Liverpool fans hopeful over future
Published 13/10/2010 | 16:34
Liverpool Supporters' Club secretary Les Lawson has expressed his delight at the High Court ruling against owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett but hopes whoever takes over the club will be more respectful of its traditions.
Hicks and Gillett failed in an effort to delay the hearing of an application by creditors Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for mandatory orders paving the way for a possible sale this week.
The Americans do not have the right to appeal the decision and a reconstituted board will meet tonight to discuss the £300m takeover bid from New England Sports Ventures and a £320m offer from Singapore tycoon Peter Lim.
And Lawson hopes to see any new owners open up a dialogue with the club's supporters.
He told Press Association Sport: "We are delighted. I wish it had not gone as far as this, that it had not gone to court. But the court has ruled in favour of Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre and hopefully they can be now help to bring some stability to the club.
"They have to make sure the club is now sold to the right owners. The fans are the lifeblood of the club. This club exists to win trophies and whether it is NESV or Peter Lim they need to respect its traditions.
"It would be good if the new owners would meet with fans' groups and be open and honest with us and hopefully have some fan representation on the board."
But Lawson was unequivocal in his feeling about Hicks and Gillett, although he is not concerned about the prospect of the Americans being potentially replaced by a group of their countrymen.
"We will rejoice that they have gone. I don't think it matters where the new owners are from they just need to learn the lessons of what has happened at the club. Don't make false promises and be honest with the supporters.
"They need to treat the club with the respect it deserves and understand its values going back to when Bill Shankly first came here in 1959.
"Their aim will hopefully be to get the club back where it belongs."
On-field matters have barely been better than the off-field circus at Anfield, with the team currently lying in the relegation zone after an awful start to the Barclays Premier League season.
They face local rivals Everton on Sunday, and Lawson says a good result at Goodison Park would be another boost on the back of today's news.
"A result on Sunday would be a major boost. Today's ruling means we can focus on the on-field matters and try to get the club at the right end of the table. Challenging for trophies both at home and in Europe."
Former Reds striker David Fairclough shares Lawson's optimism that today could mark the start of a new era for the Merseyside giants.
Fairclough told Sky Sports News: "I think it is good news and Liverpool can now look forward.
"We think this is the first major step in allowing the club to move forward. They (NESV) appear to be progressive owners so hopefully it is all good news.
"Hopefully this is day one of the way forward and certainly there will be smiles on the faces of Liverpool fans as it gives a clear route to go forward.''
Fairclough also believes that Reds fans need not worry about the club being taken over by another set of American owners, saying that the animosity felt towards Hicks and Gillett should not cloud their judgement of John Henry and NESV.
He continued: "They are respected business people in American sport and they are well appreciated and have won many plaudits. I am sure their reputation goes before them.
"I dont think a handful of individuals should taint a whole country. The reputation of John Henry has been discussed over the last couple of weeks and they seem to be upstanding business people. There is no reason to think one group of Americans is any worse than another.''