Liverpool to be sold to the owners of the Boston Red Sox
Liverpool’s independent board members have agreed a deal to sell the club to New England Sports Ventures – the owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
The board members who accepted the bid faced opposition from owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who moved to block the deal and remove Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre from their positions on the board, resulting in a legal dispute.
Any deal will be subject to a protracted legal battle after Hicks and Gillett’s attempt to remove the independent board members, whilst the Premier League will also have to approve any takeover of the troubled club.
Reports have suggested that should Liverpool fall in to administration due to Hicks and Gillett’s attempts to block the sale there will be no automatic nine-point deduction in the league.
Chairman Martin Broughton said: “I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive
“The Board decided to accept NESV’s proposal on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a suitable new owner. NESV’s philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox.
“We’ve met them in Boston, London and Liverpool over several weeks and I am immensely impressed with what they have achieved and with their vision for Liverpool Football Club.
“By removing the burden of acquisition debt, this offer allows us to focus on investment in the team. I am only disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale.”
However, Hicks and Gillett still remain reluctant to sell the club they took over in February of 2007, releasing a statement to show their intent to prolong their tenure at Anfield.
“In April, we confirmed our agreement to sell Liverpool Football Club, and appointed a new Chairman and advisers to oversee the process,” read a press release from Tom Hicks’ PR company.
“At that time we and Martin Broughton stated our commitment to finding the right buyer for LFC, one that could support and sustain the Club in the future. We remain committed to that goal.
“The owners have invested more than $270 million in cash into the club, and during their tenure revenues have nearly doubled, investment in players has increased and the Club is one of the most profitable in the EPL. As such, the Board has been presented with offers that we believe dramatically undervalue the Club.
“To be clear, there is no change in our commitment to finding a buyer for Liverpool Football Club at a fair price that reflects the very significant investment we’ve made. We will however resist any attempt to sell the Club without due process or agreement by the owners.”