The first public sign of the rancour between Liverpool's co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett has surfaced in comments by Hicks which suggest he is ready to block any attempt made by to Gillett to sell his 50 per cent share in the club.
Gillett is believed to be inclined to sell to Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of the Dubai Government which has rejected approaches from other British clubs in its pursuit of Liverpool. But Hicks, who insists he is not interested in selling his portion, told yesterday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Gillett may not do so either, without his permission.
"Not only am I not going to sell, my partner cannot sell without my approval," he said. "So, I kind of have the ability to determine the outcome of what is going to happen, and I am right in the middle of that."
Though DIC had no comment to make on Hicks' declaration yesterday, there was bemusement in some quarters that Hicks, an individual whose professional advisers are known to have been in communication with their DIC counterparts, should at the same time suggest that he is prepared to go so far to halt a sale of any shares to the Arab consortium. "What motivates him to say anything on this is a puzzle," said a source.
It is possible that Hicks has no such power over Gillett selling. The pre-emption rights which Gillett and Hicks would have signed up to when buying Liverpool last February would usually mean that Gillett must discuss any sale with Hicks, and could be forced to sell to him. But it would be standard procedure under those rights for Gillett to be free to sell, should Hicks not buy – as would seem likely.
"For a lot of reasons I can't discuss, I haven't been able to fix it yet," Hicks, who also owns baseball's Texas Rangers and the NHL's Dallas Stars, told the Star-Telegram of the club's ownership. "But I am preparing to be in a position to fix it."
On Tuesday, Hicks told Associated Press in an email that he is committed to Liverpool "regardless" of the actions of Gillett, who also owns the Montreal Canadiens. Gillett is also in contact with DIC and has taken a back seat in recent months along with his son, Foster Gillett, who is a director of the club but has not been seen at Anfield for weeks.
It is the impression of those who have been in discussions with the two men that they do not speak to each other unless they absolutely have to.
Carragher arrested and cautioned for assault near his home
The Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has been arrested and cautioned by police for common assault.
The former England international was questioned about a roadside altercation with a man near his Crosby home on Tuesday morning. Carragher was on his way to training at the club's Melwood ground.
The assault was reported to Merseyside Police by a witness who saw Carragher arguing with the man. Later that day the alleged victim reported Liverpool's vice-captain to officers, who arranged an appointment to interview Carragher. He was formally interviewed and accepted his caution. Common assault is the lowest form of assault and can include anything from spitting to shoving.
A spokesman for the club declined to comment.Reuse content