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Hicks, whose Texas Rangers were auctioned this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth, bought Liverpool with Gillett three years ago in a deal valued at $431 million. Hicks said he wants $950 million to $1.25 billion for the club, whose known debt last stood at $375 million.

Ganis said his group will not bid close to that.

“If anybody wants to, good luck,” he said, without disclosing what his group is willing to bid. “We know what we would be prepared to do. If somebody else wants to look at it in a different way, it’s their money. That would be their business, not ours.”

His group isn’t concerned about high-spending owners in the Premier League, who include Manchester City’s Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich. Ganis said the Financial Fair Play rules that begin for European soccer this season will help curb extreme spending on transfers.

“That creates certain constraints that many observers feel are quite responsible and will reduce the risk of irrational money being spent,” he said. “But even at that, Liverpool is and always should be one of the highest-spending clubs in all of football. And our financial models presume Liverpool will be at or near the top in spending on players every year.”

Ganis said that they have been impressed in many ways with the manner in which Liverpool is being operated.

“From what we have seen from afar, many of the people currently running Liverpool are doing a good job,” he said. “There shouldn’t be an expectation there would be a mass upheaval if we submit and are approved.”

Ganis and the China-based group began forming last spring as a potential investor with another group that evaluated a potential investment in Liverpool. Ganis contacted the Royal Bank of Scotland, which holds Liverpool’s debt, and was put in contact last week with Broughton and Barclays Capital, which is attempting to sell the club for the co-owners.

QSL, in conjunction with the Chinese government, owns and operated two professional sports leagues and one minor league. QSL also owns sports publications and in September will roll out an all-sports website.


AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in London contributed to this report.