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Aug 3, 2010

Liverpool aim to become world's richest club

Liverpool stand to become the most powerful club in world football if the takeover deal with a Far East Sovereign Wealth fund is completed.

The deal currently being negotiated by Kenny Huang, and his Far East partner has already laid the blueprint to make Liverpool the wealthiest club on the planet.

A Soccernet source has been given an insight into the ambitious plans to launch Liverpool in China, with internet, sponsorship and promotions aimed to push Liverpool beyond the means of even the richest clubs.

The source describes the plans as taking Liverpool to a scale as yet unseen in English football by tapping into the Chinese markets.

As the Far East group aims to wrest control from American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, the source believes US companies from Walmart to Apple could seek to work with Liverpool to make enormous inroads within the Chinese markets. That would eventually enable Liverpool to compete to buy the world's best players in every position.

While it has been suggested that there are alternative bidders, Hicks and Gillett would like the banks and the Anfield board to push up the price to include cash for the two shareholders, but the hedge fund backing this bid is in no mood to be stampeded into paying more for control.

The Far East Sovereign Wealth fund knows it is offering Liverpool their greatest opportunity to compete on a world stage with the financial big hitters, a chance that might not materialise again.

The new investors from the Far East believe that the shares are not worth more than the debt, and are therefore worthless, and they have no intention of paying Gillett and Hicks the premium price they have been demanding.

The Americans valued Liverpool at £800 million, but have since dropped their valuation to £600 million. The offer on the table, though, is to cover the debts of £350 million, notably paying off the Royal Bank of Scotland's near-£240 million debt.

That is where Hicks and Gillett's Achilles heel lies, and the RBS is keen for this deal to proceed.

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