Liverpool up for sale
Liverpool's American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have said that Martin Broughton has been appointed chairman to oversee the sale of the Premier League side, according to a club statement issued on Friday.
Broughton, currently the chairman of British Airways, has been brought in to supervise what the club statement described as a "formal sale process" launched by Hicks and Gillett.
Liverpool said they had engaged merchant Barclays Capital to advise on the sale process "following numerous expressions of interest" from third parties, with some analysts reportedly valuing the club at USD 772 million.
Hicks and Gillett have owned Liverpool for the past three years, but their time in charge has been marked by disputes between the pair over the direction of the club. The duo have also been hevaily criticised by supporters for loading the Merseysiders with a debt of a reported £237 million, which fans say has restricted manager Rafael Benitez's room for manoeuvre in the transfer market.
Liverpool's statement made much of how the club's current commercial team had, since 2007, inreased revenue by 55 percent, boosted commercial revenues by 83 percent and extended operating profit (before player trading and exceptionals) by 60 percent.
But on the field, Liverpool, who last won the domestic title in 1990, have seen arch-rivals Manchester United continue to dominate the Barclays Premier League while plans to move the club from its Anfield home into a new state of the art ground have stalled.
"Owning Liverpool Football Club over these past three years has been a rewarding and exciting experience for us and our families," Hicks and Gillett said in the statement.
"Having grown the club this far we have now decided together to look to sell the club to owners committed to take the club through its next level of growth and development.
"We are delighted Martin Broughton has agreed to take the position of chairman. Martin is a distinguished business leader of excellent judgment and with a great reputation.
"He is a genuine football supporter and will seek to oversee the sales process in the best interests of the club and its supporters."
Broughton added: "I am excited and honoured to be taking up this position. Liverpool is a great club with a fantastic history. I will run this sale process in the right way, for the benefit of the club and its fans."
The Reds are currently sixth in the Premier League table, six points behind the fourth place they need to qualify for next season's lucrative UEFA Champions League - a target Spanish boss Benitez "guaranteed" the five-times European champions would achieve earlier in the campaign.
Liverpool have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2006. A statement on the club's website said Liverpool have the "full support of its existing bankers for this process".