Former Liverpool owner David Moores admits he regrets selling the club to George Gillett and Tom Hicks, calling on the American pair to sell up.
Moores was bought out by the duo three years ago after several failed attempts to sell the club to wealthier owners.
However, under their tenure the co-owners have fallen out with both the fans and each other, while seeing the club’s debt grow massively.
In a letter to The Times Moores wrote: “Above all I’m writing because I care deeply about the club, the team and the fans. I hope against hope that Messrs Gillett and Hicks will see this letter and do the right thing.
“In holding on and holding out they risk damaging a sporting institution of global renown and if they have any conscience or nobility they will stand aside and allow new owners to take over the club for its future benefit and that of its lifeblood – the fans.
“It has been hard for me, sitting mute on the sidelines as the club I love suffers one blow after another. Since resigning from the board I have not set foot inside Anfield – and it hurts. I hugely regret selling the club to George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
“I believe that, at best, they have bitten off much more than they can chew. Giving them that benefit of the doubt – that they started off with grand ideals that they were never realistically going to achieve – I call upon them now to stand back, accept their limitations as joint owners of Liverpool Football Club, acknowledge their role in the club’s demise, and stand aside, with dignity, to allow someone else to take up the challenge.
“Don’t punish the club’s supporters any more – God knows they’ve taken enough. Take an offer, be realistic over the price, make it possible. Let the club go. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to concede for the greater good.”
Moores is upset that such a high level of debt, currently standing at £351 million, has been placed on the club and insists he only sold to Hicks and Gillett because they wee able to provide assurances of significant financial backing.
“We wanted that fantasy investor – the infinitely wealthy, Liverpool-loving individual or family with the wherewithal to transform our dreams into reality,” Moores wrote. “We invested huge sums and massive amounts of time investigating potential investors, only to conclude that they were not the right people for Liverpool.
“It would have been easier just to take the money, cross our fingers tight and hope things worked out – but we dug deep into every file and asked all the tough questions, knowing the answers might scupper any deal.
“Ultimately, the deal we signed up to was laid out in unambiguous terms in the share offer document. It is a matter of fact that the document pledged there would be no debt placed on the club, and significant funds would be made available for investment in the squad and the new stadium. I signed up for that – not money.”