Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Owners in no mood to sell

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett has refuted notions that the Anfield outfit are for sale, after reports in recent days heavily linked Saudi Arabian sports investment company F6 with buying a stake in the club.

Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud's company was alleged in the reports to have been given permission to carry out exclusive due dilligence with a view to buying the club. However, it now seems as though those procedures relate to other commercial activities rather than investing in a stake in the club itself.

According to The Press Association, Gillett stated that: "We had a marvellous meeting with them on Saturday and they were impressed with the club, but the academies in Saudi Arabia and North Africa and their possible involvement in NASCAR-type racing in the Middle East were the only items on the agenda.

"We have entered into a period of exclusive discussions regarding the possibility of introducing NASCAR-type racing to the Middle East, but the memorandum of understanding does not cover anything else."

F6's director of strategic investment, Barry Didato, also claimed that any investment in the club is not immediately imminent. It was also still unclear as to whether Gillett's co-owner Tom Hicks would be part of any deal, and just what Prince Faisal's ultimate stake at Anfield would be.

"As far as investment in Liverpool is concerned, that would be a long way off. A lot of people have jumped the gun and any possible investment would be several months away," Didato asserted.

"The agreement signed (at the weekend) leaves the door open for it (possible future investment in Liverpool), but that was certainly not the focus of it.

"George has a partner there and has his own issues to work through. Mr Hicks will also have his own issues and we are not sure what he wants to do.

"Another issue is the club's debt (of around £245million). Prince Faisal will not put forward investment capital to just clean up a balance sheet. He would only want to use money to take the club forward. It would be long-term money.

"His Highness is open to anything and is open to being a minority shareholder, but he has tremendous favourability towards the brand and institution of Liverpool [Football Club].

"His Highness would need to be invited by George and it would have to be at the right time for George. There would need to be a shared vision between all of the parties."

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