New England Sports Ventures (NESV), the owners of the Boston Red Sox will take over Liverpool after a legal dispute with the current American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks is settled by the Premier League.
Hicks and Gillett have expressed their unwillingness to sell the club, and in a bid to prevent its sale, have tried to replace managing director Purlow and commercial director Ayre with their own nominees including Hicks’s son.
Purlow and Ayre are said to be in touch with their legal counsel so as to foil the bid to replace them and to ensure the club’s sale.
The club has debts of 240 mn with Royal Bank of Scotland, which is also owed 40 mn in fees. The 300 mn bid by the Red Sox owners is sufficient to cover these liabilities. If the debts are not settled by October 15, there would be an additional penalty of 60 mn payable to RBS.
So the legal dispute would have to be settled so as to allow the sale to go through by October 15.
Gillett and Hicks are reportedly uninterested in selling the club for 300 mn, as they feel this is an undervaluation. But if the sale were not to transpire by October 15, the bank could extend the deadline and take possession of the club and see its sale through.
Hicks and Gillett want 600 mn for the club, twice the offer by the Red Sox owners. In fact, their original demand was for 800 mn; they acquired the club in 2007 for 174.1 mn, when the debts did not exceed 44.8 mn.
Apart from owning the Boston Red Sox, NESV also own other companies, Rousch Fenway Racing, New England Sports Network and Fenway Sports Group.
Meanwhile fans of the Anfield outfit who were not very enthused with Gillett and Hicks are optimistic about the takeover. The club needs an infusion of funds that will enable investment in key players who could get the Merseysiders back to winning ways.
However, a group that calls itself the Share Liverpool FC group is not very enthusiastic about the sale. The group, organized with the aim of attracting 100,000 fans to own the club jointly, is the brainchild of Dr Rogan Taylor.
Dr Taylor does not believe that the club has reached a point of no return, and stresses that any prospective owner must necessarily understand the culture of football as played in Britain.