Liverpool Football Club’s new owner says he will consider selling the naming rights to its new stadium to pay for an increase in transfer spending.
American sports tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks paid an estimated £219m for the Premiership club this week, after beating a rival bid from investment group Dubai International Capital.
The pair agreed to pay £5,000 a share, valuing the club at £174.1m. Along with the club’s £44.8m debt, the club is valued at £218.9m.
They are also believed to have agreed to invest more than £200m in the club.
Gillett, who along with Hicks owns NHL ice hockey teams in the US, says: “The shovel needs to be in the ground within the next 60 days and you will soon see a great big swimming pool being dug out on Stanley Park. If the naming rights are worth one great player a year in transfer spending, we will certainly look at that as a serious option.”
He adds that he wants the new stadium to be the best in the world, with an “unparalleled” fan experience.
The takeover, which was recommended by the board, calls into the question the club’s 15-year partnership with Carlsberg. The club’s sponsorship with the beer firm is believed to be up for renewal at the end of the season.
After the announcement this week, ITV plc gave an irrevocable undertaking to sell its 9.99% share in the club, bringing in cash proceeds of £17.4m.