Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Liverpool owners move to block sale

George Gillett (left) and Tom Hicks

Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett claim they have won a temporary restraining order from the Texas State District Court preventing the sale of the club and are now seeking 1.6billion US Dollars in damages.

The American businessmen, whose ownership of the club was thought to be approaching its end as the Liverpool board met at the offices of a London legal firm with prospective new owner John Henry in attendance, have also claimed they are the victims of an "epic swindle".

Henry travelled to the offices of Slaughter and May on Wednesday night and, when asked what it was like to nearly own the Reds, gave reporters a thumbs up gesture. But the saga took a further twist when a statement posted on the American duo's behalf by international law firm Fish & Richardson revealed the restraining order and counter-claim.

The day had started well for Liverpool fans - and board members - eager to hasten the departure of Hicks and Gillett when they suffered an overwhelming defeat in the High Court.

The pair had attempted to oust managing director Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre from the Reds' board in a bid to prevent the sale to Henry's New England Sports Ventures.

But creditors the Royal Bank of Scotland and Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton argued they did not have the power to do so and won a resounding victory on Wednesday afternoon.

That ruling, passed down by Mr Justice Floyd, appeared to be the end of the road for Hicks and Gillett and the subsequent board meeting was predicted to end with a completed sale.

Instead though, the legal machine was in motion on the other side of the Atlantic, with Fish & Richardson later claiming Judge Jim Jordan of the 160th District Court in Dallas had signed the TRO request.

Their release also read: "The lawsuit also seeks temporary and permanent injunctions, and damages totalling approximately $1.6billion (over £1billion)."

The Fish & Richardson statement went on to allege that there had been a conspiracy to "execute a scheme to sell LFC to NESV" at a price they know to be hundreds of millions of dollars below true market value."

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