Liverpool takeover unlikely before October
Liverpool's ownership battle looks like dragging on past the end of the transfer window after the board reviewed a number of proposed bids but admitted the outcome and timing of the sale was "uncertain''.
A meeting in London on Friday assessed plans put forward by several potential new owners but no firm decision was made. Chairman Martin Broughton said last month he hoped a sale could be completed before the close of this transfer window but the process is set to drag on longer.
"The Liverpool FC board has reviewed a number of proposed bids for the club at a meeting held today,'' read a club statement. "The board will continue to act in the best interests of Liverpool Football Club and its supporters, doing all that it can to ensure that the club is ultimately sold to a buyer who has the resources and real commitment to give it a long-term, stable and secure funding position for its plans.
"The sale process is continuing. However, its timing and outcome remain uncertain. In the meantime, we will not comment on rumour and speculation.''
Owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett face a £20million penalty payment - levied against them and not the club - if a sale is not completed by the end of August. That condition was imposed by major creditors Royal Bank of Scotland as part of the loan refinancing package agreed earlier this year and is in addition to the payments-in-kind fees of £2.5million-a-week.
RBS also set a deadline of October for the loan to be repaid, effectively setting a sell-by date for Hicks and Gillett. It seems likely if the club is to be sold it will be then and not now, despite the claims of the two parties who have been most vociferous in expressing their interest.
Chinese businessman Kenny Huang claimed yesterday he was "50% sure'' of taking over. Prior to that Canadian-based Syrian Yahya Kirdi said he had agreed a price with Hicks and Gillett and was close to sealing a deal.