London– Liverpool team members are soon to swear allegiance with Baseball’s Boston Red Sox as both franchise will be owned by the same company, the New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
On Wednesday, Liverpool Board announced the agreement with the sale. But it was reported that the takeover by the NESV won’t be smooth sailing as resolution of a legal dispute with the Reds’ American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett is required.
The Premier League, a confederation where Liverpool plays under, aims to “complete all the necessary processes by Friday 8 October so the sale can proceed”.
In a desperate attempt to keep control, Hicks and Gillett tried to replace managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre. The owners tried to block any sale by appointing Mack Hicks, Hick’s son, as managing director and Lori Kay McCutcheon as commercial director.
Purslow, Ayre and club chairman Martin Broughton are now discussing possible actions with their lawyers. Broughton has expressed disappointment over the matter. “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,” said Broughton.
According to reports NESV made a deal close to £300m. If those were the exact amount the club will have enough to pay back the £280m loans and fees it owed to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
“NESV’s philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox,” Broughton said. “By removing the burden of acquisition debt, this offer allows us to focus on investment in the team,” Broughton added.
With the October 15 deadline to repay all the debt set by the RBS, the prospective owners seems to have the edge over the ownership. But then, the legal dispute over board membership remains a critical part of whether the sale can actually push through.
Liverpool Football Club, currently ranks 18th out of 20, is undergoing their worst start to a season in 57 years. Last April Hicks and Gillett tried to sell the franchise for about £800m and later dropped to £600m.
In August, there were bids from Hong Kong businessman Kenny Huang and Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi.
The future new owner NESV, partly owned by futures and foreign exchange trading advisor John W. Henry already owns successful companies which includes the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Rousch Fenway Racing.
Henry, a self made millionaire, is famous for his track record of success with his team. He has made his estimated fortune of £540m in hedge funds. His indulgence in sporting interest led his involving with the Boston Red Sox baseball team and NASCAR motorsport series.
Henry, together with his partners in New England Sports Ventures, Tom Werner and the New York Times Company, bought the Red Sox in 2002.
Liverpool Football Club is an English professional football club based in Anfield, Liverpool. The club was founded in 1892 and was admitted to the Football League a year later. They first competed in Europe in the 1964-1965 season.