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Monday, December 12, 2005
Japan trip for glory and not yen, insists Parry

Alastair Himmer

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Dec 12 (Reuters) - European champions Liverpool are in Japan to win FIFA's Club World Championship, not for commercial gain, chief executive Rick Parry said on Monday.

Liverpool are hoping their involvement in the six-team competition will attract investment in the club, although Parry kept talk of business to a minimum upon the team's arrival.

'First and foremost, this is a competitive trip and not a commercial trip,' Parry told reporters. 'It's not about raising revenues. It's not about money. It's about trophies.'

Liverpool are still looking for investors to help finance a proposed new 60,000 capacity stadium on Stanley Park, near their current Anfield ground.

However, Parry was anxious to keep the focus on the job in hand with Liverpool facing either Australia's Sydney FC or Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica in Yokohama on Thursday.

'It's not about quick fixes or generating revenues,' said Parry. 'We are conscious we have a huge fan base in Asia. We're always impressed with...the depth of support we get here.

'This trip is more about reinforcing the link with our supporters.'

POTENTIAL TAKEOVERS

Parry has made no secret of his hope that Liverpool's participation in Japan would would boost the club's profile in the lucrative Asian market.

Liverpool have held talks with the U.S.-based Kraft family over the funding of a new stadium while the Merseyside club has been the subject of several potential takeovers.

Talks with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra broke down last year, as did a proposal from local businessman Steve Morgan to take a controlling stake in the five-times European champions.

With FIFA pinning their faith in the revamped Club World Championship, however, Parry sought to assuage any fears about Liverpool's main objective in Japan.

'Our single aim is to take the trophy home,' he said. 'It's about winning things and it's better to be here in a competitive environment.'

Liverpool are expected to face Brazil's Sao Paulo in the competition's final on December 18. The South American champions play Saudi side Al Ittihad in Wednesday's first semi-final.




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