Does Every State In The Us Have A Football Team Tom Hicks & Corinthians

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Tom Hicks & Corinthians

It seems Tom Hicks leaves a trail of destruction wherever he goes. As president of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, his disastrous foray into the Brazilian football market left Corinthians, Brazil’s second most popular club, in turmoil.

The parallels between what happened to Corinthians and what is currently happening in Liverpool are unsettling to say the least:

* The hype and fanfare began when the company bought the club in 1999, promising to spend heavily on the best players and build a brand new 45,000-seat stadium in the suburbs of São Paulo.

* Initial capital investment was to tie in existing players and finance the purchase of one or two additional players.

* The economics behind the Corinthian deal turned out to be based on ridiculous a priori logic: “If you add up all the fans of professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey in the United States, that number is less than the number of Brazilians who play soccer. Fans.” Clearly, no proper risk analysis was carried out – a situation which resonates with Liverpool’s 3-day due diligence period prior to the purchase.

* This diminutive outlook was reinforced by Cruzeiro’s apparently hasty and impulsive purchase six months later – a trait Liverpool fans quickly associated with Hicks.

* Cheap “young players” were also emphasized, with the following quote from (unfortunately named) Richard Law, president of Hicks’ subsidiary group: “Our job is not to turn back the inevitable, but to be Corinthian and create. The Cruzeiro is above the junior ranks.” Hicks adopted a similar approach after taking over at Liverpool: “You need to keep your star players but also develop your young players. The young players are the lifeblood of your team, so we talked about how we can improve that side of the team.”

Hicks inherited a winning team as Corinthians had already won the Brazilian championship in 1998. Early spending helped them retain the league title in December 1999 and the club also won the inaugural FIFA Club World Championship the following month.

This is where things started to go wrong.

Unable to resist the temptation to make a quick buck, Hicks began selling transfer rights to the club’s star players. On top of that, he decided on the strange idea of ​​changing the traditional color of the club’s shirt. He also introduced sponsorship (which Corinthian fans felt desecrated their heritage).

All this provoked angry reactions from supporters and widespread opposition against Hicks and his partners. The company bailed out after three years, accusing the local partner in Brazil of “misappropriation of funds” (read the UTIMCO post and you’ll understand).

The Corinthians began to spiral downward. MSI took over management of the club but, despite the league title in 2005, were heavily burdened by financial problems initiated by Hicks. In December 2007, the club was relegated to the second division of Brazilian football for the first time in its history.

There was no new stadium. Hicks invested nearly five hundred million dollars and filed for bankruptcy within two years.

In a recent prospectus issued to financial firms in London, Hicks claims to be a “master at buying and growing professional sports teams”.

Liverpool fans, Texas Rangers fans and Corinthians fans may disagree.

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