I'll never sell my shares to Hicks, storms Gillett

April 17, 2008

George Gillett tonight called on his Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks to stop causing turmoil at the club and insisted he will never sell his shares to his fellow American.

Gillett and Hicks, who each own 50% of Liverpool, have fallen out completely with neither prepared to let the other take over the club.

Hicks has also branded Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry's reign 'disastrous' and in a TV interview today reiterated his demand that he resign.

But Gillett has thrown his weight full square behind Parry.

He said in a statement: 'I am saddened at this latest outburst from Tom Hicks. If Tom wanted a serious discussion on the issues to help the club move forward, he should bring his views to the board and not to Sky Sports.

'Here we are, a few days away from a vital Champions League semi-final match and Tom has once again created turmoil with his public comments.

'Tom should stop. He knows that Rick Parry has my support and that airing his comments in this way will not change my position.

'His failure to discuss this with the Board or the management committee is significant.'

Hicks also claimed that it was Gillett and Parry who were the forces driving November's negotiations with Jurgen Klinsmann, something that Gillett disputes.

He added: 'I was also taken aback by his version of the events as reported. Tom needs to understand that I will not sell my shares to him and that we need to find a way forward that is properly funded and truly in the best interests of Liverpool Football Club.

'The real business of winning matches and running and developing the club is what we should all be focused on at this moment.'

Hicks has admitted his relationship with Gillett is now 'unworkable'.

'We started this as friends but 50-50 is a difficult business proposition because you cannot do anything without your partner's approval,' said Hicks.

'If George doesn't sell - because I am not going to sell - I guess we stay in this position that we are in.

'I am planning to make him a very attractive offer. If I had a majority on it (ownership of Liverpool) I could put more capital in.

'My goal is to take all the debt off the club except the working capital needed and get the permanent financing totally in place for the stadium.'

Hicks also said that Dubai International Capital - who have been trying to buy out both Americans - 'do not have a seat at the table'.

A DIC source said however: 'DIC will not rest until they own Liverpool Football Club. However long it takes.'

Parry also insisted he had no intention of resigning.

He said: 'It's for the board to ask me to resign - and they haven't. There's a Liverpool way which I will stick to and clearly there's a different way.

'I think I have a responsibility, indeed a duty, at the moment to try to keep things on an even keel when there's a degree of turmoil off the pitch.

'I just want to do my best for the club. The club will survive, we've got a Champions League semi-final coming up, there are a lot of important things to be done at the club.'