Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 17:49 UK

Liverpool seeking new investors

Liverpool players celebrate scoring one of the goals in their recent win over Hull
A Saudi investment could boost Liverpool's profile in the Middle East

Liverpool Football Club co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have confirmed they are looking for outside investors.

The Americans said in a joint statement that the search "is at an early stage", and that at present "there is no agreement with any party".

The announcement comes a day after a Saudi Arabian prince confirmed he was looking to buy up to half of the club.

Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud said he was willing to pay a price of £200m to £350m for a 50% stake.

That is more than the £174m Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett - who have retained Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Rothschild to find new investors - paid for the whole club back in 2007.

'Something marvellous'

The prince, who watched Liverpool play at home to Hull on Saturday, told the the Saudi Al-Riyadh newspaper on Monday that the deal would be "concluded soon".

George Gillett and Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah
The prince joined Liverpool co-owner George Gillett at Saturday's game

"If we finalise the deal, it will be something marvellous because Liverpool is one of the best and most famous clubs in England and the whole world," he said.

Since then a spokesman of the prince has said: "His Highness is open to anything and is open to being a minority shareholder, but he has tremendous favourability towards the brand and institution of Liverpool."

He also said any possible investment would be months away.

The Saudi interest comes comes after a document was leaked showing that since March, the club has been seeking to attract new investors in return for a stake in the Anfield club.

The prince's interest in investing in Liverpool also comes after his sports investment company F6 confirmed on Monday that it had reached a deal with Mr Gillett to set up four football schools, two in Saudi Arabia and two in North Africa.

Debt payment

Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett have been looking to reduce Liverpool's £245m debt and paid off £60m in July.

That was when the loan they used to buy the club ran out and was renegotiated with banks RBS and Wachovia.

The co-owners have also been seeking external funds to enable them to start construction work on the club's long delayed new stadium.

Liverpool recently signed a sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered bank, a sign that the club's commercial revenues are set to remain healthy over the coming seasons.

The deal begins next July and runs to the end of the 2013/14 season.



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