Liverpool takeover deal sealed

US Company New England Sports
Ventures, owner of the Boston Red Sox, has completed its takeover of Liverpool

The move comes after former owners
Tom Hicks and George Gillett removed the temporary restraining order blocking
the $480 million sale.

“I am proud and humbled,”
said NESV head John W Henry. “I can’t tell you how happy I am. We’re here
to win.”

Hicks and Gillett may now take
legal action in England to secure damages after dropping a claim lodged in

The claim in the Dallas court was
for $1.6 billion in damages, with the American pair claiming the deal was
“illegal” and an “extraordinary swindle”.

“We believe that once the
English court finally has a chance to hear all the facts, a very different picture
will be painted,” said said a statement from Fish & Richardson
attorney Tom Melsheimer.

Still, there was an air of relief
as news of NESV’s completed purchase emerged – a move that will allow major
creditors Royal Bank of Scotland to be paid the $378 million it is owed.

A club statement revealed:
“The transaction values the club at $480 million and eliminates all of the
acquisition debt placed on LFC by its previous owners, reducing the club’s debt
servicing obligations from $40-$48 million a year to $3.2-$4.8 million.”

That, in turn, means Liverpool’s
holding company is unlikely now to be put into administration, a move which
could have resulted in a nine-point penalty in the Premier League.

Chairman Martin Broughton – who
revealed he would fulfil “a transitional role while John works out how to
run the club” in the foreseeable future – added in a statement: “This
is a good deal which comprehensively resolves the pressing issue of the club’s
debt and should give staff, players and fans great confidence regarding the
future of Liverpool FC.”

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