Liverpool keen to make HK return

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 September, 2009, 12:00am

English Premier League heavyweights Liverpool expect to return to Hong Kong despite the deal to bring them to the city this summer having fallen through.

'We could not reach an agreement this time and this was unfortunate, but it does not mean we cannot reach an agreement next time and hopefully that will be good because we love playing here and that's a great market for us,' said Liverpool commercial director Ian Ayre.

'We were here in 2007 and that was the first time the Premier League Asia Trophy was sold out. That's a great testimony to the fans we have here. I am sure we will be back in Hong Kong.'

Ayre was speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong yesterday at which a four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank was announced, starting next year and worth ?0 million (HK$258 million) a season.

The Reds had planned a pre-season tour of Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore this summer, but the Hong Kong leg was scrapped after the club and the tour promoter failed to agree terms with the Hong Kong Football Association.

Despite the setback, Ayre insisted Asian countries like China, India and Singapore, as well as Hong Kong, were always at the top of their marketing considerations. 'It is fair to say we have the ambition of coming to Asia on a very regular basis, but each time the venue will be different as we want to reach as many of our fans in the region as possible,' he said.