x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Liverpool play down debt talk

Tom Hicks and George Gillett may face some difficult decisions regarding their continued involvement at Anfield but they say the future of the club is not under threat.

Liverpool's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett may face some difficult decisions regarding their continued involvement at Anfield but they say the future of the club is not under threat. The pair have just over six weeks to agree a refinancing package on the loan they took out to buy the Premier League side in 2007. Accountants KPMG yesterday expressed concern over the level of debt being incurred by Kop Football Holdings, Liverpool's parent company, after it posted losses of £42.6million (Dh250m) in the year ending July 2008.

Most of that was a result of £36m of interest on a loan of £350m, which has to be renegotiated by July 24. Suggestions Liverpool are facing financial meltdown have been dismissed by sources close to the American duo as "totally wide of the mark". The club themselves posted profits of £10.2m but that was swallowed up by the huge interest payments of the parent company. "The owners seem remarkably relaxed about it, which can only be a good sign," a spokesman said.

"There is no threat to the club. Liverpool's profitability and profits are up. "There are other clubs who are considerably more in debt than Liverpool are." Hicks and Gillett are confident they can refinance the loan before the deadline. Financial experts believe they need a huge influx of cash from outside or they will have to sell up. In January, Kuwaiti billionaire Nasser al Kharafi offered £425m for overall control but the Americans only want to sell 50 per cent.

* PA Sport