Owners transfer debt on to Liverpool FC

The American owners £225 million debt has suddenly become the club’s £350 million debt as Tom Hicks and George Gillett sealed the refinancing package which will enable stadium work to be commenced.  According to reports £160 million is debt on the club, and £190 million debt on Kop Football Ltd, personally guaranteed by the two chairmen.

The plans for the new ground were unveiled earlier (very similar to the approved design) but the real news from today is that despite their original claims of ‘investing’ in the club, both Chairmen have put the vast majority of the risk on to the club.  In fact they wanted to put the entire sum on the club, but the banks refused to over-value the club.

Here are some quotes from 12 months ago.

Gillett:

“It’s a well managed club but we believe we bring some experience which the management can draw on to make things even better. Tom and I are a little put off that people assume everything is about money, because we really hope we have some ideas as well as some capital. “

“From the players’ point of view, the best thing that can happen is that they feel nothing has changed except for a new stadium being built and more aggressive support in the transfer market.”

Hicks:

“It’s been an uncertain time for the fans over the last few weeks, so how can you reassure them that the club they cherish so much is moving into safe hands? “

Wolves in Sheep’s clothing.

The full text of the business release is as follows:

Kop Football (Holdings) Limited (“Kop”), the owner of Liverpool Football Club (the “Club”), is pleased to announce the successful completion of a £350 million financing package.
In addition it is pleased to announce confirmation of the selection of the architectural firm HKS, Inc. as designer of the Club’s new stadium at Stanley Park.

The Financing Package

Kop has secured a £350 million financing package, led by The Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia Bank NA, which replaces previous financing that had been due in February 2008. The new financing will meet all of the Club’s current financial needs and includes facilities to support the commencement of construction for the new stadium at Stanley Park and to provide working capital for the Club and future player transfers. Of the £350 million financing, £105 million is Club-level debt that will be used to fund commencement of construction of the new stadium at Stanley Park, for future player transfers, and to meet the Club’s working capital needs.

The other £245 million will be at the holding company level and was used to refinance the £60 million of debt that was on the Club’s books at the time of last year’s acquisition as well as the loan related to the share purchase at that time. The overall financing is being supported by a combination of owner cash, letters of credit and personal guarantees totaling £225 million, ensuring that the Club remains on a sound financial footing.

Tom Hicks said: “This new financing package is a strong vote of confidence in the Club’s financial strength and a recognition of the exceptional opportunity represented by the construction of the Club’s new state-of-the-art stadium at Stanley Park. The successful completion of this financing package is particularly significant in light of the currently challenging credit-market environment. With the refinancing process now done, Club supporters can look forward to the timely commencement of construction work on the new stadium and renew their focus on actions on the pitch.”

The New Stadium:

Confirmation of the selection of HKS was based on the firm’s successful development of an improved stadium design that meets the objective of a cost-effective, supporter-friendly design. The new stadium, scheduled to open in August 2011, will ensure that Liverpool Football Club and its supporters get the much-anticipated groundbreaking iconic design at a capacity of approximately 71,000 seats, significantly more than is currently available at Anfield.

The new stadium will feature enhanced amenities for the Club’s supporters while preserving the history and traditions of Anfield and the Club itself. It will be anchored by an expanded 18,500-seat standalone KOP, an increase of more than 5,000 seats.

Kop also announces the appointment of KUD International as project manager for the stadium. KUD, which will establish a Liverpool office to oversee the project, has developed projects globally, including Silvertown Quays, a large-scale mixed use scheme in London, as well as collegiate and professional stadiums in the United States including the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field and the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.

Laing O’Rourke, the largest privately owned construction firm in the UK, has also joined, and provides further depth of experience to, the project team. Laing O’Rourke is currently working with developer Grosvenor on The Paradise Project in Liverpool – Europe’s largest city-centre regeneration scheme.

Tom Hicks said: “HKS has developed a more efficient design that, at the same time, is just as stunning as its original design. Liverpool supporters should have high expectations for the future: a premier sporting experience at their new stadium at Stanley Park and a winning Club on the pitch for years to come.”

Football Operations:

In response to questions recently raised about owner support of Rafa Benitez as Manager, Tom Hicks today commented: “Since the meeting with Rafa on December 16th, at which some widely reported communications issues were discussed, Rafa has been assured that he has continuing and enthusiastic support as the Club’s Manager.

“Reflecting that support, Kop recently approved his transfer payment request to sign Martin Skrtel for £6.5 million and is in discussions with Rafa and Club management regarding additional player signings this summer.

“Rafa is under contract for two more seasons following this season. I am solidly behind Rafa and am confident of the team’s competitive prospects under his continuing leadership.”

  • Peter

    Oh Dear Mr Hicks & Gillett, you have once again come up with another load of cock and bull, you have no heart in the way you believe in the clubs passion and history, you are just solely heartless buisnessmen who are going to take the soul out of the club, THANKS FOR LEAVING US IN DIRE STRAITS

  • Koran Reader

    Montreal Canadien said: “I’m a racist!”

    By the way who are the montreal canadiens, what sport do they play, ice hockey, really popular sport throughout the whole world.

    Poodle fans – bet that took you a while.

    Simple fact is they are a pair of lying b***ards that will never ever be trusted by us ever again.

    And to that c**t Hicks – wheres yer palin gone now eh!!! Get in OBAMA!!!

  • http://www.anfield-online.co.uk Anfield Online

    We were the Champions of Europe when the American duo arrived. Now were £350M in debt. Don’t come here mocking our club. As for ‘selling the soul to the devils’ comment – that’s a bit of a naughty ugly comments now isn’t it. I’d take Korans over a lying pair of bullsh***ers anyday of the week. I see you haven’t won anything for 15 years? That might be good enough for you but our club demands trophies every single year.

  • Montreal Canadiens Fan

    Gillete took an almost bankrupt icon of North American sport,the Montreal Canadiens, and rebuilt and returned it to its former glory. I can assure you the typical “Habs” or Montreal Canadiens ‘fan’ is as besotted with ‘their team’ as any ‘LiverPoodle fan’.

    But you guys sure take the cake for ignorance and unglued arrogance.

    Hicks also has an impeccable record of being first class with his sport franchises, if any of you foaming at the lips have bothered to research beyond your Morning Post or whatever you call your local newsrag.

    I can’t believe my ears listening to many of you airheads whining for profligate Arabs coming to save your sorry asses from Hicks & Gillette. Ironic !… Talk about one Selling One’s Soul To The Devil…. ah, but listening to to your shrieking addled cacophony maybe Hicks & Gillette should walk away and let your thankless mob go down the toilet.

    Bye the way you ‘poodle fans’ should be receiving ‘free Korans’ while filing into the stands. That will better help you all maintain your unique character.

  • GIX

    I don’t understand how Liverpool FC were purchased for just over £200m a year ago and are now valued at £400m, cna someone explain this to me please?

  • redann

    I love this wonderful club and have done for a long time and find it hard to believe what’s going on, Rick Parry has now lost all credibility because he is just a little s***bag so how can we trust him again???? He should go AWAY with those yankee s***bags but is Rafa such a great manager??? I do like him and resect what he has done but does he really know what he is doing because I don’t think he does, which is why i worry about my club WHO THE F**K KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING!

    Just remember you have a lot of great supporters like I am who love our club and just want to go back like we were when we were GREAT How would Bob Paisley feel now looking in on this load of s**t I just can’t imagine but Bob was a GREAT MANAGER who got th ebest from his players and nothing but he best from the FANS lets just hope Rafa stops rotation as he obviously doesn’t know how to do do it so come on RAFA get your head together and make our team and our club great again like it used to be.

    YNWA

  • Paul

    David Moores has alot to answer for to us fans and
    THE MIGHTY REDS OF LFC.
    We must now get behind our team and look forward to a better half(remainder) of the season (more wins less draws) and hope Rafa changes his ‘changes policy’ to give us more stability in the team.
    Lets hope DIC come in (as fans) and buy our club sooner rather than later.
    Will our new stadium ever be built?

    off to Anfield now
    cumon u
    MIGHTY REDS LFC
    LIVERPOOLS CITY CLUB BY NAME AND BY STATUS
    MY HOME TOWN TEAM

  • Leonard Barton

    It has to be one of the best buy out’s in prem history not only do they get hold of the most decorated club in English football they get it for the price of a mid table team no wonder they’re smiling this morning Hicks has made sure the fans pay in the end whatever the outcome. There is one way for him to lose and that is don’t qualify for euro cup for two years in a row and not win a trophy under their ownership in other words become just an average EPL club but I do not think I could take that. As for a new PR trying to win fans over here’s a few idea’s. Put season ticket prices down. Give all fans free program’s going into the ground. Come and live in L’pool. Stop being economic with the truth. And last but not least the next time you are at Anfield when you leave DONT COME BACK and RESIGN on the way out….

  • P O’Donnell

    It looks like the yankie bloodsuckers have got their way.

    They have already belittled our best manager in 20 years and now they are going to turn us into the next Leeds United.

    At least Moores and Parry gave the appearance that they cared for the club. With all the share prices crashing at the moment what will the club be worth when they have finished exploiting it?

  • http://www.anfield-online.co.uk John Davies

    ^^^ Oh dear oh dear. Looks like Tom Hicks new publicity machine is working in to overdrive already.

    All morons and not one of you is a Liverpool fan. (except S. Wainwright)

    Liverpool were carrying approximately £40 million debt when David Moores left the club. It is now £160 million and when the second phase of the stadium is due it will be around £400 million.

    Don’t try and paint a pretty picture.

  • David Hannah

    You should check the facts before publishing mis-informed rubbish. If you exclude the working capital for the new stadium Liverpool are left with a debt of 45 million. 1 million more than the debt the club had under David Moores

  • Imran

    More then anything Moores and Parry are to be blamed for the current situation.The should have sold the club to the Arabs who are much more wealthier and would have taken us to the top pf European football again.Instead for personal gain Moores made a deal with the devil and the result will be that we’ll never be able to compete with the likes of Man Utd again.
    You reap what you sew,in a few years L’pool will join the likes of Leeds United and Nottingham Forest as a once great club torn apart by greedy businessmen.

  • S.Wainwright

    I don’t care what they do from now on. They are damaged goods and proven liars. As a season ticket holder, I will support the team and staff. However not one extra penny will leave my pocket as long as these two clowns continue to own our club.

  • Paul

    As a matter of interest, and perhaps balance, you might want to check out a report on the refinacing the guardian was running today which has it that, in effect, the amount of operating debt will be no more than that which the club ran under the Moore’s regieme!

  • Richard

    Rubbish story!
    Just trying to stir trouble! They paid aprox £180m for the club and have taken personal liability for this. The rest of the money quoted was for debt and ground etc..
    The extra borrowed money is for starting the stadium etc.. And is secured on the club, but this is due to ground sponsorships (loads more boards) on the new place, naming rights and increased season ticket sales being able to cover it.
    No praise for the bigger capacity stadium etc??? of course not as you only want to be negative!