Broughton aims to sell Reds before August 31
Liverpool could be sold before the transfer window closes on August 31, but chairman Martin Broughton insists the final say on any deal is in the hands of the board, including owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Press Pass: New owner for Liverpool?
Chinese businessman Kenny Huang has expressed his interest in assuming control of the Reds, with suggestions he would seek to acquire the club's £237 million debt from principal lender the Royal Bank of Scotland. Such a move would give him considerable power in a bid to force Hicks and Gillett out.
However, Broughton, who was brought into the club in April to facilitate a sale, revealed there had been "several'' bids for the Reds and insisted the decision over the sale will be made by the Liverpool board members on terms that satisfy them.
"Any bids that go straight to RBS - and there have been several - come to me and are directed to Barcap (Barclays Capital),'' he told the Guardian. "RBS are not involved. The control remains with the board.''
Broughton, who was brought in to oversee the sale process, said it is hoped a deal can go through before the end of the month: "It still remains the objective to conclude a deal before the end of the transfer window. That remains the objective but there are no deadlines, and we will continue working to complete the process. Both George Gillett and Tom Hicks remain on the board and they have given commitments that the board of Kop Holdings (Liverpool's UK parent company) is the party that is responsible for the sale.''
Huang is the head of Hong Kong-based investment company QSL Sports Ltd and is believed to be keen to secure an agreement as soon as possible in order to give manager Roy Hodgson plenty of time to bring in reinforcements before the end of the transfer window.
The Sun reported that Huang will walk away if a deal can't be completed within ten days. The newspaper also claims Huang sent secret envoys two weeks ago to convince Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to remain at the club while he proceeded with a takeover. Torres has spoken publicly of his desire to see greater investment in the Liverpool squad and that's something Huang could provide.