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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 10:32 GMT
Hicks holds talks over Liverpool
Liverpool
Talks between Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks and Dubai International Capital about the future of the club are continuing, BBC Sport understands.

Hicks has again strenuously denied renewed claims that he plans to sell his 50% holding in the club.

But the American is believed to have held talks with DIC, although it is not believed to have been given access to the club's accounts.

DIC may also try to buy the 50% stage of Hicks's partner George Gillett.

That, though, may not be as simple as it sounds as an agreement between Hicks and Gillett is understood to give the other first refusal on the other's shares.

A statement from Hicks on Tuesday said: "Reports in the UK media that I am about to sell my stake in the Liverpool Football Club, or to invite DIC to examine the club's books in preparation for such a sale - like other such reports planted in the UK press in recent weeks by parties with their own self-interested agenda - are absolutely and categorically false.

606: DEBATE
"The reality is that I am personally, professionally and financially committed to the club and its supporters and that I will continue to honour that commitment to the best of my ability now and in the future."

BBC Radio 5 Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard said: "Hicks's response has been typically robust - he's claimed reports that he was about to sell up have been planted in the UK media by parties with their own self-interested agenda.

"He again stated his commitment to the Anfield club personally, professionally and financially but if you read his statement it makes no mention at all of any negotiations over the club and as I understand it those talks are continuing with DIC, the Dubai based consortium.

"There is no hint yet of the consortium being allowed to assess the accounts, let alone make an offer.

"I'm also told that a potential deal with George Gillett, Hicks's disaffected partner is not quite as straightforward as it seems because of an agreement between the pair that allows the other first refusal. So it looks like DIC could be waiting some time yet to achieve their Anfield takeover at the second attempt."

Hicks and Gillett beat off competition from DIC to take over Liverpool in February 2007, but the Dubai investment group have recently renewed their interest.

The relationship between the two American businessmen is also understood to have broken down.

While Hicks' unpopularity on Merseyside was underlined when his son Tom Jr was spat at and chased out of a pub following Liverpool's victory at Anfield on Saturday.

Last month, Liverpool confirmed a 350m refinancing package, with 60m to be used as start-up money for the new ground in Stanley Park.

That repackaging deal, which also piled 105m of debt on the club, only lasts 18 months and the renewed takeover talk appears to be driven by the fact that Hicks and Gillett will soon have to start renegotiating their debts.



SEE ALSO
Hicks plans long stay at Anfield
27 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool complete 350m package
25 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool owners deny sale claims
17 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Consortium pulls out of Reds bid
31 Jan 07 |  Liverpool


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