China readies Liverpool bid

The Chinese government is understood to be the force behind a bid to buy Liverpool Football Club.

Reports say that China’s Investment Corporation (CIC) is backing businessman Kenny Huang’s bid for the club.

CIC is the investment arm of the Chinese administration. UK interests include a stake in Canary Wharf.

Earlier this week, Reds’ chairman Martin Broughton said the club was looking to conclude a sale before the transfer window closes on 31 August after receiving “several” offers.

Huang is said to have approached the club’s bankers RBS and Wachovia as well as Broughton about buying the club.

Other bidders are said to include the Kuwaiti-based al-Kharafi family, also believed to have approached Broughton and Barclays Capital, which has been appointed by Tom Hicks and George Gillett to oversee the sale of the club.

Hicks and Gillett have valued the club at £800m but many observers believe they are unlikely to get anything close to that amount.

CIC could offer the club huge commercial opportunities in the potentially enormous Chinese market.

Premier League football is massively popular in Asia and Liverpool already have a large fan-base there.

The club signed a £80m four-year deal with Standard Chartered Bank last year with the intention of using the bank’s Asian stronghold to help “increase the family of Liverpool fans”.

Liverpool fans will be happy to see the end of the Hicks and Gillett. Supporters have become disgruntled with the £237m debt accumulated by the pair in their three-year reign at the club.

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