Liverpool put up for sale by Hicks and Gillett

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Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr have confirmed their intention to sell the club after appointing British Airways chairman Martin Broughton as chairman today.

The American duo, whose time in control of Liverpool has been marked by controversy, have asked Barclays Capital to advise on the sale process.

A statement on the club's website said Liverpool have the "full support of its existing bankers for this process".

Hicks and Gillett had initially instructed chief executive Christian Purslow to find £100million of outside investment to reduce the club's £237million debt.

But with that still unresolved and issues over funding for a new stadium in Stanley Park and providing a substantial transfer budget for manager Rafael Benitez becoming increasingly significant the Americans have decided their best option is to sell up, admitting they have taken the club as far as they can.

"Owning Liverpool Football Club over these past three years has been a rewarding and exciting experience for us and our families," said a joint statement by the co-owners.

"Having grown this club this far we have now decided together to look to sell the club to owners committed to take the club through its next level of growth and development."

Broughton will work to oversee the sale alongside Purslow, commercial director Ian Ayre and financial director Philip Nash, who have already had a significant impact on improving the club's financial position off the pitch.

"We are delighted Martin Broughton has agreed to take the position of chairman, working alongside the club's excellent senior management team," added Hicks and Gillett in their statement.

"Martin is a distinguished business leader of excellent judgement and with a great reputation.

"He is a genuine football supporter and will seek to oversee the sales process in the best interests of the club and its supporters."

Broughton said he was determined to find new owners who could help the club improve both on and off the pitch.

"Liverpool is a great club with a fantastic history," he said.

"I will run this sale process in the right way, for the benefit of the club and its fans.

"Liverpool is one of the world's greatest clubs and my aim is to try to ensure we find new owners who are able to build on the club's recent improved financial performance in order to help deliver sporting success."