Saturday 21 April 2018

Exotic fruits that dried up

Since Tom Hicks and George Gillett took over Liverpool in February 2007, the club has attracted a succession of wealthy, and exotic, parties from around the globe reported to be interested in buying out the unpopular American duo. There are six bids on the Anfield table now, but among those who have been said to be keen on a takeover in the past are:

The Indian billionaires

It was in February that Mukesh Ambani, the seventh richest man in the world, and Subrata Roy, chairman of the Sahara group, a huge Indian conglomerate, were mounting a joint bid to takeover 51pc of the club. A day later a spokesperson for Ambani's Reliance Industries said: "There is no truth to the report. We deny it completely."

The IPL owner

Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao was already the owner of a cricket team -- the Delhi Daredevils of the Indian Premier League -- and was said to be interested in getting involved in football. As a Liverpool fan, Anfield was flagged up as the object of his investment. His representatives watched the 4-4 draw with Arsenal in April 2009 amid speculation of a £500m takeover.

The Chinese gaming


In May, Zhu Jun held at least two meetings with Barclays Capital, the company charged with finding a buyer. Zhu already owns the Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua. The 44-year-old made his fortune through online gaming although he is not being in the same financial league as most of the other reported buyers and would have needed to conduct a leveraged buy-out.

The Syrian footballer

At the weekend it was claimed that Yahya Kirdi, a former Syrian international, was heading a consortium of Arab businessmen. Gillett informed Royal Bank of Scotland of Kirdi's interest -- he is a friend of Gillett's son, Foster -- in a move that has widely been dismissed as a stalling tactic against Huang's approach to RBS.

The Arabs

Dubai International Capital have long held an interest in taking control at Anfield.

Irish Independent

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