Liverpool Football Club, who are in a right sticky mess at the moment, are to be nationalized, says a statement released by the government this morning.
Nationalization is the process of taking an industry or assets into the public ownership of a national government or state, and usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of a government, such as municipalities, being transferred to the public sector to be operated by or owned by the state.
It could also mean a football team.
The motives for nationalization are political as well as economic. It is a central theme of 'state socialist' policy that the means of production, distribution and exchange, should be owned by the state on behalf of the working class to allow for rational allocation of output, consolidation of resources, and rational planning or control of the economy.
Many socialists believe that public ownership of Liverpool will, in time, enable fans to exercise full democratic control over the team, and will give them far more say in the decision processes of how the club is run in the future.
The decision to nationalize Liverpool has been seen as a masterstroke by political analysts, who say that it will give the Tory/Lib Dem alliance a foothold in the traditionally Labour heartland of Merseyside.
Liverpool have been struggling on and off the field recently, not helped by a huge 284m debt hanging around their necks. The government has said that, by being nationalized, the club will be free to conduct its business in a more settled manner, and would be free to deal in the transfer market, should it so wish.
They will probably still go down though.