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What has happened at Liverpool shows why we need to reform football
16/10/2010 06:04:00

As a Liverpool fan since childhood, I am pleased to see that US company New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Boston Red Sox, has completed its takeover of the club.

The deal eliminates all of the debt that the previous owners, Hicks and Gillett, burdened the club with when they acquired it, reducing the club's debt servicing obligations from £25-30 million a year to £2-3 million. Liverpool's holding company is now unlikely to be put into administration, a move which could have resulted in a nine-point penalty in the Premier League and - given Liverpool's current form - their relegation from the top flight of English football.

Of course it never should have come to this. The Premier League should apply a much tougher test as to who is allowed buy our football clubs and how those deals are financially structured.

I see Mr Hicks is complaining that he has been the victim of an epic swindle. In his latest attempt to endear himself to Liverpool fans, he has described the club as a "very valuable asset that was swindled away from me". All a far cry from his statement when he and Gillett acquired the club that it was "the most important club in the most important sport in the world. What a privilege we have to be associated with it". At least now he is being honest about his motivation - to him, Liverpool is an asset, nothing more nothing less. To one half of the city of Liverpool and to millions of others around the world it is so much more than that.

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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG