Thursday 22 February 2018

Bank set to take direct control of Liverpool sale

Paul Kelso

ROYAL Bank of Scotland (RBS) may take direct control of attempts to find a buyer for Liverpool amid growing unease at the failure to remove Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett ahead of next month's refinancing deadline.

Officially, the bank supports the sales process being handled by Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton and Barclays Capital, but with just 25 days until the expiry of RBS's financing deal with the Americans, the issue is becoming acute for RBS.

Among the options being considered by executives is for RBS to take greater control of the process from Barclays Capital. This would simplify any deal-making process and could allow the bank to try to force Hicks and Gillett to accept a lower price for the club than the £500m-plus valuation that looks increasingly unrealistic.

The terms of RBS's £237m loan to the American owners expires on October 6, and if no buyer is close to sealing a deal by then the bank will have to decide whether to call in the debt, effectively forcing Hicks and Gillett out, or offer a further extension.

Meanwhile, Ryan Babel, the Liverpool player who can generously be described as "mercurial," has until January to cement his future at the club, according to manager Roy Hodgson.

Although Hodgson stopped short of delivering a full-blown ultimatum to the Dutchman, he did say that he will look to replace the 23-year-old in the January transfer window if he does not impress in the meantime. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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