Saudi suitor eyeing full Liverpool buyout

THE SAUDI prince interested in buying a stake in Liverpool has refused to rule out purchasing the club outright.<br /><br />But Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah has warned he will not invest while Anfield is swamped with more than &pound;300m of debt.<br /><br />And he is adamant he will not act as a &ldquo;marriage counsellor&rdquo; to warring Reds co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.<br /><br />&ldquo;His Highness&rsquo;s shareholding could go from anything from nought to 100 per cent,&rdquo; said Barry Didato, a director of Prince Faisal&rsquo;s investment vehicle F6. &ldquo;But he cannot be seen as a solution to the debt or problems in the existing relationship between the owners. His Highness would not want to get involved in the problems between Hicks and Gillett. He is not a marriage counsellor.&rdquo;<br /><br />Prince Faisal initially indicated he was only interested in up to half of the Premier League outfit, following talks last week with Gillett, who owns 50 per cent. But Didato said the pair had got on well, establishing a &ldquo;chemistry and shared vision&rdquo;. And a deal is thought to be close, with the American due to fly to the Middle East for further negotiations next week.<br /><br />However Didato said that Hicks and Gillett would have to ease their debt burden, which stands at &pound;310m, before he injected any funds.<br /><br />&ldquo;The debt has to be at a manageable level before Prince Faisal would invest and the current level is high,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;He cannot be looked to as someone who is going to clean up the balance sheet &ndash; Gillett has to deal with this.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool in February 2007 in a deal worth &pound;219m, but have endured a turbulent tenure. Unpopular with fans, the Americans have fallen out with each other and suffered public rows with manager Rafael Benitez. A potential snag to any deal is that neither owner can sell up without the other&rsquo;s permission.