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[万花筒] 【整理】2008-02-03&02-04, 出售利物浦?

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Liverpool fans welcomed the new American owners last year. Tom Hicks and George Gillett promised money for top players, money for a new stadium and promised they were in it for the long haul. Liverpool is getting a new ground and has signed a few players. The one of Europe’s premier soccer teams is currently out of the top four. Fans are fed up with the growing debts and rumors the Americans want to replace popular coach Rafael Benitez. The solution: buy the club themselves.

At the upper level nobody in has attempted a buyout like this, in fact anywhere in the UK. And I think Liverpool people quite like doing things no one has done before.

A number of smaller England clubs are already fan-owned and one Ebbsfleet United was just bought for 1.7 million dollars by thousands of members of a football fan website. Each will soon be able to vote on team’s strategy through the Internet. Some big continental clubs like Barcelona are also owned by supporters, but the trend in England lately has been for wealthy businessmen to take over, Viet-American Malcolm Glazer at Manchester United, or, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at Manchester City, or, Englishman Briatore Ecclestone buying struggling QPR. Could Liverpool really go the other way?

I struggle to see how commercially it will work at the higher levels. It has been tried in the past with some of the administrations and some of the football league clubs. They have the supporters' power and the supporters' representative on the board. But when you get in the higher levels of, you know, 200 million a year, Manchester United and above, then it really would be a drop.

Liverpool’s American owners have denied they’re already to bail out, despite the rumors that money from rich Gulf States is ready to come in, so why will they sell to the fans?

I think if it becomes a serious proposal, then they will look at it seriously.

When the Glazers took over United, there were protests in the streets of Manchester, especially given their dead heat on the club. But winning has quieted most fans for now. Liverpool disgruntled 100,000 fans from around the world to follow the Ebbsfleet model and pitch in a billion dollars and take the club back.

Jim Boulden CNN, London
Humor first, Joke later...
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