A Summer on the Brink

August 3, 2010

Forget Gulliem Balague’s A Season on the Brink that told the incredible story of Rafa’s first season at Liverpool and the Champions League glory that followed. In the past few days Liverpool’s assumed disastrous summer could somehow turn around in an incredible way. The following month, and especially next 10 days may be the most important period in the club’s history for a long time.

Just weeks ago Gerrard and Torres were assumed casualties to the debt and poor season. Then the signing of Joe Cole, followed by quick succession of Gerrard recommitting to the club brought a few of the more optimistic heads out of sand. Now with the news that Insua’s deal has collapsed, Fabio Aurelio resigning, and some Spanish striker named Fernando Torres claiming he is happy at Liverpool the feeling around the club has certainly turned around quickly.

Even more positive news is that at least one bidder is making a serious offer to buy the club. Kenny Huang, known for his sports-related business exploits across the world(including helping to engineer the move of Yao Ming to the NBA) has taken an interest in Liverpool, and is presumably backed strongly by Chinese investors.  Many outlets are reporting Huang has given the Liverpool board a 10 day “take it or leave it” bid. This would allow him time to invest in the club before the closing of the transfer window. There’s been no more telling sign that he is extremely serious than him going straight to RBS to discuss the situation. It sounds hostile, but that may be what it takes to finally force the Americans to lower their valuation of the club.

Kenny Huang, Thanks to Soccernet

It’s hard to get overly optimistic about the situation with the past years of ownership and potential new owners turmoil. I can admit I know nothing except what outlets are reporting about Huang, and he is certainly a businessman and not just a fan, but almost any possible way to replace Hicks & Gillett would be welcomed. Also, it’s certainly far from a done deal. Liverpool have denied any board meetings discussing Huang and the latest developments.

But we do know it’ll be up to the panel of five to deal with the bid(Hicks, Gillett, Broughton, Purslow, and Ayre) and possibly, if reports are to  be believed, five other offers. Whether the bids are a fabricated story to stall or bids that were forced by the aggressiveness of Huang is uncertain, but regardless things are heating up very quickly.

From no left-backs, to two. From no Gerrard and Torres to both. And the dream of H&G out of the club and a new owner with serious ambition and funds taking charge, things are looking up. Many things still have to fall in place, and there is still the precarious month of August to go. As we all know these things change almost hourly, let alone what could change in a month, but for now it’s great to see how things may be shifting in Liverpool’s favor.