English Premier League (EPL) soccer team Liverpool will receive a bumper World Cup payout following the exploits of star players Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt.
The 2005 Champions League winners are in line for a cool US$700,000 jackpot – the third biggest in club soccer – from Fifa’s inaugural US$40 million World Cup payment pot for teams whose players took part in the South African spectacle.
The efforts of Javier Mascherano and, to a lesser extent, Englishmen Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Jamie Carragher have all boosted the predicted bounty.
The Merseyside club’s welcome windfall is expected to comfortably surpass that of Chelsea (US$595,200) and Arsenal (US$560,000).
Incredibly, fierce rivals Manchester United – who only had five representatives at the tournament – will not even make the top ten with a modest US$300,000 bonus.
Topping the table will be Barcelona (US$820,800) - whose plethora of Spanish stars lifted the Jules Rimet trophy - and German-dominated Bayern Munich (US$755,200).
Big-spending Manchester City are expected to edge into the top ten with a sum of US$508,800.
Financially beleaguered Portsmouth are in line for more than US$300,000 gross and Championship winners Newcastle are hoping to collect a six-figure cheque.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s board has moved to quash rumours that the much-publicised sales process had broken down.
It has been rumoured that the Reds’ failure to complete its takeover will result in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) assuming control of the club.
But Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow denied this was the case.
“We have excellent relations with our lead bankers RBS, we've been in constant dialogue with them, and I am extremely comfortable with that working relationship,” he said.
“We have had a number of bids (and) will take time to examine those extremely carefully.
“I am not going to put a time limit on it. The challenge now is to sort the wheat from the chaff.”
Chinese entrepreneur Kenny Huang and Syrian-Canadian businessman Yahya Kirdi are the favourites to secure the club’s sale but six parties are reportedly in the mix.