American Owners Must Find a Truce to Retain Liverpool’s Identity
When Tom Hicks and George Gillett first took on the role of ownership at Liverpool, there was an air of excitement and ambition around the club, and there was genuine hope that the new cash injection could fire Liverpool to greater heights – particularly in the Premier League.But two years on, and the pair are barely communicating after months of continuous disagreements, and the true identity of one of the greatest football clubs in the world is running the risk of being permanently damaged. Being heavily tarnished has been bad enough.If the two Americans can sort out their differences in the near future, and make sure the club is being run in the correct manner once again, then these embarrassing series of events may just be remembered as a blip in the club’s glorious history. But if the feuds continue, the pair of selfish Yanks may just ruin the worldwide respect that Liverpool have for running their club in the right way, and dealing with off the field matters very sensibly and professionally. Because at the moment the club is being run as unprofessionally as I have seen any organisation.Manchester United supporters were angry when the Glazers took charge of their club, and whilst their views on foreign ownership were very understandable, I’m sure they are very happy now at how their club is being run when they take a look east and have a look at the farce going on at their fiercest rivals. Aston Villa are another example of an American owner taking charge of a Premier League club and actually being a major success.The problem with Tom Hicks and George Gillett is that they never really knew each other when they agreed to work as a partnership at the top of Liverpool’s hierarchy. The pair didn’t even know about the club’s special history, tradition and terrific supporters before they arrived, because they stated their surprise at what a great club they realised it was when they first came. Looking back on their opening few weeks of being the club’s owners, they seemed to just be two American men looking to make some money and build their global popularity at a club which just happened to be looking for a new buyer.It became clear that their real interests lied in the American sports such as ice hockey, but this has not really been the problem behind their running of the club. It has just been their breakdown in communication with each other and the rest of the board. Rick Parry, Liverpool’s chief executive, was even called to resign by Hicks earlier this year in a letter. How can some foreign bloke walk into a club and treat the heart and soul of it like that? Rick Parry is Liverpool through and through, and he should not be told by any Yank to clear off. That command was completely out of order, but thankfully Gillett had the decency to disagree so Parry has remained in his role.The pair are undermining what Liverpool football club is all about with their current actions. The club has become the laughing stock for opposition fans, when for so long it was the club that everyone else looked up to as the best run behind the scenes.This is not the way it is meant to be for Liverpool, and I just hope and prey that the situation is resolved very soon so the club can get back its normal way of doing things. Because there is no denying it – when they are run properly Liverpool are one of the most special clubs in the world.