There’s been a lot of excitement amongst Liverpool fans over the last couple of days, with the arrival of a Saudi Prince visiting Merseyside looking at opening training camps in the Middle East.
This isn’t what’s got Reds’ around the world on the edge of their seats though, what’s really got Liverpool fans getting as excited as school kids at the end of term is the rumours and speculation that Prince Khalid al-Faisal may be looking to invest in the club, with many media outlets reporting the oil-rich Prince is looking to buy either 25% or 50% of the historic club from American businessman George Gillett.
This may all seem well and good, another wealthy royal from the Middle East looking at investing in our great club, but it’s not as great as it seems, not whilst our current owners are still in the picture. Prince Khalid al-Faisal isn’t looking at buying the whole club, at least not at the moment, which would still leave one or maybe two of our current American owners in a position of power at Anfield. Whilst either Gillett or Hicks are in some way owners of Liverpool Football Club things simply won’t move forward, even with money coming in from Saudi.
No investor, no matter how rich, is going to be willing to invest hundreds of millions into any business if the other shareholders aren’t willing to put their hands in their pockets. If the Saudi Prince, through his investment business, owns 50% of the club he won’t be expecting to put all the capital into the club for new players or even a new stadium. He’ll be expecting the same sort of investment from Tom Hicks, who as we know is less than willing to splash the cash on a club he claimed would begin work on their new stadium 60 days after his takeover of the club with fellow American George Gillett.
This leaves us in a bad position. Prince Khalid al-Faisal may have ambitious plans for the club, but without the financial backing of whoever else is a major shareholder in the club at the end of all this, nothing will get done, leaving us in the same situation we’re in now. Not to mention this make cause problems between the two or three owners involved. If one wants to invest heavily in the club and the others don’t it’s likely it will cause arguments, potentially played out in public, which would do more harm than good to the club.
For me, if we are looking at a bid, it needs to be for the whole club, not just a part of it.