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Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:46 UK

Liverpool will not go bust, says Christian Purslow

Liverpool fans in the Kop
Many Liverpool fans want to see the back of the club's current owners

By Dan Roan
BBC sports news correspondent

Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow has dismissed fears the club could go bust and insists there are still several interested parties considering a purchase.

He also warned co-owner Tom Hicks that the board will oppose any attempt to use the club's assets to help him refinance his loans in a bid to stay in control at Anfield.

Hicks and fellow American George Gillett owe £237m to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - and this loan is up for repayment or renegotiation in mid-October.

Answering questions on Liverpool's official website in an attempt to allay fans' concerns, Purslow reassured supporters there was no risk of the club going into administration, despite its huge debts, when RBS call in the Americans' loans next month.

"Liverpool Football Club is not going bust," he said.

"Liverpool Football Club is a very healthy business. We have cash, we are solvent, we have banking facilities which last beyond the end of next season and we are heavily scrutinised by the Premier League.

Any incurrence of indebtedness by Liverpool Football Club needs full board approval

Liverpool MD Christian Purslow

"To achieve our Uefa licence we went through that process and they were very happy with what they saw - so I cannot conceive of a situation where Liverpool Football Club could go into administration.

"We have an extremely healthy business with record revenues and we are highly profitable. The issue today is that too much of that profit is being used to service loans put into place when the club was bought. We are dealing with that issue.

"When we sell the business that debt will be reduced or go away, which will make us the most profitable club in the Premier League."

In May, Liverpool's parent company posted a loss of £54.9m for the year ending July 2009 as debt interest payments and severance costs hit hard.

Liverpool have been up for sale since April, but Purslow said talks were still ongoing over a possible takeover of the club, and that selling to the right people was the priority.

"There are a small number of potentially interested parties working seriously and privately - doing what is called due diligence - looking at the business in detail from a financial and legal standpoint.

Tom Hicks
Dallas-born Hicks has co-owned Liverpool FC since 207

"My hope is that one of those parties steps forward with a proposal to buy the club which is attractive to the board and which would be good for the club.

"Do I know whether any of those parties are going to get over the finishing line? No. Can I make someone write a cheque? No.

"My job is to present the club to possible investors in the best possible light because I passionately believe it's a fantastic opportunity for investment and new ownership."

Hicks informed Liverpool's board last week that he was talking to investment group Blackstone about raising the funds required to restructure his loans and buy out fellow co-owner Gillett before a mid-October refinancing deadline with RBS.

Although negotiations with GSO, Blackstone's debt restructuring arm, came to nothing, Hicks is reported to have since held meetings with investment giants Deutsche Bank in New York.

However, Purslow stressed no new refinancing would be allowed which secured fresh funding against the club's assets.

"That would require board approval and the other members of the board have made it clear that's not what we want to see happen. It's very unlikely," insisted Purslow.


"Any incurrence of indebtedness by Liverpool Football Club needs full board approval. The non-owner directors have made it clear that's not what we want to see happen."

So far Hicks has refused to concede defeat in his plans for complete ownership, but Purslow believes that both Americans remain keen to sell.

"I can't speak for the owners but I am absolutely sure that both of them are totally committed to trying to sell the club as soon as possible," he said.

"They haven't had an offer yet that they like and so I suspect that both of them individually and collectively are pursuing their other alternatives and that's their prerogative."

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see also
Benitez slams Liverpool hierarchy
21 Sep 10 |  Europe
Hicks to target Liverpool buyout
17 Sep 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool consider 'several' bids
02 Aug 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool post loss as debts rise
08 May 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool agrees bank debt deal
27 Jul 09 |  Business
Final whistle for Liverpool's loans?
05 Jun 09 |  Business

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The Independent Liverpool fans plan sit-in protest - 1 hr ago
SportsPro Media Liverpool FC fans take battle with Hicks and Gillett across the Atlantic - 5 hrs ago
Leisure Opportunities Purslow: Liverpool FC 'not going bust' - 14 hrs ago
Financial Times Terra Firma puts Citi's relationship banking on trial - 18 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Liverpool in crisis after Northampton defeat - but what is wrong with Roy Hodgson's side? - 20 hrs ago


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