Football finance expert Professor Chris Brady has dismissed Tom Hicks’ termination of Liverpool takeover talks with Dubai International Capital (DIC) as a “negotiation manoeuvre” and expects the deal to be wrapped up by June.
Hicks ended discussions on Monday, insisting in a statement he was not interested in jointly running the club “by committee” with DIC and vetoed their proposal to buy out 49% of co-owner George Gillett’s 50% stake.
It has led to speculation that the proposed £400m deal is dead in the water, but Professor Brady, who is the Dean of the business school at Bournemouth University, believes Hicks is angling for a better price.
He told Football Insider: “Clearly Hicks wants out now. He probably thinks he can get £450m by stalling and they (DIC) will probably go to £450m.
“My guess is that this is a manoeuvre in a normal negotiation. Hicks will wait and try to get as much money as possible by frustrating DIC, but it’s obvious from the dialogue he will sell.
“From what I’ve heard there is no rush of alternative buyers out there and DIC are keen.
“Dubai (DIC), presumably, will want to wrap the deal up by the middle or end of June so they have time to prepare for the new season.”
Earlier reports – since been denied by Hicks – suggested Hicks and DIC had disagreed over the Dubai group’s plans to install a fan with full voting rights to the board.
Brady, who thinks DIC will eventually assume total control of the club, believes the scheme would help any new owners avoid the same popularity issues suffered by Hicks and Gillett.
“If Dubai buy 90% of the equity at some stage or another, then a group, possibly Rogan Taylor’s (Share Liverpool FC Group), can take 10% for the fans with board membership,” he added.
“I suspect that’s what Rogan’s group are aiming for, and I reckon DIC will take that.
“They would get the majority and controlling stake, and it keeps the fans quiet for five years or so, which is important.
“No matter how much due diligence they (foreign investors) do, they do not quite understand how involved and awkward fans can be over here.”