27 March 2007

98.6% and it's a done deal

Takeover’s finalized.
Further to the announcement made on March 13th that the offer for the entire issued share capital of Liverpool FC by George Gillett and Tom Hicks had been declared unconditional, the pair have announced today that the offer has now closed.

In a statement released on behalf of Kop Football Limited, Mr Gillett and Mr Hicks confirmed they had received valid acceptances in respect of 34,343 Liverpool Shares, representing approximately 98.6 per cent of Liverpool's issued share capital to which the Offer relates.

As a consequence, Mr Gillett and Mr Hicks intend to exercise their rights pursuant to the provisions of the Companies Act to acquire compulsorily the remaining Liverpool Shares.

The pair, who also intend to seek to re-register Liverpool as a private limited company, will be at Anfield this weekend for the visit of Arsenal.

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive Rick Parry said: "The incredibly high level of acceptance of the offer shows shareholders have faith in the vision outlined for the club by George Gillett and Tom Hicks."
There’s not much else left to be said. I don’t see it as a revolution like some, but neither am I a native Liverpudlian nor do I expect Gillett and Hicks to make a bunch of big money purchases.

I believe the on the field, Liverpool is very close to being title contenders, and not as many reinforcements are needed as people think. Off the field, this will clearly help Liverpool catch up, especially with the increased revenue from the soon-to-be-built stadium, but I believe the new stadium will be a far bigger change and chapter in Liverpool’s history than these two blokes.
“At a football club, there's a holy trinity - the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don't come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.” – Bill Shankly
I do want to say something about the former minority shareholders. I feel for the fan who saved to buy a few shares, or just one, of the club to pass down through generations, as a piece of Liverpool. Those fans, and rightfully so, seem to be feeling forced to part with some of the club they love. Also, I do hope that the final 1.4% don't miss out on the offer for season and cup final tickets. But, and it’s coarse to say not being a shareholder, but it was necessary for Liverpool in this day and age of sport.

Yes, the investment is overdue and needed. But I really can’t wrap my mind it as an all-new era. Fans like to say no player is bigger than the club. Neither are the two men who own it. They seem to recognize this, or have been coached very well. They are custodians, and little more.

“We love you Liverpool, we do…”

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