Weymouth’s glamour clash with Premiership giants Liverpool is almost certainly off following yesterday’s sacking of Reds boss Gerard Houllier.
Hopes were high that stars like Michael Owen, Harry Kewell and Steven Gerrard would grace the Wessex Stadium after Houllier had agreed to bring his Anfield outfit to the resort for a pre-season friendly.
But the mouth-watering contest, scheduled for August 10, is now unlikely to go ahead after the Frenchman’s six-year reign on Merseyside came to an end.
The prestigious meeting was set up by Terras chairman Ian Ridley who is currently working on the former France coach’s biography.
Ridley explained: “I’ve spoken with Gerard a lot over the last year and he has been a huge help.
“Before I became Weymouth chairman I explained some of my ideas for the club and he was extremely supportive towards what we’re trying to achieve.
“I sounded him out about the possibility of Liverpool coming down for a friendly and he was keen.
“We spoke about the subject again towards the end of the season, agreed it would happen and shook on it.
“A provisional date of August 10 was pencilled in but that was before the Champions League qualifying round dates became known.
“As Liverpool clinched fourth spot in the Premiership, that meant it is likely their qualifying round matches would be around that date.
“We were in the process of trying to arrange an alternative date when I received the news that Gerard was leaving Anfield.
“The upshot of it all is that the Liverpool game is now almost certainly off and extremely unlikely to happen.
“It is a big shame because it would have been a fantastic occasion and a real coup for the club.
“But unfortunately you can’t dictate circumstances and everything has been out of our hands.”
Despite the disappointment, Weymouth have moved quickly to arrange their fourth pre-season game before their expected Conference South challenge.
Nationwide League Division Two neighbours AFC Bournemouth will be making the short trip along the coast on July 10.
And Ridley hopes two Premiership sides will also play warm up clashes at the Wessex adding to a schedule which includes fixtures with Sheffield United, Wycombe Wanderers and Brighton and Hove Albion.
“We’re hopeful a couple of Premiership clubs will be coming down for pre-season games,” he said.
“We’ve identified a couple of dates and are talking to clubs at the moment.
“It’ll be nice for the fans to see some big names and also benefit the club financially.”