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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 15:36 GMT
Gerrard defends under-fire Moores
Liverpool chairman David Moores
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has launched a fierce defence of under-fire David Moores as the chairman considers his future amid takeover talks.

Moores said he was considering his future at a stormy annual general meeting on Thursday.

But Gerrard said: "It upsets me to see the chairman getting battered."

Gerrard almost joined Chelsea in the summer, but said: "He doesn't deserve this. He was definitely one of the main reasons I stayed at Liverpool."

Gerrard added: "When I was having problems during the summer, it was the chairman who was ringing me up all the time and re-assuring me and doing everything possible to keep me here.

"He was in my thoughts when I reached my decision. It was a big influence on me.

"Okay, the last 12 months have not gone well, but you cannot just judge him on that. There are so many good things he has done for Liverpool.

"I do not think you will find another club anywhere where the players and chairman have such a special relationship."

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard has fiercely defended chairman Moores

The Reds have also been courted by US and Thai interests and Moores said: "I am still considering Mr Morgan's offer and perhaps it is time now.

"I love the club but I cannot compete with Mr Morgan's millions."

Moores added: "This last 12 months has not been easy. It has been unbearable. I haven't slept and my family - it's difficult for them."

Meanwhile, Morgan, Liverpool's third-largest shareholder, said he had spent 300,000 in legal fees alone this year on launching his bids to claim a controlling interest.

He said: "It's been a lot of anguish and I do not like washing our dirty linen in public.

"I would like to draw a line in the sand and move forward. I have got an offer on the table and you can have the money in the bank by Christmas to give money to manager Rafael Benitez and get the new stadium on the go. Please accept my offer."

Liverpool also announced a record loss of 21.9m at the meeting.

And the club's financial position has been complicated by the desire to move to a new stadium away from their Anfield home.

Finance director Les Wheatley said at the AGM that costs for the new stadium had spiralled to around the 115m mark.

Wheatley blamed the rising cost of the new stadium - which had been marked at 80m at last year's AGM - mainly on costs incurred during the delay in securing approval.

Earlier on Wednesday an American consortium claimed it had held talks over a possible takeover of Liverpool.

The L4 group said in a statement it had approached Liverpool's financial advisers Hawkpoint about either making an offer or investing in the club.

It is a consortium led by US-based film producer Mike Jefferies and lawyer Stuart Ford.

The consortium is thought to be backed by the Kraft family, who own Super Bowl champions New England Patriots.

They also own football side New England Revolution, coached by former Liverpool star Steve Nicol.

This was later denied by chief executive Rick Parry who said no talks had taken place.

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