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SBD Global/February 6, 2014/Franchises

A-League Melbourne Victory Instigates Talks Of Selling Stake In The Club To EPL Liverpool

A-League side Melbourne Victory has "instigated talks with the possibility of selling a stake" to EPL Liverpool, according to Val Migliaccio of THE ADVERTISER. Victory Chair Anthony Di Pietro -- one of the club's principal shareholders -- was "reportedly in England last weekend" talking to Liverpool officials. Fenway Sports Group-owned Liverpool and Victory's relationship was "strengthened last year when the clubs faced off in a friendly in Melbourne in July." The dialogue between the clubs "has been frequent ever since." A Victory official was contacted on Wednesday night "but was yet to comment." The pending Victory-Liverpool deal "comes on the back of Manchester City buying" an 80% share of Melbourne Heart. Heart was sold for about A$12M ($10.7M) with Victory expected to fetch more than A$20M for the franchise "which is regarded as the biggest football club in Australia" (THE ADVERTISER, 2/5). FOOTBALL's Kenneth Quillinan reported "the future of Australian football is continuing to look more and more promising." With the "prospect of both Manchester City and Liverpool providing these Melbourne rivals with a wealth of experience and expertise," it may "not be long before it can challenge Aussie Rules and Rugby League in the popularity stakes amongst the Australian locals" (FOOTBALL, 2/5). The LIVERPOOL ECHO reported Liverpool FC "have rubbished reports linking them with plans to buy a stake in the Melbourne Victory football club in Australia." The Reds "have dismissed any link up" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 2/5).
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