News

Tom Hicks Is "Toxic" In Liverpool

Spirit of Shankly
Hit it, Lozninger: Baby, can't you see what the Royal Bank of Scotland just did -- it moved Tom Hicks and George Gillett's £237 million debt in Liverpool FC to the totally-teffed-list. Meaning: After asking somewhere between £600 and £800 million for the Reds (which, I believe, translates into $932 billion U.S., which looks high) and finding no takers, Hicks and Gillett could be forced to sell at a much, much lower price. Either that, or they'll have to pay back the money owed, which they've been putting off for more than a year. The bank has set October 6 as the put-up-or-sell-out date.

They could have already sold the club at a discount if they wanted: Last month Chinese businessman Kenny Huang and a "Syrian businessman" made significantly lower offers. But Hicks said thanks but no -- because how else is he going to recoup his losses on the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, remember?

Barclays Capital's Martin Broughton, brought in to find a taker for the team, keeps insisting he'll find someone willing to pay what Hicks wants (because, look, Gillett would have gotten out for Ed Monix and a washing machine at this point). But as The Independent puts it this morning: "There are doubts as to whether he can compel the Americans to sell at a price unacceptable to them, which has been the underlying cause of the failure to find a buyer. Now RBS may be preparing for an endgame in which, with the bank unwilling to refinance their loans, the Americans really will have no choice but to sell at a realistic market price of perhaps £300m."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky