You cannot be Syrias?

George Gillett claims firm interest from a potential buyer – but all, as ever, is not as it seems.

As the clock ticks ever closer to the end of another deflating transfer window for Liverpool Football Club, Anfield Road has learned that George Gillett has informed Royal Bank of Scotland and chairman Martin Broughton that he has found a serious investor who is interested in buying the club.

Time to rejoice?

Maybe not.

Anfield Road understands that George Gillett and LFC’s mystery saviour is ex-Syrian international footballer and millionaire businessman Yahya Kirdi.

Gillett and Kirdi (pic: linked with the club shortly after Martin Broughton’s appointment back in April it was intimated that the Syrian, who was using ex-Celtic player Andy Lynch as a spokesperson for the bid, had the support of “mystery billionaire backers from the Middle East”, a line which should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who’s kept an eye on either Portsmouth or Notts County under the stewardship of Sulaiman Al Fahim and Qadbak/Munto Finance respectively over the last 18 months.

Notwithstanding the Notts County and Portsmouth situation, it is understood that even the most rudimentary checks carried out on Mr Kirdi at the time of the initial interest showed his interest and capacity to put together a deal to be fanciful at best.

Needless to say, nothing ever came of the supposed interest, but it begs the question: if Yahya Kirdi has neither the inclination nor, more importantly, the means to complete a deal for LFC, why bother putting his name in the firing line in the first place, and to what benefit is it to Gillett for him to do so?

That is the question that we at Anfield Road have been trying to find an answer to for the last few days.

Exactly what Mr Kirdi has to gain from any involvement is still unclear, it may very well be nothing more than a favour to long-time friend Foster Gillett to help his father out of what is an increasingly tight spot. He does not appear to have anything like the desire for publicity as Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah, Mr Gillett’s previous stalking horse, whose appetite for a photo-op was only matched by the vulgarity of his sunglasses.

And to what end does it benefit Gillett?

It is believed that Gillett was panicked into submitting this new bid for the club under pressure from RBS, and by doing such, delayed any potential forced sale to any other potential buyer as RBS are legally required to listen, as current incumbents, to any such bid brought by either George Gillett or Tom Hicks.

The reasons for Gillett stalling the deal are fairly simple; it is clear that the interest anticipated by both himself and Tom Hicks hasn’t materialised and they are facing the reality of walking away with nowhere near the figure they had in mind when they appointed Martin Broughton to oversee the sale process.

By forcing an extension it gives Gillett time to, yet again, board a flight to the Middle East, replete with his begging bowl, in an attempt to force an auction for the club with scant regard, as ever, for the club or its supporters which in reality only serves to deter interested observers as they are understandably reluctant to be ripped off by this particular snake-oil seller.

It is worth bearing in mind that whilst it is Martin Broughton’s duty to sell the club to the best possible candidate (not necessarily the highest bidder), Gillett is only interested in getting the highest possible price for his stake in the club.

There is more than a hint of irony in all of this as it was only last month Gillett was letting it be known to certain members of the press that he was desperate to sell, but it was the greed of Tom Hicks that was holding up a sale.

Not that we should be surprised by this; Gillett has always been the “cute” one of the arrangement, Tom Hick’s inability to keep his foot out of his mouth and his name out of the papers allowed Gillett to keep a relatively low profile, two incidents apart when he was caught lying on record by both SOS and a fan who had the nous to record a conversation in which it was a struggle to pick out a single truth.

That aside, and ultimately more importantly at the minute, is that what isn’t clear is just how much extra time RBS are legally obliged to grant this proven liar to play his silly games and how much time they are affording him out of courtesy or misguided loyalty. By affording Gillett such grace, RBS are playing a dangerous game with the future of one of the most important football clubs in the world.

Anfield Road is aware that an absolutely serious party is ready and willing to move in right now. Further delay will be disastrous for the club and unless the bankers at RBS finally come to terms with the reality of the situation they risk facing a disaster of their own with the money they have tied up in the club.

It may take further pressure from supporters, SOS and ultimately Martin Broughton to force RBS to bring an end to this sorry charade, kicking Gillett and Hicks out and allowing suitable, capable and committed ownership in.

27 thoughts on “You cannot be Syrias?”

  1. Whatever happens I just want it to be over quickly.
    I dont think the club can be sold before the end of transfer window but I expect it to be sold by the end of the year, if not by owners then by banks.

  2. RBS promised that they would bring this fiasco to an end as soon as possible and begged supporters not to continue the campaign to pressurise them BUT that was weeks ago and STILL we wait for them to clarify or sell. Where are we RBS ???????????????

  3. Well surprise, surprise the interest that the Carpetbaggers were expecting hasn’t materialised. And they wont be getting nowhere near the profit they were expecting.
    What did they expect after the way they have dragged the club down. Football isn’t run the way Gridlock (Gridiron) is in the States where it’s a roundrobbin set up where a club can have a lousey season or two but still keep it’s big name because it attracts TV sponsors.
    Success in Football depends on real success on the pitch which requires ongoing investment in the team something these two do not understand.

  4. What is this other serious bid that’s on the table? Where is it from, how much money will the club get?

    I have a friend reasonably high up in the club and he told me a month ago that there were 2 bids on the table, one Arabian and the other unknown.

    I hope they are doing a deal behind closed doors and can announce something soon. The season is starting brightly and I’m cautiously optimistic. Let’s hope the club is sold soon to the right people.

  5. Aurelio Back to Liverpool!!!! as much as i like him, this last move shows the agenda of our board, sell players and get new ones for free. What you think about this Jim.

  6. Good report Jim. I signed a petition yesterday directed at RBS in an attempt to persuade them to force through a sale before H&G bleed the club dry.

    Do you think they take these type of protests seriously or are we all wasting our time? I imagine if sufficient numbers of those with RBS accounts were to close them then that might help but realistically that probably won’t happen.

    Do you know why this serious offer isn’t being considered? Too low a price or dubious potential purchasers? Ultimately, the final decision is Broughton’s isn’t it so this alleged meeting of Gillett’s could be seen as one last desperate attempt to get a higher price before the inevitable happens.

    Incidentally, I’m still seeing your site in a narrow window in Firefox v3.6.8 but full screen with IE8.

  7. Err…isn’t it Barclays Corp that are in charge of the sales process and not RBS. Anyway this is just a rehash of the April story and has no credance or credibility

  8. Big Ben, RBS are the major lenders to Kop Holdings and could call in the debt if they chose to. Hence why pressure should be applied to them rather than Barclays who are overseeing the sale.

  9. It does seem as though things are starting to happen, Kirdi could be out there to flush out other buyers. He may well have a Royal Family backing him, who know’s. The yanks seem desperate to get out now and could be trying to generate a frenzy in the media, this could be the beginning of the end…..please god?????

  10. “Anfield Road is aware that an absolutely serious party is ready and willing to move in right now.”

    I would be very interested to know the identity of this party, as I’m sure we all would. I can’t ask you to disclose more than you are allowed to do so for obvious reasons but that is a very big tease to leave in.

    An interesting report though, thank you for the effort mate.

  11. Good article!

    Yeah I agree,

    We should definitely keep up the campaign by respectfully writing to RBS/Hester and letting them know we’re not going to go away.

    RBS are at the fulcrum and if enough of us show that we mean business they will start to get itchy. If they want to they can push for the sale. Then we just have to hope that the right buyers fnd their way to us!

  12. Polite, respectful and understanding pressure on RBS will pay dividends in getting rid of our leeches.

    As someone said elsewhere, “RBS are not the enemy”. But they do need reassurance that if they act to get rid of Hicks and Gillett we won’t go ballistic on them for forcing things through.

    Hicks gets a lot of coverage, time to make sure that Gillett receives the scrutiny he deserves and to get our message across that there will be no pot of gold at our expense for him at the end of this fiasco.

  13. What goes round comes round.
    Hicks and Gillett will not make a penny from their purchase and ruination of our club.

  14. part of the deal to sell liverpool fc is that the new stadium is continued with the plans already made. this is the stumbling block… why i hear you say? because the company building it belongs to… yes you guessed it TOM HICKS

  15. H&G did not appoint Broughton, the RBS did. Can you honestly see H&G giving up control of their asset? Don’t believe the spin that was put on the announcement at the time. The RBS want their money back, and this is the process that Broughton is currently undertaking.

    The thing that gets me is why H&G are taking this route. They have both recently taken delivery of large sums of money from the sales of various other US based sporting “franchises” as they call them, and so could in reality pay their loans, but they now realise that the cash cow they thought they were buying, isn’t…not without a bigger ground anyway. So rather than throwing good money after bad, they are walking away. So the sooner they can shift this right royal pain in their ass, I’d have thought the better, but maybe as you say, they were hoping for a bigger feeding frenzy over the carcase of their kill. I’d love them to make a loss 😉

  16. With a valuation of £550 million + (and no stadium in sight) after a £270 levereaged buy out of the club only 3 years ago these two morons are paralysing the club. No credible buyer would publicly declare their stupidity and buy at the asking price. They would be a laughing stock even before they started.

    If there are credible offers on the table what is stopping Barclays Capital from going into due diligence and forcing through a sale?

    T & G have done absolutely nothing for Liverpool FC apart from making it a laughing stock since they declared themsleves as “custodians”. Since Hicks was instrumental in bringing “W” into the the Whitehousehis judgement was always in question (as was David Moores who should not be forgotten for his part in the least minut U turn).

    Whatever happened to the “Big Summer” Tom promised? Just one of a countless string of lies. Shovel in the ground after 90 days anyone? The club was not bought with debt anyone?

    That cringeworthy interview with his LFC mug in front of the camp fire was embarrassing enough but it just seems to drag on for ever.

    Is there a realistic chance we will be sold this year? My worry is who can really afford the club at that price without yet another leveraged buy out and we are back toi square one.

    The amount of interest we are paying annually is obscene.

    When will this nightmare end?

  17. With the club in debt of RBS…surely for them holding out is beneficial as interest rates increases how much we owe them? Why would they need to force a sale through when they can make £4000 every minute from the interest? Im just confused why people think the bank will do us a favour. THEY ARE MAKING MILLIONS FROM US

  18. is gonna be the chineese or this guy but whoever takes charge is gonna be richer than man city owners.
    but i want the chineese guy to take charge he looks like he is serious

  19. The Guardian is claiming citing a report from the Times that Kenny Huang, the Chinese businessman, is already deep in negotiations with RBS and wants to take over the club before the transfer deadline closes on 30 August. I am assuming this is the buyer that Anfield Road is referring to.

    Please God, let this be true. If he could somehow close an agreement and fund a couple of big transfers, this could be an amazing season.

  20. I dont understand this anymore,But who ever buy Liverpool should be rich and be able to buy top class player and complete the new stadium…safe

  21. Don’t be too dismissive of Yahya Kirdi. He is a former coach of a UAE club called Al Ittihad Kalba (not the Saudi Al Ittihad). The owner and president of that club is one of the ruling family of the Emirate of Sharjah (3rd largest emirate after Abu Dhabi and Dubai) and they still have a huge sovereign wealth, so his link to UAE ruling families is real.

    Sharjah is currently being promoted as the new alternative to Dubai for investment – but with a greater focus on culture and sporting excellence, so buying into a premier league club would certainly put that emirate on the map.

    Kirdi’s suitability as an owner is not necessarily an issue either. Look at the way Manchester City were taken over – the Abu Dhabi group used a frontman, Sulaiman Al-Fahim. This is a fairly common practice in Middle East business deals. Sulaiman came along shooting his mouth off about buying Kaka and Ronaldo. City fans actually hated him and were genuinely fearful of the takeover. Then suddenly the power behind the throne emerged, promptly gave Sulaiman his commission and dismissed him. Unfortunately he went on to play a part in Portsmouth’s recent demise with that cash, but City have gone from strength to strength – investment on and off the pitch on a truly epic scale. And had Moores held off from selling LFC for a few more months – that would have been us….

    Kirdi (and Andy Lynch) are simply our equivalent of Sulaiman. I’m convinced they aren’t going to be the face of LFC, they are just there to pave the way for a serious investor who will come to the forefront once the deal is finalised.
    The Sheikhs who owned City were also in place a while before the end of the transfer window, but they only made their move on the last day of the window for Robinho. The takeover was deliberately presented as as last minute rushed affair, effectively teasing the fans with what they could achieve, but also giving them a year to settle in and really forge a quality business plan and identify which players they really want. They still even keep an “expendable frontman” in the form of Gary Cook

  22. Apologies for us not being able to answer any questions on who the new bidder was during the day yesterday, hopefully you’ve all seen the later articles naming him as Kenny Huang.

    Important to point out that Huang isn’t the man with the money himself, so any claims you might see that he can’t afford to buy LFC are probably true – because he’s not buying it, he’s running it.

    In terms of Yahya Kirdi being written off as part of a serious bid or not, I understand the need to avoid assumptions. It wouldn’t be the first time that Gillett has pulled a trick like plucking a bidder out of the hat at the 11th hour in an attempt to stall some process or other. It is possible that this is a case of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ and finally Gillett has got a credible buyer in place. But it’s still highly doubtful, for reasons I’ll not go into just now.

  23. Apologies also for the server not always being available or running slowly.

    Yesterday was the busiest day for this site in the last month by a long way. To give an idea of the impact of these stories, at 7.30am this morning this site had already had more visitors than it had seen on any day in the past month prior to Sunday.

    That’s made up of people visiting during the night (UK time) so clearly it’s going to be busy today. I’ll be around to kick it back to life wherever possible and I am tweaking settings where possible, but I do anticipate problems today.

  24. Greg what r u talking about? Im from the UAE and I know of the Sheikh you mentioned. Lets get one thing straight, I probably have more money than that guy! Not every member of the ruling family here is rich, there are thousands of them, especially not a sheikh from Kalba whos father had been banished 35 years agoa. Ittihad Kalba is probably a club with the same income as your local pub team so dont get too excited.

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