Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has launched a withering attack on the Dubai consortium looking to take control of the Premier League club.
Dubai International Capital (DIC) agreed to Hicks’ demand that his Anfield partner George Gillett Jr. would be limited to selling 98 per cent of his stock, equating to 49 per cent of Liverpool.
But Hicks is upset with DIC’s negotiator Amanda Staveley, saying she has been leaking private correspondence between the pair to the press.
He said: “If she thinks that is an appropriate way to acquire a stake in Liverpool FC, she had better think again.
“Amanda Staveley, who has a reputation for being pretty smart, should know better than to publicly put words in my mouth, particularly words that she knows or should know perfectly well aren’t true.
“She should also know better than to release actual copies of my private correspondence to the press.”
Staveley has said that DIC would aim to become the dominant partner by flexing their financial muscle, and pledged to work on forcing Hicks into selling his 50 per cent stake.
Hicks insisted that no deal has been brokered with DIC and that it faced competition to acquire even a minority stake.
“DIC is one of several potential minority investors we are or will be talking to,” he said.
Hicks has already rejected DIC’s £500 million bid for the whole club, which would have included paying off the refinancing package Hicks and Gillett negotiated in January for the loan used to purchase the Anfield side.
Instead, in the short term, DIC is resigned to working with Hicks.
“Subject to renegotiation of a partnership agreement and subject to the stringent minority shareholder protection rights we would be prepared to accept a 49 per cent shareholding in Liverpool FC,” said Staveley, who works for financial advisory firm PCP Capital Partners.
“We have decided that this arrangement provides the best possible solution to the situation and would be in the best interests of the club and their loyal fans.
“Tom Hicks knows that in the long run we will be 100 per cent owners of the club, but we are prepared to play a waiting game,” Staveley said. “We will be able to pay the price for the financing of the club and construction of a new stadium.”