Reds fans need to take tough love stance at Anfield

BY foxsports • September 20, 2010

The hardest thing for a passionate football fan to do is stay away from the club that they love.

But sometimes tough love is the only solution to a marriage that has gone horribly wrong. That is the current situation facing supporters of Liverpool FC.

If the supporters stay committed to the team, and by that, I mean actively supporting the club in a monetary manner, current co-owner, Tom Hicks, will be able to retain control and keep this once proud institution mired in misery.

However if the answer is to stay away from Anfield, they must do it en masse. This ultimately hurts the team who right now desperately need their backing.

That’s why this situation is so desperate and agonzing. Stay away and hurt the team or keep showing up and hurt the club. It’s a brutal double edged sword.

I’m sure by now it is clear to anyone who has a passing interest in football and Liverpool FC that Tom Hicks and his ex friend, George Gillett, have no desire or interest to do what’s right for the club.

What I think is right is to sell the club, clear the debt and return control to people who are passionate about the soul of Liverpool FC. That’s right, passionate about the soul, not passionate about how much money they can squeeze out of the club.

Over the last few months different organizations, groups and cartels have expressed an interest in purchasing the club. However, none have come close to Hick’s valuation, which fluctuates according to what side of the bed he falls out of.

According to reports, Hicks has said that he’ll not be selling to ‘vultures’ hoping to pick the club up on the cheap but with debts close to $450 million and recurring interest fees of $37 million annually, there’s nothing cheap about this investment.

There is no doubt that Hicks is entitled to make some money when he does eventually sell either voluntarily or because he’s forced to. We do live in a democratic, free market society after all. But the longer the Texan hangs around, the less chance there is of him turning his fast buck profit unless he has some other evil, despicable plan because at this moment in time Liverpool FC is a depreciating asset.

A year ago Fernando Torres was worth $50-60 million dollars. What would you pay for the Spaniard right now, looking at his body language?

Steven Gerrard, once the jewel of Anfield is now 30-years-old and would at best command a fee in the $20 million region and only if the buyer was extremely generous.

Who else is in the squad that would generate money or be worth more than when they were first purchased by the club; Danial Agger, maybe; Glen Johnson at a pinch; Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel. It’s not a list that makes cash register signs spin in my eyes.

It seems obvious to me that the faithful have only one weapon left to get things back on track and that is the tough love approach. Hit Hicks in the only place that he cares about - the pocket.

Stay away from Anfield because empty seats scare sponsors, empty seats hurt concessions, empty seats takes away from the bottom line.

I know that tactic will hurt some hearts but seriously there is nothing else that will get this guy to sell. His heart is stone cold.

With rumors of the immenient return of his son Tom Hicks Jr. to the administrative side of the club, a fully fledged riot can’t be too far away.

If you remember, Hicks Jr. earned the eternal disgust of Liverpool fans by entering into a heated email exchange with a supporter. That exchange ended with Hicks Jr. resigning.

Hicks Sr. must realize that bringing his son back is pouring kerosene on an already engorged fire. Heck, I knew Texans were a stubborn lot but giving the middle finger to the red half of Merseyside is suicide and will surely be the last straw.

Finally the most amazing aspect of this situation is the response from supporters of other clubs. Apart from a few whack jobs who need to get a life, most football fans are very upset over the way Liverpool FC has been treated. There is a well spring of support that I never thought existed.

Liverpool FC used to be despised because they won everything. Now we feel sorry for them, like an ederly relation who has been taken advantage of.

I hope the true supporters of the club can get their team back. I’m not hopeful, unless they take a temporary leave of absence.

Hicks Sr. is playing Texas hold ‘em with a football club, he’s bluffed his way into a massive pot but it’s the fans that have the aces.

Let him have it.

Nick Webster is a senior writer for FoxSoccer.com covering the Barclay's Premier League and the English national team.


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