Liverpool

Liverpool FC owners Hicks and Gillett 'draining club'

George Gillett and Tom Hicks
Image caption Fans are campaigning to get Hicks and Gillett out

Liverpool FC's owners have been described as "asset strippers" in the House of Commons.

Steve Rotheram, former city mayor and now Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, claimed the actions of George Gillett and Tom Hicks threatened the club's existence.

In his maiden speech, he said the club was being "drained by their greed".

The Americans, who bought the club in 2007, recently put it up for sale - with £351m of debt.

Mr Rotheram told MPs he was a "dyed-in-the-wool" Liverpool fan and an Anfield season ticket holder.

However, he said: "But I would honestly say the same things if it was Everton FC that had been the victim of a leverage buyout that endangered its future survival and which has caused so many problems for my constituents living in close proximity to the football stadium.

"England's most successful football club is slowly being drained by the greed of two American asset strippers and this is having a negative impact on regeneration projects for the whole area.

"Unfortunately the beautiful game does not always attract those with beautiful intentions."

In an early day motion, Mr Rotheram expressed "dismay" at the Americans' activities and "regrets the failure to fulfil promises of a new stadium".

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