Hicks 'not planning to sell Reds'

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks remains insistent he has no intention of selling the club despite their plans to build a new stadium being thwarted.

Hicks and co-owner George Gillett want a 75,000-seater stadium at Stanley Park to generate the cash to repay their £245m (€309m) personal debts as well as the £105m (€132m) tied to Liverpool. The debts stem from the Americans’ takeover in 2007.

The global financial crisis has brought a halt to the plans, however, as no bank is in a position to issue further loans to finance a new stadium, and the Americans have been reduced to using Liverpool’s profits to pay off the interest on the loans but have not been able to reduce the overall debt.

Despite the situation, Hicks is adamant he does not want to sell up – although should that position change then Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, remains the most likely buyer as he continues to have a personal interest in Liverpool.

A source close to Hicks denied a report saying the investment bank Merrill Lynch have been instructed to find a buyer, maintaining they were merely providing expertise in refinancing the existing debts.

Hicks and Gillett refinanced their debts earlier this year with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and that deal is due to expire on January 25, although the Americans will almost certainly exercise an option to extend the deal for a further six months until the end of July.

The source told PA Sport: “Tom is not looking to get out of Liverpool – it is an asset he likes and he doesn’t plan an exit.

“They have not engaged Merrill Lynch to sell the club – they have been an adviser of Tom’s for 12 months.

“There is an option with RBS coming up to extend [the refinancing deal] by a further six months until July and they will take up that option unless they have agreed another refinancing package before that.”

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