Accounts reveal owners have cost Liverpool £1.5m

Ian Herbert
Tuesday 10 June 2008 00:00
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Liverpool's American owners cost the club £1.5m in personal claims alone in the first seven months of ownership and their decision to abandon initial stadium plans has cost a further £10.3m.

The costs have emerged in accounts for Kop Holdings, the company established by Tom Hicks and George Gillet to operate the club, which show an overall loss before tax of £32.3m in the year to 31 July, 2007. Though the £10.3m write-down on the stadium costs is the most extraordinary figure, Liverpool supporters will be drawn to the money claimed from the club directly by the Americans. From December 2006 to 31 July 2007, £823,000 was incurred by George Gillet for "transaction related expenses" – claims built up during the acquisition of the club – and a further £375,000 for "reimbursable travel, legal, personnel and other expenses". During the same period the company incurred £133,000 for transaction-related expenses on Tom Hicks' behalf and £198,000 for "reimbursable travel, legal and other expenses".

The accounts also reveal what has long been suspected – that the interest payments incurred in January when the Americans' bankers refinanced the loans taken out to buy the club were loaded on to the club. A total of £64m was loaned over three years by Kop Holdings to the football club to service the interest repayments of the refinance, believed to be around £30m each year.

In the accounts, Kop Holdings listed one of its three prime objectives as securing "financing for the development of the new stadium" and the concern at Anfield is that Hicks and Gillett will simply be unable to do that.

Though the available transfer kitty is considered a less significant issue Fernando Torres insisted yesterday that major spending was a prerequsite of competing with Manchester United and Chelsea next season.

* Everton's plans for a new stadium at Kirkby have been approved by Knowsley Borough Council.

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