Liverpool given green light to sell to new owners
Liverpool’s board will meet tonight to try and finalise the club’s sale following the Royal Bank of Scotland’s High Court win against Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
The decision in London today allowed Chairman Martin Broughton to call a meeting tonight in which the members of the board are expected to finalise the sale of Liverpool to Boston-based New England Sports Ventures.
Earlier in the month Hicks and Gillett attempted to remove two members of the board, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre, with the intention of blocking a proposed deal which would see the club sold to NESV for a reported fee of £300m.
Today at the High Court Mr Justice Floyd ordered the American duo to consent to reinstate the board by 8pm this evening after stating that Hicks and Gillett had breached undertakings given to RBS.
“The true position is that in order to ensure additional loans the owners have released absolute control of the sale process that they are now seeking to regain,” Mr Justice Floyd stated.
“When it became clear that the sale process was proceeding on a basis unpalatable to them they sought to renege on that agreement. There is no basis to find that what they did was justified.”
The board will now have to discuss the way forward for the club, with both NESV and Singapore businessman Peter Lim tabling offers for the club.
It was revealed on Tuesday night that Lim had made an improved bid for the club, though NESV remain confident they will be successful in their attempts to take control at Anfield.
“NESV welcomes today’s High Court judgment, which is a huge step forward for Liverpool FC,” an NESV statement read.
“NESV has a binding agreement in place with the Board of Liverpool FC and we are looking forward to concluding the deal.
“We are ready to move quickly and help create the stability and certainty which the Club needs at this time. It is time to return the focus to the Club itself and performances on the pitch.”
Following the judgement at the court, Peter Lim also released a statement.
“I welcome the decision of the court,” he said. “I hope that when the board is reconstituted tonight that it will not simply ratify a sale to NESV but will consider all the offers before them.
“I am asking the board to run a full and fair process that enables all of the offers to be considered on their merits before the future of the club is decided.
“I have delivered my offer to the board and believe that my ownership represents the best option for the future of the club and its supporters.”