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The news Liverpool fans have all been waiting for

The potential new owner of Liverpool, Kenneth Huang

Various media outlets are reporting that Chinese businessman Kenneth Huang has tabled a formal offer to buy Liverpool’s debt and thus take control of the club.

And the news gets even better for Liverpool fans: American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett (Jr) could be left without making a cent in profit. According to the terms of the bank’s loan to Liverpool, the pair are obliged to sell up by RBS if the offer is found to be in the club’s best interests. However they are also obliged to listen to any bids that come through the club’s American co-owners. The Guardian reports: “Gillett is said to have told RBS that he is in negotiations with the Syrian businessman and former international football Yahya Kirdi. Sources suggest the offer is unlikely to come to anything, and is being used in an attempt to prise more money from Huang.”

Huang was linked to a takeover of the club less than a year after Hicks and Gillett got involved(in 2007) but was put off by the asking price which is believed to have halved from the £650 million figure quoted then. However he has now appointed a British media relations firm to represent him “in respect of his interest in Liverpool Football Club”.

Banners protesting at the current owners have become commonplace at Anfield

And the news gets better for Liverpool fans. Media sources are reporting that Huang is keen to secure ownership of the club as soon as possible in an attempt to provide Roy Hodgson with much-needed transfer funds before the window closes on August 31. A source close to Huang told the BBC: “A deal has to be done before the transfer window closes. Huang has made a firm proposal. The club’s board has to sanction the sale and it could be sewn up in days.”

Hicks and Gillett have been a target of protests from the Liverpool fans after a disastrous three-year spell at the helm of the club. Fans say they have failed to back the club financially and deliver on promises they made at the time of the takeover. Before Liverpool’s game against Manchester United last October, hundreds marched around Anfield protesting and calling for the owners to leave.

The duo have also fallen out with each other and former manager Rafael Benitez whose decision to leave was thought to be primarily due to his poor relationship with the pair. Sources say there are no viable alternatives to Huang’s offer and any attempts to bring them to the bank are in an effort to secure more money from the Chinese businessman.

A few facts about Kenneth Huang (with thanks to http://www.live4liverpool.com):

  • Had the unique honour of becoming China’s first graduate to work in the New York Stock Exchange in the 1980s
  • After graduating in 1984 with a BA degree from Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, his hometown, he moved to study in the US at Columbia University before moving to New York to complete his Masters degree at St Johns.
  • One of his crucial partners in America was with Les Alexander, owner of the NBA Houston Rockets, with whom he helped to bring Chinese Basketball superstar Yao Ming to the NBA team. Huang bought a 15% stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers leading to speculation in the US that Ming would link up at Cleveland with then Cleveland all-star Lebron James.
  • Huang has exceptional contacts in the Far East and has brought lucrative sponsorship deals from China to the US and vice versa.
  • News of his potential takeover is attracting headlines worldwide already from US sports websites to France football must L’Equipe.

The deal could also be crucial in bringing in new players to challenge for the title and keep the likes of Fernando Torres’ future on Merseyside. However, Liverpool fans have been here before, and will remember the optimism that swept through the club when the current owners were brought in.

Is this the start of a bright new dawn Liverpool fans? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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  1. August 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm
  2. August 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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