A report by former Liverpool Echo journalist Chris Bascombe in a Sunday newspaper claims co-owner Tom Hicks’ desire to remain as part owner of Liverpool FC is the major stumbling block in the American’s bid to find new investment.
Hicks’ co-owner, George Gillett, is understood not to want Hicks to remain at Anfield in any capacity as he feels he has already done enough damage and believes both should completely sell-up and move on. A wise decision most Liverpool fans would agree.
But Hicks’ desire to remain at Anfield – even if only as part-investor of 25% – is the reason for previous talks with investors including DIC and the new Kuwait based consortium having fallen through. They do not wish to have Hicks on board in any capacity and know that with the deadline to the American duo’s loan ticking, they will have to accept their terms eventually.
Bascombe claims the Kuwaiti consortium pulled out of negotations to buy the club after Texan millionaire Hicks insisted he wanted to retain a 25% share in the club and valued the club at Â£600m, Â£200m more than what the Kuwaiti’s are prepared to pay. The Kuwaiti’s insist on full control of the club and so does George Gillett.
Gillett, meanwhile, is reported to be speaking with up to five rival bidders for the club as he goes about getting the best deal for his 50%. Another problem here is that neither can sell their share without the agreement of the other.
Bascombe, who has been criticised by some Liverpool fans for joining the News of the World, but also broke the news of Gillett and Hicks’ uneasy relationship and their talks with Jurgen Klinsmann, quotes an Anfield ‘source’ as saying:
‘œGeorge is frustrated because he’s happy to sell for the good of the club, but not if it means Tom keeps a stake. A deal can be done for 100 per cent ownership with one of the five interested parties currently in negotiations ‘” if Tom agrees to sell too. The real obstacle is Tom’s unwillingness to walk away from the club. George is fearful Liverpool will make a big mistake if they allow Tom to remain in some form of management role.
‘œHe appreciates the fans want them both out, and is saddened by how it’s gone over the last 18 months, but he doesn’t want things to be any worse by walking away and leaving Tom at the club.
The report also claims Hicks’ refusal to surrender total control that lead to DIC pulling out of buying the club.
We’ve said it before here on This Is Anfield, but Tom Hicks is the cancer of LFC. His relationship with Rafa Benitez is not a healthy one, the two of them are using their wish to remove Rick Parry for different reasons and if Parry leaves Hicks will be in a stronger position to remain at the club. It is therefore why, while Parry must leave his position eventually, Hicks must be removed first.