Liverpool fans assured over new investors, Benitez
LIVERPOOL: Liverpool will have new investors within six months and manager Rafa Benitez’s job is secure, managing director Christian Purslow said on Sunday as the gloom engulfing the club was lifted by a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.
A run of four straight losses had intensified the pressure on the club’s American owners to spend money to strengthen the squad. Before the match, around 1,000 fans chanted “Yanks out” as they protested outside Anfield against co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr., who were on a rare joint visit.
Hicks, who celebrated wildly Sunday’s first goal by Fernando Torres, and Gillett went public last month with their search for new equity after a Saudi Arabian prince said he wanted to buy a stake in the 18-time English champions. And Purslow assured fans an injection of cash will be arriving soon.
“There has been a huge amount
of interest in the club from some extremely wealthy and expert investors,
but it will take three to
six months to pull that together,” Purslow said. “It means there
will be new investment into
the football club. Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett have no plans to sell their shares. We will be issuing new equity to new investors, broadening our ownership.”
Hicks and Gillett have been criticised by fans for burdening Liverpool with debt. While that burden has been reduced to £245 million ($400 million), they only took on liabilities
of £44.8 million when they bought the club in 2007. Despite the recent poor run of results in the Champions League and Premier League, Benitez is still seen as the manager to deliver the club’s first English league title since 1990.