12 Apr 2008

David Moores feels ‘let down’ by Hicks and Gillett? He should be apologizing for selling Liverpool out for £8million

David Moores has spoken today of his ‘heartbreak’ at how his beloved Liverpool is becoming a ‘laughing stock’ and how he feels ‘let down’ by the public spats currently shaming the club. No wonder he feels so bad – Liverpool’s Honorary Life President is partly to blame for the current fiasco and is probably feeling immense guilt over selling out to the mighty dollar.

That may sound harsh, but the reality is that if Moores and his boardroom cronies had not succumbed to greed 14 months ago, the shameful events that have transpired over the last year would never have happened.

In his interview, Mr Moores bemoaned the current state of affairs:

"It's heartbreaking. I'm almost lost for words about the damage that's being done to the club at the present time. As a fan, and as someone who loves the club, it is totally unacceptable to see this being played out in the public arena. When things are played out like they are at present it virtually makes the club a laughing stock.

"All I can say is I feel very sorry that it has come to this. I do feel let down. With everything that's going on, I have to feel let down. This is not how I foresaw it and I'm sure it's not how the fans foresaw it".

Given the seemingly rudimentary due diligence carried out on Tom Hicks and George Gillett, I fail to see how Moores could have expected to foresee *anything*, but I'll come back to that later.

Moores says that he feels ‘let down’ but I submit it it is he who has let everyone down. If he had just gone with the DIC deal, then the Gillett/Hicks debacle that has shamed the club would have been avoided.

So why exactly did Moores pull out of the deal with DIC? There was nothing ostensibly wrong with the deal; and - as DIC chief executive Sameer Al Ansari, explained at the time - it would have offered the same benefits as the Hicks/Gillett deal,

“We have worked very hard over a long period with Liverpool to come up with the best possible offer for shareholders and for the long term of the club. Our deal is not just about buying some shares; it is about financing the stadium, getting the stadium built and making money available for players."

On December 4th, 2006, Rick Parry stated the following:

"DIC is a potential investor with the resources and philosophy that we believe could make them an ideal partner. Already they have demonstrated a full understanding of, and respect for, the club's heritage and values.

"We also believe they share our passion for success. In particular, DIC believes in investing in the businesses it acquires. This is very important in terms of the proposed new stadium, which is key to plans for the regeneration of the local community."

A few months later, Parry had changed his tune, publicly stating that DIC tried to ‘bully’ the club into accepting their offer:

"DIC gave the club 12 hours to make a decision but the chairman was not prepared to have Liverpool Football Club bullied like that".

DIC refuted the accusation that they had issued an ultimatum:

“There was no ultimatum given, but we did make it clear we needed to know quickly if the press conference was going ahead on Monday because DIC officials needed to know if they should book their flights".

The ‘bullying’ excuse was and is an insult to the intelligence of all Liverpool fans. It is clear that by the time Parry made that statement, Liverpool were in bed with George Gillett, and were looking for any excuse to get out of the deal.

Anyway, Even if an ultimatum *was* issued, who could blame DIC after Liverpool stabbed them in the back and started negotiating a secret new deal with Gillett?

DIC were understandably enraged at Liverpool’s unprofessional conduct, and they had every right to be, especially since the club did not even bother to keep the group informed about what was happening. At the time, Sameer Al Ansari commented:

“Liverpool Football Club has been looking for years and years for an investor, going through numerous suitors. They came to the conclusion DIC were the best people. We’ve been working closely with advisors for the last six to eight weeks, and spent a lot of time preparing a deal.

“We heard from the press that George Gillett had made another bid. No-one from Liverpool told us this, and when we asked what was happening they said they didn’t know why a bid was made other than to muddy the waters.

“Then we read a formal statement from Liverpool announcing Gillett’s bid. Again, DIC were informed by a journalist.

"We expected the board meeting to accept our proposals. Instead, we found out the board was discussing George Gillett’s offer, once again through the press.

“We could get no answers from Mr Moores and Mr Parry. The people back in Dubai thought they weren’t being told what’s going on. Once word got back to Dubai that there were no answers from Liverpool, the word from on high was this is bad for our reputation and it all stops right now".

So again, I pose the question: Why did Moores back out of the DIC deal? Rick Parry offered another lame excuse:

"Clearly things with DIC took longer than we expected and we thought we would have things wrapped up before Christmas, but it was taking significantly longer than that”.

So – the due diligence process took a few weeks to complete. Big deal! Due diligence is an important aspect of any big business deal; it *should* take a long time to complete, especially when hundreds of millions of pounds are at stake. Besides, why was it so important than things got wrapped up at Christmas anyway?

George Gillett breezed in and completed his due diligence in...three days.
Three days?! What about Moores' due diligence? Rick Parry assured everyone that Moores was on the ball:

“You can be certain that he [Moores] has done his homework carefully and will make a decision in the best interests of the club."

Homework? Well, according to Moores in his statement today, everything was in 'good faith':

"It was in total good faith. I believed these fellas, I believed everything they said to me. They talked about putting the money in and the new stadium and having no debt on the club”.

What are we to make of this? It sounds like Moores was just took everything Hicks and Gillett said at face value! Why bother checking them out properly when everything is in 'total good faith'?

I can't believe that Moores proceeded on that basis, but if he did, then he deserves extreme criticism.

A simple google search of Tom Hicks reveals some concerning things about his business dealings in the past - things that should have set the alarm bells ringing, such as empty promises about building stadiums that later fell through**

So what caused Moores to take his eye off the ball? After DIC withdrew their bid, Rick Parry stated:

"We have a duty as directors to consider a very interesting bid from George Gillett”.

Translation: The DIC bid was done and dusted but then Gillett came back with a deal that made us all more money, so we decided to go with that instead.

There can be no other conclusion than this: David Moores and the Liverpool Directors had dollar signs in their eyes, and instead of sticking to their deal with DIC, they saw an opportunity to make more money and took it.

DIC were offering £4,500 a share and the deal was all but done. Gillett comes in at the eleventh hour with an offer of £5,000 a share, and suddenly it’s all change.

Quite simply, with Gillett’s offer, Moores stood to make £88million compared to £80million from DIC’s offer.

So, for the sake of £8million, David Moores sold Liverpool out to a couple of cowboys who have proceeded to make a mockery of everthing Liverpool FC stands for.

Rick Parry et al can go on and on about needing to make the best deal for the club and satisfying the shareholders, but the question is this: Has the last year of hassle been worth the extra £8million that Moores received?

Of course not, and I am sure Moores would agree with that.

It is arguably a certainty that if Liverpool had continued with the DIC deal, there would have been no hint of public or private unrest over the last year.

Once again, there was no concrete, believable reason for Liverpool to pull out of the DIC deal, and the excuses the club have come up with are pathetic in the extreme.

Moores is clearly sincere when he speaks of being ‘shell-shocked’ over what has happened since he sold the club, and he has been a fine servant over the years. However, he should acknowledge the mistakes he made instead of just blaming everything on Hicks and Gillett.

The fact is, if it wasn't for Moores, there would be no Hicks and Gillett!

You reap what you sow, and right now, Liverpool are paying the consequences for the board’s shameless greed.

And that is something Moores (and everyone else who lined their pockets at the expense of making the right decision) will have to live with.

**I would expand on this but I'll save it for another article.


  1. I agree with this whole-heartedly, Jaimie--and I believe Parry was even more to blame than Moores. Basically, both of them knew that Liverpool was to be bought with borrowed money. Furthermore, they had the example of Evans and Houllier before them to show that joint managerial positions don't succeed. Parry makes me sick with his holier than thou attitude when it's clear that he and Moores acted in a fundamentally dishonorable way when they allowed Hicks and Gillette to gazump DIC. As you say, the reason was clearly a few extra million dollars whatever they might say. They should both hang their heads in shame. I retain some respect for Moores in spite of what he did; but as far as I'm concerned, the sooner Parry leaves the better.

  2. This is a horrible situation for the club to be in. What should we believe? Do we take the word of Hicks, Gillett or Parry? I think we are all being duped continuously by all parties.

    I dont think DIC are whiter than white either though, if they only heard these things by word of mouth, it doesnt say much for them!
    They should have had a representative sleeping at anfield on a camp bed, making sure they had constant communication with the club.

    I think the way "all" parties have acted is irresponsible and immature, and i wouldnt mind if they all left, including moores.

    Get DIC in and lets see what theyve got, they seem to be a bit more dignified in thier approach, and surely they couldnt do any worse than the 2 yanks!

    Hicks recent statement does seem to indicate he has a clear vision for the club, but i only think that vision would be realised without Gillett on the scene.

    Its strange because i personally like Gillett more than Hicks, but i feel that Hicks has much greater potential when it comes to giving our club a future.

    I think Gillett should leave along with parry and im sorry to say it, but moores needs to go with them, as loyal as he may be, he never maximised the clubs potential and i think Hicks sees them all as negative influences on the club.

    Bring on the rafalution!

  3. Jamie,

    This was exactly how I felt when I read about Moores being shocked. He's partly to blame but he wont admit any of it.

    I remember the time the DIC deal fell through at the last minute when the board made a sudden U-turn about what they thought of the Dubai based firm.

    I was disappointed because I felt DIC would be better owners of the club. Football is a lot bigger in Asia than it is in the States. They understand the beauty of the game, and it is The Game, unlike in America (and Australia, I must add) where "soccer" is second, or even third tier.

    But what's done is done. Shit happens. Lets just hope they're able to resolve this soon.

    Btw, what do you guys think of Hicks recently calling for Parry's resignation? Is this just a ploy trying to get the attention away from himself?

  4. I think the circus has gone on far too long.
    Time for a clean slate.
    Out with Hicks, Gillett, Parry, Moores, they have all dragged the Liverpool name in the mud.
    Enter DIC. They are real Liverpool supporters (I think and hope) and would bring money, stability and a professional way of running the club.
    A good owner is like a good referee. He/they are doing a good job when being invisible and everything still runs smoothly.

  5. Hazwan - I agree with you, I think DIC would be better owners. At least they are (allegedly) die hard fans. Plus, the professionalism of Middle Eastern business practices would seem to preclude any chance of a ridiculous public sideshow like the one going on at the moment.

    As for Hicks calling for Parry's head - as much damage as Hicks has done, I think he's right on this one. Parry has admittedly done some good things for LFC, but he's been dragging his feet over certain other things for far too long.

    I also find it ironic how Hicks and Moores go on about how playing things out in public is wrong etc but then they make public attacks against Hicks and Gillett themselves, adding fuel to the fire. Doesw the hypocrisy ever end?!

    I agree with Anonymous' comments above to an extent - get rid of the lot of them: Hicks, Gillett, Moores and Parry. The circus has gone on long enough and they are all as bad as each other.

    Having said that, perhaps Hicks has something more to offer. Hicks is being painted as the ultimate villain, but as 2rue suggests above, perhaps he just sees all the negative influences, and with them out of the way, his vision for4 the club can start to materialise.

    This doesn't change the fact that his conduct so far has been extremely ill advised, but sometimes (Cliche alert: Incoming!!) you have to go backwards to go forwards.

  6. Completely agree, John. Hicks and Parry behaved disgracefully over the original DIC offer. They go on and on about the Liverpool way and doing things properly, but dumping DIC and making lame excuses in the pursuit of more money to line their pockets was most definitely *not* the Liverpool way.

  7. Jaimee

    I agree with you, in fact I would take a stronger view. Look at what Moores is responsible for at Anfield:
    - We never won the league under his reign
    - He allowed Liverpool slip behind Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in terms of commercial revenue during the Premier League era (despite taking over at a time when Liverpool had dominated English and European football for a 20 year period)
    - He never invested sufficient money into big signings for the club meaning that managers couldn't attract the very best players
    - The big signings that he did sanction were for players with dodgy attitudes (e.g. Ciise and Collymore)
    - He never invested in the stadium which would have allowed the club to increase its earnings potential. His excuse of not having enough money if flimsy at best. If he had the vision to do it any bank in England would have backed those plans
    - He approved and presided over the disastrous joint managership of the club by Houllier and Evans (when there has not been any evidence of such a partnership working successfully in the sport)
    - He sold out the club by refusing numerous offers from DIC and Steve Morgan which may have been far better than the Hicks / Gillette offer (again he favoured the joint approach rather than having one person in charge)
    - He tolerated the 'spice boys' period which was a period of great underachievement for the club

    My considered opinion on his recent utterances is that he is either an idiot or a liar. Either way he doesn't deserve the respect of any LFC fan.

  8. Are you a bitter trainee throwback that didnt make the cut at the academy, Gerrard displays all the charactor of a leader, he is head and shoulders above other players at liverpool, his grit and determination in a red shirt is exemplary. He leads from the front and does everything in his power to make things happen, attacking, defending he puts his body on the line, your extremely negative of him, without which we would not have won many games and cups in the last 5-6 years, Yes he loves to get forward and yes he does try to do an awful lot on his own, dont knock him for it praise him for it, If more of our players showed this conviction we could have made a lot more of the last few seasons. You need to stop rubbishing him and show more respect, what ever happened to the motto you'll never walk alone!!!!!
    He is the captain of our beloved team and should be complimented, your not liverpool, go to goodison or the red shite