Morgan's third bid turned down

Steve Morgan’s third attempt to buy control of Liverpool has been rejected today.

Steve Morgan’s third attempt to buy control of Liverpool has been rejected today.

The building tycoon’s proposal would have given the club £50m (€74m) for players and their new stadium.

The Jersey-based Liverpool fanatic, who is having a mansion built in Cheshire near his Carden Park Hotel complex, has been desperate to take a controlling interest in the club.

He currently has the club’s third biggest shareholding but wants the role of chairman at Anfield.

Morgan insists talks are still “on going” but admits the current discussions have “ground to a halt” over the split of the £70m (€104m) package he has proposed.

Morgan said: “It’s my firm belief that to take it forward from its present position, the club requires a capital injection of this magnitude in order to rebuild the squad and provide equity funding for the new stadium. I am disappointed that the board do not appear to share my view.”

Two previous attempts have been rejected where Morgan would have bought 15,000 unissued shares to underwrite a share issue.

This time he has come back with an offer to buy the same amount of shares, plus Granada’s 10% holding and a major part of chairman David Moores’ majority control.

But the deal has been collapsed with a disagreement over the valuation of shares and Morgan’s concerns over the cost of the new stadium at Stanley Park rising over £100m (€148m).

Moores wants his £70m to go to manager Rafael Benitez and the stadium costs, but that would mean Moores and Granada accepting around £2,000 (€2,966) a share rather than the £4,000 (€5,932) a share that the recent Thailand bid was prepared to offer.

To encourage Moores to sell his shares, Morgan may need another £10m (€15m).

Moores attended Saturday’s home game with Manchester City but did not travel to watch the opening match at Tottenham or the Champions League qualifier in Graz a fortnight ago.

Morgan travelled in his own private jet to Austria for that match and was a significant figure around the team hotel where he was reported to be discussing his new deal with chief executive Rick Parry.

Those talks had been going on secretly for five weeks before the deal was rejected but Morgan could still be back with a fourth bid.

Morgan issued a statement through his PR company tonight saying: “Following recent media speculation and to set the record straight, Merseyside-born businessman and lifelong Liverpool supporter Steve Morgan today confirmed that recent discussions with Liverpool regarding a proposed £70m share purchase had ground to a halt.

“Behind-the-scenes negotiations had been taking place in recent weeks and had reached an advanced stage. However, the two sides had failed to agree on how the £70m investment should be split between the club and shareholders.

“Mr Morgan’s latest offer would have placed £50m directly at the club’s disposal.”

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