Liverpool put up for sale at £600million
Published 22:45 10/04/10 By Simon Mullock
Liverpool is for sale – for £600 million.
American millionaires George Gillett and Tom Hicks have instructed Barclays Capital to find a buyer.
The Anfield fans who have campaigned to drive the Yanks out are on the brink of a memorable triumph.
The American duo had offered a minority stake in the club for around £100m but failed to clinch a deal.
They have needed to raise £100m of outside investment after the Royal Bank of Scotland demanded they slash the club’s £237m debts.
Now, with the clock ticking towards a summer deadline, they are prepared to sell the club they bought from David Moores in 2007 for £219m.
They hope the next buyer will commit to paying for a new stadium they promised to build when they took control, as well as investing in the below-par Liverpool team.
However, their chances of achieving their asking price appear remote.
The Rhone Group made an offer of around £100m but that was rejected by the American owners.
A source close to Hicks said: “The Rhone Group is a private equity firm who were trying to make a quick profit. We have always wanted a quality, long-term investor.
“We want to put the club in a position where there is no pressure to sell players this summer and in doing so give Rafa Benitez our full support.”
Now manager Benitez will pile pressure on any prospective buyers by telling them he needs £80m to rebuild the team.
The Kop boss is fighting for his Anfield future after a season that has seen Liverpool fail to mount a title bid and crash out of the Champions League at the group stages.
But that hasn’t stopped Benitez insisting he needs the funds to land four top-class players if Liverpool are to close the gap on Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal next season.
Benitez told Sunday Mirror Sport: “I don’t want to talk about an exact figure, but if you analyse what Fernando Torres and Jamie Carragher have said about needing four or five top players then you can see what we are looking at.
“Yes, I think we do need this many players. And whether we need three, four or five players, the cost of a top-class player is about £20m.
“Hopefully we will have more players coming through our own youth system now I have control of the Academy, but we have to wait. It is a matter of time.If you don’t have £60m every year, you have to sell.”
Fernando Torres has already said he will consider his future at the end of the season if he does not get the answers about transfer investment.
And skipper Steven Gerrard has cut a frustrated figure as Liverpool have struggled to secure the top-four place that will once again bring Champions League football.