Fan power, who are the mugs?

Posted by john_mac on May 12, 2004, 07:11:46 PM

I suppose everybody is sick of the site of the words Thai PM and Morgan already but I must say it is very interesting to see a very clear crystallisation of support accross a myriad of websites, each clearly linked to something very different than the respective proposals.

It is difficult to comment on the Thai offer because it remains very unclear; Morgan's offer also has a whole range of ifs and buts. Effectively his position at the end of the day will very much depend on the ability of others to afford to buy responsibility, and it is likely that Morgan will finish in a much stronger position with a far bigger stake in the diluted shareholding of LFC. Crucially shares will also be much more widely available which will also make future purchases and the possibility of takeover bids far more viable.

I can't for  a second pretend to know which would work out better for the club, my own tendancy is to not put too much faith in the supposed market in the far east, so I remain sceptical, at best, as to the true value of merchandising and academy rights in that region.

What is interesting is the approach of the two camps. Moores, as ever, has remained very quiet on the issue, perhaps his dignity sits him in the strongest position of all involved. The businessman in Parry pushes him to want to appear as a revolutionary thinker, the man who brokered the deal, but I can only believe that he will act in a dignified manner and in a way that he believes will be for the good of the club.

Inevitably sceptical of the Thai offer, it really does not ring true, I cannot help but wonder exactly what is in it for them. Anybody who has ever wandered around Bangkok will testify as to the uselessness of copyright, so how much can this merchandising deal truly be worth?

Morgan, by contrast, has a clear strategy to get what he perceives to be the fans on his side. He has not attacked Moores but made it clear his long term am is the chairmanship. He statements have clear implications for Houllier who would count Parry and Moores among his long term allies. Then there is the way in which Morgan has clearly set out to gain local support by entertaining the local press; propaganda in a manner that even Parry could only be proud of.

A clear policy of trying to gain support of the fans is in place, every second sentence involves the words Liverpool fan, talk of bunking in, hitchin' and 'not having two h'pennies to rub together' are a plenty, all spoken in a nice scouse accent. Throw in giving the club back to the fans and promising to underwrite the share issue to the fans and we have a true "man of the people" or do we. Saatchi and Saatchi would be more than proud of this morning's press conference, eagerly watched by everyone of us on Sky.

Then you have the rumours of "ground share" and "PLC status" clearly designed to throw mud at Morgan's campaign. Of course Morgan is in favour diluting the shares - it's the only way he can get any level of control.

I'm not questioning Morgan's loyalty to the club as I would not question that of Moores, but in the whole of this sorry episode I cannot help but question everybody's motives and their ability to tell us the truth. Only a matter of months ago the finanace was apparently in place for the new stadium, now both of the proposals involve setting money aside for the stadium. Apparently champions league football would guarentee our ability to compete financially, now it appears not.

The whole situation is very strange and I can only think that we are being taken for mugs from all quarters. It is a power struggle, pure and simple, with each side trying to win support from respective parties. Why has Parry acted with such haste to secure the Thai deal when it has been around for a long time? We have, after all toured Thailand twice in the last three years. What is in it for the Thais? Academies and merchandising rights? I ask you. Why is Morgan's offer only open for seven days? Hoping to drum up support to put pressure on the board?

In all this I can't help but feel that we are being taken for the mugs in a world of commercial enterprise where they think they can take the shirt off your back and sell you another one. The overwhelming voice in my head says do nothing, WAIT, don't jump in.

As much as I have supported Houllier and the team, I just can't help but feel that someone, or maybe more, is pulling the wool over our eyes somewhere along the line. Fan power ... don't make me laugh!

© john_mac 2004

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