Liverpool board chew over offers

Last updated at 08:19 13 May 2004


A lunchtime board meeting at Anfield today could pave the way for either Steve Morgan or Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra to invest upwards of £70m in Liverpool.

Liverpool's directors will consider the offers from Thailand, details of which chief executive Rick Parry brought back with him from Bangkok yesterday, and the last-ditch share and rights issue offer from Jersey-based millionaire Morgan.

Directors are aware that by choosing the Thai offer they would enrage large numbers of Anfield fans who would rather the club was run by Garston-born Morgan.

Morgan has worked his way up from being a Liverpool brickie to a £300m fortune that makes him the country's 137th richest man.

He has also made it clear he believes he can add a massive amount of professional business acumen to the club.

Local knowledge

He said: "I have been born and raised in Liverpool and only have the club's interest at heart. My message to the board is to accept the offer with the honesty and the integrity that it is meant.

"Think first of the good of the club because that is what I am doing, and make the right decision. If they think the right decision is to take the Thai offer then I will accept that, but I do not honestly believe that it is the right decision.

"I never count chickens, I am not confident but I am hopeful."

Morgan will underwrite both share issues, of old and new shares, and will have to wait to see how many are taken up before knowing how much it will cost him.

If the board decide to go with the Morgan offer, the legal side of things can be rushed through in under a month and the selling of shares could start within a few weeks.

Morgan wants a speedy decision so Gerard Houllier can start operating in the summer transfer window in full knowledge of the transfer budget at his disposal.

Confident of success

And Morgan insists he can make his deal work. He said: "I am good at making things successful, I have been the chairman of two big companies.

"You don't put this kind of money in to get a huge return, football is not like this. But I have been very successful in my businesses and made a bit. Now I want to put something back into the community from where I belong, I was born here and love the club.

"There is a cheque waiting to be filled in and I can guarantee £73m, although it will not cost me as much as that because people will take up the offers.

"But it would be extremely unlikely if every share was taken up, it would be the first time in history."

Morgan defends his use of share and rights issues, saying: "I can't win. If I offer just to put money in I am accused of trying to take over the club. If I say everyone has got rights to buy shares, I am accused of not putting enough money in.

"Everyone has a right to put money into the club, and I am now ensuring that whatever way it works, the club will get £73m.

"There is cheque that needs filling in. And I can't fill it in until after everybody else has decided what they want to do."

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