Syrian mulls £400m bid for Liverpool

Steve Dinneen
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A FORMER Syrian international footballer has become the latest businessman to be linked with a bid for Liverpool Football Club.

Yahya Kirdi, who claims to be fronting a consortium of wealthy Arab investors, is understood to be in talks with the club’s much-maligned American owners.

There was speculation earlier this year that Kirdi, who is understood to be a personal acquaintance of owner George Gillett, was preparing a bid for a stake in the club. The two sides are said to have held constructive talks before a deal collapsed at the eleventh hour.

Gillett and co-owner Tom Hicks are fielding bids after Liverpool’s debts spiralled and performances on the pitch nose-dived.

The club, which lost a record £55m last season, owes £473m, including £300m to the Royal Bank of Scotland. Interest payments alone last year reached £40m.

Gillett and Hicks hired Barclays Capital to put out feelers internationally to find a buyer.

They also brought in British Airways chairman Martin Broughton to chair the business. The former head of tobacco giant BAT is a keen Chelsea fan and has also chaired the British Horseracing Authority.

Liverpool is likely to attract bids of around £400m. The club has already rejected a bid of £118.5m for a 40 per cent stake from Rhone Group in March, although the private equity vehicle is mulling an improved offer.

Hicks and Gillett took joint control of Liverpool in 2007.