x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Liverpool's debts may scupper Saudi deal

Liverpool warned that prospective new major investor Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdulla al-Saud would be unwilling to buy into the club if their debts are too high.

Liverpool were yesterday warned that prospective new major investor Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdulla al-Saud would be unwilling to buy into the club if their debts are too high. Barry Didato, the director of strategic investments for the Saudi prince's investment vehicle F6, has indicated that Prince Faisal may consider buying out the shareholdings of co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks in full.

He is reportedly only talking to Gillett currently. But Prince Faisal is said to have no interest in becoming involved in the relationship between the American pair, which has not always run smoothly, or take on a club loaded with debt. Didato told BBC Sport: "His Highness's shareholding could go from anything from nought to 100 per cent. "But he cannot be seen as a solution to the debt or problems in the existing relationship between the owners.

"His Highness would not want to get involved [in the problems between the pair], he is not a marriage counsellor." Didato added: "The debt has to be at a manageable level before Prince Faisal would invest and the current level is high. "He cannot be looked to as someone who is going to clean up the balance sheet - Gillett has to deal with this." Gillett and Hicks last week issued a joint statement, stressing that any talks to bring in new investment were "at an early stage".

Gillett stated earlier this week that Liverpool are in an "extraordinarily good financial condition", better than Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal. * With agencies