Huang silent on takeover reports
Prospective new Liverpool owner Kenny Huang has refused to comment on claims his buy-out is backed by the Chinese government.
Reports have suggested Huang is fronting a bid for China Investment Corporation (CIC), the Chinese government's sovereign wealth fund which manages a £188billion portfolio. However, Huang's representatives are remaining tight-lipped on where their money is coming from.
"We will not confirm or deny any matter in relation to the Liverpool Football Club unless and until we and the representatives of Liverpool FC have chosen to do so jointly," said a spokesman for the Hong Kong-based businessman.
It has been claimed that CIC has sold £351million worth of shares in the global financial services firm Morgan Stanley, of which it acquired a 9.9% stake three years ago, in the last couple of weeks - a figure equivalent to the debts currently held by Liverpool.
Huang on Wednesday confirmed he was interested in acquiring Liverpool but had not made a formal bid.
There are believed to be around five other groups involved in the process but the only other to have gone public is Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi, representing a group of investors from the Middle East and Canada.
But his claim on Wednesday that a price had been agreed with co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett and a formal purchase agreement "is in the final stage of negotiation" was greeted with some suspicion.
Reds chairman Martin Broughton is hopeful of concluding a sale by the end of the month but the break-up of Hicks' sports empire has already begun in the United States. His baseball franchise the Texas Rangers was auctioned off for £374million in the early hours of Thursday morning after Hicks' ownership group defaulted on loans.
According to the team's bankruptcy plan, creditors will only get about £47million of the £330million owed to them.
However, the judge in the case said lenders can go after Hicks' other companies, although it is not sure how that will affect Liverpool, if at all. The Texan is currently also looking to sell the Dallas Stars ice hockey team by the autumn as he moves out of sports ownership.