Anyone reading the papers or watching Sky Sports News won't be able to ignore the fact that Liverpool football club might end up being owned by a sheikh.
And we’re not talking about the News of the World’s fake sheikh, we’re talking about a real sheikh with real money – lots of it. About $9bn if you believe the sums.
Now as someone who’s married to a Scouser, I had to raise a smile when I heard the news – does the Sheikh and his investment team really know what they’re letting themselves into?
Liverpool is a great city, great people and their passion for football puts parts of the country (London) to shame, but it almost feels like an episode from ‘Only Fools and Horses,’ because on paper it sounds all a bit surreal.
But do you care who owns you’re football club?
I don’t, but I guess I would say that as a Chelsea supporter owned by one of the richest men in the world.
Yes, the money’s great, but funnily enough despite all the money we still have not signed a truly world-class player you’d pay money to watch. We win, but not with flourish.
The whole issue of who owns your clubs seems like an outdated argument – in much the way it did when the City was ringing its hands about old blue blood British companies being snapped up by foreign institutions.
Frankly it doesn’t matter – it’s more about how you as a fan relate to your club.
Life for me as a Chelsea fan wasn’t much better when Ken Bates was chairman, as Leeds are probably finding out now.
Bates was the best person to save Chelsea from total collapse, and he’s the best person to save Leeds from the same – but that doesn’t mean he’s ever going to be the kind of owner and chairman you’d want to have a beer with.
And frankly most club owners have always been like this.
The image of them as some paternal, ‘friend of the fan’, was just really never true. There were the odd cases – the Cobbold family at Ipswich springs to mind – but that’s from the days before the Premiership.
We all have to get real. If you didn’t know yet, you will if Liverpool is bought by the sheikh. Football is a global business, it’s not the beautiful game any more.
Lawrence Gosling is group editorial director at Incisive Media (publisher of IFAonline).
The views expressed are those of the author and not those of the company he represents.IFAonline
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