Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Liverpool to be sold

George Gillett and Tom Hicks plan to sell Liverpool

Liverpool owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks have appointed investment bank Merril Lynch to find a buyer for the club.

The American pair need to refinance the £350m loan they took out to buy the club by January and in the current credit crisis look increasingly unlikely to be able to strike a deal.

The owners came clean last week that plans for a new stadium in Stanley Park had been put on hold indefinitely.

Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed has offered £500m for Liverpool but the Americans have so far held out for an asking price of £550m.

The have also been rumours at Anfield of interest from the owner of American Football team the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, although that is not believed to be a serious option. The loans Gillett and Hicks took out to buy Liverpool are with the Royal Bank of Scotland which is currently under public ownership because of the credit crunch.

As a result loans are only being restructured under the most favourable conditions and the Americans could struggle to argue that the Liverpool deal falls into that category.

If they fail to renegotiate with the bank they may have no choice but to drop the asking price significantly.

Meanwhile play the first of two huge games in their season this evening when they take on Atheltico Madrid in the Champions League tonight. On Sunday they face Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.