks are have said to have provided with a £40m loan for “ongoing business!!”

    The only way these guys should still be in charge is if they invest some of their own money for a change instead of getting loans and expecting the fans to pay the interest. Well we aren’t interested.

    If you really are custodians of Liverpool, then listen to the fans who give you the money.

    Get out, and stay out!

  17. I dread the thought we might go the way of Leeds United. Look what poor business management did for them.

    Only one answer, the Hickletts have to go. and the sooner the better

  18. Good article.
    It is exactly what many Liverpool fans have been trying to say for some time now, but not in such an articulate manner…Back the manager ALL costs

  19. Please, Please, please do the right thing and sell liverpool not only for your profit margin but also and mainly for the sake of the Fans, Heritage and history of our great club. At the moment all we (the fans) can see is the debts mounting, broken promises, failure to run the club as a football club should be run, bickering in the boardroom (and outside it), neither of the 2 owners having the collateral to make an impact in the transfer windows or on the world stage – I could go on and on.
    Please do the right and proper thing and sell the club to an organisation that isnt headed by sqaubling children who’s ego’s are bigger than the club.

  20. Excellent article, and some excellent points. The threat of the Man City’s and even dare I say it, that lot over Stanley Park cannot be ignored. As we did with Torres we need to be attracting the real top class players in the market right now.

    If the Americans are unwilling/unable to fund some big transfers at Anfield then, eventually, they will be lucky to get their original stake back anyway.

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