Hodgson relief at Anfield takeover

New England Sports Ventures’ £300million deal eliminates all

the acquisition debt loaded on Liverpool when Tom Hicks and George

Gillett made their purchase in March 2007. More importantly, it

reduces the annual £40million cost of servicing the loans to

£2-3million, according to NESV’s estimate. Hodgson is hoping

by freeing the club of such a financial burden Liverpool will be

able to compete properly in the transfer market. “It will mean in

future we can invest in players in a different way to what has

happened in the last transfer window,” he said. “Then money was in

short supply and we weren’t even certain there would be any money

to spend or even if the club would be there. “The mere fact the

debts are wiped off immediately puts us into a different financial

position to the one we have been in. “I haven’t confirmed this but

I guess the amount of money we have had to pay the bank in interest

will now possibly be made available for players. “If that money

alone was made available we would be quite wealthy.” The lack of

finance in the summer meant Hodgson was severely hamstrung in the

transfer window as he looked to strengthen the squad left him by

predecessor Rafael Benitez. However, it was not until the

£20million sale of Javier Mascherano went through that he was

able to spend a significant amount – £10.75million – on

midfielder Raul Meireles just days before the deadline. Hodgson

feels his inability to bolster the playing staff has impacted on

the club’s poor start to the season, having won just once in the

Premier League and currently sitting 18th in the table. “I knew it

would be difficult and one always hopes the start is going to make

life easier but that hasn’t happened,” he added. “I have always

known there is a major job to do here and I know that job will

become easier with new owners and much less financial problems than

we’ve had in the past. “We are in a rebuilding phase and I think

the new owners will definitely help in that. “We can’t deny,

unfortunately, the previous owners were unpopular with people at

the club and the fans, who saw them as draining the club of money

and dragging it back by not releasing the money it was earning

through its commercial activities to spend on players and a new

stadium. “Hopefully that will change.” Even though the deal has now

gone through, Hicks and Gillett are still threatening to sue for

£1billion for what they perceive as the “illegal” sale of

Liverpool. But Hodgson said that will be a lot easier to deal with

moving forward than the situation which existed under the previous

owners. “I am hoping the new owners coming in will stabilise the

situation and give us a chance to concentrate on the football,” he

said. “Having a new owner who invests money in the club and wants

the club to do well will be something quite separate from any

individual litigation which may be going on in British or American

courts. “I’m sad to hear there is litigation going on but I’m not

certain that will impact on us in the same way that this current

ownership issue has impacted on us. “You live through the good and

bad periods but there is no doubt a cloud has been lifted from

Liverpool today.”