Liverpool board resolute over sale
Published 13/10/2010 | 11:32
The directors of Liverpool Football Club have vowed to press ahead with its sale despite a legal bid to stop it going ahead.
They won a resounding victory in the High Court when Mr Justice Floyd on Wednesday ruled current owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks did not have the power to reconstitute the board and block its sale to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
But events later took a dramatic turn when a Texas district court obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent the deal going ahead.
It had been hoped that a meeting between Liverpool's board and NESV's John Henry in London could end in a finalised sale. The boards of Kop Football and Kop Holdings have now said they will fight to have the restraining order lifted.
A statement posted on Liverpool's official website read: "Following the successful conclusion of High Court proceedings today, the boards of directors of Kop Football and Kop Holdings met tonight and resolved to complete the sale of Liverpool FC to New England Sports Ventures.
"Regrettably, Thomas Hicks and George Gillett have obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from a Texas District Court against the independent directors, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and NESV to prevent the transaction being completed. The independent directors consider the restraining order to be unwarranted and damaging and will move as swiftly as possible to seek to have it removed."
The news of the restraining order was published on the website of American law firm Fish & Richardson, which also claimed damages of 1.6 billion dollars (£1billion) being sought by Hicks and Gillett. The lawsuit announced by Fish & Richardson is against Liverpool creditors Royal Bank of Scotland, chairman Martin Broughton, board member Ian Ayre, financial director Philip Nash and NESV and claims Hicks and Gillett are victims of an "epic swindle" and "grand conspiracy".
The NESV agreement, worth £300 million, is characterised by them as "a scheme to sell LFC to NESV at a price they know to be hundreds of millions of dollars below true market value". The post went on to claim that RBS would only sign off a deal if it did not provide financial benefits for the outgoing owners.
NESV's offer, as well as Peter Lim's rival deal worth £320 million, are in the public domain but the legal notice claims another party made contact through a third party on October 4 and was offering up to £400 million.
In addition, it is now claimed Broughton twice refused to respond to yet another offer worth between £350 million and £400 million.