Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kirdi: Liverpool Valuation Too High

Yahya Kirdi: Revealed that Hicks and Gillett are at loggerheads with the other three English members of the Liverpool board Kirdi revealed that the embattled club needs "millions and millions" spent on making it competitive enough to challenge for trophies, and that a new owner would need the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to defer most of the £237 million of debt that is owed to the bank. Canada-based Kirdi also disclosed that current co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are in conflict with their English directors in a massive boardroom split. Liverpool are suffering in the Premier League relegation zone after their worst league start for more than half a century and manager Roy Hodgson is already under heavy fire, despite only having arrived at the club in July. Kirdi, whose interest in the club was revealed in August only to swiftly ebb away, insisted that potential buyers would want RBS to defer much of the repayment of the loan as a condition of buying the team. "That would allow investment in the team and work on the new stadium to begin," he said, adding that his group shelved plans to acquire Liverpool after failing to agree on a price. In June the Liverpool board prevented an attempt by Hicks to refinance the £237 million debt, which now stands at around £280 million because of penalty fees, and have since tried to block any new refinancing plans put to the board. Hicks last month failed to secure a refinancing deal with American investment group Blackstone. "Right now is not the time for me and my group to enter into any negotiations," Kirdi told Bloomberg. "Once everyone is united and there's logic in the price and the overall deal, me and my group will be prepared to return to the table." RBS has set an October 15 deadline on its debt so any possible buyers are running out of time to reach a deal with Barclays Capital, which has been appointed by Gillett and Hicks in April to handle the sale of the club they acquired in 2007. Kirdi admitted that his refusal to name his backers has provoked some Liverpool supporters into questioning his seriousness as Gillett's son Foster is a known friend of Kirdi. "I'm a serious man," he said. "I'm not playing but my group said they didn't want to go public because we haven't done the deal." In the meantime, and despite the team itself's horrific league form, all eyes are on the October 15 deadline and the next move of RBS, Hicks and Gillett as Liverpool's uncertain future looks no clearer.

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