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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Hicks dismisses claims over stateside teams

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has insisted he is no danger of losing his US-based sports teams to banks.

Hicks was responding to a report which claimed his company "failed to make its interest payment" on $525 million in loans.

Barclays Premier League title-chasers Liverpool, in whom Hicks has a 50 per cent stake, are not connected to the loans taken out by Hicks Sports Group (HSG), the holding company which owns the Texas Rangers baseball club and the Dallas Stars ice-hockey team.

HSG was reported by financial website FINalternatives to have defaulted on 450million US dollars in bank loans and a 75million US dollars revolving credit facility last Monday.

Dallas-based Hicks, who announced this week that he was seeking a buyer for a minority interest in his 95 per cent stake in the Rangers and Stars teams, e-mailed the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to respond to the reports.

He wrote: "There is no possibility of banks owning the teams.

"I am working closely with both leagues to find quality partners that share my long-term vision of building these two great franchises.

"I will continue to fund the teams' operations. I am the largest creditor to HSG and need 51 per cent of the banks to agree with my plan."

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