Tom Hicks suggests Liverpool in better longterm financial health than Manchester City
16 September 2009 09:46
Hicks, who has been criticised by many Liverpool fans for landing the club with huge debts, created when he and George Gillet bought the club, also revealed Liverpool expect to rake in £26 million plus on sponsorship revenue in the next year, including a new deal with Carlsberg, the current shirt sponsors.
Carlsberg's deal with Liverpool will end next year after 17 years after they declined to match Standard Chartered's offer, but it now seems they will continue their involvement with the club on a scaled-down format.
Hicks said: "You have to look at 'cash flow' rather than accounting – and we intend to operate Liverpool where it has a very strong positive cash flow, so we have the resources to be as competitive as possible on the pitch. That's our commitment.
"We had strong, positive cash flows last year. Our debt levels are at a very comfortable level, and we are going to continue bringing it down.
"Our goal is to have less debt than any of the top clubs, and that's a commitment we have made and will continue to make."
Hicks is dubious about City's huge outlay on signings, which has been made possible over the past year by the vast wealth of their Abu Dhabi owners.
He said: "It's not sustainable at City. They won't continue to invest like that, because it doesn't make good economic sense.
"They will make the improvements they need to make and then run it more like a business. The smart clubs operate for the long term, and you have to look at who have had success for many years."
Benítez has made vocal his frustrations in previous transfer windows over the lack of money made available to him when compared with the fees being spent by his rivals in the top four and Hicks has no doubt that the Spaniard will be looking to spend part of the £80 million windfall in January.
Hicks said: "Knowing Rafa Benítez, I suspect he's got his eye on part of it.
"As we build our revenues, it gives ability to be more competitive on the pitch.
"Everybody involved with Liverpool wants to win the Premier League – it's been too many years and it's our goal.
"I've been in sport for 15 years, and sometimes you have to do things to get the players' attention to wake up and really get focused."
Liverpool's negotiations with Carlsberg is part of that long-term strategy.
"We have an existing contract with Carlsberg until the end of the season," Hicks confirmed.
"Between now and then, we will finalise new arrangements where we will retain the Carlsberg special sponsorship packages and pour Carlsberg products in the stadium. They will be one of our key sponsors, just not on our shirts."