Football

Liverpool look for the 'next level'

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Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett have admitted Liverpool need a new owner to take them to the 'next level' after officially putting the club up for sale.

After months of talk about selling off some of their share to outside investors, the pair have decided to bring an end to their tumultuous three-year tenure at Anfield.

"Having grown this club this far we have now decided together to look to sell the club to owners committed to take the club through its next level of growth and development," said a joint statement by Hicks and Gillett.

With the start of work on a new stadium in Stanley Park still no nearer and a pressing need for a significant investment in manager Rafael Benitez's playing squad to prevent the current disappointing campaign become the norm rather than the exception, Hicks and Gillett have accepted their time is up.

They have appointed businessman Martin Broughton, British Airways chairman and deputy president of the Confederation of British Industry, as Liverpool chairman with a brief to oversee the sale of the club and have asked Barclays Capital to advise on the process.

Their statement continued: "Martin is a distinguished business leader of excellent judgement and with a great reputation.

"He is a genuine football supporter and will seek to oversee the sales process in the best interests of the club and its supporters."

Putting the whole club up for sale as opposed to just a share is likely to attract significantly more interest as very few potential investors were prepared to enter into a three-way arrangement with Hicks and Gillett.

Since taking over in 2007 the American duo have had a very public fall-out and although their relationship has been repaired somewhat it still did not instil confidence in the business community.

With Liverpool's debt, as a result of Hicks and Gillett's purchase, standing at £237million they were repaying £30million a year just to service their loans with the RBS and Wachovia banks.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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