I admire what David Moores did this week. We all know he made a mistake when he sold to the current owners, and ( maybe belatedly ) he has come out and admitted as much. Given that we cannot change the past, we should applaud his entry into the debate and by doing so putting what pressure he can on the current owners to sell.
But consider this. It could have been just as much of a mistake to sell to DIC, given their current financial problems, and of the other offers on the table, the one from Thailand would have been a million times worse.
I’m sure someone will disprove this as soon as it is published, but at the time of the takeover, I don’t remember a single protesting voice amongst fans or ex-players. And yet now we are all busy voicing our anger at Mr Moores for not doing his research. Truth is, we were all taken in by the terrible twosome, and now is the time for moving forward, not apportioning blame.
Which brings me to my point. Back in 2007, we were all desperate for investors so that we could ‘compete’ with the richer clubs in the Premier League. Fast forward to 2010 and we are again all desparate for investors so that we can ‘compete’ with the richer clubs in the Premier League. The only difference is that the number of richer clubs has now grown. How do we make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again ?
I believe that the answer is fan power. The bald truth is that Martin Broughton and Christian Purslow have been appointed to sell the club. Not to guarantee it’s long term future, nor to make a decision in the best interest of the fans. I’m a fully paid up member of both SOS and Share Liverpool, but in all honesty, both memberships are more in hope rather than inticipation of the desired outcome. Yes, Barcelona is run and owned by the fans – but that was a model of ownership that was built in the past and whilst it survives today, realistically, with the riches in the current game, it’s not something that is likely to happen.
So to balance the money men, I believe it’s time for the club to put a real Fan’s representative in place at board level. This person would be elected but have real voting rights, and be the bridge between the board and the fans. Someone who would, to put it bluntly, ‘do the research’ from the fan’s point of view and make sure that the soul of the club is guarded. Someone who has been in business, knows their way round a Profit and Loss account, and can hold their own. But most importantly, one of us.