Saudi Prince eyes 50 per cent stake

A SAUDI prince has declared he is close to buying a stake in Liverpool &ndash; and wants to snap up as much as 50 per cent of the club.<br /><br />Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah is ready to pay up to &pound;350m for half of the Premier League giants, he said yesterday. Prince Faisal, who chairs sports investment firm F6 and a holding company called Fama Group, was at Anfield on Saturday to see the Reds beat Hull 6-1. <br /><br />&ldquo;We are currently seeking to buy 50 percent of the shares in the club which is now suffering of debts worth &pound;245m,&rdquo; he told Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh. <br />&ldquo;The transaction, upon which a decision is close to being reached, will be worth &pound;200m to &pound;350m.&rdquo;<br /><br />Liverpool&rsquo;s American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who each own half of the club, are thought to be seeking investors. They bought Liverpool in February 2007 for &pound;220m but relations between them have since soured and plans for a new stadium have been shelved.<br /><br />Prince Faisal, who has also signed a deal to set up Reds academies in the Middle East, was reportedly at the Hull game as a guest of Gillett.<br /><br />If he buys a stake, Prince Faisal would be the latest Middle Eastern investor in England&rsquo;s top flight. <br /><br />Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi&rsquo;s ruling family, bought Manchester City in August 2008. And businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim, who helped broker the City deal, this year became Portsmouth chairman.