What IS going on at Anfield?


Last updated at 22:39 20 January 2008

What difference can the fans

expect if DIC take over?

Off the field, there won't be so much

bickering or uncertainty. These guys

have serious money behind them

and are unlikely to be bothered with

such matters as refinancing, which

would be reflected on the pitch as

well. Rafa wouldn't be kept hanging

on for £17million to secure Javier

Mascherano on a permanent basis,

for instance.

What difference can Rafa expect?

All the feedback suggests DIC like

him, something you couldn't

exactly say about Hicks and

Gillett. DIC have a reputation for

investing in projects with one sole

aim — to be the best there is. That

should suit the Liverpool boss.

Just one word of caution, Rafa.

They don't appreciate being told

how to do things.

Gillett (left) with Hicks

So, will it happen, then? Are the

deeply unpopular Hicks and Gillett

really on their way out?

Could be, but they insist it will only be

on their terms. Don't go for this idea

that they will be all hurt and offended

if the fans turn on them tonight. Like

many fellow Texans, Hicks is thickskinned

enough to shrug that aside

and keep his gaze fixed firmly on how

the dollars add up.

If DIC offer enough, the Americans

will surely cash in, but it looks like

developing into a waiting game, with

Hicks playing 'hardball', as they say in

the States.

But they paid 'only' £180m for

outright control a few months ago.

What makes them think the club's

value has shot up since then?

There was an additional £40m-worth of debt to be absorbed as well and

they have stumped up a few bob for

Rafa's transfer dealings. But the core

of their argument is that Liverpool

could become a goldmine in the next

few years. The new ground could add

close on an extra £1min gate

receipts every home game, and

there is no sign of TV deals becoming

any less lucrative. That is why Hicks

quickly dismissed an opening gambit

of about £300m from DIC.

What happens now?

We sit tight and see who blinks first.