Friday, January 23, 2009

Quick Throw: Liverpool To Get Arab Sugar Daddy?

The BBC is reporting that Tom Hicks is in talks with Kuwait Businessman Nasser Al-Kharafi. Could Al-Kharafi turn Liverpool into a billion dollar super club? Will he bid 100 million for Kaka? Will he sell Arab robes with liver birds on them in the club shop? Stay tuned folks. Apparently even in this depressing economic climate, Arab businessmen are prepared to play fantasy football. Why can't these people have serious ambitions and buy a decent club like Norwich City?



19 comments:

Ibracadabra said...

Tosser Drogba can't wait to get his hands on a Kuwaiti dinar and throw it into the Anfield stands.

Keith said...

I kind of agree there, Bigus. Wouldn't it be more noble, a hell of a lot more fun, and a great deal cheaper, to buy a once-great (or at least once-good)squad (say, Norwich, Leicester, Forest, Palace, Wednesday or even Leeds) and build them up through the ranks? Or, to grab a team no one gives a toss about, like a Cheltenham or Aldershot (sorry, residents of Cheltenham and Aldershot) and turn them into the next big squad?

JT said...

No Keith, because that would actually require work and effort.

Keith said...

I mean, if you're buying a club to be a high-priced toy, you might as well get something that's challenging, cheap, and with greater potential rewards than an expensive toy that you'll just run out of money for the batteries and get bored with in five years (I'm looking at you, Roman)

JT said...

I suppose. That said, look at QPR. Their owners are richer than God and took the challenging/cheap/greater potential route, yet the team is still utter crap.

Bigus Dickus said...

It's just not sporting is it Keith. Whenever I play FIFA I start as Stevenage Borough. If you choose Chelsea it's just no fun.

Keith said...

That's debatable; they bounced Villa's reserves from the little cup, and are in striking distance of the promotion playoffs in the Colaship (even though Wayne Routledge is apparently their savior), an improvement over their form from the three years before the purchase, where they finished 18th, 21st and 11th. This all despite having Sloth as their manager for the first half of this season.

Granted, 8th in the Colaship isn't a treble, but that's only after two years. For 14 million GBP, or Wayne Bridge's transfer fee, they got an established if ailing brand in a nice location. And they'll be looked at as saviors QPR goes on to become so much as a perennial 11th-place finisher in the Prem. Contrast that with the experience of Abramovich, who got his trophies, got called a glory hunter for it, paid 10 times what Flavio's group paid, and now is taking heat because he can't fund the ridiculous transfers Spartak was famous for (or doesn't trust Big Phil).

The other side of that coin is Randy Lerner, who got Villa, once a gem of the league, for 62 million, roughly the average of Chelsea's and QPR's prices, after they barely staved off relegation under O'Leary, and in three years has them three points out of first, despite 12 million still being the club's transfer fee record.

Mike Georger said...

Hey, fuck all yall, I want this to happen. There is no fairness anymore, either keep up with the whatever the Arab equivalent of 'Jones' is.

Mike Georger said...

Keith, how do you feel about Heskey?

Keith said...

for 3.5 mill, I think he's a great value for money option. He's not going to score bags of goals, but he's the perfect player to put alongside Agbonlahor and Webby, who have been struggling for goals lately. He holds up the ball better than Carew does, and can distribute very well from the channel. Against teams that park the bus and foul (SFB, Wigan, Stoke), he and Carew, once he gets fit, give us a really good physical option. Plus, he made his name under MON, just like Petrov, who's become indispensable in the center of the park.

It's going to cause a change in tactics, as Villa have been excelling with an attacking 4-5-1, but I think Heskey's influence will open the field up for all of our attacking players.

Considering we paid about the same fee for Harewood, I really, really like this move.

JT said...

Keith, he's also out of contract in the summer so you'll need to pay him mightily to stick around. I think that's how it works, right? You're buying what's left of his deal and then you'll have to renegotiate in the summer...

Good luck with that!

Keith said...

word is he agreed to a 3 and a half-year contract (believed to be 80k/week), so that's sorted. Yeah, it's a sizable wage bill, but you figure this is his last big contract. And again, it's a bargain considering he's been in really good form for club and country lately.

phil said...

All I know is this means Villa won't be buying Darren Bent. And I would prefer Spurs be shut of him.

Andrew said...

I have one busy week and miss everything.

Who wouldn't want their club to be owned by someone disgustingly wealthy? That "Arab money" (thanks, Busta Rhymes), even with all its attendant problems, can only be a plus for a club.

As for the Heskey move, methinks it is good.

Bigus Dickus said...

Start of the season, Spurs fans greet Berbatov's and Keane's exit with..Meh..Darren Bent scored 4 at Norwich and 45 against Leyton Orient, who needs those two. He starts having a purple patch in the EPL (suck it Barclay's) and the praise begins.....

The fella misses a sitter, Arry jumps up and down and now you want to chase him down the Seven Sisters road with a stick.

Fickle spurs fans...You'd make awful Norwich supporters...No patience...Oh yeah :(

phil said...

I, for one, have never trusted Darren Bent. So don't count me among the fickle. I hated to watch Berba and especially Keane go, and thought selling off Defoe was just hubris, Spurs pretending they were bigger than they are. Bent is a poacher, pure and simple. And without quality service and more creative players than himself around him, he's lost. Anyone can miss a sitter, as we saw with Zaki on the same weekend, but Bent has displayed a complete inability to position himself properly and make the type of runs that front-line forwards in the EPL need to make.

Precious Roy said...

I like your thinking Keith.

And while it's hard to turn a profit in the Colaship or League 1, if your a billionaire the losses are minimal relative to your wealth. You take a few years, invest in your academy and your long term payoff could be substantial. Plus, there's the whole challenge aspect of it.

So take some small short term hits for the chance at a big payoff 5-7 years down the road. Totally the way to do it.

Keith said...

phil, selling Defoe at the time was fine, because he wasn't beating Keano and Berba for a spot then. Not under Jol, not under Magic Juande. But to sell Keane and Berbatov after that, without having their immediate successors lined up (Frazier Campbell on loan and a panic Pavs buy are not examples of that) was madness.

And I was going to use Darren Bent's fee as my QPR price, but figured Bridge was the new great example of overspending in the silly season.

Bertin, I guess the problem with our line of thinking is that most of the billionaire buyers see a football club the way they do a yacht. They're not thinking long-term value, they're just thinking how cool it will be to stand on the deck with a trophy in hand.

phil said...

I'm wholly in agreement with everything Keith just said.