Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: â€œTalks are ongoing but there is real hope this could finally be the answer to all the clubâ€™s problems – on and off the pitch.â€ â€“ â€œAn Anfield insider.â€
Runner-up: “It’s not entirely clear if Chelsea is for sale, but regardless of that, we first need to see if we are in a position to buy it, given that Roman Abramovich has invested over Â£500m into the club, it would not be cheap, and with the current credit crunch, nobody wants to be over-exposed on one deal. But through a number of investors, there is money available to put together a deal. We have looked before at some European clubs to see if the numbers added up, and now we are doing the same with Chelsea. I don’t believe anything is ever not for sale if you come up with the right price. It’s not about trying to buy a football team but about a business. You don’t make money because 11 guys run around the pitch, you make money because of all the other commercial aspects that go with a football club, particularly real estate and television rights.” – Dr Sulaiman al Fahim.
Today’s overview: The big stories of the day center around possible takeovers of Liverpool and Chelsea.
Oliver Kay reports in The Times: “One of the Middle Eastâ€™s richest families is in negotiations to buy Liverpool as the Arab invasion of the Barclays Premier League continues. It emerged last night that the Al-Kharafi family, of Kuwait, are planning a bid to buy the Merseyside club for Â£500 million as Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr prepare to sell up.”
Phil Thomas adds in The Sun that “The Kop kings sent financial chief Philip Nash and commercial director Ian Ayre to the Middle East this week for discussions over a possible Â£400million deal.” And Phil Thomas also gives the lowdown on Nasser Al-Kharafi.
On Chelsea, The Guardian report “Roman Abramovich’s determination to continue as Chelsea’s owner may be tested by a consortium of ÂGerman investors which is being fronted by the man who led the Abu Dhabi royal Âfamily’s takeover of Manchester City.” The Daily Telegraph seem to think that “The Arab tycoon behind the takeover of Manchester City may become the man to finally test Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea resolve.”
The big transfer story of the day is Emile Heskey’s likely move to Aston Villa. Other rumours include Jimmy Bullard to Hull and Miguel Veloso to Manchester City. Other interesting Premier League news includes Newcastle’s shaky financial picture.
The fallout from the Carling Cup continues with a number of articles on Harry Redknapp and Tottenham. Oliver Brown (Daily Telegraph) suggests Wilson Palacios may be the answer to Spurs’ prayers and in the same paper ex-Spurs players give their thoughts. Gary Jacob in The Times predicts Redknapp will “throw cash at Tottenham Hotspur weaknesses.”
Also on Tottenham, David Hytner (Guardian) argues “The Tottenham boss has turned on his squad, but come the end of the season the buck will stop with him.” And John Culley in The Independent looks at who is likely to play for Spurs at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Ahead of the FA Cup this weekend, Ian Wright in The Sun looks at the situation at Middlesbrough and says: “I fear for my mate Gareth [Southgate].” Also on Boro, Harry Pearson features the failure that is Afonso Alves.
Whilst Neil Moxley in the Daily Mail remembers Brian Clough with some Forest and Derby legends. And ahead of the West Ham-Hartlepool clash, Chris Turner (Hartlepool’s manager) talks to The Independent.
Finally, the always excellent Jonathan Wilson asks “what has happened to the classic goalpoacher?”