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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
Liverpool bid on hold
Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is interested in Liverpool
Thailand's bid for a stake in Liverpool will not go through this week, admitted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

A 60m deal for 30% of the Anfield outfit has reportedly stalled because the Thais are unhappy at only being offered one seat on the board.

"There won't be a signing this Friday, Saturday or Sunday, but we're trying to complete next week," said Thaksin.

He also voiced concerns about "minority protection", saying that chairman David Moores would still own 35% of the club.

"If we agree with what Liverpool proposed, the deal could be done quickly. But we don't as we want them to follow us," said Thaksin on Thursday.

"Our ratio of directors on the board should be high."

Deputy Commerce Minister Pongsak Raktapongpisal, the chief Thai negotiator, denied media reports that the two sides were at loggerheads over Liverpool's merchandising rights in Asia.

"We don't want to boast that we are experts on professional football but in trade, financing and marketing we are second to none," said Pongsak.

By the end of June, we'll own a stake in a Premiership club
Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra

It has also emerged that the deal will be funded by a one-off state lottery in Thailand, with the government promising no taxpayers' money will be used.

Thaksin has warned that he has other options - amid rumours he has met chief executives from other Premiership clubs.

"By the end of June, we'll own a stake in a Premiership club," he said.

Thailand's cabinet approved a plan to set up a new company to manage the Liverpool investment on Tuesday.

The plan is to raise 140m through a state lottery, with the proceeds paying for the Liverpool deal and "long-term sports development" in the south-east Asian country.

Thai officials say the new company will be 60% owned by the government and financed with lottery funds.

The remaining 40% will be owned by the public, who will own shares through the purchase of the lottery tickets, said Somchainuk Engtrakul, a senior Finance Ministry official.

The Liverpool board had to choose between Thaksin's offer and building tycoon and lifelong fan Steve Morgan's rival 73m bid, which they rejected on Thursday.




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SEE ALSO
Billionaire scores Liverpool deal
18 May 04  |  Business
Thaksin confident over Reds
14 May 04  |  Liverpool
Thai premier's soccer hopes
12 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Thai PM renews Fulham talk
30 Oct 03  |  Fulham



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