SOS comment on Christian Purslow
Members now have the chance to review the two versions of the minutes of the meeting the Union Management Committee had with Christian Purslow on the 21st January. While we welcome the dialogue we have with the senior management at the Club it was disappointing that time on the evening was limited and the Club was not able to agree the minutes in good time or at all, afterwards.
We feel that the major issue to come out of the meeting is the clear message that the owners time at the Club is more, not less likely, to come to an end soon. Mr Purslow made it clear that “I will have failed if I do not secure investment” and that RBS were pressing heavily for new investment to reduce the Club’s borrowings by a figure of £100m from the current figure of £237m. It was also worrying to be told that “there is no Plan B”.
We have asked to be introduced to any new investors as early as possible within the investment process so we can discover any new investor’s intentions and attitude towards the Club going forward. This is a genuine attempt to avoid the problems the current owners caused by their claims and untruths when they first arrived. We will see if the Club’s management and any new investors are serious about a constructive dialogue with the Union in how they respond to our request to meet.
The stadium issue was also illuminating in that the reports emanating from Liverpool City Council about an April start date were denied by Mr Purslow and he made it clear that building was highly unlikely to start this year and although the opening date they were currently working towards was Summer 2014, this will depend upon new investment being found to reduce the current debt and those new investors also introducing further sums to kick start the development process. The Union will want to hear from any new investors very early on about their intentions to fund the stadium.
The discussion about transfers was a repeat of what we were told in September – quite simply the current owners will be making no further investment from their own funds towards the acquisition of “Snoogy Doogy” or any other players (and clearly haven’t done so for some time). Mr Purslow made it clear that he had no expectation of a “sugar daddy” coming into the Club as a new investor.
Future transfer funds will be established from sales and what profit can be generated through the Club’s trading – again underlining what the Union has said for months about the tragedy of the debt burden and the sums of money that have been diverted to banks rather than used to strengthen the team.
Overall we will measure what Mr Purslow has told us against what happens in the future but we remain committed to the exit of Hicks and Gillett and while it looks like the beginning of the end for them they remain “Not Welcome” in our City or at our Club.