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By ESPN Staff
Feb 1, 2007

DIC tried to bully Liverpool board, says Parry

LIVERPOOL, England, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Dubai International Capital group tried to 'bully' Liverpool's board into accepting a takeover offer, the English Premier League club's chief executive Rick Parry was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The DIC withdrew their bid on Wednesday when Liverpool asked for more time to consider a rival offer from American sports tycoon George Gillett.

'We have a duty as directors to consider a very interesting bid from George Gillett,' Parry told the Liverpool Echo.

'The DIC response to this was to give the club 12 hours to make a decision but the chairman was not prepared to have Liverpool Football Club bullied like that'.

Liverpool are now concentrating on the offer from Gillett, the owner of NHL side Montreal Canadiens, and Parry insists the change of heart was not down to money.

'The price is not a factor in (chairman) David Moores' mind. He is not after cash for himself, absolutely not, but he felt compelled to consider the rival bid,' Parry added.

'We would also stress this is not a question of going for the second choice. David has always given George Gillett serious consideration while at the same time we didn't want to rush into any decision, and we were aware DIC might walk away.

There were initial fears Gillett was keen on forcing Liverpool to share a new stadium with city rivals Everton.

But whilst Liverpool did announce an exclusivity agreement in November, Gillett impressed the board with his proposal and the way he completed due-diligence in three days.

'George Gillett has made it absolutely clear to us he will not be in favour of a ground share,' Parry added.

'There will be funding for the new stadium and a proper commitment to investment in the team.

'Be assured the only thing David Moores is concerned about is the club being in the right hands for the future.

'You can be certain he has done his homework carefully and will make a decision in the best interests of the club.'

Liverpool are believed to have had second thoughts about the DIC after they took several weeks to complete due-diligence.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez told a news conference on Thursday he was happy with the board's actions.

'When the club was talking to the DIC the conversations were good, but if the board decided to change, maybe they think the new people are better. I trust the board,' Benitez said.