Hicks reveals Dubai talks

27 January 2008 12:24
Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has revealed he held talks with Dubai International Capital, but insists that stories claiming he and George Gillett were looking to sell the club were wide of the mark. Hicks and business partner Gillett completed a £350million refinancing package on Friday to end speculation that the under-fire American owners were looking to offload the Merseyside club. The deal will help fund the construction of a new 71,000-seater stadium at Stanley Park. Before news of the deal, Dubai International Capital were believed to be interested in renewing their bid to takeover the club and Hicks has revealed he held talks with the group. However, the outspoken American claims the talks - which failed to reach agreement - were only about the company becoming a "minority investor" in the club. "I did talk to them about a 10-15 per cent participation but that was months ago," he told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme. "We gave them a valuation as a minority investor but they thought the price was too high. We have had no conversations since then. "We would have used that capital towards the new stadium but we will find other ways. "We have the capital. I have put in a lot of money and we will put in more in if need be. I am very excited about the future of the club. "This will be the finest football stadium in the world. People should be very proud of it and I want to win the support of Liverpool fans with my actions." Meanwhile, Hicks has reiterated his support for manager Rafael Benitez despite his recent uneasy relationship with the Spaniard. Hicks has come under fire in recent weeks after revealing he sounded out former Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann about the possibility of replacing Benitez. "Rafa has a contract for two more years. He will be here for at least the length of it and hopefully longer than that," he continued. "He has our full support. Rafa has shown his strong intent to do the right thing with us about the club. "He has been a gentleman and we have had much better communication. He has my total backing. I have made that very clear."

Source: ESA