Liverpool’s takeover saga has taken a fresh twist after reports claimed that a consortium of Arab and Canadian businessmen are in discussions to buy the Premier League club.
Chinese investor Kenny Huang was thought to be in pole position to buy out American duo George Gillett and Tom Hicks, but now a group fronted by former Syria international Yahya Kirdi, are said to be preparing a rival bid.
Co-owner Gillett is understood to have introduced Kirdi to senior Anfield staff and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to which the club owes a reported £250million.
In a statement released overnight by his public relations company the Canadian-based businessman said he had reached agreement on a price with the Americans and that a formal purchase agreement is being prepared.
According to the statement he has promised to clear Liverpool’s debt with its bankers and to provide the investment required to build a new stadium in Stanley Park.
The statement said: “Yahya Kirdi, who represents a select group of investors from the Middle East and Canada, confirmed today that his group is in advanced negotiations with Thomas Hicks and George Gillett, co-owners of Liverpool Football Club, to purchase 100% of the Club.
“Agreement has been reached on all major terms including the purchase price, repayment of the existing bank debt from RBS and Wells Fargo and financing of a new stadium in Liverpool’s Stanley Park. A formal purchase agreement between the parties is in the final stage of negotiation.
“Mr. Kirdi is a resident of Canada and a former Syrian National Football Team player who oversees investments in Europe and North America on behalf of his investor group.
Mr Kirdi said: “Liverpool is a massive football club with passionate and proud fans in Merseyside and in every part of the world. With additional money to improve the squad and financing in place to build the new stadium, LFC will be on a solid foundation to compete in the Premiership and in Europe for years to come.”
Gillett and Hicks put Liverpool appointed Martin Broughton in April as chairman to oversee the sale of the club and Barclays Capital has been hired to assist.