Ex-Canadian PM Brian Mulroney Says His Pal Tom Hicks Is "A Man of Principle and Honour"

Tom Hicks is friends with Brian Mulroney, who served as Canadian prime minister from September 1984 to June 1993 -- and was, at one time, a senior counselor to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. Anyway. In the you-gotta-pay-to-read-it UK Times today, Mulroney op-eds about Liverpool fans' vilification of Hicks. Long story short: He found it "disturbing." Also: "a travesty." And: "unfair." And: "a disgrace."

Since the piece is behind a paywall, and I paid, I'll offer a few choice excerpts:

Tom is a sportsman who loves winning. One of his greatest moments was when the Dallas Stars ice hockey team won the Stanley Cup in 1999. He was ecstatic when the Texas Rangers -- the organisation and team built under his ownership, which ended in August -- made its first World Series appearance. He craved success on the pitch for Liverpool and was thrilled when he tasted it, as runners-up in the Champions League in 2007 or the Premier League in 2009. The club's performance this year has been as painful for Tom as anyone, and was his undoing, despite record expenditures on personnel, including hiring a new world-class manager.

So change was necessary and for that reason Tom agreed to leave Anfield. He did that months ago and put the process in the hands of people he trusted. All he asked was fair value for the investment he made. In the end, they took his asset against his will and devalued the club in a fire sale. The greatest shame is that, in England at least, they took his good name.

Tom Hicks is a good man, a man of principle and honour. His entire life has been a testimonial to those virtues while working to enhance value for shareholders and investors. Those who know him would never have recognised the battered individual whom I saw defending himself on British television, thoroughly demonised by the media, with the dubious complicity of banks, directors and former colleagues.

The legal system will ultimately resolve the business issues. But the damage done to England's discourse and tone about business will take more time to undo ... and the misplaced vitriol that surrounded Tom Hicks will also be longer lasting.

Liverpool fans are not moved.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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