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on 4 May 2011
Some of what you will read is absolutely unbelievable - more like some American gung ho John Wayne movie. I have supported Liverpool for 45 years - and got so much out of it, along with my family, some whom are no longer with us, like most Liverpool fans it's a family thing - I still cannot explain how I felt during the last 18 months of the H&G reign - but I know that I rarely looked forward to Liverpool playing - and in fact tuned out of football all together during the Hodgson reign, even though I felt very sorry for him - as he was out of his depth. This book explains to me why I felt like that, very therapuetic. When Benitez was struggling - I would defy anyone to be able to put up with what he had to and do thier job properly - during the time I never wanted to accuse or believe some of the rumours - and was glad I didn't because this explains it all. When you are reading it you think yes I remember that - or I didn't know that happened. It is well written and could only have been written by a Liverpool fan - if it hadn't we would be suspicious of anyone saying anything negative about our club. It came across that the club had problems well before H&G. Although I hated Torres for leaving, reading this - you can understand it - (although his best form for 18 months had been the three games playing for Dalglish) too many broken promises. As for Benitez he hasn't finished with us yet - he also made mistakes - but was placed between a rock and a hard place - Thank you Brian Reade - I am looking forward to next season already - and reading Brian's 1st book which I have just download on my Kindle. 44 Years With The Same Bird: A Liverpudlian Love Affair
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on 3 July 2011
I'm a Liverpool fan so like all others I knew how close this story took us to permanent ruin.From being European champions in 2005 to the days of the court actions in 2010 that removed these "cowboys" it's a story of bad decisions,downright greed and missed opportunities. It's well told by a fan who cared but was also a tabloid journalist and had unique access to the story. From Gerrard and Carra's professional attitude that turned into dismay at what was happening to their club, to Rafa Benitez at the end of his tether battling with owners and chairmen the interviews give us a more intimate idea of what really went on. The court proceedings that mule kicked H & G back to where they came from left them out of pocket and, if things go well in the future, hopefully soon out of mind. But whoever you support read this as a cautionary football tale.
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on 11 May 2011
PHEW!! How close was that? This is car crash reading for Liverpool Football Club fans. No matter how much you don't want to look, you can't help but stare in amazement. Its obvious that as football is becoming a billionaires playground, David Moores feels he can no longer keep up. For LFC to progress he has to sell his beloved Football Club- OUR beloved Football Club. What I didn't realise was how far behind we already were in terms of bringing the club into the 21st century...

As the book points out, David Moores and ALL the other shareholders backed G&H to buy the club, and so off down the slippery slope of leveraged buyouts we plummeted; taking all our dignity and so called 'Liverpool way' with us...

Brian Reade's book charts the lows, the more lows and even more lows of these 2 profit driven, greedy american liars who had no respect for our tradition at all. The atmosphere behind the scenes must have been depressing! Slowly but surely Rafa is dragged into the fight and takes on his employers, but eventually he was spending more time doing that than 'focusing on managing and training his team.'

No one comes out of this with reputation intact; except for the fans who became organised and made sure the 'noise' was heard wherever G&H crawled with their begging bowl. They didn't understand what the club meant to us, the power the fans ACTUALLY had and how DETERMINED we were to be rid of them before they permanently damaged an iconic footballing instituition...oh, and Martin Broughton who would not be bullied by a Texan who thought he could ride roughshod over RBS and call the shots when all he had were blanks.

At the end of the book (and the storm...) there is a bright light at the end of a very dark and miserable tunnel. That light happens to be British Justice who rule in our favour and allow the sale of our club to go ahead without the authority of G&H. They try to stop this as you would expect, because they have no dignity or respect for anyone or anything.

New owners are now in place, so far so good. They will obviously want to make a profit when it comes to selling the club; that's what business is all about. We just hope they have learnt the lessons from the past 44 months...and NEVER ignore the 'NOISE'

Thanks Brian for putting it all down on paper.
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on 3 April 2012
Unashamedly written by a fan - who happens to be a journalist - but written in a populist style to appeal to the fan base.

Nothing wrong with a journalist being a fan but the book is full of generalisations - about businesses, Americans , Bankers etc. Does the author seriously think the RBS should have suspended the interest payments that were crippling the club when they have a duty to their shareholders (the British working people!) Does every fan believe it is the owner's duty to inject funds into a club if the Managerial/Executive team cannot manage expenditure properly.

David Moore's letter comes across as a considered and compassionate piece of writing but the author derides him throughout the book and having sold a major company myself to American buyers I know there is only so much you can ever find out when doing checks into the buyers credibility. We did the checks and had no problems because the buyers kept their word but if they had been lieing we could have done nothing once they were the owners.

Too many of the observations in the book would carry more weight and not be devalued if they were based on researched fact rather than banal generalisations designed to apeal to the masses on subjects about which the author clearly knows very little - how many corporate tranactions has he been involved in? Big clubs like Man Utd and Liverpool feel they have an automatic right to success and lord it over small clubs and are happy to do this with Corporate money but then start bleating when it all goes wrong. if you sup with the devil or choose to live by the sword then you have to be prepared to take the consequences.

The writer is no fool. He is a passionate fan and the current predicament of the club under Dalglish (praised whilst Hodgson is derided) shows that parts of the book are written subjectively not objectively.

An interesting read - but I think the topic deserves a more considered and serious approach. And Yes - Hicks and Gillet were an absolute disaster for sure and there are sadly many clubs in the UK blighted by owners who have no understanding of the game or their community responsibilities.
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on 6 June 2011
This book details the period that the "two cowboys" retained charge of Liverpool FC. Further, it details all the various factions that existed within the club at the time.

This should be compelling reading for all Liverpool fans; there is a consistent rage running through the entire book, however the rage is contained-just about- and this somehow adds to the read.

The book shows how mightily close Liverpool came to being placed into administration; something most fans were aware of, but I doubt if many realised the severity of the situation-certainly I did not.

Brian Reede has written an excellent expose of a period that saw a cloud descend over Anfield, a cloud that was brought to the club by a wholly unjustified sale by the then chairman, David Moore. Brian Reede leaves the reader in no doubt as to his feelings on that partricular issue, feelings that I can empathise with entirely. He also details just how important the fans were in effecting a release from this pair and shows with great detail how evil Hicks and Gillet were-particularly Hicks. There is much made of the fact that these two despised each other and that Hicks seemerd to hold Gillet in contempt, certainly he had no respect for him.

The book will be avidly read by Liverpool supporters, but it could appeal to a wider audience in that it displays how wanton greed can bring an institution to the brink of collapse-and that is true of any institution, not just a football club.
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on 22 May 2011
Brian Reade, life long Liverpool supporter, gives us the inside story on the take over and subsequent disasterous control of one of the world's sporting institutions by two American businessmen.A fascinatining story of how greed and in fighting between the owners, the board, the manager and chief executive brought Liverpool FC to it's knees. Reade puntuates his account with the views of the captain, vice captain and fan groups. Reade writes with knowledge and an obvious love of his beloveded Liverpool Football Club.This book is a must buy for every die hard Liverpool supporter but provides a warning to us all.
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on 17 May 2011
I was very disappointed with this book.

Some of Reade's interviews/accounts with Parry,Benitez, Moores and others are interesting. Whether you agree with his character analysis or his assessment of certain issues is another issue.

Unfortunately the author goes out of his way to try to appeal to the less-educated section of our support. His reference to Nottingham Forrest fans as 'scabs', the explanation for Benitez not being liked by other managers and the attempt to link the demolition of the boot room with lack of success all play to the gallery of a minority of Liverpool fans, but unfortunately lack any insight, intelligence or understanding.

A lot of this book is based on interviews/meetings/phone-calls/emails with people who, it is alleged, did not want to be named in the book. I understand, given the nature of the topic, that some people wanted to talk off the record but it does get rather tiresome when by page 30 you've already encountered a senior source at Anfield, someone close to the negotiations, a friend of a player, someone at the RBS etc.

One of the more surreal pieces of the book is when the author uses a comment allegedly made by Rio Ferdinand on LFC's new owners. The quote in itself isn't in any way remarkable but it's how that quote was found which is of interest. Here's a summary:
Reade says
That Carragher said
That Ferdinand said
That the Glazers said
That LFC's new owners wouldn't be any good.

Hardly investigative journalism is it?

The original American owners of Liverpool were a disaster and there maybe a story to write about it. However, this book doesn't really satisfy that need. To those supporters of other clubs, you'll probably need to skip the pages describing in some detail the usual cliched references to the 'special' nature of Liverpool fans. We're not special Brian. We're not standard bearers of the fight for international socialism, revolutionary marxism or anything else. If we were, we wouldn't paying the obscene ticket prices and worshipping footballers who couldn't care less about us.

The book just isn't very good.
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on 29 May 2011
This is an excellent account of a very sorry period in LFC history, a tale of greedy money-men whose lust for cash was matched only by their ignorance of the people they were hoping to steal it from. A sorry tale in many ways but also an uplifting one that charts how fans got together and organised their resistance to Hicks and Gillett in tech-savvy ways, using imaginative email campaigns and publicity stunts to put pressure on financiers to pull the plug on the Yanks' efforts to sink the club in debt while they did a runner with the cash.
Brian Reade tells the story from a brilliantly combined perspective of investigative journalist and lifelong LFC supporter (read his moving and hilarious '42 Years with the Same Bird' for his account of the latter) so that what you get is an informed and impassioned narration of the 44 months of misrule, deception and downright idiocy not only of Hicks and Gillett but also those running LFC, but he is also unsparing on the fans' and some senior players' initial naivety in the face of the looming catastrophe that took the club to within four hours of financial ruin.
With Dalglish back in charge and the new owners apparently yet to put a foot wrong it might all seem like a bad dream we have woken from, but Reade's book makes it clear the that if fans want to resist their clubs being run into the ground by the power of leverage buy-outs from global capital that sees them as just another commodity, then they need to wake up and organise. It's as much a warning from the near past as a guide to how to make the future less scary.
Liverpool fans have done just that, by setting up a supporters' union, The Spirit of Shankly, and other groups that have recognised common cause and joined together to 'fight the power'. As every LFC fan knows, if you stick together you'll never walk alone. This book is a powerful affirmation of that spirit, as irreverent, witty, wily and indomitable as the Kop itself.
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on 20 March 2012
This is a very good account of the American's doomed time in charge of Liverpool Football Club. They conned their way into owning the club and then bled it dry. Their promises never really materialised for example the new stadium. When the credit crunch hit, they tried to borrow against the club meaning any interest and defaulted payments were the responsibility of the club. Most of the money used to buy the club was not theirs and from loans from the RBS. The cowboys were found out just in time but Hicks tried to hold out for as long as he could. Good riddence to them.
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on 29 June 2011
An Epic swindle is a must read for all football fans and especially Liverpool fans. The book is filled with comment and opinion from a host of respected Liverpool people and charts the most explosive 44 months in the history of the club. Too many people don't understand this story and the author puts it across in a way that allows the reader to get an understanding of how the club was being run during this turbulent time. Truly an epic read and one of the best books I've read on the game.
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