Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Sport

Boston Red Sox owners to save cash-strapped Liverpool

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-06

The "Reds" board has accepted a bid by New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, to buy troubled Liverpool FC. The sale is conditional on Premier League approval and the resolution of a dispute over board membership.

REUTERS - Liverpool's board has agreed to sell the club to the owners of baseball's Boston Red Sox but the fate of England's most successful soccer team could yet be decided in court as an ownership dispute rages on.

The Premier League club said on Wednesday they had accepted a 300 million pounds ($477.6 million) offer from New England Sports Ventures (NESV) but the deal is being complicated because they are facing a legal challenge from their current owners.

Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett sought on Tuesday to replace two members of the five-man board with their own people in a final bid to retain control.

Hicks and Gillett also confirmed their commitment to selling Liverpool but said the current offer "dramatically" undervalued the club.

"The board has been legally reconstituted and the new board does not approve of this proposed transaction," a spokesman for the owners said.

The proposed deal's price tag of 300 million pounds includes 200 million in writing down all acquisition debt and taking on additional working capital debts and other liabilities.

The club's American owners would also not have been happy to hear that a sale to NESV has the support of Liverpool's major creditors Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), according to a source familiar with the situation.

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton said he was disappointed the current owners had "tried everything to prevent the deal from happening" but added the potential new owners were the best people for the job.

An NESV statement said it wanted to "stabilise the club and ultimately return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies".

Unpopular owners

Hicks and Gillett bought the Merseyside club in February 2007 for 218.9 million pounds and have been unpopular with fans for burdening it with debt, leaving little money for transfers.

Fans have held many protests calling for their departure, blaming the club's worst start to a season for more than half a century on a lack of new players, but they still struck a note of caution.

"We've heard all these promises before and it amounted to very little," James McKenna, a representative of the Spirit of Shankly supporters group, told Reuters.

Broughton sought to allay such fears, saying NESV wanted to create a 60,000-seater stadium in a "short timetable" -- be it a new ground or an expansion of Anfield -- and pointed to their track record with the Red Sox.

"NESV's philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox," he said, referring to the two World Series the team won in 2004 and 2007 after an 86-year wait. The first title came two years after the takeover by NESV, headed by multi-millionaire John W. Henry.

The Liverpool deal will require Premier League approval, which could come by Friday, but the legal dispute is the main issue.

"The legal battle is critical," said Wyn Grant, professor of football economics at Warwick University. "If the NESV deal doesn't go through RBS may ultimately intervene."

Clubs can face nine-point penalties if they go into administration although the Premier League is unlikely to want to penalise a club of Liverpool's stature.

The 18-times English champions have picked up just six points from seven games this season.

 

Date created : 2010-10-06

  • EUROPA LEAGUE

    Liverpool fail to impress in goalless draw with Utrecht

    Read more

  • PREMIER LEAGUE

    Man United beat Liverpool in Old Trafford thriller

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Canadian consortium close to buying out Liverpool FC

    Read more

COMMENT(S)