Earlier this evening, Paul Gardner -- Spirit of Shankly Regeneration Liaison Officer and rabid Liverpool FC fan -- sent word: Tom Hicks Jr.'s got a potty mouth. Which is no big deal, sure, except Hicks is vice president of Hicks Sports Group and a director of Liverpool FC, the soccer team his old man bought with George Gillett Jr. in 2007. And Hicks Jr., according to e-mails sent to Unfair Park and stories published tonight in the U.K. press, used that potty mouth when responding to one Reds fan's e-mail concerning the future of the club, which, as we've mentioned countless times, is deep in debt.
The story goes like this: On Saturday, the Liverpool Echo ran this op-ed that speculated any cent Liverpool makes from selling its players to rival teams will "help finance the £240m debt the club is trying to manage." The letter writer, Steve Horner, did nothing more than copy and paste the original story. According to the e-mails forwarded by Spirit of Shankly's Gardner (he also sent screen shots), Hicks responded twice on Saturday. The first time, he wrote, simply, "Idiot." The second response was far more colorful: "Blow me fuck face. Go to hell. I'm sick of you." Gardner also included Hicks's apology, sent hours later, in which he wrote, "Stephen, I apologize for losing my temper and using bad language with you. It was a kneejerk reaction. Tommy."
Update at 7:24 a.m. Monday: There's plenty more from the weekend's doings after the jump, but this breaking news: Tom Hicks Jr. has resigned from the Liverpool FC board of directors and Kop Holdings, the team's parent company. He's been replaced by, among others, Casey Coffman, the chief operating officer of Hicks Sports Group and executive vice president of Hicks Holdings. Never did hear from Tommy or the LeMaster Group; guess we'll take this, then, as The Official Response.
Update at 8:18 a.m. Monday: Lisa LeMaster finally responds: "Liverpool Football Club today announce that Thomas Hicks Jr has resigned as a Director of both the Club and its parent company Kop Holdings. Three new Directors have been elected to the Boards of both companies. These are Philip Nash, LFC Chief Financial Officer, Ian Ayre, LFC Commercial Director and Casey Coffman, Executive Vice President of Hicks Holdings." Best part of the statement? "Second statement to follow."
Gardner sends along the official reply from the Liverpool supporters' union:
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This comment is behaviour unbecoming that of a Director of Liverpool Football Club. Anyone associated with the club should not treat the fans with the contempt that he has. It reinforces our view of the owners and their Sons that they do not care about the football club or the fans. We believe that this now makes his position on the board of directors untenable.
After using Hicks's e-mail address that accompanied the missives to Horner, and then jumping through the Hicks Holdings e-mail verification hoops, Unfair Park asked Tommy for a response; none has been provided so far. And e-mail has also been sent to Hicks Holding spokesperson Lisa LeMaster; when reached by phone tonight, Rick Ericson, also at LeMaster Group, said he was unaware of the incident and had no immediate response. According to the Telegraph, "Friends on Saturday night described the Texan as being 'mortified' by the 'grave misunderstanding.'" And the Guardian is reporting that Liverpool has launched an investigation into the incident.
Last we heard from Tommy was in February 2008, when he was went for a pint in Liverpool and was greeted by a chorus of protest songs and a shower of spittle. The incident also spawned a terrific metal band name: A Grimace of Concern.
Update at 7:52 a.m. Sunday: No word from Hicks Jr., LeMaster or Ericson. But the Spirit of Shankly is now demanding Junior's resignation from the Liverpool FC board of directors: "The Spirit of Shankly Supporters' Union call upon Mr Hicks Junior to recognise his shortcomings, not only as an individual, but more importantly as a 'custodian' of the Club, and to do what any honourable person would do and to resign."