Liverpool’s American owners have been accused of living in “dreamland” by the Dubai Investment Capital (DIC) group interested in buying the club.
DIC has confirmed it had been in talks with US owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett about buying into the Premier League club.
DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari said: “It’s no secret that we have been in discussions with the current owners.
“It’s not easy because (they) are in dreamland about valuations.”
Al-Ansari later clarified that one of the club’s owners “had come out of dreamland”, without giving further details.
According to the Liverpool Echo DIC has made a £400m offer to buy Liverpool and has given current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett until midnight tonight to accept or they will walk away from the negotiating table. The bid would allow Hicks and Gillett to walk away with a profit of £25m each.
Only last week, Texan billionaire Hicks was adamant he had no intention of selling his stake in the club, denying reports he had invited DIC to inspect the club’s accounts ahead of a takeover.
Frustrated by Hicks’ position, DIC turned their attention to Gillett, who is thought to be much keener on a sale than his partner.
However, neither of the co-owners is able to sell without the other’s consent, a point Hicks reiterated last week when he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Not only am I not going to sell, my partner cannot sell without my approval.”
Also, DIC are thought to want a controlling stake at Anfield, meaning they would need to convince Hicks to sell some of his share in the club as well as buying out Gillett.
DIC is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.
Al-Ansari was the man behind the takeover bid a year ago and appeared to have succeeded until then Liverpool owner David Moores suddenly opted to sell to the Americans.
“It took me two weeks to get over that,” said al-Ansari, who is a Liverpool fan. “But it didn’t dent my passion – I still go to every match when I’m here.”