Weak dollar forces Gillett towards Anfield exit

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett has provided the first explanation of why he wants to sell his 50 per cent share in the club, revealing that the weakness of the dollar is making it difficult to invest.

In a revelation which hints at why, with costs of a planned new Stanley Park stadium soaring because of increased steel costs, his co-owner Tom Hicks has also been willing to consider a Dubai International Capital (DIC) investment and is speaking to other minority investors, Gillett said the strength of the pound against the dollar had created a different landscape from the one he and Hicks saw when they took over at Anfield last year.

"We've invested internationally with Liverpool and with Montreal in Canada, and it's had a very positive effect on both of them from the standpoint of strengthening the value," Gillett said at the IMG World Congress of Sports in America last night.

"On the other hand, it's made it more difficult in terms of investing in those businesses because the dollar is really tremendously weak compared to where we started. It just costs us more to send money to those franchises, those businesses."

Gillett also owns the Montreal Canadians hockey franchise.

Widespread concerns about the outlook for the US economy saw the dollar drop yesterday to a new low against the euro, although Gillett also provided the first real evidence that his relationship with Hicks might be contributing to their split. Responding to questions about Hicks, Gillett wryly said he once had heard good advice, which he repeated: "Choose your partner wisely."

Gillett added: "He [Hicks] is a great guy – but he has just got a different perspective on the media" – a reference to Hicks's greater willingness to make public pronouncements about Liverpool which, such as in the case of his courtship of Jürgen Klinsmann, have backfired at times.

Hicks, who also owns baseball's Texas Rangers and the NHL's Dallas Stars, wants to buy a small percentage of Gillett's stock so he will gain a controlling interest and reduce the Dubai consortium to silent investors. Despite the friction between himself and Hicks and furious protests by fans at Anfield, Gillett insists he still enjoys being involved with Liverpool.

Gillett, whose wide sporting portfolio also has him as the majority owner of the Gillett Evernham Motorsports NASCAR team, said: "I'm really enjoying all three [teams], but for different reasons. In Liverpool, it's a long distance away and there's been a fair amount of controversy over there. In spite of that, the boys are playing very well and I'm proud of them."

Hicks earlier this week terminated talks with DIC, claiming it wanted the club managed "by a committee" with an influence on transfer policy.

Gillett initially wanted to buy Liverpool alone, but brought in Hicks' financial muscle when he found that could not do the deal himself.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project