As I have mentioned many times before, I was born and grew up in Malta and later moved to the USA after marrying my wonderful wife Mari. After living here for 17 years I now consider myself an American, I am even a citizen although I still maintain my Maltese citizenship. My boys are American too, they were both born here.
For people here in the US, I seem to have a secret life, a love affair with this sport and a passion for one team from the city of the Beatles. I never really got into the American sports, I learnt all about baseball after my son Paul taught me the rules, I still do not understand American Football and in fact I hate it.
For my family and friends across the pond I am a Yank, loud, arrogant and fast talking, someone who “Sees Big”. Although the term Yankee does not really apply to me as I never lived in the North-Eastern US I know that the term used in the UK refers to anyone from the USA.
I must say I have been the biggest advocate for the sport that I love and explaining to friends and colleages that a 0-0 score is not always a bad thing. You can have exciting games with a low scoreline. “They should make the goal wider to get more goals” was one of the recommendations I always heard.
With all this said, you can imagine how proud I felt when George Gillett and Tom Hicks bought Liverpool in 2006. The story however did not even make the sport news here as usual I had to get the all my news from the UK & European websites. My fellow Yanks had great plans for the club I love including the state of the art stadium and I knew that Tom Hicks had splashed out $250 million for baseball pitcher Alex Rodriguez. I started dreaming if LFC would break the bank and bring some world class players.
Things started off pretty well although I noticed something odd after the European Cup Final of 2007 when Rafa publically stated that Liverpool must spend big. Fernando Torres, was signed up for a club record fee of $25 million so I brushed my doubts aside. The 2007/08 season started off and El Nino became an instant hit. Things were moving along (or they seemed to be) until Rafa called Tom Hicks in November and disturbed his Thanksgiving meal. Thanksgiving is a big Holiday (to many it is even bigger than Christmas as families get together) here in the US and I was irritated at Rafa for doing this. Rafa was asking for money for the January transfer window. Looking back I wonder if he was set up by Rick Parry to give Tom Hicks a call. There was no silencing Rafa and he took his fight publicly.
Our beloved club was turning into a tabloid magnet, the S*N & co. just loved it. Then the shocker came out how underhandly Tom Hicks met with Jurgen Klinsman to take over Rafa’s job. The truth had finally came out and George Gillett and Tom Hicks showed their true colours. They made empty promises, the stadium had been delayed over and over this came from the two who had promised to start digging a hole at Stanley Park within weeks of buying Liverpool.
Looking back I feel naïve to have believed them, as with many Liverpool supporters I feel betrayed. It is obvious more than ever they bought Liverpool not to make us great but to profit out of the club as much as possible. They even registered their holding company in the Grand Cayman to avoid paying taxes on the future LFC profits.
Well the profits never came, a credit crunch followed by a global recession made it very hard for them to secure cheap financing and thus ended up losing millions in the process due to the high financing. What really ticks me and many Liverpool fans off is that although it seems improbable that Hicks & Gillett will be able to finance the stadium and run Liverpool like a professional football team they seem to refuse to sell. Interested parties have come along and even when reported good offers were made Hicks and Gillett held on.
Why are they holding on? Set our club free, sell to an owner who will invest money in the club, build a new stadium, give Rafa money to buy World Class players and move us into the 21st Century.
I wish I had a billion dollars to spare.
Discuss this story in our Forum