Graeme Souness indicated that Manchester City owners, Abu Dhabi United Investment and Development Group Limited, originally decided to purchase Liverpool.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Souness said: “I went to Dubai, 12, 13 years ago. Stayed in Atlantis Hotel, arrived early afternoon. Walked round the hotel with my wife and my son and went to the Nobu restaurant which was empty just after lunch.
“On the way out someone came over and introduced themselves, then a lady came over she introduced herself as Amanda. ‘I’m a Liverpool supporter’.”
However, Souness reported that Amanda Staveley, who is currently engaged in talks on the purchase of Newcastle United, told him that they had failed to persuade Tom Hicks and George Gillett to part with the Merseyside outfit:
“During the conversation, she said ‘I’m responsible for taking the Abu Dhabi family to Man City’ and I said, ‘but five minutes ago you said you were a Liverpool supporter – why did you not take them to Liverpool?’
“She said: ‘I tried and I tried but Gillett and Hicks were so difficult to deal with, they just walked away in the end’.”
Two years after this attempted buyout, Liverpool were sold to Fenway Sports Group.
On the other hand, since being purchased by Abu Dhabi United Investment and Development Group Limited in 2008, City has enjoyed the most prosperous time in its history, winning four Premier League titles and seven cup competitions.