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Dec 7, 2006

Anfield Sheik-up

While the majority takeover of Liverpool Football Club by Dubai International Capital is not yet complete this looks to be as far down the path as the Reds have gone with any one investor.

Our current chairman, David Moores, is left with no choice except to sell his majority shares if he wants Liverpool to surpass the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and to some extent Arsenal. I say to some extent Arsenal because they rarely seem to overpay for players.

Of course, like most Liverpool supporters, I wish David Moores could remain as Liverpool's majority stake holder. However the harsh reality of modern day football is that in order to compete with the big money spending of United and Chelsea we need deeper pockets then Moores is capable of.

Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's £450million takeover would provide 'possibilities and more money' according to manager Rafa Benitiz, but there are also concerns.

Liverpool are a club with a long and storied history so the new ownership will be a worry for all supporters, regardless of their nationality. In some ways Roman's takeover at Chelsea was a bit easier because Chelsea were never really considered a big club.

It will take a great deal of time for us to see how this proposed ownership change plays out, but so far it seems like everyone is saying and doing the right thing. Personally I don't care if they are from Mars or wherever as long as they have the best interest of the club and the supporters at heart.

The other day, after our draw against Pompey, I mentioned that Manchester United drew over 30,000 more supporters in their match with Everton on the same day. New investment is clearly needed to help fund a new stadium.

Again, I believe everyone associated with LFC would prefer to stay at Anfield and win league title after league title but in today's financial climate that is just not going to happen with out improving the ground's capacity and the money we have to spend on new players. Thus the necessity for an outside ownership party.

I don't believe that Rafa will have an open cheque book however. He won't pay over the odds just because he can but I do believe this might allow us to get that one genuine super star if they become available. It also might allow us to get rid of some expensive mistakes that Rafa has made in the recent transfer market (unless their performances pick up and pick up quickly).

So to summarize, I truly hope that this investment gets done and dusted quickly, so we can move on to what should be an exciting time in Liverpool's long history. And the important thing is to respect that history.

As Xabi Alonso said: 'We are very happy to hear about the planned investment. It looks like they will bring good things to the club, and money to help develop the club. They have got plans and the new stadium seems to be one of their priorities, as well as to develop the team and bring in new players. It will enable us to take the next step forward but Liverpool have always had a respect for their traditions.

'I have only been here a few years but I've noticed how everyone is so proud of the history and traditions of this club. We must respect that; that is very important. You can think about the future but it's important not to forget about the past. We need to look at the best ways of balancing that. If we can do that and benefit everyone, that would be the best way forward . . . for the players, the club and the supporters.'


• If you have comments on this article then email the author Kevin Brodie.

• Read more from all Soccernet Correspondents here.