Chinese link throws Liverpool takeover battle into confusion

THE BATTLE to take over Liverpool FC was thrown into further confusion last night after a denial linking the Chinese government with involvement was later dismissed as fake.

Reports yesterday claimed Chinese businessman Kenny Huang was fronting a bid backed by the China Investment Corporation (CIC) ?– the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

Huang, who had dismissed claims he made a formal bid for the club 24 hours earlier, then reportedly came out again to refute suggestions of “any involvement of state-owned enterprises in his business dealings”.

But the story took another twist when Hunag’s PR advisors, Hill and Knowlton Asia, denied any knowledge of a statement being released.

It was also claimed CIC were paving the way for a bid after selling £351m worth of shares in its 9.9 per cent stake of Morgan Stanley just three weeks ago. The figure roughly equates to the amount they would need to find to force out joint owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

CIC, however, insist they had never heard of Huang or a plan to buy the club.

Huang’s reported bid is one of several being discussed, along with that of Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi, who claimed on Wednesday he was in the final stages of negotiations.