Prince Faisal is the one on the right by the way.
A Saudi Arabian prince is looking to buy up to half of Premier League football club Liverpool, reports say.
Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud was quoted by the Saudi Al-Riyadh newspaper on Sunday as saying “we are seeking… to own a 50% stake”.
The reported price of £200m to £350m for the 50% stake would be in excess of the £174m US owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett paid for the whole club.
Liverpool recently signed a sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered bank.
That deal, which begins next July and runs to the end of the 2013-14 season, should lead to an increase in the club’s commercial revenues.
Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett have been looking to reduce Liverpool’s £245m debt and paid off £60m in July.
That was when the loan used taken out to buy the club in February 2007 ran out and was renegotiated with banks RBS and Wachovia.
“We are currently seeking to buy 50% of the shares in the club which is now suffering with debts worth £245m,” the prince was quoted in Al-Riyadh paper.
The Saudi interest comes after a document was leaked showing that since March 2009 the club has been seeking to attract new investors in return for a stake in the Anfield club.
In March 2009 a prospectus drawn up by investment banks Rothschild and Merrill Lynch told potential investors that for £50m they could get a minority stake in “one of the world’s most successful football clubs”.
Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, who was at Anfield on Saturday for the 6-1 win over Hull, now appears to be seeking to invest much more than £50m.
He is chairman of Saudi holding company FAMA Group and the F6 sports investment firm, which said at the weekend that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with George Gillett and Richard Petty Motorsports.
That envisions setting up sports academies in Saudi Arabia, and could also see the Liverpool brand, and that of US motorsport Nascar, promoted heavily in the Middle East. (BBC Sport)
Fingers crossed indeed. The fact that our esteemed leaders deemed it necessary to look for new investors says it all. Either due to their financial incompetence or their desire to run the club dry whilst making any profit they can on the side or simply because they realise just how despised they are by a large section of the Liverpool fans, they are trying to extricate themselves from a very sticky situation.
The fact that Tom Hicks is planning on doing business with a man who seeks to get a 50% stake in the club suggests to me that he for one, and perhaps Gillett also, feel that making such a deal is a very real possibility and that will come as great news for most of the clubs fans, me included.
So Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud could well in time be our new owner and one who can surely not do a more lousy job than Messrs Hicks and Gillett and that for me is enough to offer him my wholehearted support.