A pair of Robbie Fowler goals (what year is this, anyway?) wasn’t enough for Liverpool to overcome Galatasary in Tuesday’s Champions League Group C action, and if that wasn’t frustrating enough for the Reds, consider the following. On Monday, I plead ignorance about the history of Dubai’s ruling Maktoum family, who are reportedly bidding £450 million to purchase Liverpool. Luckily for the rest of us, the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning and Paul Doyle are proper researchers.
In the three years since Chelsea began investing in Premiership titles, understandably jealous Liverpool fans have been screeching incessantly that “you can’t buy 50 years of tradition”. After all, let’s not forget that during the same period, their club has won Big Cup, the FA Cup and a couple of tin plates by spending nothing more vulgar than used jam-jars and magic beans. But with two years already paid for and only 48 more to go, it now seems that Roman Abramovich will face long-overdue competition in the tradition-purchasing stakes from fellow billionaire Sheikh Mohammed, a sheikh who could force quite a few Scousers to change their tune if his plan to buy their club for £450m succeeds.
Although money is no object to him, Sheikh Mohammed may adapt a novel approach to player transfers, if there’s any truth in allegations about his “previous” in the field of sportsman-recruitment. Earlier this year, he and his brother had a class-action lawsuit filed against them for abducting up to 30,000 young boys from South Asia and Africa and forcing them to work in appalling conditions as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates; camel jockeys who have since been allowed to return home following the intercession of Unicef.