Liverpool owners lose £42.6 million

The debts of Liverpool's parent company, owned by Tom Hicks and George Gillett, have cast a cloud over the club's future according to auditors and sparked a fans group to campaign for their removal. The annual accounts for Kop Football (Holdings) Limited released by Companies House on Thursday showed a loss of 42.6 million pounds last year mainly due to interest payments to service the debt taken out to buy the club. The Premier League club's auditors KPMG LLP said remaining uncertainty over the refinancing of an existing 350 million pounds loan before the July 24 deadline "may cast significant doubt on the group's and parent company's ability to continue as a going concern". Spirit Of Shankly, a 'Liverpool Supporters Union' responded by asking fans to take action to try to remove the American owners, who they believe do not pass the League's "fit and proper persons" rule. The group is urging fans to write to Royal Bank Scotland, and their members of Parliament, in a bid to stop the bank re-financing the loans. John Mackin, spokesperson for Spirit Of Shankly, said: "Fans are angry and rightfully so. This campaign is the next step in our fight to remove Hicks and Gillett. More and more people are supporting us in this fight, and it is little wonder given the financial mess they have got us into." The accounts for the year ending July 2008 showed Liverpool made a 10.2 million pounds profit but Kop Football (Holdings) Limited lost money after paying 36.5 million in interest. Despite Liverpool posting a record turnover of 159.1 million pounds, the club's net debt - not including that of the holding company - jumped from 43.9 million to 86 million. The accounts also showed the net debt of Kop Football (Holdings) Ltd rose to 299.5 million pounds. KPMG said the club's owners Hicks and Gillett, who took control of Liverpool for 218.9 million pounds in February 2007, were confident of securing a refinancing deal. In their notes to the accounts KPMG said: "The group has credit facilities amounting to 350 million which expire on 24 July 2009. The directors have initiated negotiations to secure the replacement finance required by the group and these negotiations are ongoing. "These conditions... indicate the existence of a material uncertainty, which may cast significant doubt upon the group's ability to continue as a going concern, and it may therefore be unable to realise assets and discharge liabilities in the ordinary course of business. "Nevertheless, after making full inquiries and considering the uncertainties described above, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the group will secure adequate resources to enable the group to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future."