In the heady days of early 2007, then-Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks added another major sports franchise to his portfolio with the £435 million purchase of Liverpool F.C. He and his partner, George Gillett, promised to deliver grand things, first-and-foremost a brand-new stadium, but what they did instead was burden the club with hundreds of millions in debt. Their foray into European football ended ignominiously three years later. They did not endear themselves to, well, anybody really.
Two years have passed, but Hicks' shadow apparently still looms large in Liverpool. The team isn't terribly good and, as the Daily Mail and a host of other are reporting, current owner the current owners blame that on Hicks.
As John W. Henry told the paper:
Looking back at the very first day, I was trying to make a point then about how much of a challenge it was going to be because of the issues we inherited.
We had a lack of depth in the squad and some really high payrolls. We also had issues with the age of the players and so forth. We knew it was going to be very difficult. Tom and I went for a long walk and we had to make the decision "are we going to buy Liverpool?"
We had to decide whether we really wanted to take this on, as we knew this was a huge challenge. A much larger challenge than any supporter could know. We had done due diligence and looked at how the situation was financially, with the player contracts and the youth system.
The further we went into it, the more sobered we were.
At least the Rangers haven't suffered any lasting damage.
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