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Passion Islam I October 2009 SPORT I 19
Saudi prince eyes stake in
Liverpool football club
A Saudi prince was set to become the
latest Arab investor to inject millions
Zidane gets
into the English Premier League as
he prepared to buy a massive stake
in league giants Liverpool in a multi-
green light
million-dollar deal, press reports said.
Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah
was reportedly in London preparing a
for sporting
deal of up to £350 million (around $560
million) with the club’s debt-ridden
American owners Tom Hicks and complex
George Gillett, Saudi’s al-Riyadh paper
“We are currently seeking to buy
50 percent of the shares in the club
which is now suffering of debts worth
£245 million (around $390 million),” the
prince, who chairs private firm F6 and a
Saudi-based holding firm called Fama
Group, was quoted as saying.
The prince said a deal for the
takeover would be reached soon
and added he had already signed
a memorandum of understanding
with Liverpool on setting up football
academies in Saudi Arabia and North deal in talks with a company owned
Africa. by the ruler of Dubai last year and
“We signed a contract with Liverpool more recently a Kuwaiti businessman
after visiting the club and attending the expressed interest in the club but a
game against Hull City,” he told the deal was never reached.
paper, referring to Liverpool’s 6-1 win. Last year, Forbes Magazine
The prince added that he was estimated Liverpool to be worth $1
investing in the Premier League billion, excluding debt, placing it as
French football legend Zinedine
“because we are trying to serve our the fourth-most valuable football team
Zidane got the official stamp of
country through these contracts which in the world after Manchester United, approval for a project to create a
will benefit Saudi sports in a way that Real Madrid and Arsenal.
sports complex dedicated to urban
will make us proud and we hope we get Liverpool is England’s most
lucky to finish the purchase.” successful club with 18 English league
football at Milles, near Aix-en-
Liverpool failed to clinch a buyout titles and five European Cup triumphs.
Provence, in southern France.
‘It’s a project that we’ve had for
Rugby league working to
some time with my brothers and a
friend for Marseille or the surrounding
increase BME participation
area,’ former World Cup winner
Zidane told AFP, explaining that the
The National Governing Body for Rugby recognises that there is still much to be centre was expected to be ready in
League, the RFL is committed to ensuring done and as such has developed a range
September 2010.
that discrimination in sport is tackled, of strategies and action plans to ensure
‘With the career I’ve had, I wanted
barriers identified and overcome and the game is fully inclusive.
current inequalities in participation across The RFL is working to support
to open something in the area to do
the game are addressed. clubs in key areas to establish effective
with football and young people,’ said
Rugby league is proud to have many partnerships with their local BME and
Zidane, who had originally hoped to
firsts in terms of BME achievement; In faith communities in order to develop open the centre in his native Marseille
1995 Ikram Butt became the first British sustainable actions plans that will result
but failed to find a suitable site.
Asian to represent England in a major in increased opportunities for BME
The centre, which can host 200
national sports team. communities to participate in all aspects
The RFL is currently working to develop of rugby league and for rugby league to
people, will be run in partnership
a BME history of Rugby League, past and become a part of local BME communities.
with sports equipment and clothing
present. Clubs are working to produce a We are currently working with clubs giant Adidas.
web based resource that celebrates BME in Bradford, Leeds, Batley, Keighley,
Estimated to cost four million
participation in Rugby League as players, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Oldham
euros it will include seven football
coaches, match officials and club and aswell as media partners like Passion
support staff. Islam Magazine. for further information
areas, a central stadium, a fitness
Despite these achievements the RFL goto
zone and a restaurant.
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