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Aldridge raises Liverpool concern

Discussion in 'Sports' started by BAK, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    Aldridge raises Liverpool concern

    By Russell Barder
    BBC Sport

    Aldridge has given his backing to a Liverpool fans bid to takeover the club

    John Aldridge fears for Liverpool's future if the club's American owners fail to resolve their financial issues.

    George Gillett and Tom Hicks have come under fire from Liverpool fans worried over transfer spending and their treatment of manager Rafael Benitez.

    Plans for a new stadium have been beset by delays and Aldridge is concerned by the direction the club is heading.

    "The club's not really getting run at at the moment; it's getting neglected," the former Reds striker told BBC Sport.

    "Whilst the Americans have their problems, the club is getting deeper and deeper into trouble, especially with the new stadium and everything else."

    Liverpool are second in the Premier League going into Sunday's match at big-spending Manchester City, but Aldridge is worried about matters elsewhere.

    The proposed new stadium adjacent to the club's current home has had two re-designs and the loans the pair took out to buy the club have had to be refinanced.

    "On the pitch (Liverpool) are not doing too badly, they're holding their own, but the stadium is nowhere near to what it should be at this time," he said.

    "But that is just part of what's happened unfortunately.

    "Liverpool Football Club never do their business in public, but over the last 12 months or so it has become publicised.

    "The Americans have done a lot of homework, but they obviously don't know the true history and how the club goes about itself."

    We're in a bit of a mess at the moment, on the pitch we're OK, but you can see it getting worse.

    Liverpool supporters have become increasingly frustrated at the way the club is being run and before the recent 2-1 victory at home to Manchester United, the Spirit of Shankly group organised a march in protest against Hicks and Gillett.

    Since taking over there have been cracks in their relationship with Benitez and in the summer the Spaniard was frustrated at the board for not sanctioning an £18m move for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry.

    However, despite missing out on Barry, the Liverpool boss is believed to have spent about £40m in the summer, including the capture of Robbie Keane from Tottenham for £20.3m.

    The Americans also oversaw the club record signing of Fernando Torres the previous summer and in February they sanctioned a permanent deal for midfielder Javier Mascherano, who is thought to have cost the club about £18m.

    Matters came to a head at the beginning of 2008 when Hicks revealed he had spoken with former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann about the possibility of taking over at Anfield.

    Gillett has also spoken about how the relationship between himself and the Texan had become "unworkable", before saying in June that communication had "substantially improved".

    However, despite their off-field problems, Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League after six games and sit level on points with Chelsea at the top of the table.

    Sunday's trip to Eastlands provides a contrast to the situation at Anfield after Man City's recent takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

    Backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, City appear to have bountiful resources in their pursuit of success and Aldridge is fearful at the effect that could have on Liverpool's future.

    "All of a sudden they (Manchester City) have got this sugar daddy who is going to make them into a force," he said.

    "We've hung on to third or fourth spot in the last few years, and done well in Europe, but that's a must now because Man City are going to come into the fold.

    "If we get pushed out of that top four, all of a sudden the stadium problems escalate and the board problems escalate.

    "We could be in a bit of the mess. We're in a bit of a mess at the moment, on the pitch we're OK, but you can see it getting worse."

    Aldridge is keen for the club to come under new ownership and has given his backing to an initiative set-up by lifelong Liverpool fan Rogan Taylor, which would see the club owned by its fans.

    Aldridge believes Man City could upset the Premier League's top four
    Share Liverpool FC aims to get 100,000 supporters to pledge £5,000 each so they could launch a takeover and former Republic of Ireland international Aldridge, who has been appointed to the board of the scheme, believes the idea is not as far-fetched as it may appear.

    "Unfortunately there are a lot of pessimists who don't think we've got a cat in hell's chance of doing it, but we're all very positive," said the 50-year-old.

    "The people Rogan's got involved are very clever, astute businessmen and they could run Liverpool Football club now.

    "The problem is we need to get the money in place ASAP to give ourselves a chance.

    "We might not be able to go in 100%, but in the next year or so we could get a percentage of the club.

    "That would put us in a good position to go forward and the people who are looking at us and might not be too sure could jump on the bandwagon."