No Manchester City-style spending in Liverpool's 'smart' future says Tom Hicks

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The Independent Football

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks insists the Reds will continue to operate as a "smart club" and will never be tempted into an "unsustainable" spending spree such as that conducted by Manchester City.

Hicks also revealed Liverpool expect to rake in £26million plus on sponsorship revenue in a year, and that will include a new deal with Carlsberg.

Carlsberg's shirt sponsorship deal with Liverpool will end next year after 17 years, and it has been taken over by Standard Chartered - who have agreed a four-year contract worth around £80million.

Carlsberg declined to match the offer, but it now seems they will continue their involvement with the Anfield club on a scaled-down format.

Hicks told The Times: "You have to look 'cash flow' rather than accounting - and we intend to operate Liverpool where it has a very strong positive cash flow, so we have the resources to be as competitive as possible on the pitch.

"That's our commitment.

"We had strong, positive cash flows last year. Our debt levels are at a very comfortable level, and we are going to continue bringing it down.

"Our goal is to have less debt than any of the top clubs, and that's a commitment we have made and will continue to make."

Hicks is dubious about City's huge outlay on signings, which has been made possible over the past year by the the vast wealth of their Abu Dhabi owners.

He said: "It's not sustainable at City. They won't continue to invest like that, because it doesn't make good economic sense.

"They will make the improvements they need to make and then run it more like a business. The smart clubs operate for the long term, and you have to look at who have had success for many years."

Liverpool's negotiations with Carlsberg is part of that long-term strategy.

"We have an existing contract with Carlsberg until the end of the season," Hicks confirmed.

"Between now and then, we will finalise new arrangements where we will retain the Carlsberg special sponsorship packages and pour Carlsberg products in the stadium. They will be one of our key sponsors, just not on our shirts."

Hicks believes Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will want some of the new money for January's transfer window.

Hicks said: "Knowing Rafa Benitez, I suspect he's got his eye on part of it.

"As we build our revenues, it gives ability to be more competitive on the pitch.

"Everybody involved with Liverpool wants to win the Premier League - it's been too many years and it's our goal.

"I've been in sport for 15 years, and sometimes you have to do things to get the players' attention to wake up and really get focused."

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