Chinese in hurry to take control of LFC – The Times

The Times tonight reported that Kenneth Huang was bidding to take control of Liverpool FC. Tony Evans, Football Editor of The Times, has kindly given us permission to reproduce the story here.

Exclusive: Chinese in a hurry to take control of Liverpool

Tony Evans, Football Editor, and Tony Barrett

Liverpool’s ownership battle picked up pace yesterday when it emerged that a Chinese tycoon was in negotiation with Royal Bank of Scotland to take control of the club.

Kenny Huang, who is partnered by one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the Far East, is determined to wrest control from Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr before the transfer window closes. Last month, Huang made approaches to a number of key figures at Anfield to emphasise the seriousness of the bid in an attempt to forestall a summer exodus of players.

Fernando Torres, who reports back to training today, will be asked to delay any decision on his future until the outcome of the takeover bid is known.

Liverpool have been up for sale since April, when the American owners appointed Martin Broughton, the British Airways chairman, to oversee any deal. However, last week, no viable bidder had come forward and Broughton has not moved the process on.

Hicks and Gillett took over three years ago in a leveraged buyout and owe RBS about £237 million. Hicks has consistently quoted an asking price of £800 million club but business analysts consider this unrealistic, with £325 million a more reasonable figure.

The approach by Huang guarantees RBS the repayment of the vast majority of the loan because the bid guarantees to clear Liverpool’s debt.

Huang, who was first linked with a buyout at Liverpool two years ago, has an impressive track record as head of QSL Sports Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment company. He was instrumental in taking Yao Ming, the basketball superstar, to the Houston Rockets in the NBA.

Sources close to Huang said that he was eager to push the Liverpool deal through to make use of the transfer window. Roy Hodgson, the manager, would be given funds to add to a squad that dropped out of the top four and the Champions League places last season.

As well as generating revenue, Huang plans to build a new stadium as quickly as possible. The Americans made a similar promise in February 2007, pledging that ground would be broken on the Stanley Park site within 60 days, but work has still not started.

23 thoughts on “Chinese in hurry to take control of LFC – The Times”

  1. When will this saga end? Not any time soon enough judging by this report.

    Complex relationships and who to trust seems to get in the way of every step.

    Firstly, Hicks and Gillett still don’t get on it, can’t agree on a price between themselves and are unsure whether they truly want to sell regardless of bringing Broughton in.

    As for Broughton, he was brought in to find a buyer. The only buying he’s doing is to get Chelsea, the club he supports, to offer sums for Torres well below his value (and selling Benayoun and no doubt playing a part in Cole coming to us). So why hasn’t he found us buyers given his much trumpeted contacts and credentials when he was installed as chair?

    Then there’s Purslow – what is his role? Who does he work for? Broughton? Hicks and Gillett? Who…? Certainly not Poor Roy, as he tries to sell Insua though Roy wants him, has the words with Torres over whether he stays or not and spouts off to Bascombe leaving Roy waiting til the news of the world hits the stands on sunday re. what’s next on his in or out list. Imagine being a manager under this lot!

    Trust must be what’s driving RBS and Wachovia (?) nuts. They want their money back, and also want to keep their reputation in tact. Only to find they can’t trust Hicks and Gillett, Broughton and Purslow over whether any potential bidder identified by any of them is genuine or just their for them to hide under smoke and mirrors to maintain power. So what are RBS having to do….negotiate with bidders directly themselves because trust has broken down. What a mess…..

    David Moores AND Rick Parry may well have laughed all the way to the bank. I hope RBS don’t allow this other cowboys to do the same (although they won’t walk away poor, sadly)

  2. i got a feeling that if we get this owner than we are only 3/4 more world class players away from having the best sqquad in the world and a premier league tittle would be guaranteed next years.

  3. Bring on this owner before the tranfer window close. we only need a few more top class players to be in the top five best club in the world and the best in england. Aguero fw, bostos lb and defour I like the guy.

  4. The fact that China aren’t actually in a recession, means that this would probably be the best possible outcome. If you don’t understand why they aren’t in a recession when the rest of the world are, here are some figures to put it into perspective. America’s current growth rate is -5%, the majority of the world’s economies are in the red, no pun intended, however, China’s is in the positive figures, at least 5%, and growing. I for one hope this Chinese businessman takes over and before the transfer window closes. I disagree that we need 3-4 world class or even top class players. I believe we only really need one or two top class players. We have a lot of youth players who are really impressing. Dani Pacheco has yet to come back, but was extremely impressive at the Euros, I think it’s time to give some of these youngsters a go. The problem is in my opinion, people crucify the manager if he doesn’t play the youngsters, but when he does, and the youngsters make a mistake, which they are bound to, the manager still gets crucified. Rafa for instance, started to blood some of the youngsters in, David Ngog, Daniel Ayala and Dani Pacheco all got given game time last year.

  5. Just get those 2 greedy yanks far away from our club,its der fault we are where we are,Torres has to be loyal 2 us ,fans deserve him

  6. Edward, red’s goodluck for the Chinese! Anyway, I think this huang guy’s from hong kong… He nearly bought Birmingham last time round didn’t he?

  7. Wine for my men. We ride at dawn.

    Is it possible that this is true?

    Time to find out why RBS aren’t biting their hands off. Polite, respectful letter to Mr.Hester sent – I’m tired of Hicks and Gillett trying to milk my club. If there’s a genuine offer on the table from kosher people who will be good custodians, RBS need to make sure this goes through.

    Kudos and respect to the Tonys, both for the article and giving permission for this to be made available to a wider audience.

  8. Having supported Liverpool all my life,the last year particulary has been so dissapointing to say the least.This supposed investment news on behalf of a Chinese consortium will re-establish Liverpool fc back where it belongs as debt will be erased,player funding to buy the best will be made available and a new stadium to generate significantly more revenue will ensure immediate and ongoing success both on and off the playing pitch.One must also remember that Liverpool is a hugely high profile club in the far east,merchandising in this area alone would raise huge revenue.PLEASE RBS accept this bid and help restore my beloved reds back to where they belong.YNWA.

  9. Kenny has done the right thing going directly to RBS; they have already given the Americans an extension on the time to service the debt. If no serious bid comes from the Syrians in the next week or so I imagine they will step in and accept the Chinese bid on behalf of the Americans. I really hope this is the outcome; I also suspect that in the background RBS are preparing the deal in anticipation of this happening. I think
    iota obvious Gillet is using the Syrians as a smoke screen to spark an auction in order to get as much out of the deal as possible.

  10. Hoping we pull this off and send them yankie doodles back to usa to bring something else down other than lfc !

  11. Jim, good luck to Roy. Now he knows the circumstances that Rafa had to work under (Purslow’s underhandedness and G&H). We have seen rumours like this before, but the article comes from the 2 Tony’s, so there is more credence to it.
    Will be scouring the internet in hop & anticipation in the days (months?) to come…

  12. It’s all very well pleading with RBS to accept this deal but the fact remains, aqs distasteful as it undoubtedly is, that the two Americans must first accept any deal, not RBS. The loans have been restructured so RBS are happy enough, they are after all getting millions in interest out of us! If they were to foreclose on the loan deal then that would be different but they can’t do that as long as the interest payments are being met.

    To put those in perspective, we have paid out more in interest to RBS other the last year than we have on balance for new players in the last two years. Sobering thought!

    Huang is a credible buyer and I sincerely hope Broughton sorts this out as soon as possible. Once its done, Broughton will clear off back to his trouble-ridden flying company and get back to supporting Chelsea!

  13. Although this has stirred some hope I have the usual feeling that nothing at all will come of this. As Red Barron said, Hicks and Gillett still have the authority to accept or decline a bid unless I’m mistaken.
    They have a contractual agreement with the banks and as long as payments are made they can do what they want.
    The only chink of light is that they simply wont be able to make payments in the future and as soon as the next loan agreement expires they are in deepm trouble. This could force their hand to sell as surely they wont make anywhere near their bizarre valuation of the club in the future and may actually make a loss if they dont sell soon.
    Still, I’ll only accept we’ve sold the club when its in black and white

  14. You are mistaken montyburns. The decision on who buys the club is not in the hands of H&G but with Broughton.

    But I agree with you that they may not be able to make any future payments. If a credible bid is made but falls short of their valuation then RBS may demand immediate payment of the full debt.

    My only concerns about this Chinese bid is that the Chinese Govt. appear to have some control over the company involved.

  15. Ray, who employs Broughton? the 2 x clowns of course, therefor broughton reports back to ronald and macdonald – who then in turn instructs broughton on what to do – simple…..

    They say that there will be an announcement towards the end of next week……why?????? if they have already deemed that there are SIX possible buyers for the club then there homework must be done……. why what that long?????????

    The transfer window closes in 29 days time

  16. Sonny, Trust me, H&G have no say in the sale. They relinquished that control. I was trying to find Jim’s article but the site is slow. I think it was one of the conditions RBS set otherwise the ‘sale’ could go on for ever.

  17. Does it matter that we may end up being bought by china thats 1 billion + people that love wearing red come on woys wed men yanks out 5 18 etc

  18. The Carpetbaggers owe RBS 237 million and if RBS want the sale to go through it will. Lets just hope it does, the fact that Huang wants to buy the club before the end of the transfer window shows he wants the club be able to compete this coming season. The best sign we could all want from him.

  19. Can you imagine gaining a foot hold or having a increased fan base in the world’s most poupulous country? Wow! This is good news if it really pulls through. Get the yanks out…. Minimum profit for them and maximum for LFC!!

  20. I’ll only believe it when i see it. Hopefully all the board will be cleared by this new lot and who knows maybe Rafa will return next season, here’s hoping.

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