Liverpool FC: Stop That Bickering!
Ever wondered what a Saudi Prince likes to do in his spare time? Well, it’s not marriage counselling according to Prince Faisal’s aide Barry Didato.
According to Didato, the Saudi Royal could be set for a takeover bid of Liverpool football club but he still has concerns over the club’s debt and does not want to get involved in any dispute between co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
“His Highness’s shareholding could go from anything from nought to 100%,” Didato told BBC Sport.
“But he cannot be seen as a solution to the debt or problems in the existing relationship between the owners.”
“His Highness would not want to get involved in the [problems between the pair], he is not a marriage counsellor.”
The relationship between Hicks and Gillett is seemingly at breaking point, due to a very public fallout shortly after the pair took charge at Anfield. The situation is further complicated by the fact that each has a 50% share in the Premier League club but neither party can sell without the others approval.
Prince Faisal has only held talks with Gillett so far and Didato says that the duo have a “chemistry and shared vision”. However, any deal seems reliant on Gillett first reducing the debt at the club.
“The debt has to be at a manageable level before Prince Faisal would invest and the current level is high,” said Didato.
“He cannot be looked to as someone who is going to clean up the balance sheet – Gillett has to deal with this.”
Should Gillett and Prince Faisal enter into a partnership, that could spark trouble for Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, who was criticised by Gillett earlier in the week. In an interview with fans union Spirit of Shankly, the American said: “If it’s not getting better, it’s not Gillett and Hicks, it’s the manager, it’s the scouting.”
Benitez has had run-ins with the co-owners before and nearly lost his job in 2007, after a breakdown in communications led to Jurgen Klinsmann being approached about the managers position.
The Spaniard saw out that particular storm but any takeover involving Gillett may prove to be a double-edged sword for Benitez and his supporters.