Purslow rejects fears that Liverpool could go bust

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The Independent Online

The Liverpool managing director, Christian Purslow, remains hopeful the club can be sold sooner rather than later and said yesterday that a number of interested parties are currently looking at the club's accounts.

Purslow dismissed fears Liverpool will go bust should the current ownership issues not be successfully resolved and warned co-owner Tom Hicks he will not be allowed to refinance his debts using the club's assets as security.

Despite the likes of Chinese businessman Kenny Huang and Canadian-based investor Yahya Kirdi failing to come up with offers last month, Liverpool's managing director said there were several other groups interested. "There are a small number of potentially-interested parties working seriously and privately, doing due diligence, looking at the business in detail from a financial and legal standpoint," Purslow said. "My hope is that one of those steps forward with a proposal to buy the club which is attractive to the board and which would be good for the club. Do I know whether any of those parties are going to get over the finishing line? No.

"The single, most important, aspect of the possible sale of the club is to make sure that if we're going to sell the club we get the sale right. The only thing worse than no sale is the wrong sale. I will not make the mistake of sanctioning any transaction that puts the club in a worse position. I know the questions to ask."

Hicks, who is trying to put together a package to restructure his loans and buy out co-owner George Gillett, has already had one refinancing project vetoed by the club's board, when Purslow, chairman Martin Broughton and commercial director Ian Ayre utilised their majority vote.

The two Americans owe £237m plus huge additional penalty fees to the Royal Bank of Scotland and the loan is up for repayment or renegotiation in mid-October. But as the club has still not been sold, either option appears unlikely, which is why Hicks is trying to find funding elsewhere.

The Texan this week failed to persuade investment group Blackstone to help his refinancing bid, which had the remainder of the board considering legal action to prevent. And Purslow has warned Hicks no new refinancing would be allowed which borrowed on assets like Anfield or the club's Melwood training ground.

"That would require board approval and the other members of the board have made it clear that's not what we want to see happen. [It is] very unlikely," he added.

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