27 August 2010
Kenny Huang is now coming under scrutiny in the US for the way in which Chinese interest last year in buying a share of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team came to nothing.
“It never materialized, as far as completing the application process with the league,” said Cavs President Len Komoroski in an interesting backgrounder linked here. “Ultimately, you would have to ask [Huang’s group] as to why.”
The Times remains quiet for now on why Huang failed to come up with a knockout bid for Liverpool backed by the $332bn CIC sovereign wealth fund.
It reported in early August: “Huang, who was first linked with a buyout at Liverpool two years ago, has an impressive track record as head of QSL Sports Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment company. He was instrumental in taking Yao Ming, the basketball superstar, to the Houston Rockets in the NBA.”
QSL’s “impressive track record” is detailed here; and Huang had nothing whatsoever to do with Yao Ming’s move. How and why Kenny Huang managed to convince so many serious people – and that includes people inside the sales process at Liverpool – that his credentials stacked up, remains to be explained, although an explanation will, presumably, emerge at some stage.
Huang himself has given a series of interviews in China alleging he is the victim of a smear campaign, paid for by the club’s American owners. At one stage he was even quoted as saying his own PR firm, Hill & Knowlton, had told him this. A quote in the original version of this article said: “My PR company told me that Liverpool [owners] is spending money to hire reporters who speak ill of me.”
Sportingintelligence asked Hill Knowlton if this were true: Did Hill & Knowlton tell Huang he was the victim of a paid-for smear campaign?
Hill & Knowlton intervened and the quote was changed. A H&K spokeswoman in Hong Kong, Rachel Chan, told sportingintelligence: “I understand there is a misquote here and Netease has corrected it. Please check link again.”
The quote has been changed to remove the reference to H&K.