With all this takeover talk on our page, I wanted to take a minute to recap some of the most prolific and publicized takeovers in recent years. You will notice that they are all in the EPL, which means one of two things: the EPL is for sale to the highest bidder or it is just plain easier to buy an EPL club if you have the cash. Good, bad, or indifferent, I will let you decide.
The model for all future takeovers, Roman Abramovich took over and immediately went to work to create and make the Chelsea brand into what we know it is today. He hired Jose Mourinho fresh off a CL win with Porto and proceeded to win two straight EPL titles and make the semifinals of the coveted Champions League four out of the last five years. He came close to the trophy he coveted but lost on a patch of wet grass and a missed PK. The most impressive part of the Abramovich takeover was his bullish nature in the transfer market, his coached wanted a player he got him, he wanted a player he got him, and he wanted a Coaches and he got them…one of them being or own.
A club with a solid history, and a lack of real sustained success suddenly found themselves in a takeover and influx of cash. Sulaiman al-Fahim purchased the Club and spirits were high, but just this week the Club has been sold again!! Al-Fahim’s millions never materialized and as players were sold and salaries not paid, the Club, currently in last place was sunk as low as it could go. The fans, to their credit, have stuck by the team and management and their optimism has been rewarded with a new investor in the Saudi, Ali al-Faraj, but only time will tell how this new owner turns out and if he can save Portsmouth from relegation, or fail, and sell the club yet again?
Gillet and Hicks have poured a fair amount of money into Pool, even discussing a new stadium. But it now seems that despite all of the money invested they are blaming Rafa Benitez for the complacency and lack of titles for the Club. Not really the best chemistry you want with your coach and owners! They could fire Rafa who is arguably still running on fumes from his fluke CL victory, but even Liverpool looks to be teetering on the precarious edge of chaos. Sure they could bring in a new coach who buys the “right” players, but it looks like there will be no EPL titles in Anfield for another year.
Everyone in the other Manchester fan base is happy as can be. Sure the future looks rosy with the Abu Dhabi group owned by Sheikh Mansour, who recently bought the last few shares to become full owner the club. Forgotten however was the failed takeover and messy legal issue caused by the previous owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, the disgraced former Prime Minister of Thailand. Fans out of Man City seem to have erased the memory of frozen assets and the conducting of business as a fugitive who could not even travel. Man City surely has been “saved”, but success is still far off for the Club, granted the prospects look a bit better.
What can we say about Mike Ashley? He ran a historically rich club straight into the Championship with outrageous salaries, a coaching carousel, and a general inability to run a football club. Not only did Ashley sink the ship, he went down with it, unable to unload his new unwanted asset and putting Newcastle into the terrible position they are in today.
So we can all ramble on and on about wanting new Owners but in these five examples only one has truly provided silverware and while it is VERY early to tell the outcome of the rest, the plight of these clubs en route to their current positions were far from smooth, and some of them could potentially be in for even more trouble with future sales and possible relegation. So we may wish Silvio to part ways with our Milan, but at what cost? Relegation? Constant sales? The end of the Milan brand and legacy as we know it? Yes things look really bad right now, but the fact of the matter is it could ALWAYS be worse. As you can see from the takeovers discussed, it is not always a sure fire bet.