Dubai International confirm Reds investment hopes

After months of speculation and made-up stories, even as recently as yesterday in some of the Sundays, it has been officially confirmed who it is that wants to buy Liverpool FC.

The name of the interested party is Dubai International Capital, who we wish were actually called International Capital Dubai. They aren't though, meaning that Liverpool fans will have to face endless DIC jokes if the deal does go through. For now though, it is still just an "if".

The amount needed to buy Liverpool is being quoted everywhere as £450m, but no figures were mentioned in the announcements by DIC. It was DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari who confirmed that his group were now starting to look at the club's accounts. Speaking to Bloomberg, DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari said "Liverpool's investment requirements are well publicised. We hope we can agree a deal that will provide us with the opportunity to fund its needs both on and off the pitch."

A process known as "due diligence" has now begun, and gives DIC the exclusive rights to study the books at the club. This is where DIC' advisors get the chance to see for themselves if what they've been told so far about the club is true.

Everything else is pretty much just speculation. The figure of £450m is widely quoted, and is said by many reports to include £200m to fund the building of the new stadium. A figure often quoted is of Liverpool having £80m debt although many argue that this is not a true figure at all.

DIC also own the Tussauds Group, the Travelodge chain and is a third-owner of the London Eye and are ultimately owned by the rulers of Dubai, the Maktoum family. The head of the family is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and as well as ruling Dubai he is also Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates. He is said to be the world's fifth richest man, quite some way ahead of Chelsea's Roman Abramovich.

The family is well known internationally for their Godolphin horse stables and are said to be genuine sports fans. The chief executive of DIC, Mr al-Ansari, is said to be a Liverpool fan himself.

Meetings were said to be taking place recently with all those who had shown an interest in buying the club, but the Dubai bid was the one that was good enough to get this access to the books. If no hitches are encountered on the way it is expected that Liverpool will be in the hands of their new owners for the turn of the year.