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Liverpool civil war 'erupted when Parry blocked plans to put club in debt'
Last updated at 17:07pm on 17th April 2008
The Liverpool crisis was sparked by chief executive Rick Parry's refusal to allow £245million of the American co-owners' debt to be loaded on to the club, it has been claimed.
Parry and former chairman David Moores, who both remained board members following the takeover by Tom Hicks and George Gillett, blocked an attempt to tie the debt to Liverpool.
The sum in question was the £185million loan the Americans took out to buy the club in February last year and the £60m existing debt on Liverpool's books at the time of the takeover.
Hicks and Gillett promised at the time the debt would not be loaded onto the club and, as part of the takeover deal, agreed that any attempt to do so would have to be ratified by every single board member.
Towards the end of last year, when Hicks and Gillett were negotiating a refinancing deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland, they proposed to the six-man board — made up of themselves, their two sons, Parry and Moores — that the £245million debt should be tied to the club.
Parry and Moores both refused, and when the refinancing arrangement was announced in January, the £245million was tied to Hicks and Gillett's company Kop Football (Holdings).
The pair's stance enraged Hicks in particular and started the Texan on the course that has led to him falling out with Gillett, labelling Parry “a disaster” and calling on the chief executive to quit.
A source close to the club said: “That was the trigger. Hicks needed every board member and not just a majority to agree but Rick and David Moores stood up to him.”
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Liverpool FC owner Tom Hicks calls protest petition fan
Apr 17 2008
THE Liverpool FC fan behind a petition to oust club co-owner Tom Hicks got the shock of his life when the US tycoon called to discuss the campaign.
Reds supporter John McCaffrey launched his online protest against the Texan as controversy surrounding the multi-millionaire’s Anfield tenure grew.
The petition has been enthusiastically received by many fans with more than 2,000 people adding their signatures.
At 11.30pm on Monday, as 22-year-old John sat down to a pint of Guinness at his parents’ Skelmersdale home, his mobile phone rang.
The engineer said: “I just couldn’t believe it. I went as white as a sheet when I realised it was Tom Hicks Snr.
“I put him on loudspeaker so all my family could hear him and we chatted for around 30 minutes about the club.
“He asked me what I was playing at with the petition.
“But he was stuttering a little bit at first when he spoke.
“He said the work on the stadium was going to start in a couple of months and he mentioned Rick Parry a lot.
“I told him I was going to carry on with the petition which I don’t think he was too happy about.”
Mr McCaffrey today said he would present the completed petition to Mr Hicks. He hopes to attracts tens of thousands of signatures to his campaign which demands Mr Hicks sell his stake in Liverpool Football Club.
He added: “Liverpool FC is one big community, but the fans are genuinely hurting. These fans are the best in the world, but the way they are being treated is a joke.”
A spokesman for Tom Hicks said: “There was a wide-ranging conversation between Mr Hicks and Mr McCaffrey which was basically a chat.
“It’s not Mr Hicks’s way to demand things. He wanted to talk things through with Mr McCaffrey and understand where he was coming from.”
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