George Gillett's bid to take over Liverpool Football Club is being taken very seriously indeed, according to reports today.
At first it was felt that Gillett's attempts to buy out the club had come too late, after DIC had been given permission before Christmas to exclusively look at the club's accounts. But as soon as the period of exclusivity was over, Gillett was also given permission to look at the books – and completed due diligence in just three days.
One major concern for the board and for the fans was that Gillett was rumoured to favour a shared stadium with neighbours Everton – but he's said to have denied this, instead agreeing to personally underwrite the funding for the new stadium on Stanley Park.
The report, in the Liverpool Echo, says that as recently as 48 hours ago the club chairman David Moores was still 100% committed to the takeover proposals by DIC. But pressure from "minor shareholders" – almost certainly Granada – forced him to have a look at the proposals from Gillett.
Moores would be better off financially if he accepted the bid from Gillett rather than the one from DIC, but his main concern remains to ensure the club is passed into the best hands possible. The Echo say that Moores was impressed with the speed with which Gillett carried out his due diligence, when compared to the slower pace from DIC, who took a month to look at the books and still haven't actually put a formal offer in. Last night's board meeting in London was called to vote on the DIC proposals, but documentation was still not in place.
With the new stadium's building desperately needing to begin in March, Moores will need to make up his mind quickly – and is expected to do so by the end of the week.