Dramatic events are unfolding at Liverpool with a statement announcing a potential sale of the Club to New England Sports Ventures – who own the American baseball side Boston Red Sox.
The sale has been agreed by the board of directors, chairman Martin Broughton, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre, but is being contested by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
That means that, despite the sale “being agreed”, the reality is the sale is far from complete. A courtroom battle like no other could be about to ensue, with Hicks and Gillett attempting to hold onto the Football Club and get a return on their 3 year stint as owners.
Reports suggest NESV’s offer is around £300m, roughly the amount required to pay the debt, and half of the £600m Hicks and Gillett are seeking.
More to follow as this develops throughout the day.
Official LFC Statement
Liverpool Football Club today announces that the Board has agreed the sale of the Club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
New England Sports Ventures currently owns a portfolio of companies including the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Rousch Fenway Racing.
Martin Broughton, Liverpool FC Chairman, 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.”
Note to editors:
The sale is conditional on Premier League approval, resolution of the dispute concerning Board membership and other matters.