Liverpool set for Wednesday rule

Published Add your comment

Football News

The battle over the future ownership of Liverpool could be decided on Wednesday by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Floyd said he would adjourn his ruling after a day of courtroom clashes between the American owners, club directors and its major creditor, the Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS lawyers accused owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett of changing the running of the club to "frustrate" its sale this Friday.

Paul Girolami QC, representing the American owners, said his clients "were not trying to throw a spanner in the works" of the proposed sale deal and he said there had been other offers for the club which potentially were better than the one wrongly approved by the board. Richard Snowden QC, representing RBS, said the American owners now admitted "a calculated breach of contract" by seeking to change the constitution of the football companies controlling the club and the boards involved without the consent of the bank.

He said this was "to frustrate the sale necessary to repay the bank £200 million by this Friday". The bank secured an injunction on Friday to prevent the Americans sacking independent chairman Martin Broughton or any other board members. Mr Snowden said Mr Hicks filed evidence that if RBS did not like what he was doing, then it could enforce its security rights.

He said that plan would not carry the risk of Liverpool losing the nine points deducted by the Premier League when a team goes into administration.

The judge was asked to impose injunctions on the owners requiring them to restore the original constitutions of the companies and managing directors.

This would remove the final stumbling block to a £300million takeover by New England Sports Ventures (NESV), which will see the RBS recoup its original £237million loan to Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett when they bought the club in March 2007.

The bank say that when the American owners renegotiated an extension to the refinancing to allow a sale to be completed, they agreed that Mr Broughton could come in alongside managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre. This gave them a three-to-two majority to prevent the Americans blocking any sale they did not feel was in their interests.

It was also made clear that Mr Broughton was the only person who could change board members, so when Mr Hicks tried to sack the English directors last week on the eve of the meeting to approve the NESV bid, the chairman rejected the move. Mr Snowden said evidence filed to the court showed "breathtaking arrogance on the part of Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett".

Mr Girolami, opposing an immediate injunction, said all the issues involved needed more time to determine and "should not be rushed into".

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again