|I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU|
Today's the day. The day Liverpool's followers around the world have been waiting for: refinancing day. And a whole lot of something is definitely starting to go down.
This was the day when the Royal Bank of Scotland was officially supposed to be able to call in the debt and banish Hicks and Gillett to the vortex. Except that there might be a two week grace period after the RBS officially calls in said debt for Hicks to run around looking for a savior in. Or the RBS could somehow still decide to refinance and then every Liverpool supporter's head would explode. Or news could break that Hicks has already found finance elsewhere and can pay off the debt owed to the RBS in full and then every Liverpool supporter's head would explode.
We still aren't sure exactly what this day will hold--seeing as "this day" has hardly started in England and still isn't quite here in America, the two places it's most likely the forthcoming shitstorm will work itself out in--but lots of conflicting, potentially head-exploding stuff is flying all over the place.
It all begins with Dan Roan of the BBC tweeting that the bank is going to officially call in the debt. Soon after there are rumors that the owners of the Boston Red Sox might be making a last minute bid which is OMGWTFBBQ BUT THERE MURKAN except that they actually have a solid track record as responsible owners of a storied institution. Which would at least put them ahead of H&G's friend and sorta shady-looking Mid-East/Canadian pizza boy potential buyer who popped up as Huang's main competition back in the Summer.
Except that in the meantime--while the board was busy looking at the Red Sox offer as well as a second and contemplating a likely sale that would see our fabulous owners shoved out with almost no profit--Hicks and Gillett might have been trying to disband the board in order to prevent the sale from happening. That move, if they can pull it off (and it's still not clear if they can or not) would give them time to find funding that they would then use to prevent the RBS taking over in two weeks if as outlined above the bank officially does call in the debt later today. Also, that it's the official site reporting it is kind of a big deal, and meanwhile Hicks is blathering on about the offer not being enough to compensate him for all the work he's done improving the club and I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU and I don't know what to do and I can't sleep and I can't eat and I'm so excited I'm so excited I'M SO SCARED!!!1!
Ahem. Sorry about that. Hicks' statement, as transcribed off Sky by Gareth Roberts, follows:
"In April we confirmed our joint agreement to sell LFC and apppointed a new chairman and advisors to oversee the process. At that time, we and Martin Broughton stated our commitment to finding the right buyer for LFC, one that could support and sustain the club in the future We remain committed to that goal. The board has been presented with offers that we believe dramatically undervalue the club. To be clear there is no change in our commitment to finding a buyer for LFC at a fair price that reflects the very significant investment we have made We will however resist any attempt to sell the club without due process or agreement by the owners."
So. We may be down to praying for Broughton, Purslow, and Ayre to come out on top so that we can get a new owner from America who hopefully can rehabilitate his country's image in the eyes of Liverpudlians, because the other option is that Hicks wants the RBS to call in the debt, which can only mean he thinks he can find alternate financing in the next two weeks and hold onto the club. And that is just not acceptable I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I... right, sorry again.
That's about where things stand as we enter the calm before the (next) storm. Remain calm, don't panic, and if something does happen--or doesn't happen--we'll try to let you know. As mentioned by Ed earlier, the Twitters are full of Twattings but it's mostly confusion and rage at this point (except for the LFCOffsisde feed, of course, which is high quality confusion and rage). In the meantime, if you want to take your mind off the horrors in the board room to concern yourself with the horrors on the pitch, Paul Tomkins (ht to Galahad) and friend of the blog Nate at OYB recently came out with simultaneous explorations of that whole "Is it time to string Hodgson up?" question. Both are worth the read if you haven't done so already, and with business closed on both sides of the Atlantic for the night, obsessives in search of a fix may have a long wait ahead of them.
In the meantime you might want to track down some valium* with this international break quickly turning into one of the most important stretches in Liverpool's recent history. Or instead of trying to stay calm you could just panic.
I think I'm going to grab some hard liquor and go the panic route. If I'm really lucky I'll black out and only regain the ability to imprint new long term memories when everything's flowers and sunshine.
*I am not a doctor and you probably shouldn't take my advice. You can help us and everybody else by mentioning any breaking news or things we may have missed in the comments, though.