Liverpool takeover goes through | World Soccer

Man Utd maintained their 6 point lead at the top of the Premiership by beating Spurs 4-0. Click here for latest Premiership odds!

American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks have reached an agreement to buy Liverpool in a deal thought to be worth £470m.

The pair announced their buy-out of the Premiership club to the Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

“We have purchased the club with no debt on the club,” said Gillett. “We believe in the future of the club, the future of the league, the new TV contracts are outstanding and we are proud to be a part of it.

“This is truly the largest sport in the world, the most important sport in the world, and this is the most important club in the most important sport in the world.

“What a privilege we have to be associated with it and we hope that with the good graces of Rick and his team that we will have on-the-pitch success and economic success.”

They said the club would consider selling the naming rights to the new stadium.

Gillett added: “If the naming rights are worth one great player a year in transfer spending, we will certainly look at that as a serious option.”

Liverpool chairman David Moores, who will become an honorary life president when the deal goes through, said: “This is a great step forward, its shareholders and its fans.”

Hicks and Gillett will divide the cost, paying about £175m for the shares in the club, £80m to cover the debt and a further £215m towards a new stadium.

A club statement said: “Liverpool FC today announced that the board have agreed the terms of an offer for the club from Mr George Gillett and Mr Tom Hicks.

“The board are unanimously recommending that the club’s shareholders accept this offer.”

Moores added: “This club is my passion and forms a huge part of my life. After much careful consideration, I have agreed to sell my shares to assist in securing the investment needed for the new stadium and for the playing squad.

“I urge all my fellow shareholders to do the same and to support the offer. By doing so, I believe you will be backing the successful future of Liverpool.

“I am also delighted to accept the offer from the Hicks and Gillett families to continue my involvement in the club by becoming honorary life president.”

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry added: “This is great for Liverpool, our supporters and the shareholders – it is the beginning of a new era for the club.

“They are bringing to the table tremendous and relevant experience, a passion for sport, real resources and a strong commitment to the traditions of Liverpool.

“Their approach represents exactly the sort of genuine partnership that Liverpool has been seeking over recent times.

“We know that George and Tom want a long-term relationship with Liverpool and that they also understand the importance of investing in our success both on and off the field.

“They have made clear their intention to move as quickly as practicable on the financing and construction of our proposed new stadium at Stanley Park and also to support investment in the playing squad.

“This has been an important time for the club. We now have the right partners for the future. I am absolutely certain we have now ended up in the right place, with owners who will help the club succeed and prosper.

A joint statement from Gillett and Hicks said: “Liverpool is a fantastic club with a remarkable history and a passionate fanbase.

“We fully acknowledge and appreciate the unique heritage and rich history of Liverpool and intend to respect this heritage in the future.

“The Hicks family and the Gillett family are extremely excited about continuing the club’s legacy and tradition.

“We are particularly pleased that David Moores and Rick Parry will have a continuing involvement in the club. For us continuity and stability are keys to the future.”

World Soccer editor Gavin Hamilton on the Liverpool takeover.

Man Utd maintained their 6 point lead at the top of the Premiership by beating Spurs 4-0. Click here for latest Premiership odds!

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