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Refinancing of Liverpool loan on the cards

Liverpool's co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, look set to refinance their £350m loan with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia from next month's deadline, The Guardian has learned. The extension could cost up to £3.5m for the arrangement fee, with interest payments - approximately 4% above the banking rate - similar to the terms on their current facility.

The two banks are willing to extend their loan, given rising income at a club who finished second in the Premier League last season, qualifying for the lucrative Champions League for a seventh season in a row. "Banks won't want to jeopardise growth through taking control," a source close to the situation said.

"It doesn't make sense to take control of a business that's performing well; this approach could be applicable to Liverpool."

The refinancing deal will buy Hicks and Gillett time as they attempt to avoid having to sell Liverpool, although their prospects of borrowing a further £400m to build a new stadium on Stanley Park have receded.

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