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Court condemns Liverpool owners


Tom Hicks (left) and George Gillett (right)

Tom Hicks (left) and George Gillett (right)

Tom Hicks (left) and George Gillett (right)

Liverpool's American owners were strongly condemned in the High Court in London on Thursday for taking action in the US courts to try to block the sale of the club.

Mr Justice Floyd criticised Tom Hicks and George Gillett as he granted anti-suit injunctions in a bid to nullify decisions taken in the court in Dallas.

The judge said he had given a ruling in London on Wednesday that meant the English directors of Liverpool could agree a £300million takeover by John W Henry's New England Sporting Ventures (NESV). But before the board could make any decision, Tom Hicks, one of the American owners, secured a temporary restraining order from the Texas court.

Mr Justice Floyd said that, on the face of it, that amounted to "unconscionable conduct on the part of Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett".

Mr Justice Floyd said his mandatory orders were not aimed at the Texas court but Hicks and Gillett to stop them taking further action there and to nullify any orders obtained in Dallas.

David Chivers QC, who told the judge that his clients, NESV, already considered themselves the new owners of Liverpool, asked the judge for a speedy serving of his orders on Hicks and Gillett so the deal with NESV can be completed and money transferred from the US.

He said if the deal was not completed tomorrow, then Hicks and Gillett had succeeded in stopping the sale of Liverpool before repayment of the debt to RBS became due.

The judge gave Hicks and Gillett until 4pm tomorrow to comply with his orders.