LIVERPOOL, England -- Liverpool's American owners completed a $682 million refinancing package Friday that keeps the Premier League club in their hands despite a growing backlash from fans.
Co-owner Tom Hicks also expressed "continuing and enthusiastic support" for manager Rafa Benitez, whose position has been in doubt following disputes with the Americans over player transfers.
The refinancing deal and a revised design for Liverpool's new stadium were announced by Kop Football, the holding company headed by Hicks and co-owner George Gillett Jr.
Hicks also owns baseball's Texas Rangers and the NHL's Dallas Stars; Gillett owns the Montreal Canadiens.
The money package was reached with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia Bank, replacing a previous financing arrangement that was to expire next month. The new deal is expected to help Hicks and Gillett repay the money borrowed for their then $431 million takeover of Liverpool in March 2007.
The move follows weeks of speculation that the Americans would sell the club to the Dubai-based consortium DIC, which lost out to Hicks and Gillett last year.
"This new financing package is a strong vote of confidence in the club's financial strength," Hicks said in the statement.
Liverpool fans have been turning against the American owners in the power struggle with popular manager Benitez over player transfers and the admission by Hicks the team sought Juergen Klinsmann as a possible replacement in November.
The owners unveiled a revised design for the new stadium. The sleek, asymmetrical design originally envisaged in July 2007 was scrapped last month because of rising costs. The new plan is for a 71,000-capacity stadium. Liverpool is moving from the 115-year-old Anfield Stadium, which seats 45,300, to the new venue in the adjacent Stanley Park. The project is expected to cost more than $800 million.