Bid rejected but Liverpool talks go on into night

It was reported earlier today that Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett had until midnight tonight to accept an offer from Dubai International Capital for their shares in the club, after which the offer would be withdrawn, but it now seems the deadline related to a response as opposed to an acceptance. One report says talks are going on into the evening.

Reports overnight said a formal offer was made by DIC last Wednesday, but no response had been received from the US duo. This morning came confirmation of talks by DIC’s chairman Sameer al-Ansari, the first acknowledgement in public from DIC. After that it was reported by the Echo that DIC had given Hicks and Gillett until midnight to accept the offer, or they would end negotiations.

Later in the day the Associated Press claimed they’d been told Tom Hicks had rejected the offer. Which would suggest DIC would then be walking away. However DIC had already said, via a spokesperson, that no timescale applied to the talks.

Now we get some clarification and it seems wires had been slightly crossed. The owners had been sitting on the offer for almost a week and DIC wanted an answer, one way or the other, before midnight. Without that the deal would be off.

Tony Barrett reports now on the Echo website: “LIVERPOOL co-owner Tom Hicks has rejected a £400m bid from Dubai International Capital to buy the club. The Dallas-based businessman turned down the offer on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the midnight deadline which had been imposed today by DIC following weeks of talks.

“Despite denials suggesting otherwise, the ECHO understands there was a deadline which demanded a response to the offer before midnight and Hicks has now met that with a flat refusal, putting the ball firmly back in DIC’s court.”

Hicks has maintained all along that he has no intention of selling his stake, although he’s yet to explain why he still spent time in Dubai and London speaking to DIC if he wasn’t planning to sell.

It is now being reported in the Telegraph that Hicks and Gillett have representatives in London continuing attempts at a deal. Talks, it says, will go on into the evening. The report, by David Bond says that despite the denials of a midnight deadline to accept an offer, DIC are not likely to wait much longer for their offers to be accepted.

Whether those talks are going on or not, DIC have to ponder whether they’ve reached the end of the road in their bid or if they have more bargaining power up their sleeves. DIC may offer to invest in another of Hicks’ projects, could offer him an important role in the club even if he’s sold much of his share, or perhaps raise their bid by a slight amount – which is quite unlikely.  New classes of share could be set up that see Hicks retain a small minority interest in the club, and that class of share could be set up to pay Hicks a return based on the success of the club after the new stadium has been built.

But Hicks won’t be easily persuaded. He’s doing a good job of convincing anyone who’ll listen that he believes he can get Liverpool through the turbulence of at least three-and-a-half seasons until the new stadium opens, after which he sees there being a lot more profit than the £25m on offer from DIC to sell now.

Liverpool fans are concerned that the stadium may not be built, if Hicks can’t raise the finance at an economical rate. Add to that are the concerns that squad investment hasn’t been enough to close the gap on the teams above Liverpool like Manchester United, and has also been low enough to allow teams previously outside the top four to close the gap. A turbulent season sees Liverpool only able to go fourth on goal difference if they win their game in hand against West Ham tomorrow, confidence being shot for most of the season amidst rumours of rifts throughout the whole club.

If Liverpool fail to finish fourth or higher they will miss out on a potential £25m+ in the Champions League, which is a pretty similar figure to what they will have to find in interest payments from now on thanks to the owners’ £350m debt. From expecting investment to bring cash to improve the squad fans now fear not only will that be lacking, but a finish outside the top four might force the club to sell players just to pay the interest on debts.

The £350m debt is not for building the stadium, and raising the finance to build something that is estimated to cost at least £300m is not going to be easy.

For Hicks to buy Gillett out on his own and become sole owner he needs to find double the amount of guarantees he has in place now for his share of the debt. Then he can take over full responsibility for the loans, freeing Gillett. This is no easy task, his assets have dropped in value over the last year and he’s got to convince the banks all over again that the club can still meet the interest payments.

On top of this he also needs to find £25m to pay Gillett the profit he’s desperate to make from his year of fake “Snoogy Doogy” promises and dollar-bill-waving stunts.

Of course even if Hicks can raise what he needs to take Gillett’s share, Gillett is of course under no obligation to sell. It’s unlikely to happen, but if he plays hardball he can stick around and make life difficult for his partner. He could even come out of hiding and start turning up for games, raising his public profile again, and blocking any Hicks ideas he’s not keen on. If his feud with Hicks is strong enough, there’s no telling what could happen but it’s unlikely there’d be any progress on the new stadium.

In all honesty, if Hicks does care about the club, as he often professes to do, he needs to “fix” whatever was up his sleeve in his interview in the Star-Telegram last week and to “fix” it quickly.

A 100% stake in Hicks’ name is not what too many supporters want, but the continuance of 50-50 Hicks-Gillett, with the two at loggerheads, is likely to lead Liverpool into deep trouble. We’re already in March and nobody can make a decision on new contracts or new signings and work on getting fresh consent for the new stadium can’t be moved forward

If Hicks can’t “fix” it quickly, he needs to step aside and allow DIC a place in the club.

23 thoughts on “Bid rejected but Liverpool talks go on into night”

  1. I think everyone deserves a second chance. Maybe at the beginning he didn’t understand English soccer too well. However, he’s shown some willingness to learn. Hicks is a businessman and DIC are businessmen. Who’s to say DIC would be better for Liverpool than Hicks?

  2. its very clear that all these two clowns want is money and the expected revenue from the new stadium they can make. as suggested by most fans, a boycott of a few games might be able to make those two wake this moment in time they know no matter what, we fans will still turn up to support our team. show them we mean business, after all we’ll have a lot more to lose if they stay. maybe even then, we might start to play better.


  4. Instead of Hicks and Gillett learning about the history of Liverpool, maybe they should watch a video about Leeds United. All this talk of possibly having to sell star players and being massively in debt has ominous overtones of Ridsdale’s folly. How on earth did we get into such a mess? And more importantly, how can we get out of it?

  5. ‘If Gillett does agree to sell, Hicks would have first call on buying his colleague’s stake. But that agreement is believed to only last for 90 days from when a bid if formally received.’ Independent Newspapers

    clarity on time this could take to resolve!

  6. where has there been any proof we might end up like Leeds? i dont believe that would ever happen as Hicks wants to make money,pure and simple and throwing Liverpool, his name, businesses and money down the drain is not in his sights. I really dont think a man who has been a very succesfful businessman in America is retarded enough to throw evrything he has away.
    As much as i dislike him, i dont doubt his business know how

  7. But Robb, how much of HIS MONEY is he risking?

    The massive risks that he’s taking, to hit the financial motherload of paybacks, are putting the very future existence of our club at stake.

    If it all goes pearshaped, who’s gonna lose? I’ve seen in organisations, some clever assholes who are quite prepared (politically) to fight to the very last drop of YOUR blood….not their blood. Oh no, not their blood.

    And if i recall correctly, didn’t one or other of our yankee owners go broke in the past over bad deals? I don’t for a second believe much in their business acumen.

    And if we were such a nailed-on, no-brainer, lucrative investment, DIC would have had much more competititon in trying to acquire the club.

  8. second chance? business know how

    Come on guys don’t fall for this spin.

    Ok say hick manages to borrow enough money to buy out Gillett, then he borrows more money to build a stadium, then he borrows even more money to buy players.

    Don’t worry this won’t be put be on club assets, this will be put on KOP Holding. But wait a minute, isn’t LFC the only asset this holding company has?

    Can any of you guys willing to give Hicks a second chance please tell me where this guy will get the funding to run our club.

    At least DIC have an asset pool of 6.5billion and more importantly, to me anyway, I don’t think that they have lied at any stage yet.

    Hicks dosen’t care about this club, he is simply trying to increase his profit by pretending he does.

    A message appeared in the forum pages of a Dallas newspapers about the Texas Rangers stating “Hicks stop pretending to care about our club and just leave;

    Sound familiar?

  9. If Hicks is willing to refinance all his interests in the US to fund taking on Gillette’s share, whats to stop him in the future refinancing OUR CLUB to finance a new venture elsewhere?


  10. Moores is the ultimate culprit in all this mess. Surely he must speak out publicaly in support of DIC, if for no other reason than to apologise for creating this farce. He has been silent throughout. Disgusting.

  11. Events of the last 24 hours suggests to me that far from being determined to hold onto LFC at all costs, Hicks actually wants to sell. Its just a question of negotiating a deal.

    Suddenly we have joint statements from Hicks and Gillett – if that’s so, they’d only be united on one thing, and that’s selling the club.

    The ‘dreamland’ comments also say to me that Hicks has named a price.

    On top of that the fact that talks are continuing suggests both sides think there’s something to negotiate.

  12. At least Mascherano has been tied up. Basically, LFC is a great business. Sure Hicks wants to make a packet–but so do DIC. Liverpool is the most successful club in England domestically and internationally and it ain’t gonna go broke. In the meantime, if Hicks builds a new stadium, then that’s more than Moores and Parry could do.

  13. if theres nothing by mornin it looks like were stuck with these greedy idiots. to be honest i dont even know what to think. like watchin a family member dying with a disease. in this case hicks is the disease

  14. Please guys, keep the pressure on these scums in the West Ham game… they are stalling for more profit and nothing else, Hicks might stick around for a while, but he’s keeping Gillett with him along the way, and is making life discusting to himself, his partner, DIC, and most importantly LIVERPOOL FC… so make their lives as miserable as they have ever seen in their entire lives!

    Beside, this isn’t gonna stop here, believe me… Hicks is a businessman, he knows that Al Ansari is a Red, and so his heart will remain here, it won’t go out… even if he loses interest and stop chasing one day… that’s how he perceives it!

  15. So now it’s out in the open! DIC want AMANDA STAVELEY to run Liverpool–Prince Andrew’s ex girlfriend! I think Shankly really would turn in his grave at that!

  16. for those that think that Hicks deserves a 2nd chance, this is some of his handywork. BTW I know the guts of this is from the mirror but all can be confirmed via many independant surces and I’m using this cos it’s all together !!!

    (althougth I’ve been aware ofit for a while)

    It’s long but please read, especially if you feel that we should be comfortable with the current situation and the promises of new stadium and money for players etc!!

    Tom Hicks left a legacy of furious fans, broken promises and legal wrangling after his first attempt to crack football fell apart, it has been claimed.

    The Texan tycoon’s firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst bought into Brazilian giants Corinthians in 1999 in a bid to tap in to the lucrative South American market.
    Just as at Liverpool, they promised a state-of-the-art stadium – but were soon left facing a fans’ backlash. And when Hicks’s company struggled to make the venture profitable, they pulled out after just three years.

    Hicks and co-owner George Gillett revealed a £350million re-financing deal for Liverpool last week which means work can commence on the club’s new 70,000-seat stadium. But a source close to Hicks said: “The company invested heavily in South America throughout the 1990s and the deal with Corinthians was part of that.

    “But the funds they set up did not return money for their investors and it went downhill completely after 9/11.

    “Hicks, Muse lost a great deal of money on the investment and it was large factor in Tom ‘retiring’ from that company.”

    Through its subsidiary PanAmerican Sports Teams, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst invested more than £40m in Corinthians in the first year of what was supposedly a 10-year partnership alone.

    The deal was part of a project to invest in Brazilian football and broadcast it all over Latin America on the Hicks-owned TV station PSN. The cash injection fired Corinthians to victory in the 2000 World Club Cup and even gave the club the funds to sign Brazil stars Dida and Luizao.

    But the new regime infuriated fans when they started selling off star players the following summer and announced plans to change Corinthians’ famous black-and-white kit.

    One Brazilian source said: “The Americans came into Corinthians with a lot of money but did not understand the way football works. They brought in a strong team of advisers to administer the club but the way they did things was very American, in the crudest sense. The model they wanted does not function here. Things had to be done their way.
    “I can understand why Liverpool fans are angry with Hicks – but perhaps they should ask why their football industry has come to such a point that he was able to buy the club.”
    Hicks announced on Friday a £350m refinancing plan which strengthened his grip on Anfield despite fury from fans over a perceived lack of backing for boss Rafa Benitez. The deal loads £105m worth of debt on to the club, including £60m for work on the much-delayed new stadium.
    But Corinthians fans never saw the 45,000-seat ground on the outskirts of Sao Paulo which Hicks, Muse promised them in 1999. Brazilian pundit Paulo Vinicius Coelho said: “They promised a new ground and it never arrived.”
    Even though Hicks, Muse pulled out of the club in 2003 after a row with a local partner over funding, it was not until December 28 2007 that the legal wrangling between the company and Corinthians finally ended

    Apart from this scenario starting to sound very familiar, it starts to beg a couple of questions:

    1:how on earth, with THIS history did Parry recommend that we go with this clown!
    2: If he was aware of it and DID NOT disclose it, then was that legal?
    3: Did any of the other directors/shareholders research these guys? If not why not, and if so why did they not flag this as a huge risk for our team?

    I CANNOT convince myself that the real directors/sharholders that cared about this club would have gone with them just for the money, except from Granada.

    I’m STILL praying for DIC to come in and I’m living in hope of the rumours that they are still in the loop.

    ================================================== =============
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    LadyAnfieldForever also found this link with what’s going down at the Texas Rangers as well!!!!!!!!!!!!…against-hicks/

    Time to turn up the heat and do all we can to run Tom Hicks out of Tarrant County. I don’t know the man. It’s not personal. But he’s been a terrible baseball owner. He’s ruining my favorite team.

    The players seem to have had it with Hicks. Michael Young seems borderline manic at the yo-yo ownership style (wouldn’t be surprised if he demands a trade in a year or two). Tex wants out so bad he’s acting poorly. ARod left in a huff because of broken promises Hicks made. And this is the first season I can remember in which the team was so bad that not one of the Rangers several All-Star caliber players had enough around him to perform at a level truly deserving of an All-Star bid (Michael represented the team well – great class as always – but we all know he wouldn’t have gone if not for the one representative per team clause).

    Fans are disgusted with the teams play, their horrible finishes under Hicks and ancillary issues. The Ballpark is becoming a circus tent, even after that stupid Amerique$t bell is gone. Now that Hicks owns FC Liverpool, I’m betting the Rangers will be the first team in American professional sports to replace the logo on their jerseys with a sponsors ad. I can barely afford to take my son to a game while the team’s salary has plummeted despite playing in the nation’s 4th largest MSA.

    The organization’s coaches can’t say so, but they must be fed up with all the coaching and related changes at every level of the organization.

    The media’s finally caught on. Not that many of them are very trustworthy, but still, every sports reporter in North Texas has or has come close to calling for Hicks’ head. And the national media have lambasted the team, making them a national joke.

    Free agents aren’t beating a path here, not even hitters who should love to play in The Ballpark. What does that say about how players across the majors view the Rangers organization?

    Rumor has it that Nolan Ryan wants to own one of the Texas team – how great would that be!

    So, Tom – pack ‘em up. We’ve had it with your terrible performance. Seriously, would you not fire someone with your track record? Sell the team and make some money. Keep building Glory Park if you must and keep making money from that. But please turn most of your attention back to Dallas and try not to mess up the Stars or the Mesquite Rodeo anymore. You can’t live off of one Stanley Cup forever, especially one won in the infancy of your ownership. And have fun in Liverpool (FC Liverpool fans, you can have Hicks. Write when you tire of him, and we’ll help you run him out).

    For what it’s worth, this post begins a new series dedicated to uniting fans against Hicks in support of any owner more committed to building a championship caliber team than fattening his/her wallet.

  17. The only winners in this tug-of-war are Parry and Moores.

    The fans lose out, as do the team and Rafa. Let’s not forget that we were at the top of the league when all hell broke loose.

  18. Jim, thanks for those two article links. Anybody who wonders about Hicks and his previous failed ventures, and previous promises to build another club a new stadium, ought to read those articles. They are frighteningly similar to what he has promised Liverpool FC. The man has seemingly no sense of decency.

    I think even Freddie Shepherd has more business experise than this buffoon.

  19. Jim
    Here’s a take on the situation that fits the various sources, leaks, fact and factoids.
    After the euphoria of Istanbul and Rafas wake-up call, Hicks and especially Gillett (with son Foster at the club) had time to learn a bit more about what they had bought. I’m surmising that the demonstration of spending power by ManU last summer help focus their minds on the player investment needed at LFC. By the time of the refinancing negotiations they must have realised that their initial financial projections were blown to pieces and Gillett, given his lack of liquidity, must have taken particular fright. DIC had not lost interest, saw an opening and Gillett was tapped up.

    Once Gillett had signaled his willingness, in principle, to deal he agreed to withdraw from the club’s day to day business take Foster home and apart from telling Hicks (to start the clock on the buyout clause?) keep stumm! Hicks now knows Gillett will sell one way or another so he has three options to consider. 1. Buy out Gillett, 2. Join Gillett and sell 100% to DIC and 3. Do nothing and stick with his 50% until DIC make him an offer he can’t refuse.

    On the first option his relationship with Gillett is such that he will get no favours. After all
    Gillett could sell him a little as 1% but since DIC are not interested in a minority this would kill Gilletts’ chances with them. On the second and third option he doesn’t have to anything immediately if the 90 day limit is factual.

    Hicks decides to pursue option 1. by syndicating his US interests and allowing other investors in under clause 144. Here he has a problem – the risk element. Other potential investors will know the risks involved in the LFC situation but with Hicks at odds with the fans, his partner, the manager and possible even the administrative staff of the club the risk profile is not good. He then tries to address this. Rafa experiences a thaw in the relationship with much more supportive noise coming via email and, so long as zero sums are involved, support for his buying and selling suggestions (Momo out Skirtl and Masch in). The net amount involved here could probably have been generated by normal club revenue in the time since Rafa brokered the deal last November and when they actually signed off. There was also an attempt to guage whether the fan unrest was representative of most fans – the Sandon visit, Foster coming to buy a house etc.

    The weeks go by and with the credit situation not alleviating Hicks switches from additional loans to syndicating his complete US sporting portfolio. This proves problematic and does not seem doable in the time frame so he agrees to listen to the PCP approach on behalf of DIC.

    Which is where we are now with Hicks and Gillett facing increasing moral pressure from some neutrals as well as hardening emnity from interested parties. A deal will be struck if Hicks can save face with his pals in the Houston cattleman’s club and show he stood up to the Sheiks millions and made a packet. Similarly DIC will settle at a price that enables them to maintain faith with there mission statement policy of never over paying for assets.

  20. We have to get these people out of Liverpool it’s too obvious they do not understand anything about the club. DIC should buy out bulid a new superstadium attendance 85,000 . Buy new players but keep benitez. In return they get the best football team in the world!! Full stop!

  21. Chas/John Steele/Jim,

    Thanks for the comments – very illuminating indeed. It seems increasingly likely that Hicks will strengthen his position at the club if only because of the DIC’s policy of never over-paying and reports from the press that he’s been able, Lord knows how, to come up with the necessary collateral. Let’s hope the heart rules the head on this occasion and the men from Dubai blow the price of a minor oilfield on ousting these shysters – that seems about the only way they’re going to go – with their pockets full but their dignity in tatters.

  22. Isn’t it time to accept that Hicks is likely to become the majority shareholder in the club? Do we want to keep insulting the owner of LFC? He said things that never happened–sure. But after all, he didn’t know there was going to be a global financial turn down. Now it seems he has a good relationship with Rafa–and by all reports Rafa actually would prefer him to stay rather than take a chance with DIC who is said to want him out. The last straw is DIC setting up AMANDA STAVELEY to take over the club.

    If Hicks is committed now, give him a chance.

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