ferry across the mersey

Today's news analysis is about this: Liverpool football club has been taken over by "American tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks".

Now, I'm well aware that the number of PTSD readers even vaguely interested in this is probably in the 0-2 range but since I am the one typing stuff out, yous will have to bear with me.

What's interesting about this? Well, originally, DIC, a firm based in Dubai, were expected to take over Liverpool. They had based their bid on being life-long Liverpool fans, having watched matches since young* and had a potentially larger bid (from what I can gather).

DIC, Dubai International Capital, is the "investment arm of the Dubai government". Those of you who read (extremely boring) news about US security, will probably know that DIC also owns the Doncaster Group, which operates various U.S. industries that build various ship and plane parts for the US defence industry.

However, DIC were rejected ("pulled out", being the official version) and two American sports "tycoons"--the owners of the Dallas Stars and the Montral Canadiens ice hockey teams--have now taken over Liverpool.

Their bid wasn't based on being fans of Liverpool. In fact, one of their original plans had been to (possibly) get Liverpool and Everton** to groundshare! They didn't talk about their love for Liverpool (though there was a lot of discussion about "traditions" and "heritage" after the takeover bid had been accepted). Instead, during and even after the takeover process, Gillett and Hicks*** discussed investments and talked of their being good managers and administrators of sports teams.

Fair enough, I suppose. Now, we'll have to wait and see how (if?) things change. In my view, Xavi Alonso and Steve Finnan mooonlighting as cheerleaders (with pompoms!) or even beating up a few of those posh gits from Chelsea in true NHL-style wouldn't be half bad.

* South/Southeast Asia and the UAE region get almost all the same channels--courtesy of Rupert Murdoch and Star TV. Among various ESPNs and local channels (e.g. local Thai channels show English Premiership football. Or, they used to), you can pretty much watch footy every day of the week, all week. Add BBC World Service's "Sports Round-up" and Saturday night sports schedule, football is always on.

** For the non-footy fans, this would be like getting (from my meagre understanding of College Football), Michigan and Ohio State to share the same ground.

*** As the BBC article points out, this is apparently the first time rival owners in one sport (ice hockey) are joint owners of a team in another.


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