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Hicks loses Billionaire status

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has lost his billionaire status, according to America’s leading financial rich list.

Forbes magazine claim that the Texan is the 701st richest man in the world and owns an estimated fortune of $950 million (£620 million). He recently agreed a deal to sell the Texas Rangers baseball outfit but has reportedly hit a stumbling block.

Last month Hicks, who also owns the Dallas Stars ice hockey franchise, agreed a deal of $500 million (£310 million) to relinquish his majority stake but the MLB club’s creditors revealed that there would be delays in responding to the lenders’ concerns about the deal.

Since seizing control of the Reds in 2007, Hicks and business partner George Gillett have endured a turbulent spell as self-proclaimed custodians of Anfield after failing to deliver pledges to build a new stadium in Stanley Park and ensure the club remained debt-free.

Liverpool are currently seeking a minimum investment of £100 million to reduce the level of their £237 million debt owed to the Royal Bank of Scotland and US-based Wachovia after successfully negotiating £350 million refinancing deal in January 2008.

Matthew Miller, Forbes’ senior editor, believes that Hicks’ fall down the magazine’s rich list has been attributable to problems encountered with Liverpool and his American sports franchises.