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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 14, 2006

Gerrard 'excited' by Anfield Sheikh-up

Steven Gerrard believes the future is bright for Liverpool with a £450million takeover of the club looming.

The Reds skipper is excited about the club's future with Dubai International Capital, the investment arm of Dubai's billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed, set to make a formal offer for the club.

Gerrard met DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari, who is likely to become the club's new chairman, after Saturday's 4-0 win over Fulham.

Gerrard told the club's official website: 'I think the future is bright.

'I've been fortunate enough to meet with the people who are going to be taking over the club.

'I'm very excited. They assured me and the rest of the players that the club is going to be in safe hands and that the future is going to be really bright.

'The fans have been reading the same things as I've been reading and so they have got every right to be excited.

'Having met them, I'm even more excited now because I've heard their thoughts face to face.'

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has insisted the club will not become a 'rich man's plaything'.

Parry told the Liverpool FC magazine: 'We are focused on success but we want a club that will not be ludicrously profligate. It is not just about throwing money at a challenge, that is not a sound long-term strategy.

'It is definitely not about being a rich man's plaything. It is about taking Liverpool FC to the next level and securing the future of the club for the next hundred years.'

Parry said the aim would be for Liverpool to use the investment to run the club as a successful company and take advantage of their international fan-base. He said DIC would benefit from being associated with a global brand.

A DIC source said: 'We are very much in agreement with Rick Parry's remarks. If we do a deal we would aim to have a long-term relationship with Liverpool. We will get the stadium built and help the club move on to the next level.'

• Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to be granted the freedom of his home borough of Huyton.

Knowsley Council have backed a proposal to offer the 26-year-old England midfielder the freedom of the borough, to recognise his 'outstanding contribution to national and international football and his position as a positive role model to young people in Knowsley and worldwide'.

Gerrard will be one of just four people, including former prime minister Harold Wilson, to be granted the honour since the council was formed in 1974 and it will be bestowed at a ceremony next year.