Liverpool Football Club has been sold to John Henry’s New England Sports Ventures after a dramatic few days of legal battles in London and Dallas.
At the press conference in London, which This Is Anfield attended, John Henry told press, “I am proud and humbled. I can’t tell you how happy I am. We’re here to win.”
“We’re going to do a lot of listening, we have a lot to learn, and we’ll walk this path together [with the fans].
“We regard our role as that of stewards for the club with a primary focus on returning the club to greatness on and off the field for the long-term.
“We are committed first and foremost to winning. We have a history of winning, and today we want Liverpool supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great club.”
Exclusive photo from the press conference in London – This Is Anfield
Chariman Martin Broughton also spoke of his joy at concluding the deal, “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 offer on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a new owner. NESV is buying Liverpool in order to put it on an excellent financial footing and continue to develop it internationally.
“This is a good deal which comprehensively resolves the pressing issue of the club’s debt and should give staff, players and fans great confidence regarding the future of Liverpool FC.”
A club statement reads, “The transaction values the club at £300m and eliminates all of the acquisition debt placed on LFC by its previous owners, reducing the club’s debt servicing obligations from £25m-£30m a year to £2m-£3m.”
With more twists and turns in the saga from early this morning, previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett appeared to have admitted defeat in their fight to keep control of the club at around 1.45pm this afternoon.
They claimed that they have been a victim of an “epic swindle”, that the club was sold illegally and they would seek damages through a lawsuit of $1.6billion. UPDATE: However, on Friday evening reports in Dallas claimed they had dropped this lawsuit threat.
A spokesman for the pair said, “It’s an extraordinary swindle and it will result in exactly the wrong thing for the Club and the fans.”
At the press conference in London to announce the sale, John Henry appeared to shrug off Hicks’ legal challenge.
The American tycoons claim they tried a last minute deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland to repay the debts they owed, having apparently secured financing from Mill Financial. RBS turned down their offer to repay the debts.
This morning, Hicks and Gillett withdrew their injunction at Dallas District Court which was preventing the sale of the club. This was an order from London’s High Court yesterday afternoon.
John Henry is expected to attend Sunday’s Merseyside Derby against Everton at Goodison Park.
Thank you John Henry. Thank you Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre. Thank you QC Grabiner. Thank you fans.
A new era at Liverpool Football Club begins today.