A Texas Tycoon Learns a Lesson: Don't Mess With Liverpudlians - Singapore Forums by SGClub.com
Singapore Forums by SGClub.com
Sitemap Contact Us FAQ Singapore Forums by SGClub.com
Home Photos Member List Register Mark Forums Read  
Go Back Home > Personal Interests > Sports Forum > Soccer Forums > Liverpool Fan Club » A Texas Tycoon Learns a Lesson: Don't Mess With Liverpudlians

Why aren't you a member of SGClub.com yet??

» Join 130,000+ other members in chatting.
» Make lots of new friends here.
» Keep up-to-date with current events.
» Participate in Club outings.
» Download lots of Free Stuff!

Registration just takes 2mins and is absolutely free so join our community today!

I Want to Choose my Own Personal Nickname Now!


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 24th September 2010, 02:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
tcd
Addicted SGClubber
tcd is on a distinguished road

 
tcd's Avatar
 
Posts: 692
Join Date: May 2010
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Gender:

A Texas Tycoon Learns a Lesson: Don't Mess With Liverpudlians

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...Tabs%3Darticle
(Wallstreetjournal)

In the old days, English soccer hooligans settled scores with knives and broken bottles. As Texas billionaire Tom Hicks is learning this week, the weapons of choice these days—camera phones, Twitter and spam emails—can be almost as scary.

Liverpool fan Adam Eljarrah

Mr. Hicks, co-owner of England's hallowed Liverpool FC, is on the run from a mob of angry fans who blame him for the team's tailspin. The 118-year-old club was one of England's best when he bought it in 2007. Since then, the crippling debt load he took on to buy Liverpool has strained the team's finances and contributed to its woes on the pitch.

Now, Liverpool faithful are waging a fierce campaign to evict the American owner. Their strategy: Scare away banks and other financiers who might throw Mr. Hicks a lifeline, starving Mr. Hicks of needed cash and forcing him to sell. To do that, they are using the tools of the digital age to track Mr. Hicks' efforts to drum up money, then bombard would-be lenders with thousands of irate emails, phone calls and Tweets.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Hicks learned firsthand what it's like to be the prey in a digital hunt.

Around 3:40 p.m., as Mr. Hicks sat on a sidewalk bench in midtown Manhattan, he was spotted by Liverpool native Paul Wilson. It occurred to Mr. Wilson, a 35-year-old financial consultant, that the offices of Deutsche Bank AG and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. were on the same street. He guessed that Mr. Hicks and his son, Tom Hicks Jr., might be visiting the banks to plead for funds.

So Mr. Wilson whipped out his BlackBerry, snapped some photos, and zapped the images to his wife, Erin McCloskey. Then he trailed Mr. Hicks walking into the lobby of the building that houses Deutsche.

"I didn't throw my coffee on him, but the thought did cross my mind," Mr. Wilson said Wednesday.

Ms. McCloskey quickly posted the photos on Twitter and explained the circumstances.

Alan Kayll in Liverpool

Over in Liverpool, the Hicks sighting was like an open-net goal for Alan Kayll, a 40-year-old cab driver who is a ringleader of the anti-Hicks campaign. Mr. Kayll quickly penned a form letter to J.P. Morgan and Deutsche officials urging them not to help Mr. Hicks refinance roughly £200 million ($313 million) that is owed to Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, stemming from his purchase of the team.

"If you join Tom Hicks in raping and pillaging Liverpool Football Club, then you will be making a very powerful enemy," his letter read in part. "You are facing an energized, well-informed mass of Liverpool fans from around the world."

He posted the letter online, along with the email addresses of executives at Deutsche and J.P. Morgan.

An hour later, a senior J.P. Morgan executive had already received 30 emails from Liverpool fans, with new messages landing every few minutes. "It's totally viral right now," the executive said, deleting emails as they arrived. Public-relations staff at Deutsche said they received hundreds.

Neither bank is in talks with Mr. Hicks, said people familiar with the situation. Through a spokesman, Mr. Hicks declined to comment on Tuesday's events or his stewardship of the team.

The team's financial woes have hurt its performance. Liverpool finished last season in seventh place, a disaster for fans accustomed to being in England's top four. A team official said this week that the cost of servicing its debts is depleting club resources. Fans argue that makes it tougher to recruit top players.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, the melee was just beginning. Adam Eljarrah, an 18-year-old Liverpool fan attending New York University, saw Ms. McCloskey's Twitter messages. He showed up outside Deutsche's skyscraper on Park Avenue. The pre-med freshman carried a poster, popular among Liverpool supporters in England, declaring that Mr. Hicks and his co-owner are "Not Welcome ANYWHERE."

Mr. Eljarrah says he loitered outside the building for about 45 minutes, hoping to confront Mr. Hicks. Around 6:30 p.m., Mr. Hicks emerged. According to a person familiar with the incident, the younger Mr. Hicks spotted Mr. Eljarrah—identifiable in his red-and-white Liverpool scarf—and told a nearby cop: "This guy is trouble."

As the police officer intercepted Mr. Eljarrah, he says, he waved his sign and yelled, "Get out of our club!"

Liverpool fans aren't the only ones lashing out at American ownership. Manchester United fans have mounted a campaign against the family of American businessman Malcolm Glazer, which owns the team and has loaded it with debt.

In Liverpool, fans who are angling to remove Mr. Hicks are sporting scarves bearing a "Thanks But No Yank$!" slogan.

Lately, financial institutions have borne the brunt of Liverpool's rage. Fans have been flooding RBS with letters and phone calls urging the bank to seize the club and give Mr. Hicks the boot. Top executives' inboxes sometimes have been hit with several hundred emails per day.

A few weeks ago, some fans started a Facebook page encouraging people to boycott RBS. Mr. Kayll, the cab driver, drew up lists of financial institutions Mr. Hicks is believed to have approached, posting them on a website he helps run that urges fans to help oust Mr. Hicks.

The site features an image of a blood-drenched RBS logo. The site's motto: "We will go as far as we need to."

Despite the site's menacing slogan and graphic, Mr. Kayll says his group is "totally against violence. We're a group of passionate fans trying to save their football club. All professional people with families."

The campaign hit Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire co-founder of Blackstone Partners, whose GSO Capital Partners hedge fund considered participating in a deal to help Mr. Hicks refinance the RBS loan. By Monday, GSO had backed out of the talks. A Blackstone spokesman, Peter Rose, said the emails (including thousands aimed at Mr. Schwarzman) didn't affect GSO's decision not to participate in the deal.

That wasn't the message Mr. Kayll got. Driving his cab in Liverpool Tuesday morning, he says he received a call from London-based GSO executive Michael Whitman. Mr. Kayll says Mr. Whitman told him GSO lost interest in part thanks to the pressure campaign. "He said, 'We understand the passion of Liverpool supporters and obviously took that into consideration,'" Mr. Kayll says.
Mr. Whitman didn't respond to requests for comment. Blackstone acknowledges that Mr. Whitman and Mr. Kayll spoke, but deny he said the email campaign forced GSO out of the deal.

Still basking in victory hours later, Mr. Kayll was euphoric when the Hicks photos from New York dropped into his lap. He crowed: "We know his every move."

—Sara Schaefer Muñoz and Dan Fitzpatrick contributed to this article.

Sponsors:
tcd is offline  
Add to tcd's Reputation Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
michael learns to rock hellosanta Music Zone 0 16th December 2009 12:17 AM
Everybody Learns the Ropes at Hong Wen School svpam_ms School Life 0 30th June 2009 02:25 PM
Man learns of death by smell wenhaosp International & Singapore News 13 18th April 2009 10:43 PM
Sea lion learns to write Chinese Voodoo Vince International & Singapore News 16 2nd February 2009 09:20 AM
Michael Learns To Rock MV janice Music Videos 5 8th January 2008 02:43 PM

» Sponsors
Watch Free Movies Online
Celebrity Gossip
Food Delivery

» Facebook Fans
» What's Going On?
Title, Username, & Date
Elderly man in Yishun begs for money to see doctor, ends up spending it on lottery tickets
18 Singaporeans injured as bridge collapses in Batam's Montigo Resorts Nongsa
Catering firm’s licence suspended after 29 people fell ill: SFA, MOH
Inspirational Songs
Planet Earth
Change in security team at Eight Riversuites condo 'unrelated' to Ramesh Erramalli...
Arrogant Indian expat abusing a local security guard in Singapore
Tofu manufacturer fined for hygiene lapses including 'widespread' cockroach infestation
It's raining cats and turtles: Hundreds of pets kept in high-rise buildings escape and...
Do you know?
Simple basic video guide tomassaging your cat
Money faced LTA lost touch, squandered S$4.7 + million on useless white elephant.
E-scooter rider going at 28km/h at void deck injures man’s leg, gets 6 weeks’ jail
Hepatitis E infections surge in Singapore, virus found in raw pork liver: SGH
Singapore MOH/HPB Healthier Choice Symbols are FAKE NEWS/ misleading.
Licence of AG (Global) Events Catering suspended over cockroach infestations and other...
[Hard Truth] 69.9% of Singaporeans are more stupid than dogs and monkeys.
[Poor Health] Karma strikes ex-Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan hard.
Christianity and Buddhism have more in common than differences: (moderation and restr
[SG] Wants higher birth rate, but unwilling to fund treatment for childhood mental pr
Featured Photos
by marisoljames322
· · ·
Member Galleries
20359 photos
13619 comments
by marisoljames322
· · ·
Member Galleries
20359 photos
13619 comments
by pdsubbu
· · ·
Member Galleries
20359 photos
13619 comments
by Vikas Dhar
· · ·
Photography
35 photos
36 comments
by aaudreygan
· · ·
Guy Photos
1581 photos
946 comments
by aaudreygan
· · ·
Girl Photos
4351 photos
28608 comments
by a8paris
· · ·
Guy Photos
1581 photos
946 comments
by a8paris
· · ·
Guy Photos
1581 photos
946 comments
by aaricia
· · ·
Girl Photos
4351 photos
28608 comments
by aaricia
· · ·
Girl Photos
4351 photos
28608 comments

 

All times are GMT +8. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright© 2004-2013 SGClub.com. All rights reserved.