Wednesday, 6th October 2010

The battle for the future of Liverpool Football Club is coming to a head as the Premier League side’s loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) nears its due date. Two new bidders have emerged for the club, one from the United States and the other from Asia, but despite both being viewed as acceptable by Liverpool’s board, owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are resolutely opposed to the sale.

Reports vary as to just how much Hicks and Gillett would make from each offer, but neither bid is believed to give the American duo any profit on their investment. Yesterday saw Hicks and Gillett attempt to sack managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre and replace them with two of their own representatives, one being Hicks’s son, Mack Hicks. That move would have seen the owners hold a majority on the club’s board and move to veto any sale.

The American owners served the club’s board with an injunction, stating they did not believe them to be acting in the best interests of the club. Chairman Martin Broughton, ushered in by RBS to oversee the sale process, resisted the move, and formed a three-man sub committee to continue to run the club. Broughton is now believed to be seeking legal advice.

The two offers, one from US firm New England Sports Ventures, and the other from an unknown Asian group, would both value the club at around £300M, repaying the debt owed to RBS on the club.

For Liverpool yesterday represented just the latest twist in a saga which still has some time to run.



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