Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Reds owners face new pressure

Tom Hicks (left) and George Gillett

The pressure on Liverpool's owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to find a buyer has increased after it emerged the American duo may struggle to refinance their debts after an October 6 deadline.

It is understood that the Royal Bank of Scotland moved the debt to be dealt with by their restructuring team, which makes it more likely they will demand immediate repayment or instead sell the debt to a third party.

That move could allow the third party to effectively take control of the club.

Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool in 2007 using loans of £237million and their company Kop Holdings' debts have now spiralled to £361million.

They have been actively searching for a buyer for six months without success.

Last month Chinese businessman Kenny Huang pulled out of talks after considering a move, while a Canadian-based Syrian investor named Yahya Kirdi claimed he represented a group interested in buying the club.

Earlier this year Hicks and Gillett rejected a £110million offer from New York-based Rhone Group for 40% of the club.

RBS's position over their loan and its refinancing has contributed to the reluctance of interested parties to table formal bids.

If the October deadline passes and Hicks and Gillett do lose control of the club, the price for which Liverpool can be acquired is likely to be less with the Americans out of the equation.

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