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Roma's chance to bounce back

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Hodgson: Ownership issue is key to success

Roy Hodgson has admitted that Liverpool will not challenge for the title until the club have new owners.

• Houllier: I won Champions League

Liverpool are currently in limbo with George Gillett and Tom Hicks desperately trying to sell the club, but so far there has been no concrete offer which has led to the Premier League being informed of an impending takeover. In August it appeared a sale was weeks away only for interested parties to pull out.

After an average start to the new season under new boss Hodgson, with just one win from the opening three matches, a title tilt this term already seems dead and buried. And Hodgson knows that situation will not change until the Reds move into a new stadium and get proper investment in the playing squad.

He said: "I think we will have a decent season, but whether we are really able to get our act together and take the next big step forward? That might depend on the ownership issue. I don't think it's pessimistic, people are realistic. The problems with the ownership are well documented and I can't wave a magic wand and make them go away. I certainly can't fool the public who live their lives through the club.

"What I would like to see is what everyone at Liverpool would like to see - a solution to the ownership problem; that Martin Broughton finds an owner acceptable to the rest of the board, with the right intentions and who will, first and foremost, build a new stadium that increases the capacity.

"That's for people who understand finance and I congratulate them for shielding us from those problems. One hopes, as everyone at Liverpool hopes, this matter will be resolved sooner rather than later. It puzzles me no-one has bought the club yet, but there are obviously complications.

"Of course, the club needs new ownership. We're not alone in that, but we're probably the most high-profile club in the world in that situation. We want to make this club have a better season. That has to be the first objective, to do a bit better and then build a platform for future greatness."

"On the back of last season here being not as good as everyone wanted and the problems with ownership, clubs saw some rich pickings at Liverpool. That is why it was so important that we brought in four good players in Joe Cole, Raul Meireles, Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky

"But we also saved three very good players in Reina, Torres and Gerrard - all of whom were quite heavily courted by big clubs. So I would like to say that saving those three players was as good as delivering the new players we were able to bring in."


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