You could say that Bill Shankly will be turning in his grave. But given the ongoing travails of Liverpool over the last few seasons the chances are he’s been on a spin cycle for quite some time now.
Either way, the great man would not be happy to see the Anfield club punted around from one Yankee suitor to another while languishing in the relegation zone under the stewardship of a Droopy lookalike.
And now it looks like the once-noble institution is to be taken over by that most American of all sporting dynasties the Boston Red Sox. Heaven forbid…
However, one man’s famine is another’s feast and the deal is (eventually) likely to see champagne corks fly around the City offices of at least two US firms (see story). Weil Gotshal is advising current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett – who will be pretty eager to get away from Merseyside before the natives turn even more restless – while Shearman & Sterling is riding into town on behalf of the Red Sox.
Slaughter and May, predictably, is keeping up the limey end by acting for the club.
But whither A&O? The magic circle firm confirmed its reputation as legal kings of the Beautiful Game when following up Malcolm Glazer’s Man Utd acquisition with the mandate acting for Hicks and Gillett on the 2007 takeover (see story). However, Andrew Ballheimer and chums are as yet nowhere to be seen on the new deal.
Then again, maybe advising a club soon to be plying its trade in the Championship doesn’t have the allure of acting for Champions League contenders?