American millionaires Tom Hicks and George Gillett have taken their first step towards selling Liverpool.
The Premier League club’s co-owners have hired investment bank Barclays Capital to find potential investors to ease the financial crisis at Anfield. But, significantly, they have also indicated for the first time that they would sell the club for the right price.
The move will delight under-pressure manager Rafael Benitez, who knows his spending plans have been badly affected by the £237million debt built up by the owners, who are unpopular with the majority of Liverpool fans.
The Royal Bank of Scotland, who, along with American investment bank Wachovia, lent Hicks and Gillett the money, have demanded that they reduce that debt by £100m in July.
Benitez yesterday warned that he needs to spend £60m this summer to compete for major trophies. The manager underlined his concern that Liverpool’s status will be under threat unless they sign three world-class players in addition to acquiring Serbia midfielder Nikola Jovanovic on a Bosman free.