Doubts over Sahara buying debt-ridden Liverpool


New Delhi : The British media is abuzz that Indian business tycoon Subrata Roy is interested in buying English Premier League club Liverpool, but no-one is prepared to believe that he will invest in a debt-ridden football club.

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Lord Triesman, the Football Association chairman, has already warned that debts in the English football are up to $4.4 billion and are “at high risk levels” in a global economic crisis.

But despite these warnings, Roy is ready to increase the pace of his bid for Liverpool, The Times, London, reported Wednesday.

Sahara spokesman Avijit Sarkar, however, declined on the comment on the issue.

“We are presently not in a position to comment on the issue,” he said.

India’s wealthiest man, Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani, was also linked with the proposed deal, but he has refuted the reports.

According to sources, Sahara has offered to take on Liverpool’s 237 million pounds debt in exchange for 51 per cent of the club’s stakes, the terms that the club’s American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr are unlikely to accept. Pressure is, however, mounting on the co-owners from Royal Bank of Scotland to pay off 100 million pounds of the debt by July.

The bank has become increasingly frustrated by the failure of the Americans to bring new investment to Anfield.

But a source in Anfield told IANS that infighting in the club over debts will make it difficult for the Americans to get a prospective investor.

“There is lot of internal conflict among the owners. The owners are desperately looking for investors but are not ready to lose their stakes,” the source said.

Sources inside the club have claimed that up to 125 million pounds is about to be pumped into Anfield, but few potential investors have found the prospect of taking a minority share to prop up the dysfunctional reign of Gillett and Hicks palatable.

Merrill Lynch and Rothschild have been charged with finding an injection of fresh cash, but the Americans have approached other merchant banks over the past month as they cast their net ever wider in search of investment.