Following Liverpool's 2-1 loss to AC Milan in Wednesday's Champions League final, the club's new American owners said they've never seen anything like the passion exuded by Liverpool's fans since buying the club in March. "There's no way either of my two teams' fans have the level of intense passion that Liverpool has," co-owner Tom Hicks said after the CL final. "I want them to. Hopefully, some day they will." Hicks also owns MLB's Texas Rangers and the NHL's Dallas Stars. Montreal Canadians owner George Gillett is Hicks' partner.
Passion is one thing, and the pair was certainly moved back in March as the Liverpool faithful raised their scarves and sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" in unison while the Reds rode out a 1-0 home loss that sent defending European champ Barcelona out of the competition, but they've never seen anything like the throng of Liverpool fans who descended on Athens with and without tickets, paying as much as 10 times face value for tickets to Wednesday night's Champions League final.
It's that passion that ensures the investment in a winning team will be worth it. "We want to be regularly competing for the Premiership and the Champions League," said Gillett. His Canadiens are one of the most successful sports franchises in the world. Added Hicks, "The fans are smart. The fans can sense that George and I want exactly what they want." And what Rafa Benitez wants. The owners seem to have complete faith in the Spaniard manager's ability to bring in the right mix of talent, which means Liverpool will be spending a lot this summer.