01 February 2007

Takeover news and notes

Nothing concrete (unsurprisingly and unfortunately), but more news on Dubai Investment pulling out of the deal and on Gillett's proposal.

First, ESPN is reporting that Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, has joined Gillett's consortium.
In what could be a first for North American sports franchise owners, Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks reportedly will join Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. in his bid to buy one of the most storied teams in Premier League soccer.

Hicks has entered into a 50-50 agreement with Gillett to purchase the Liverpool Football Club for $450 million, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday morning, citing an unnamed source. An announcement could come as early as next week.

Hicks was expected back in the United States late Thursday after spending the week in the United Kingdom.

If Hicks' ownership of the Texas Rangers, and his handling of the Alex Rodriguez saga (Step 1: outbid yourself, when you're the only serious bidder, in the free agent market by a significant amount. Step 2: sell the player in a bungled deal a couple of years later for 50 cents on the dollar) is any indication, that's awful news.

It's one thing to be familiar with sports and sports franchises, which is all well and good. But it's more important that the group in discussion actually runs the franchises well. DIC, and their world-renown stables on one hand. The Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars on the other...

Chief Executive Rick Parry's also been making the media rounds this morning, justifying the club's position in regards to DIC withdrawing (there have been more than enough "DIC pulls out" jokes, thank you very much) from the proposed takeover.

Astonishingly, I do believe Parry. It seems insane that the main focus would be an extra £8m. After all this time, I doubt it's about a few more quid in Moores' pocket. The club and the board do have a duty to examine all offers presented to the club, and if DIC gave a 12 hour deadline, so be it. But after x number of years, it's tough to stomach talk of Liverpool wary of 'rushing into a decision.'

To me, DIC has looked the better proposal, and more importantly, the better consortium since they put in a bid. I trust that the board will make the right decision, but the waiting has gone on long enough. The worst thing that could happen would be the club rushing into an offer because there's no others on the table, but new owners need to be found, as the new stadium needs to built.

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