Thursday 14 December 2017

Liverpool back to square one after rejecting £110m offer

Rory Smith

LIVERPOOL'S attempts to secure £100m of investment, predicated as a condition of allowing owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to refinance the club's debts, returned to square one last night when the only firm offer the club have received was effectively rejected.

The deadline set by the Rhone Group -- the first of the "six or seven" interested parties to show their hand -- for their £110m offer for 40pc of the Anfield club to be accepted expired at midnight with no further contact between the two parties.

Rhone are not believed to be willing to extend that deadline and are thought to have withdrawn their offer, although it is understood the fund management firm may be prepared to re-open talks later should Liverpool approach them.

Although Rhone's offer matched the club's requirements, it is thought the proposal was scuppered by the amount of control the group wanted to exercise for their stake in the club, while concerns were also raised over the prospect of Hicks and Gillett setting aside their differences to create a majority voting block.

Sources at the club had been positive about Rhone's potential involvement, with manager Rafael Benitez even meeting the group to discuss their plans. It is thought the Spaniard had been keeping senior players, including Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres abreast of developments.

Liverpool now have three months to find the requisite investment for the refinancing of the club's £237m debts with the Royal Bank of Scotland. No other offers are on the table, but at least two more potential investors are monitoring the situation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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