Red News


MAY                     2010
10 11 12

Hicks-Gillett rift at Liverpool
‘had roots in differences over Benitez’

As the Spirit of Shankly group of Liverpool fans confirmed today that they will meet with Premier League officials on Friday to discuss ownership and governance issues at their club, sportingintelligence can reveal the historic rift between Tom Hicks and George Gillett was fueled by their contrasting views on Rafa Benitez.
Sources with intimate knowledge of the Hicks-Gillett relationship during the Americans’ time at Anfield tell us it was Hicks who “made all the running” in sounding out Jurgen Klinsmann as an “insurance policy” management option at the end of 2007.
(Sporting Intelligence)

Liverpool fans 'union' set to meet
Premier League chief Richard Scudamore

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, will meet with Liverpool supporters’ group, Spirit of Shankly, on Friday to discuss their concerns over the club under their American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Figures released last week revealed that the club’s debt stands at £350 million after losses of £55 million during the last financial year.
With Liverpool’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League likely to hit the club’s financial situation further, the future appears uncertain, with Hicks and Gillett wanting to sell the club.
Scudamore and fellow Premier League officials will now meet Spirit of Shankly representatives following an email campaign aimed at pressuring the league’s senior figures.

Liverpool keeper
David Martin joins MK Dons

Karl Robinson has made Liverpool goalkeeper David Martin his first signing as MK Dons manager.
The 24-year-old, who began his career with the Dons, will return when his Anfield contract ends on 1 July.
Martin, who had loan spells with Tranmere, Leeds and Derby this season, has agreed a three-year contract.
Robinson said: "He left the club as a boy but he's come back a man and I think he has all the qualities to be a future England goalkeeper."
Martin made 25 appearances for the Dons before joining Liverpool
in December 2006.
He said: "It's a dream come true to be back here and I'm grateful to the manager and chairman for giving me the opportunity."
(BBC Sport Online)

Agent: Aquilani will
stay at Liverpool

Alberto Aquilani will not be joining Juventus from Liverpool as his agent slams tabloid reports linking him with a cheap move back to Serie A.
The Sun claimed Aquilani would be sold as part of a summer clear-out at Anfield, with Juventus being his suitors in a cut-price €11.7 million deal. The Daily Mirror then added that Fiorentina were ready to bid for him.
But agent Franco Zavaglia has bitten back. He is certain the Italian midfielder, who joined Liverpool from Roma last summer, will be staying on Merseyside.
"I think this is just more big talk from the English tabloids," Zavaglia told
"I don't know anything, because Alberto will be staying at Liverpool.
"I hear about Juventus and Fiorentina, but I think both those clubs need to organise their own structure at club level before they can think about the market.
"In addition, Alberto has recovered from his ankle injury and so I don't think Liverpool will want to sell him."

Fowler: Time for Benitez to leave
Liverpool icon Robbie Fowler believes could be time for Rafa Benitez to step down at Anfield.
Fowler - who was brought back to Anfield by Benitez four years ago - thinks the time may be right for him to move on.
"With Rafa, what you see is what you get. I think he's quite shrewd and keeps everything to himself," Fowler said.
"I was always grateful to him for bringing me back, so I always have a bit of a soft spot for him, but at the end of the day it's a big club and no one is bigger
than the club.
"First and foremost we want to be winning trophies and to be the top dogs. It's a tricky situation. I don't want to be sat here saying he has got to go, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
"I just want Liverpool to do well, whether it's Rafa there or someone else there I don't really mind. First and foremost Liverpool is Liverpool and I think we deserve to be top of the table every year.
"Whoever is in charge has a big job on their hands."

Torres fighting hard to get fit
Fernando Torres remains a major doubt for Spain's World Cup opener against Switzerland - but is putting in the hours in a bid to be fit.
The 26-year-old Liverpool striker underwent an operation on his right knee last month and is now working six hours a day in a bid to face the Swiss on June 16.
"Right now, we cannot say whether Fernando will be ready in time for the first match against Switzerland," said Spain team doctor Juan Jose Garcia Cota.
"He has started to work outside and is still doing gym work to improve the muscle tone around the knee.
"It takes a long time but the process we are following is still very good. We cannot say for sure but we are optimistic.
"There are still many days and the injury evolves day to day."
Torres, who netted the winning goal for his country in the Euro 2008 final against Germany, has been named in Vicente del Bosque's preliminary 30-man squad.

Chinese tycoon quiet on Reds
Chinese internet gaming tycoon Zhu Jun has refused to deny claims he is interested in buying Liverpool.
Reports have claimed that Zhu, chairman of Nasdaq-listed online game company The9 Limited, has held provisional talks about purchasing
the Premier League club.
Zhu, who already owns Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, is said to have met with Barclays Capital, the investment bank hired to handle the sale of the Reds, in Hong Kong in late April and more recently in Shanghai.
Officials at Shanghai-based The9 would not confirm the talks had taken place, with company spokeswoman Phyllis Sai saying: "So far we have no
comment on this."
(Sky Sports)

Seven more Reds in World Cup plans
Seven more Liverpool players can make provisional plans for a summer in South Africa after being named in their World Cup squads.
Following confirmation that Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson are in the 30-man England squad and that Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres are South Africa bound with Spain, several more Reds' stars have now made it into their nations plans for the competition.
Argentina coach Diego Maradona has called on both Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez in his provisional squad, which will have to be trimmed to 23 names
by June 1.
Dutch duo Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel have been called up by coach Bert Van Marwijk while Daniel Agger is in a provisional 26-man Danish squad.
Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos has been named in the Greek squad and fellow defender Martin Skrtel, despite not playing since February, is in Slovakia's provisional 29-man party.
(LFC Official Website)
Inter deny Benitez talks
Inter Milan have rubbished reports they have approached Rafa Benitez or any other coach in view of Jose Mourinho's possible departure.
Mourinho has yet to confirm whether he will remain at the helm of Inter next season, with the Portuguese coach a reported target of Real Madrid.
Reports in the Italian media on Tuesday claimed Inter had joined Juventus in the race to tempt Liverpool boss Benitez to Serie A this summer.
But Inter have denied the rumours, stressing that Mourinho is under contract for a further two years.
The club said in a statement: "With regards to what has been reported today by several Italian media, FC Internazionale underlines that absolutely no contact has been made with coaches - of other clubs or national teams - given that the club has a contract with Jose Mourinho until 2012, and that everybody is focused exclusively on the team's important upcoming commitments."
Mourinho later echoed those sentiments in a statement posted on the club's official website which dismissed speculation that he had been in contact with another other club.
"I have never spoken with any club, and like all the Interisti I am only thinking about the matches with Siena and Bayern Munich," Mourinho stated.
Inter must win their final Serie A game of the season against Siena at the weekend to be sure of clinching the league title, before attention switches to the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Madrid on 22nd May.
(Sky Sports)

Carra explains return
Jamie Carragher has revealed Liverpool's failure to qualify for the Champions League persuaded him to come out of international retirement.
Liverpool defender Carragher has been named in Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup three years after retiring from international duty.
Carragher is widely expected to make the final 23-man selection for the trip to South Africa and the 32-year-old is keen to work under Capello.
"The FA got in touch a few weeks ago and asked if I would have a rethink, due to injury problems. I said I would make myself available," said Carragher.
"The World Cup and Champions League are the highest levels of football.
"I'm not getting any younger, we have no Champions League football next season and I am keen to work under Fabio Capello."
(Sky Sports)

Reds in Spain squad
Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina have been named in Spain's
pre-World Cup squad.
The Liverpool duo are in Vicente Del Bosque's initial 30 man squad and are highly likely to make the cut to the 23 man World Cup squad on June 1st. Albert Riera is, unsuprisingly, omitted from the squad.
Former Reds Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa are also in the squad.
(LFC Online)

Chinese tycoon in talks to buy Liverpool
A chinese multi-millionaire internet gaming tycoon from Shanghai has held provisional talks about buying Liverpool.
No offer has been tabled yet but Zhu Jun (44) the founder, chairman and chief executive of The9 Ltd -- one of China's leading online gaming firms -- is described by local sources as "sincerely interested" in the club.
When Zhu's gaming firm floated on America's Nasdaq stock exchange in 2004, Zhu pocketed around £60m and his personal fortune has expanded considerably since. Zhu has a long-term active interest in football and is the chairman and majority owner of Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League.
An informed source in Shanghai says Zhu has already had two exploratory meetings about buying Liverpool with Barclays Capital (BarCap), the global investment bank.
(Irish Independent)

Reina pleads for quick sale of Liverpool
Jose Reina has said it is “vital” that Liverpool’s co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, sell the club this summer in order to remove the uncertainty around Anfield and enable Rafael Benitez to commence necessary rebuilding of the team.
Liverpool’s goalkeeper and the forward Dirk Kuyt have become the latest senior players to voice their concern over the direction of a club laden with debt and where the absence of Champions League football next season has cast doubt over the futures of Fernando Torres and club captain Steven Gerrard.
While the new chairman, Martin Broughton, has said it is “a matter of months” before he completes the club’s sale, Hicks has given conflicting messages.
The Americans have also agreed a six-month extension to the refinancing deal with Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, that was due to expire in July.
Reina said: “It is vital . It would be simple as it would mean we could start planning for next season earlier. All that I ask is that if it is going to happen, then it happens as soon as possible to help the club.
“We (the players) worry. It is a concern and we need to sort out these kind of things, like the sale of the club and the thing with the owners. Once we settle all this then we can begin to look forward and improve the squad.”
(The Irish Times)
Rafa wants chance
to set record straight

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes he should be given the time and resources to correct the mistakes of this season.
A goalless draw at Hull just about summed up the Reds’ campaign as they missed an opportunity to capitalise on Aston Villa’s defeat to Blackburn and move up a place in the Barclays Premier League table.
The resulting seventh spot represented Liverpool’s worst league performance since 1999.
Although Benitez has been linked with Juventus and now Inter Milan the prospects of him leaving Anfield seem to be more remote than they were a couple of months ago.
The Spaniard stressed in his post-match press conference at the KC Stadium that he was inclined to stay if the club were able to meet certain conditions.

Kuyt admits Anfield uncertainty
Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt admits he does not know which of his team-mates will still be around for the start of next season.
"In football you can never be sure what is happening and at this time we know the club looks very bad," said Kuyt.
"We are looking for new owners and you don't know which players are going to stay or go.
"But Liverpool is a club with a great history and great supporters and we have to stay close together and fight really hard.
"Every player is interested in what is going on but, if I am honest, I can't blame that side of things for some of our performances.
"For me the most important thing is keeping the main players. Hopefully we can then buy a few more key players and start winning trophies."
The future of Benitez may still be undecided but Kuyt expects the Spaniard to remain in charge at Anfield.
"The manager has four years left on his contract so I don't expect him to leave unless something else happens," added the Holland international.
(Press Association Sport)

Reds face early start

Liverpool will have an early start to the 2010/11 season.
The new season will begin in July for the Reds as they have to negotiate a Europa League qualifier after finishing seventh in the Premiership.
This could have been avoided if they'd beaten a relegated Hull side who were playing a bunch of kids yesterday but yet another non-existant attacking 'performance' takes Liverpool into a qualifier.
"We were working hard and had the pre-season more or less sorted. But now we have to analyse the schedule and see if we can organise the fixtures properly," said Rafael Benitez.
"It was the same last year, we had too many players away with the Confederations Cup. The teams are suffering with these tournaments, but it's not easy, we will try to manage."
(LFC Online)

Reina wins award
Pepe Reina has won the Golden Gloves award again.
Reina shares the award, for most Premiership clean sheets, with Chelsea's Petr Cech, which is his fourth in five seasons with the Reds. The performances of the goalkeeper have been the only real highlight in a dismal season for Liverpool and it is a well deserved award for Reina.
(LFC Online)

Scudamore admits concern
over Liverpool debts

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore has admitted concern with Liverpool's growing debt.
Liverpool this week revealed that Kop Holdings, the company set up by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to buy the club in 2007, made a loss before tax of £54.9million for the year ending July 31 2009.
Scudamore admitted that level of debt is simply not sustainable if the Reds are to compete on the biggest stage.
He said: "What is absolutely true is Liverpool, season on season, without additional funding or without benefactor funding, cannot go on losing £55million a year, which is why, in Liverpool's case, they have got to build a new stadium.
"They have got to get themselves, if they want to compete at the highest level of European football again and win things, they have got to do what other clubs have done, like Manchester United, like Arsenal, they have got to invest in a new stadium to make the economics of being a top level club add up.
"That's fairly self-evident. Clearly, it's obvious you can't go on making those losses year in, year out."

New Siamese stadium plan for Liverpool
and Everton football clubs unveiled

A local business consortium today unveiled a “Siamese stadium” to house both Liverpool and Everton football clubs.
The proposals show two grounds standing side by side in Stanley Park sharing one “central spine” wall.
The Mersey Stadia-Connex group, which is behind the idea, believes the “Siamese-style” blueprint could save the clubs between £180m and £220m.
They argue it would allow both Liverpool and Everton to maintain separate stadiums – but the unique design will hugely reduce overall costs.
Images reveal a two-sided, ten-level central hub, with a 60,000 ground capacity for Liverpool and 50,000 for Everton.
Both stadia, the consortium say, could be extended to accommodate an extra 10,000 fans with work completed by 2013.
(Liverpool Daily Post)

Liverpool leaking fuel and
braced for crash-landing

So Liverpool FC is now, officially, the prime basket case of the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest League. The figures are quite startling. Every day they open for business, another uninsured Porsche 911 is gone missing from the car park. Or, if you like, they're down £110,000 to interest payments on the company debt.
Interest on a debt is, essentially, oil leaking from a pipe. I'm sure the likes of Seanie Fitz or Fingers could summon a more positive analogy. But, in a league riddled with accountancy practices that a Greek Finance Minister would blanche at, Liverpool take the biscuit.
Actually, as the tents fold up for summer, English football itself teeters on the edge of a very big hole that looks set to leave any club without a billionaire sugar daddy to call upon queuing up for benefit.
And that covers just about everybody, of course, outside of Chelsea and Manchester City.
I watched that nice, confident gentleman, Martin Broughton, give his happy-clappy Anfield sales pitch on the club's website last Friday and it was like hearing a pilot announce, 30,000 feet above the Atlantic, that those flames spilling from engine one would not necessarily spread to engine two.
(Vincent Hogan - Irish Independent)  

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