More than two years on, it's finally time to officially waive goodbye to the pair of owners that led Liverpool down one of the most damaging roads in the club's history.
We've mentioned this before, but the fall of 2010--as miserable as it was--has actually turned out to be a time that we remember with a strange bit of fondness around here. The sky was falling, and Liverpool were playing some of their worst football in recent memory under Roy Hodgson, but somehow the end of the world served as a catalyst for our blog to experience some pretty significant growth. That the growth wasn't accompanied by infighting and name-calling was even better, and while things haven't completely turned around for Liverpool, we've been able to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
What nearly nobody remembers with fondness were the actual events, however, and nearly all of the principals involved were men that made it awfully difficult to view them in a positive light. Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, and Ian Ayre were on the side of "good" in the whole affair that saw FSG take ownership of Liverpool, and yet two of the three aren't currently viewed with too much sentimentality attached.
Those on the other side turned themselves into cartoon villains; they were and are objects of contempt and loathing, but in hindsight their efforts to convince the masses that they only had Liverpool's best interests at heart are sort of endearing. Endearing in a twisted way, of course, and one that's only possible so long as there's absolutely no chance that either of George Gillett or Tom Hicks comes near Liverpool Football Club ever again.
There wasn't really an actual chance of that happening I don't think, but reading Liverpool's release this morning that confirmed the legal disputes between the parties had been settled came with a surprising bit of relief. Call it closure, call it pent-up frustration, call it whatever--it's finally news that can help the club move on from one of the darkest periods in their history. The current owners aren't perfect, and saying "they're not Hicks and Gillett" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. But the contrast, at least for me, is clear, and there's no doubt Liverpool are in a far better place today prior to their sale in the fall of 2010.
Farewell again, terribly self-serving and idiotic former owners. You won't be missed, and you probably shouldn't ever consider doing anything that involves money.