THE 'WARTS AND ALL' TIMELINE - 2006
14th February 2006 - the stadium's back on after a £10m grant gets rubber stamped.http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_objectid=16702118%26method=full%26siteid=50061%26headline=new-anfield-is-back-on-track-after--pound-10m-grant-name_page.html
13th July 2006 - Whoops! Moores and Parry are running out of time to get it started or they'll miss out on that self-same grant. The grant, by the way, is European Union grant funding awarded via the NWDA. That's the North West Development Agency, not the rap band. Although I could be wrong.
18th July 2006 - Parry says the stadium plans 'won't collapse'.http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_objectid=17401428%26method=full%26siteid=50061%26headline=liverpool-fc-stadium-plans--won-t-collapse--name_page.html
27th July 2006 - Mihir Bose, everyone's favourite sports editor, says things don't look so rosy. Instead of £70m to build a stadium, now we're talking £190m.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2341625/Liverpool-ground-to-a-halt.html
On the same day, Bascombe reported that the cash was in place for New Anfield http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_objectid=17459721%26method=full%26siteid=50061%26headline=cash-is-in-place-for-new-anfield-name_page.html
4th September 2006 - The City of Liverpool lease a slice of Stanley Park to the club for 999 years, with £300,000 to be paid annually, and the area managed by a joint-venture company with the City Council. The club had to satisfy European Funding Monitors that the funds were in place to go through with it, and on convincing the monitors that everything was OK, that released a £15m grant. A total of £40m in public sector cash was expected. The people of the Anfield area were waiting for and depending on the regeneration project.
14th December 2006 - Oliver Kay reported that the club planned to have the stadium ready for the 2009-10 season. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/liverpool/article754004.eceTHE 'WARTS AND ALL' TIMELINE - 2007
6th February 2007 - Hicks and Gillett buy the club. 60 days. Large swimming pools. Spades in the ground. No debt on the club - I mean, it's totally different from what the Glazers are doing.
20th February 2007 - stadium plans were on display in the Vernon Sangster. It was still the Parrybowl at that stage.
12th March 2007 - parts of Stanley Park were fenced off, and bore holes made to test the ground. Progress, it seemed, was being made.http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news//tm_headline=new-anfield--the-first-picture&method=full&objectid=18741200&siteid=50061-name_page.html
12th March 2007 - rumours started emerging on the Liverpool supporters' forums that the new owners had called a halt to the stadium project. This was rumoured to be due to limited capacity and limited scope for future expansion. Short-term that meant missing out on the European/NWDA funding, but it was argued that, despite a probably 3 or 4 year delay, this mightn't be a bad thing. A spokesman from the NWDA said "Don't quote me boy I ain't said shit". Note: The original proposed development comprised:
- The stadium
- the restored park
- The AnfieldPLaza - a residential and commercial development
- Regenerated housing
14th March 2007 - hold on - rumours emerge that the new owners have borrowed nearly £300m in the name of LFC from Royal Bank of Scotland, with a mammoth arrangement fee, and an equally and unprecedentedly mammoth interest bill now the club's responsibility to pay.
Preparatory work on the stadium may have started, but major external changes would need a fresh planning application. But regardless, the new owners had decided to rethink the plans. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/6450893.stm
30th April 2007 - reports emerged that the owners were poised to ask for a bigger stadium.
23rd May 2007 - Tom Hicks, after attending the Champions League final, was quoted as replying to a fan as follows: "I spent four hours at our architect's offices this afternoon (and do so every other week) and reviewed our final plans which will be formally submitted to the City Council and the Planners on June 18. I believe you, and all of our fans, will be pleased with the new design, which not only will be absolutely the best football stadium in the world, but will also have lots of English and Anfield historical connections."
At this stage, Hicks was larging it up on the attention and grandstanding for the fans, replying to individual emails, and making bold claims aplenty.
Hicks appeared on the local BBC news. Make sure you've not eaten before you watch this.http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6540000/newsid_6543100/6543111.stm?bw=nb&mp=rm#
As the video shows, Texas Rangers fans whose baseball team boasted one of the lowest wage bills in the league were asking "why did he buy this bloody soccer team?".
24th May 2007 - Rafa Benitez, after a sleepless night followings his team's defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League final, demands investment in the team, hinting at frustration with the new owners. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=433118&cc=5739
25th May 2007 - George Gillett says that if Rafa wanted to buy "Snoogy Doogy", hed buy him. Wow - we smile and clap our hands like circus seals in excitement. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/6690613.stm
6th June 2007 - Amidst reports of the stadium being ready for the start of the 2009/10 season, Mike Storey said "There will be a wow factor when people see the new scheme. The design has been radically changed and I am sure that people in the city will realise we have struck oil by having 2 people with the wherewithal to produce such a stunning scheme. They really have got the business experience and the eye for detail that will put the new Liverpool stadium on the world map.”
The new plans would be before the City Council within the month. http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0500liverpoolfc/0100news/tm_headline=platini-sets-the-record-straight%26method=full%26objectid=19251000%26page=2%26siteid=50061-name_page.html
8th June 2007 - Parry attends a Reclaim The Kop meeting and confirmed that the Revised design needed a fresh planning application, the capacity, and said the kop would be stunning and would have a capacity of around 19,000.
June 28th 2007 - "It looks like a giant bluetooth headset!". "wow!". "It looks like the Star Trek badge!". "It's a fucking monstrosity!". The revised stadium plans are released.
July 13th 2007 - The Timetable for the stadium development is published. http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_headline=liverpool-fc-we-8217-ll-build-our-new-stadium-by-2010%26method=full%26objectid=19451242%26page=2%26siteid=50061-name_page.html
14th July 2007 - the club submitted revised stadium plans, with the proposed cost £280m, and the proposed capacity 60,000, but with plans to increase that to 80,000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/6517517.stm
16th July 2007 - a rail link will need to be reopened to support the stadium development. http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100regionalnews/tm_headline=new-rail-link-crucial-for-80-000-seat-stadium-plan%26method=full%26objectid=19461673%26siteid=50061-name_page.html
July 23rd - Liverpool FC .TV (page now removed) reported it as follows: "Liverpool Football Club will be revealing their stunning new plans for a brand new Anfield this week. The groundbreaking plans, designed by American architects HKS, will be submitted to Liverpool City Council for planning consent on Wednesday before fans get their first glimpse of the proposed new arena."
25th July 2007 – Tom Hicks says the revised plans will be submitted to the Liverpool council a month later than planned. The Council therefore had limited time to re-examine the proposals and decide whether to grant planning permission (by October). In November, the government would review it. Rick Parry said: "It was always the aim of the Club, with the backing of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, to be world class both on and off the pitch. When they took over, the first thing Tom and George wanted to do was review the stadium both in terms of the design and the capacity. This is the immensely impressive result of their deliberations.
"We're creating a stadium that not only the Club and supporters can be proud of, but something the whole city can be proud of. Liverpool as a city is on the move and deserves world class developments like this.
"Our architects HKS have a wealth of experience and have fused a very contemporary and unique vision together with the values that are crucial to Liverpool Football Club. A critical design consideration was to ensure the stadium sat naturally within its park environment, complementing its surroundings and a huge amount of work has been done to ensure this happens. The stadium is a massive investment in North Liverpool and a key driver in the regeneration of the whole area.
"The asymmetric design sets it apart from other new stadia, as it is a clear move away from what is becoming the traditional bowl model. It recognises and makes reference to the fact that English football grounds were historically asymmetric. We make no apologies for that, we've gone out of our way to embrace that culture and it works exceptionally well for both the new ground and its location within Stanley Park. This new design will be unmistakably Liverpool and instantly recognisable as our stadium.
"We've also recognised the central importance of the Kop. It will have a significantly increased capacity of 18,000 seats in a single tier structure that will be the heartbeat of the new stadium. The rake of the stand will be steeper and the seats tighter together, with the acoustics of the roof designed to accentuate the atmosphere during games."
"Having thoroughly addressed the environmental and transportation issues, we already have consent for a 60,000 seat stadium which is why we have submitted the new design with that capacity. This is the most straightforward way of delivering what are radical new designs as our aspiration has always been to have the stadium ready for 2010, which means beginning work on site as soon as possible.
"But we make no secret of the fact that we want a greater capacity and will consider putting in a second planning application when appropriate. However, we fully recognise for this to happen that all the associated transport requirements need to be in place. To increase the capacity above 60,000 we need a further step change in our approach which is why we, together with Liverpool City Council and Merseytravel, are investigating the possibility of reopening the Bootle Branch railway line for passenger use. That would be a fantastic solution, not just for the Club, but for all the people of North Liverpool."
26th July 2007 - Andy Hunter, then writing for The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/bigger-bolder-and-bunkers-liverpools-new-stadium-is-given-a-texan-makeover-458690.htmlIt is unique in the canon of recent British stadiums, carries a £300m price tag, houses a minimum 60,000 supporters, has presidential-style underground bunkers plus changing rooms for Sunday league footballers, and represents the vision Tom Hicks and George Gillett have invested in Liverpool. This is Anfield, circa 2010...
Hicks and Gillett abandoned the original concept the day they acquired majority control in February - in true Texan-style, Hicks decided the plans were neither big nor bold enough for Liverpool on his private plane journey home - and referred the scheme to Dallas-based architects HKS.
The Liverpool chief executive, Rick Parry, said: "When they took over, the first thing Tom and George wanted to do was review the stadium both in terms of the design and the capacity. This is the immensely impressive result of their deliberations."
Interestingly, Andy Hunter continued with some numbers. Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)
Time taken: Two years four months.
Unique features: Construction completed ahead of schedule. Largest pitch in the Premiership.
Wembley Stadium (London)
Time taken: Four years.
Unique features: Most expensive stadium ever built. Boasts the largest roof-covered seating capacity in the world. Has a sliding roof and a 140-metre arch. The arch is the world's largest unsupported roof structure. Contains the most toilets (2,618) of any single venue in the world.
City Of Manchester Stadium (Manchester City)
Time taken: Two years three months.
Unique features: Originally built for 2002 Commonwealth Games. Will host the 2008 Uefa Cup final. Has the widest pitch in English football.
Millennium Stadium (Cardiff)
Time taken: Two years.
Unique features: Was the largest stadium in the UK at time of construction. Has a retractable roof. Hosted the FA and League Cup finals while Wembley was redeveloped. Has a resident hawk, Dad, on patrol.
Allianz Arena (Bayern and 1860 Munich)
Time taken: Two years six months.
Unique features: Known as the "inflatable boat" due to its distinctive shape. The outside of the stadium is lit up red when Bayern play at home, blue when 1860 Munich play and white when the German national team visit.
Stade de France (Paris)
Time taken: Three years
Unique features: Hosted the 1998 World Cup final and will host this autumn's Rugby World Cup final. Has a movable stand.
Then, for a while, we saw a sequence of re-hashed views of the new designs, which brought on the mother of all honeymoon periods as we guzzled our new-age snake oil like addicts.
Naturally, the lead designer for HKS, Brian Tubey, had a lot to say too. Maybe this gives some insight into where the value lies in this development? I mean, surely the stuff he mentions is worth a few bob eh? Bryan Trubey, principal designer at Dallas-based architects HKS, was brought to Liverpool to watch the club’s Champion’s League match against Barcelona in March.
“It’s hard to say what you are thinking (when you sit in the Kop),” he said. “I was trying to absorb as much of the passion as I could.
“I noticed this really incredible thing that was the songs that are sung. This is a spiritual experience for the fans.
“That’s the one thing that we got an acute sense of from the beginning. We realised what we needed to do.”
Since that night, Mr Trubey has overseen a mammoth cross-Atlantic effort to come up with the spectacular plans for a £300m new stadium, lodged with Liverpool City Council on Wednesday.
The Daily Post today publishes exclusive images of how the new 60,000 seater facility, planned to be built over the next three years at Stanley Park, will look.
The design, which will cost £300m, is expected to attract a naming rights sponsorship deal worth £100m. It includes a massive steep sided single tier Kop end, which with 18,000 seats will be half as big again as the existing Kop.
And the stadium has the capacity to expand up to 76,000 seats, making it one of the country’s biggest Premiership stadiums, if planning permission is granted.
HKS is the world’s ninth largest firm of architects, and had a team of between 50 and 60 designers working on the plans spread between London and the USA.
Even though the firm are seasoned in handling large projects worth in excess of a billion dollars, they jumped at the chance to tackle the Liverpool scheme.
“This one is a very big project for us. We focus on sports and entertainment facilities, it’s really not the size that makes it, it’s that Liverpool is one of the most valuable sport franchises in the world.
“The Kop is one of the primary drivers for the design of the building.
“It is one of the single most unique things in sport. It has a lot of meaning and tradition that we wanted to make a big part of the stadium.”
He said the new stadium was designed to be a uniquely recognisable building, a tourist destination in its own right.
“We created the south part of the building to really be a destination environment.
He said a number of things were being worked on to “make it a place for fans even on non-game days having a place that is interior to the stadium”.
This would include a hall of fame and memorabilia store.
Mr Trubey said more details about the plans would be revealed in time, but that the glass corners that allowed views into the ground would not be filled in to make way for the potential additional 16,000 seats.
When asked about the large expanse of glass used in the design, he said: “What we are doing there is trying to create a more transparent building so that you can see all the way into the building.”
“It’s not often that you get an opportunity to put a facility like this in a listed park.
“It’s hard to look at a site like this and not just see advantages.
“Our challenge was to do a project that can do an excellent job being part of the park.
“It’s easy to put a stadium in the park, it’s harder to make it part of the park.
“For us the site was phenomenal, even the grade of the park is a phenomenal gift to the stadium project.”
The fact that the Kop had been so central to the designs had meant that the acoustics were also an integral part of the planning.
“We have spent quite a lot of time working on the acoustics. That’s a huge part of a sporting event.
“That was one of the reasons for the Kop form.
He said the physical form of the building would project acoustically to the rest of the venue. “That was very interesting from an architectural point of view.
“The Kop drives the event. I have been to sporting venues all over the world. It’s one of the things I get to do because of what I do for a living, and the Kop is totally unique.”
So with all that in mind, did Mr Trubey feel a burden on his shoulders?
“I don’t see it as a burden, responsibility is maybe a good word,” he said.
“That’s the cool thing about our job, it makes you passionately attached when you receive something this important.”
"He said the new stadium was designed to be a uniquely recognisable building, a tourist destination in its own right.
“We created the south part of the building to really be a destination environment.
He said a number of things were being worked on to “make it a place for fans even on
non-game days having a place that is interior to the stadium”.
Oh, how we lapped all that up. We speculated about the open corners and the low end, and the idea that "it means we can increase the capacity". God they're so clever. More oohs and aahs. Wooo, the actual pitch will be below ground level... aaaah...
9th August 2007 - Wow! It'll have a 'skywalk' with views to wales, it'll be carbon neutral with 'living walls'. It'll be a UEFA 5 star facility. Wow wow wow wow wow. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2007/08/09/turbine-and-skywalk-plan-for-new-anfield-stadium-64375-19597959/
Then we saw leaks of the actual blueprints. We just couldn't get enough of it.
Then into October, people started worrying about the planning application being approved. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/7061820.stm
6th November 2007 - Hazel Blears, Government Minister, is going to have the final say. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2007/11/06/minister-has-final-say-on-liverpool-fc-stadium-64375-20066606/
And the plans were approved. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7081610.stm
23rd November 2007 - Rafa Benitez makes it clear that, as always he's going to be coaching and training his team. Just in case we missed that, he repeats it roughly 3,472 times for the assembled press corps. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2007/11/23/that-rafa-benitez-press-conference-in-full-64375-20151034/
28th November 2007 - after reports that Hicks and Gillett had met with Jurgen Klinsmann, and despite the owners clearing things up saying they'd met to practice a new magic trick Jurgen had learned from Jerry Sadowitz, thousands of fans march on Anfield and demand they leave the club. A multi-banner flag adorns the length of the Kop: "AS ALWAYS WE ARE FOCUSSING ON SUPPORTING OUR MANAGER". Her Majesty's assembled media manage to muster two or three column inches amongst them. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/7110714.stm
29th November 2007 - Hicks and Gillett got their loans "for the new stadium"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2326995/Liverpool-owners-get-loans-for-stadium.html
The money was lent by Wachovia and RBS. A lot of money obviously refinancing the puchcase price. The disgrace begins to emerge into the public domain.
Press speculation began to mount that the stadium wasn't gonna happen.
15th December 2007 - Parry said on Liverpoolfc.tv - "We remain absolutely committed to the building of a new stadium which will improve on the original design... Ever since the original designs were unveiled, we have been continuously revising and refining with the intention of delivering the best possible solution to our future needs.
"The situation in the credit markets has not affected our design, programme, or implementation of building our new stadium. The priority has always been to build a winning team on the pitch and everything else we do is geared towards that."
17th December 2007 - again on LFC.tv, Parry admitted that a rethink had been needed on the plans: "We are now considering two schemes but the stadium will be a 70,000 seater... The new stadium will be a significant improvement on the original plans and a slightly different version of the new ones... And it will be a massive improvement on where we were 12 months ago, if not quite as dramatic as the plans unveiled in the summer.
"The single tier Kop remains fundamental to the design and we are not expecting any delays – it should be on schedule for 2011." Alarm bells started ringing. Spiralling costs were mooted, but at the root of it, it was never mentioned that these two owners just never intended to put a penny of their own money into the club or its plans. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2007/12/17/liverpool-fc-stadium-plan-delayed-for-a-year-64375-20262273/ THE 'WARTS AND ALL' TIMELINE - 2008
8th January 2008 - Hazel Blears, Government Minister announces there's no need for an inquiry into the plans. She said: “Local planning authorities are normally best placed to make decisions relating to their areas. It is right that in general, they should be free to carry out their duties responsibly, with the minimum of interference.”
10th January 2008 - apparently Liverpool in no rush over stadium plan. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/01/10/sfnliv110.xml
25th January 2008 - Hicks and Gillett refinance their debt. Again. The understanding in all reports was that this would mean the stadium work could start. But at the time, the pair had started to publicly fight with each other, and with their staff, and as a result, Dubai International Capital had reappeared at the table with a proposal to buy Gillett's share, with rumours of a full takeover. Mihir Bose said £60m of that money was earmarked for the stadium.
26th January 2008 - it emerges that the club face a fresh battle for the planning permission. Meanwhile, a large group of concerned fans meet in the Sandon to discuss the issues that face the club. The group would later become Spirit of Shankly.
1st February 2008 - well well well. HKS are reworking the plans.http://www.building.co.uk/news/hks-reworks-liverpool-stadium/3105289.article
1st February 2008 - ShareLiverpoolFC launcheshttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7217238.stm http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/liverpool/article3281517.ece
6th February 2008 - the newly created supporters' union, then called "Sons of Shankly", issues a call to arms, details the uncomfortable truth about the owners and their plans for the club, and asks a few difficult questions in the process. http://www.spiritofshankly.com/news/Liverpool-Supporters-Union-_-A-Call-to-Arms.html
11th February 2008 - a stadium in Texas designed by HKS collapseshttp://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/02/11/liverpool-fc-architects-suffer-setback-after-dallas-stadium-collapse-64375-20463135/
25th February 2008 - we're still talking about how to organise the rail travel, and whether DIC are going to take over, and whether these two will ever stop dragging the Liverpool tradition through the gutter with their public outbursts. Meanwhile, Tom Hicks Junior decides to treat his bodyguards to a pint in the Sandon, and it all kicks off after someone calls one of their pints a puff.
4th March 2008 - stories do the rounds of Hicks claiming the club is worth a straight swap for the sovereign state of Dubai.
10th March 2008 - Hicks: superfly guys from Dubai - nice try. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/hicks-terminates-talks-with-dubai-group-interested-in-liverpool-stake-793895.html
Hicks, betraying his struggle with the definition of the word "success", said "Based on my 13 years of successful experience as an owner of professional sports teams, and based in particular on the situation at Liverpool Football Club over the past year, it is clear to me that such a committee approach would not be in the best interest of Kop [Holdings], of the club or of the club's loyal and passionate supporters," Hicks said. "Accordingly, I have decided to exercise my right under the Kop Football (Holdings) Limited partnership agreement to veto any sale of any portion of Kop and the club to DIC." Translation: they wouldn't do swapsies for the sovereign state of Dubai - oh, and by the way, Kop Holdings is first in the pecking order of importance. That's Kop Holdings, then the club, then the supporters. Yeah, I say 'loyal and passionate', but, well, I mean livestock.
12th April 2008 - David Moores says he's heartbroken by the new owners. He consoles himself by lying down in a massive bed made from thousands of £100 notes. http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/football/article-559202/Former-Liverpool-chairman-Moores-heartbroken-let-American-owners.html
17th April 2008 - Hicks says Parry's a disaster, then dusts off his six shooters and does his best impression of Yosemite Sam. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2297595/Liverpool-turmoil-Hicks-calls-Parry-a-disaster.html
Sat in front of the roaring homely fire at Southfork, supping hot joe from a Liverpool mug, Tom portrayed a vision of loveliness that no right-thinking Liverpool fan could resist. We completely changed our opinion of him overnight. He proceeded to put our woes to rights.On Rick Parry
"Look at what's happened under Rick. It has been a disaster. We have fallen so far behind the other leading clubs. We should have the stadium built by now. We have a few major sponsors when we should have 15. We have still got the top brand in the world of football but that's no good if you don't know how to commercialise it. Rick needs to resign from Liverpool FC. He has put his heart into it but it is time for a change. You have to be able to work with the manager and Rick has proved he can't do that."
On Jurgen Klinsmann
"I get this call from George out of the blue in which he says 'have your people do their research on Klinsmann'. He and Rick set up the meeting in New York. I did go to the meeting along with my son Tom. Rick Parry had already met with Jurgen alone for a couple of hours when we arrived. We all then spoke to him for another four hours. Afterwards I told the truth to a reporter who asked the question and suddenly it is 'Tom Hicks tried to get Jurgen Klinsmann'. George initiated it but we all participated."
On George Gillett
"At this point it is unworkable, we started this as friends but 50-50 is a difficult business proposition because you cannot do anything without your partner's approval. We had a good honeymoon but, over a period of time, there have been issues, the stadium being the main one. If George doesn't sell - because I am not going to sell - I guess we stay in this position that we are in. It's complicated but it's going to happen (Hicks buying Gillett out) although I can't force George to accept."
"DIC has no seat at the table. They are masters of the British tabloid spin. They want to stir the pot of Liverpool to create dissension I did talk to Dubai about being a 49% partner but it just didn't work out. They didn't share the same vision I have and I didn't think they could become minority partners. I am not going to have any more 50-50 partners."
On Rafael Benitez
"If I were to buy George out the first thing I would do is offer Rafa a one-year extension to make sure he is going to be here up to when we get the stadium. Hopefully we could have some success and then extend him again. Rafa and the players have their heads down. They are playing great. We communicate regularly. I know he feels comfortable with the way things are going. I think we will continue to have success. I think Rafa has unique skills, he motivates the team and we have some great players who are learning how to play with each other.
Meanwhile Parry claimed the board didn't want to sack him. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2297598/Rick-Parry-Liverpool-board-dont-want-me-out.html "I have been told Tom Hick has done an interview, but I have not seen it and I am not going to watch it,” Parry said.
"My reaction is simple and straightforward: The board has not asked me to resign and that is the only forum it will be discussed in.
"I am doing my job and have a duty to keep the club on an even keel. The board has not asked me to resign and anything else is academic.
Hicks branded Parry's leadership as a "disaster" for Liverpool's failure to compete commercially with their Premier League rivals but the 53-year-old has dismissed the criticism and has said he will get back to his day job.
"I have a duty at the moment to try and keep things on an even keel when there's turmoil off the pitch. I just want to do my best for the club," he said.
"I'm focusing on the day to day. We have a Champions League semi-final coming up. There are a lot of important things to be done at the club and that's the focus."
And to cap off the holy trinity on a great day for the Liverpool way, George hit back at Tom in the open media. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/7351883.stm Gillett said: "I am saddened at this latest outburst from Tom Hicks.
"Here we are, a few days away from a vital Champions League semi-final match and Tom has once again created turmoil with his comments.
"Tom should stop. He knows that Rick Parry has my support and that airing his comments in this way will not change my position.
"His failure to discuss this with the Board or the management committee is significant."
Our hearts soared as our club at last got the media attention it so deserved. Our 'brand' had surely never been stronger. Great days.
19th April 2008 - the Council says "sort it out".http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/04/19/council-let-s-sort-out-liverpool-fc-stadium-mess-100252-20787403/
21st April 2008 - Spirit of Shankly starts work on the new stadium. 440 days after their purchase of the club, SOS said "Hicks and Gillett told us it’ll be 60 days. We’re telling you it’ll be at 6 o’clock. Who do you believe?"http://www.spiritofshankly.com/news/Spirit-of-Shankly-to-start-work-on-new-stadium.html
26th April 2008 - The Liverpool Daily Post reports that work could start on the stadium within the month.
The article summed up the crucial changes:
- underground car park beneath the stadium halved
- 3 storey underground car park to replace it under games area in Stanley Park
- footprint of stadium reduced by several metres
- roof opening smaller
- skywalk with views to Wales scrapped
28th April 2008 - The Dubai rumours keep on trucking. http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto042820081431381212&page=1 http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/04/30/sheikh-plans-to-get-personally-involved-in-takeover-of-liverpool-fc-64375-20841620/
6th May 2008 - Liverpool City Council approve the revised plans. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7385026.stm
11th May 2008 - Tom Hicks claims work on the stadium will start in September with completion in August 2011. He was also sure he could buy Gillett's share himself. Meanwhile, Hicks was having trouble at home, failing to secure funding for a project in Arlington, Texas known as "Glorypark". He told the Dallas Morning News: "We are in the most difficult credit crunch I have seen the last 20 years."
15th May 2008 - The Echo reports that the Tom Hicks is enjoying a delicious bowl of Credit Crunch (TM). http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/05/15/liverpool-fc-co-owner-tom-hicks-hit-by-credit-crunch-blow-100252-20914232/
24th June 2008 - The LCC rubber stamps the planning permission. Amazingly, on the Liverpool FC site, Gillett calls this "a significant milestone for the club and I am delighted that the design received full planning consent and that we are now on site.We have been working very hard over the last six months to move the details of the design along but this is the first tangible evidence for fans that a New LFC Stadium will be built. The stadium design is unique and will be recognised across the world as the Liverpool FC Stadium. It incorporates a Kop stand that will hold 18,000 fans and we hope that the stadium will be as noisy and atmospheric on a matchday as Anfield." According to the club, "The stadium is on programme to open for the beginning of the 2011-12 season."http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drill...80624-1211.htm
(link now removed).
29th August 2008 - The Telegraph reports that Liverpool fans are angry at the stadium delay.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/liverpool/2647988/Liverpool-fans-angry-at-new-stadium-delay---Football.html
29th August 2008 - The Liverpool FC website says "REDS CONFIRM NEW LFC STADIUM DELAY". A spokesman was quoted as saying "Our commitment to building a new world class LFC stadium is undiminished. Like many other major development projects in the UK and overseas we are affected by global market conditions and as such work on the project will be delayed in the short term. We will use this period productively and revisit the plans for the stadium to increase its capacity to 73,000 seats."http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drill...80829-0923.htm
(link now removed).
August 30th 2008 - The Liverpool Daily Post says the 999 year lease is now in jeapoardy unless the club sorts itself out. Warren Bradley is quoted as saying
"I would not want the council to sign the lease until such a time as we know that Liverpool FC can deliver it 150%,” said Cllr Bradley last night. I have always had my reservations about their ability to raise the funds. I just wish they would sort themselves out, the Anfield and Breckfield areas have waited too long for this.”. NWDA were demanding meetings with Kop Holdings to see what had happened to the £9m in grant money it had given the club. Althought quite what Dr Drew has to do with all this is beyond me.
11th September 2008 - Jamie Carragher lays into the "ruthless" owners in his new autobiography. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/liverpool/2779195/Jamie-Carragher-lays-into-ruthless-Americans-at-Liverpool-Football.html“For richer or poorer, we’d sold Liverpool to two ruthless businessmen who saw us as a money-making opportunity... They didn’t buy Liverpool as an act of charity; they weren’t intent on throwing away all the millions they’d earned over 50 years... They wanted to buy us because the planned stadium offered a chance to generate tons of cash and increase the value of the club.
Carragher said the owners’ worst mistake was claiming no debt would be put on the club’s balance sheet when in fact the loans used created annual interest payments of about £30 million.
“Breaking this vow set the first alarm bells ringing, the embarrassing continual changing of the stadium plans was irritating too,” he wrote.
Carragher said the internal strife swelled in the aftermath of the May 2007 Champions League final defeat by AC Milan when Benitez demanded that Hicks and Gillett quickly invest more money in the squad.
“These words sparked a chain reaction that brought problems into the open, almost cost [Benitez] his job, riled Liverpool’s owners into an ill-fated meeting with Jurgen Klinsmann, and ended Hicks’ and Gillett’s honeymoon relationship with The Kop,” Carragher wrote.
13th September 2008 - SOS march on Anfield before the Manchester United game.
5th October 2008 - The Times reports that the unstable financial climate is delaying Liverpool's stadium. That and the fact the owners don't have a pot of their own to piss in. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/liverpool/article4885452.ece
13th October 2008 - Nothing to see here, say the suits at the club.http://www.worldsoccer.com/news/liverpool_dismiss_stadium_concerns_news_269853.html
24th December 2008 - Then The Telegraph reports that Liverpool's sponsors are frustrated by the stadium delay.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/liverpool/3932885/Liverpools-sponsors-frustrated-by-new-stadium-delay.html Carlsberg's international marketing director, Keld Strudahl, said: "While we have a good relationship with [co-owner] Tom Hicks, we are naturally unhappy that the planned new stadium has been postponed. That can not be good for Liverpool as a long-term business."
23rd October 2008 - 6 Liverpool MPS urge Gordon Brown to oust Hicks and Gillett.http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/10/23/mps-stage-coup-over-new-liverpool-fc-stadium-64375-22099810/