It has come to my attention that RBS is one of two banks that is lending hundreds of millions of pounds to Liverpool FC – a loan that you have just renewed.
I wish to express my concern about the risk that you are running. As a taxpayer I am a partial owner of your bank, and I am concerned about how you are running it.
It is widely reported that the manager of Liverpool FC (a Mr Benitez) has recently put new demands to the owners (Tom Hicks and George Gillett) about finances. My concern is that if Mr Benitez wins the argument, that money which you have just lent Liverpool FC will be used in an orgy of spending (partly on Mr Benitez himself), and that your chances of getting your money (and in part my money) back, will be limited in the extreme.
In the Guardian today it is reported that Mr Benitez wants total control over the club’s transfer policy – allowing to spend untold millions of pounds on people who can run around a lot.
At the same time Mr Benitez is demanding a new contract which will give him a guaranteed income of £4.5m-a-year salary until 2013 – a phenomenal risk for a club so utterly and hopelessly in debt as Liverpool FC
In relation to the purchasing of players, at the moment the issue is resolved by three people after Mr Benítez has made a recommendation: Hicks, Gillett and Rick Parry. To allow Benitez to have all this power on his own would surely be a step too far, especially when he has put himself in total control for so many years at such a high salary.
Issues arise over both the financial stability of the club and the health of the manager who is demanding these changes. You will know just how close to the edge this football club is – which is why you only agreed to extend their loan until this summer. I trust that this is a prelude to calling in the money you (and I) are owed.
But it may be worth considering moving more quickly. The recent eccentric and wild statements by Mr Benitez over one of his footballing rivals must surely cast some doubt on how well he is able to continue to in his job – which is a demanding role to say the least.
I do hope you will consider this matter seriously and rapidly so that all shareholders in your partially nationalised bank will be assured that their money is safe, and is not being frittered away on such obvious bad debts.
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