By Nick Harris
5 August 2010
Kenny Huang has prepared a draft statement denying that his bid for Liverpool is backed by the China Investment Corporation, sportingintelligence can now confirm. We reported on the likelihood of this earlier today.
The statement has not been formally released, and Huang’s PR agents at Hill & Knowlton in Hong Kong cannot confirm whether it will be released. But it is in circulation among the Chinese mainland media. It says:
STATEMENT FROM KENNETH HUANG REGARDING LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB
With reference to the recent media reports regarding Mr Huang’s investment interest in Liverpool Football Club, Mr Huang would like to emphasize that he is not able to offer any comment at this stage. Mr Huang would also like to deny that there is any involvement of Mainland China state-owned enterprises in his business dealings. If there is any related development, he will make a further announcement.
More details on Huang’s denial yesterday of any formal bid and on his business interests, can be found in here.
Sportingintelligence can also re-iterate that the Liverpool board have not yet had proof of funds from any potential bidders. Sources in China consistently maintain that CIC would be unlikely to invest in Liverpool.
It must be stressed: Kenny Huang may indeed have a backer or backers who will support an attempt by him to lead a Liverpool takeover. But hard evidence of those backers at this stage is impossible to find.
There are already suggestions that CIC and Huang are preparing to formally deny involvement as part of a convoluted strategy at trying to establish some confidentiality to the process. Again, at this stage, that is just hearsay in a confused situation.
LATE ADDITION TO STORY: The Financial Times is reporting that “a spokesperson for China Investment Corp, the country’s main sovereign wealth fund, told the Financial Times on Thursday they had never heard of a plan to buy Liverpool or of Kenneth Huang, the man widely reported to be fronting a Chinese bid to buy the English Premier League club.”
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