LIVERPOOL // Liverpool, the English Premier League club and five-times champions of Europe, have called in the investment bankers Merrill Lynch in an attempt to find a buyer. The current owners, the American pair of Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr, are in need of restructuring their £350million (Dh2.1bn) loan with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which, according to a report in The Times newspaper, expires on Jan 25 2009.
The RBS is currently protected by the British government which has stepped in to shore up several financial institutions due to the credit crunch and, as a result, is believed to restructure loans only in extreme and favourable circumstances. The news has already led to speculation in the English media that Dubai International Capital will resurrect their interest in buying the club after having a bid, believed to be in the region of £400m rejected. Hicks and Gillett Jr, who fell out earlier this year, had lodged ambitious plans to leave Anfield, where the team have played since their formation in 1892, and build a new stadium in nearby Stanley Park. However, those plans were put on hold in light of recent events.