American Owners of Liverpool Soccer Team Announce Intention to Sell
By Dialogo April 19, 2010The American owners of the Liverpool Football Club, Tom Hicks y George Gillett, in a statement issued Friday, have announced their intention to sell the Premier League club in an operation supervised by Martin Broughton, currently chairman of British Airways. Broughton will supervise the “formal sale process” launched by Hicks and Gillett and will be advised by the bank Barclays Capital, according to the statement. “I will run this sale process in the right way, for the benefit of the club and its fans. Liverpool is one of the world’s greatest clubs, and my aim is to try and ensure that we find new owners who are able to build on the club’s recent improved financial performance in order to help deliver sporting success,” Broughton said. The club did not specify the buyers’ identity, but affirmed that there had been “numerous expressions of interest from third parties.” Since the two U.S. businessmen bought the team in 2007, Liverpool has accumulated debts worth 237 million pounds (270 million euros). Before deciding to sell, Hicks and Gillett tried at the beginning of the year to find an investor who could put up a stake of 100 million pounds. The club’s financial difficulties have led to the indefinite postponement of the construction of a new stadium and to a significant drop in player signings, a policy that has put the fans in opposition to the owners. In the statement, Liverpool emphasized the positive financial results of the Hicks-Gillett era, with an increase of 55% in overall income and of 60% in profits before player trades. On the sports side, Liverpool is not having a good season, and after having been eliminated from the Champions League, is fighting for fourth place in the Premier League, which would give the team access to the Champions League next year.