Prospective Liverpool owner Kenny Huang has refused to comment on reports his consortium is being backed by the Chinese state.
Chinese businessman Huang revealed earlier this week that he was interested in buying Liverpool, although he has yet to make a formal offer.
Reports in Thursday’s press have now suggested that the Chinese government is Huang’s backer.
According to a today’s Guardian China Investment Corporation (CIC), is the country’s overseas investment arm that was set up in 2007 and reportedly has $332billion to spend abroad. In a series of trades since 19 July, CIC has sold $558m of shares in Morgan Stanley, equating to £351.4m. That sum is equivalent to Liverpool’s debt, and is exactly the number insiders say has been quoted to interested parties as the sale price.
Huang has yet to make a statement in response to the story but any potential buyer must be cleared by the Premier League.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore will not look into the matter further until China’s involvement is confirmed but says such a scenario would be acceptable.
China Daily reported yesterday: “China Investment Corp, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund that bought a 9.9% stake in Morgan Stanley in 2007, sold $90.5m of shares in the investment bank on 30 July, bringing the total amount divested in the last two weeks to about $558m.”
“If they had the backing of the Chinese government we wouldn’t have any problem with that, any more than we do the Manchester City situation, with effectively sovereign wealth out of Abu Dhabi,” Scudamore told Sky Sports News.
Asked about China’s human rights record, he added: “I don’t think that is something we would get into. I don’t think it is right to be going into detail.”