• Kenneth Huang and Yahya Kirdi have yet to make an offer
• Tom Hicks and George Gillett could be hit by penalty charges
No firm bids to buy Liverpool are expected to be made tomorrow, the self-imposed deadline by which the club's chairman, Martin Broughton, said he hoped to receive solid offers. Yahya Kirdi, the Syrian businessman based in Canada, continues to express a positive interest but if, as has been claimed, his financial backers are members of the ruling family of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, any firm bid from him is certain to be delayed.
Yesterday the family announced the death at 95 of Sheikha Maryam al-Shamsi, the mother of Sharjah's ruler, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qassimi. All members of the family will now observe seven days mourning during which no business will be conducted.
The Hong Kong-based businessman Kenneth Huang said today that his consortium "have confirmed with Liverpool's board that we are interested in bidding" but he has not translated that into a detailed proposal with the proof that the money is there, which Broughton has asked for.
Sources close to the process confirmed today that no firm offers, with the required proof of funds, have been received, and it is not thought likely that any will be delivered tomorrow. That means Liverpool's owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, will be hit with another £2.5m, the penalty fee they are being charged by the Royal Bank of Scotland for every week the club is not sold.
Imposed on Hicks's and Gillett's Liverpool holding company, Kop, as part of the refinancing last April of £237m in loans from RBS, the £2.5m weekly penalties will, according to sources close to the arrangement, amount to an additional £60m if the club is not sold by 6 October, when the loan expires. That would mean RBS will have racked up more than £200m in interest and fees since it loaned Hicks and Gillett £185m to buy Liverpool in February 2007.
RBS would not confirm the £2.5m or £60m figures, but did acknowledge penalty fees are part of the loan arrangement. The accumulating fees are charged to Hicks's and Gillett's holding company, and will become due for repayment by the owners if and when the club is finally sold.
200m in interest payments from Gillett and HIcks! Can you imagine what we could have done with that money instead? Players, a good chunk of a stadium, it's enough to make you cry...
Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks stays silent on Kop Investment split
• Club's holding company not listed among other sports assets
Tom Hicks has kept his shareholding in Liverpool separate from his other sports assets in apparent fear of a collapse of the highly leveraged Premier League club. Digger has obtained a corporate flowchart detailing all of the sporting interests Hicks has held through his holding company, HSG Hicks Sports Group.
The chart was filed with a US court in bankruptcy proceedings against Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball franchise that has now been sold by Hicks, in which the courts had invited Rangers' creditors to pursue other HSG assets.
That order could put at risk his stake in the Dallas Stars ice hockey team, as well as stakes in those organisations' associated real estate operations, which sat alongside the Texas Rangers in HSG. Yet, curiously, Liverpool's ultimate parent company, Kop Investment LLC, is not listed among them.
It is not known precisely how his Kop shareholding is structured since that company has never met its statutory requirement to file an annual return. But Liverpool's ring-fencing out of HSG cannot have been for tax or legal reasons: Kop is registered in Delaware, the tax-friendly location where other Hicks investments are held. A spokesman for Hicks did not return calls yesterday after Digger put it to him that the purpose of the separation was to prevent Liverpool's debts causing problems for other HSG assets. Despite their separation the dominoes have begun to fall.
A bit speculative, but it doesn't look good and I wouldn't put anything past Hicks either. (Or Gillett for that matter)
ARSENAL CONFIRM INJURY WOES
Arsenal have finally confirmed the extent of their injury concerns ahead of the trip to Liverpool, with manager Arsene Wenger set to be without half of his first team.
In addition to long-term injury casualties Aaron Ramsey and Nicklas Bendtner, both Johan Djourou and Alex Song have been ruled out, while Denilson, Abou Diaby Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas all face late fitness tests.
"Alex Song has a calf problem and will be short," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online on Thursday afternoon. "Denilson will have a test on Friday or Saturday on an abdominal problem. Diaby has a calf problem but he is back in full training. He might be available and Andrey Arshavin is alright.
"But I still have to make a decision about whether I will include Van Persie and Fabregas in the squad."
Although the news of Djourou's latest setback is anything but a surprise, his absence leaves Arsenal with just two recognised centre-halves in their squad and new signing Laurent Koscielny certain to be thrown into the deep end at Anfield. The club have provided no details on the severity of his injury, other than to confirm it is a hamstring problem.
Can't see Cesc and Van Persie not playing though. Personally I'm really happy Torres and Reina missed the Mexico friendly, not a trip they needed. Not sure about Torres' fitness for that matter, don't think he will start.