Early Doors

The end for Liverpool?

Early Doors

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These are dark times for Liverpool Football Club and their long-suffering, hopelessly devoted, hopelessly romantic band of supporters.

Without a trophy to celebrate in three years, Liverpool fans are now faced with the possibility their storied club could disappear from the face of the earth altogether.

The news came just days after the most successful club in top-flight history missed out on Gareth Barry - who went to a club with more ambition in Manchester City.

It comes on the back of a Premier League season that saw Liverpool stumble like a startled goat from the summit and hand bitter rivals Manchester United yet another title.

And it comes in the wake of a second successive Champions League campaign that ended at the hands of nouveau-riche pretenders Chelsea. That has to hurt.

Is it just Early Doors, or does the miracle of Istanbul suddenly seem a very long time ago?

Isn't it ironic that the team who fought back so valiantly against the mighty Milan in 2005, could ultimately be humbled by a pen-pushing team of accountants.

But it seems Liverpool's ego has been writing cheques the club can't cash. And just as money is the ladder to glory in the Premier League, lack of it is a snake to relegation...or worse.

Liverpool's debt has reportedly doubled to £86 million and Kop Holdings Ltd has a net debt of £299.5m. (ED suspects Steven Gerrard's collection of duck houses and Jamie Carragher's moat made an impression on those figures)

But ED is not one for numbers. It was this statement from KMPG that got the papers' attention: "(There is a) material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt upon the group's ability to continue as a going concern."

Meanwhile, owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks have about six weeks to refinance their £350m debt.

All of which cannot bode well for Liverpool's dalliances in the transfer market this summer - which have already ended in failure on Barry and probably seen them miss out on Glen Johnson to Chelsea. Gary Neville may be available though, and Liverpool fans could surely learn to love him. 

ED is not among the frenzied fools who actually expect the club to fold. Liverpool's global pulling power is such that there will always be somebody, somewhere, willing to bail them out.

The real problem now is in the short term. With their transparent financial shortcomings, Liverpool will surely struggle to lure top-class players to Anfield.

And if the club stand still while those around strengthen, Liverpool face the possibility they could slip further from grace, miss out on those coveted Champions League spots, and lose even more money in the process.

All of which will be sweetened by the success story that is Everton. And probably another title for United.

- - -

FOREIGN VIEW: Kaka's agent (who is also his father) is demanding £10m bonuses be written into his contract at Real Madrid. Read all about it

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Barcelona were the better team on the night, so you have got to give them credit. With professional players these things happen - what better way to get it out of your system than with two World Cup qualifiers." - Wayne Rooney talks to the hacks on England duty.

COMING UP: We'll be bringing you all the latest team news ahead of England's 'crucial' clash with Kazakhstan on Saturday. They'll also be mens semi-final action from the French Open tennis and LIVE text commentary on England's opener against cricket giants Holland in the World Twenty20.

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