Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Alan Green: Premier League must shoulder some blame for Liverpool mess

George Gillett (left) and Tom Hicks are almost certainly about to lose control of Liverpool

Today, tomorrow or sometime later this week, crucial decisions will be taken for the future of Liverpool and, clearly, I’m not referring to the fitness and form of Fernando Torres and his presence or otherwise in Sunday’s Merseyside derby. That’s the least of his club’s worries at the moment.

First of all, the High Court will decide who has the right to sell the club, Martin Broughton or Tom Hicks. If it’s the latter, heaven help us.

Why doesn’t Hicks get the message? Even if not in Manchester, it’s difficult to think of a man more reviled in English football. No rhinoceros can have a hide thicker than the Texan’s. Does he enjoy annoying people?

As I expected, he’s fighting to the very end and Liverpool fans must pray he loses the court argument. Otherwise, the bank will move in and probably force the club into administration. Then, another crisis looms.

At this stage, consider the hypocrisy of the Premier League. Remember, it deemed the Americans ‘fit and proper’ to take over at Anfield?

Would they now seriously considering docking points? Are they unable to distinguish between the debts of a club and those of its owners? This is NOT a Portsmouth.

Clearly, Liverpool would be financially solvent, healthy even, if it wasn’t for the debts loaded onto it by those hustlers from across the pond. John Henry and his associates seem to have taken a hardened stance regarding a possible points deduction.

They’d ‘walk away’ which equals ‘catastrophe’ because they do appear to fit the bill. In a recent poll Henry was held up as the best owner of any sports operation in the United States, mostly because of his rejuvenation of the Boston Red Sox, a baseball team whose circumstances have much in common with Liverpool.

Henry DOES seem fit and proper, he has the money and he won’t dump debt. So what if he’s in favour of extending the current ground rather than a move to Stanley Park? Many Liverpool diehards would prefer to stay where they are anyway.

Can the Premier League and English football afford to turn its backs on Henry and company? Are they listening? I don’t think this American is bluffing.

In the meantime, we should offer a penny for the thoughts of David Moores and Rick Parry, respectively the former Chairman and Chief Executive of the club.

Moores did a while back — I thought a little timidly — speak out against Gillett and Hicks.

He couldn’t say too much of course since it was public knowledge Moores made more profit in selling up to them than he would have had done dealing with Dubai. I hope his bank account cushions his conscience.

From Parry . . . we’ve heard nothing. This is a man who was crucial in the formation of the Premier League and then took over at Anfield from the ‘Prince of Administrators’ Peter Robinson.

Parry introduced the Muppets and would probably still be there if he hadn’t upset Rafa Benitez in his dilly-dallying over transfer dealings. His thoughts would be enlightening: his silence is deafening.

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