Graeme Souness has explained how he once had a conversation with broker Amanda Staveley about how she tried to act as an intermediary between Sheik Mansour and what’s now knows as City Group – and Liverpool FC – regarding buying the club.
However, at the time, we were owned by Hicks and Gillet, the odious Americans – and the Qataris decided they were not worth the hassle and bought Manchester City instead!
“I went to Dubai, 12, 13 years ago. Stayed in Atlantis Hotel, arrived early afternoon,” Souness began, cited in the Mirror.
“Walked round the hotel with my wife and my son and went to the Nobu restaurant which was empty just after lunch.
“On the way out someone came over and introduced themselves, then a lady came over she introduced herself as Amanda. ‘I’m a Liverpool supporter,’ she said.
“During the conversation she said ‘I’m responsible for taking the Abu Dhabi family to Man City’ and I said, ‘but five minutes ago you said you were a Liverpool supporter – why did you not take them to Liverpool?’
“She said: ‘I tried and I tried but Gillett and Hicks were so difficult to deal with, they just walked away in the end.'”
“You should be thanking your lucky stars that dosh didn’t end up in Liverpool,” he told Gary Neville to finish.
City were not a force in English football until the buyout, and through the process of spending more money than any other club on the planet, they’ve won multiple titles and have some of the world’s best players at their disposal.
They have however never won the Champions League and still struggle to sell out their stadium – proving that money cannot truly buy size.
Their spending has also got them into trouble and they now face a two-year ban from Europe due to their cheating of Financial Fair Play.
We’ve not been as successful as City over the past decade, but reaching the game’s pinnacle under Jurgen Klopp, who hasn’t been extravagantly backed by FSG, has felt much better than it would have if we were the pawn of a sports washing nation.