By Brian Reade
AN EPIC SWINDLE is the interior tale of the way Liverpool FC got here inside hours of being re-possessed by way of the banks after the shambolic 44-month reign of yank proprietors Tom Hicks and George Gillett. it's the story of a civil struggle that dragged Britain's so much profitable soccer membership to its knees, in the course of the excessive court docket and nearly into management.
Players Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher inform in their anger on the damaged can provide, in addition to their soreness at staring at unswerving lovers in open rebellion. supervisor, leader government, board participants, prime fanatics and newshounds display the turmoil at a respected wearing establishment run by means of males at warfare with one another, who trampled Liverpool's loved traditions into the gutter.
No tale sums up the bare greed on the center of contemporary soccer really like Hicks' and Gillett's try and flip a greenback at Liverpool. No-one has had as a lot entry to the reality, or tells it with as a lot ardour, wit and perception as Brian Reade.
AN EPIC SWINDLE is the riveting tale of ways shut one of many nice soccer golf equipment got here to monetary implosion.
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Additional resources for An Epic Swindle: 44 Months with a Pair of Cowboys
The model they wanted does not function here. ’ In a scenario familiar to Kopites, Hicks finally bailed out in 2003 after three years of ultimate failure amid boardroom infighting, fan resentment, accusations that its local partner in Brazil had ‘misappropriated funds’ and legal wrangling which dragged on for another four years. Corinthians, Brazil’s second-most popular club with a reputed following of twenty million fans, were left on a downward spiral. MSI took over the club’s management but, despite a league title in 2005, the financial problems initiated by HMT&F proved too much of a burden and they were relegated to the second tier of Brazilian football for the first time in their history in 2007.
You can blame the world’s most famous Viagra salesman for getting Hicks involved in football – that’s the football of WAGs not moms. In March 1998 the Pele Law, named after the legendary player, was passed to attract outside investment into Brazil’s debt-ridden national sport. The top twenty teams were more than £250 million in the red, most paying it down by selling the transfer rights to their best players to foreign, mainly European teams. In 1999 a staggering 658 Brazilian professionals were sold abroad.
As the dollars rolled on a non-stop conveyer belt towards his tax-minimised accounts during the nineties, Hicks bought into three different sports – baseball, ice hockey and, let’s commit blasphemy here, soccer. Observers say his intentions were twofold. He’d made a billion out of unsexy, unseen deals, but they didn’t give him a big profile outside business circles. They didn’t boost the view he had of himself as a patrician figure, a pillar of the community to be loved and respected for putting something back.