By Nick Harris
20 August 2010
Kenny Huang has pulled out of the running as a potential bidder for Liverpool. The New York-based Chinese businessman released a statement this evening (below) to that effect, although he did not provide reasons as to why he was pulling out.
He said he had a plan to provide money to build a new stadium and buy players but added, without explanation: “We regret that we will not have the opportunity to implement this strategy”.
Huang’s withdrawal from the bidding process will raise numerous questions about his bid, its seriousness (or not), and the reasons why so many people considered him a credible candidate for so long when there was scant reason, based on hard facts, to believe he could pull off such a deal.
As sportingintelligence has reported since the start of August, reliable sources in China, Hong Kong and America have cast doubt on Huang’s ability to buy Liverpool, not through any malicious agenda but because his track record in sport to date amounts to being a middle man in some sponsorship deals, commercial ownership of two minor and marginal sports leagues in China, and ownership of a Chinese basketball team and magazine. More on his background here.
On the flip side, there have been, and remain, serious doubts about his credibility and honesty in other areas of his business life, more details of which will emerge in time.
Liverpool’s supporters are those who continue to suffer most as the board looks for a buyer; the danger now is that some of those fans will (wrongly) perceive that the board have somehow driven Huang away, when in fact it is not the case.
There was never any hard, credible evidence presented to show Huang ever had CIC backing for a bid; indeed in one of his own statements sent from his own phone he expressly denied that. The inquest into how so many people were fooled by Huang’s purported plans for so long can now begin. The search for a Liverpool buyer will continue.
And Kenny Huang will now be the man “who almost bought Liverpool.”