Football

Purslow expects takeover success

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Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow is confident the proposed £300million sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures will go through.

Purslow maintained the Reds board had "done their homework" on the American investment group, which owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team, and said that the club's £237m debt would be wiped out if the takeover, which is subject to a High Court challenge from current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, goes through next week.

Purslow told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "We have done our homework and NESV are buying this business with cash and clearing our debt which transforms our financial position overnight. A bidder who has been willing with cash to rid of us of all this long-term debt is by far the largest and most important priority in evaluating bids."

He also insisted manager Roy Hodgson's job was safe and that the Liverpool fans would be given a voice should the new owners be able to complete their takeover.

Hicks and Gillett borrowed money from the Royal Bank of Scotland to complete their purchase of Liverpool in 2007, a debt which Purslow insists would be wiped out by an NESV buy-out.

Purslow added: "My total priority has been to try to remove the debt which has been put on this club and which has been a cloud since February 2007. It is wrong that we should have so much of the money that comes through the turnstiles or through our commercial activity go to pay interest on loans.

Hicks and Gillett have launched a legal challenge to the takeover, describing it as invalid and insisting that the offer by NESV under-valued the club. The High Court case is set to begin on Tuesday.

If the court rules in favour of Hicks and Gillett, RBS could call in their debt as early as Friday, when repayment is due in full, and force Kop Holdings into administration.

That would almost certainly result in a nine-point penalty being imposed on the club by the Premier League, which would leave them bottom of the table on minus three points.

However, Purslow said: "I'm not even contemplating administration."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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