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SPORTS
15 Oct 2010
LIVERPOOL HOPEFUL OF DEADLINE DAY SALE

Liverpool are waiting to see if the club's £300m sale to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) goes through before the deadline to settle the club's debt.

The Reds must pay off a £240m loan to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on Friday to avoid the threat of administration.

Although the High Court ruled American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett could not block the sale, they have a further hearing in Dallas at 1300 BST.

"We're nearly there," said Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton.

"We've still got to take away the restraining order."

Broughton added that he hoped NESV head John W Henry would be at the Merseyside derby on Sunday as Liverpool's new owner.

"Mr Henry is very committed. My guess is we'll have it done and he'll be there - but we've got to get rid of this order first," Broughton stated.

Friday has become a hugely important day in the history of the football club with the threat of administration meaning the club could suffer a nine-point penalty should it fail to pay off the loan to RBS.

Liverpool board members will be privately fuming that the potential sale to NESV has gone down to the last day as Hicks and Gillett have continuously sought to prevent the purchase of the club they bought in 2007 for £174m.

It looked as though that prospect might be avoided after the latest High Court ruling on Thursday when Mr Justice Floyd issued an anti-suit injunction which rendered Hicks and Gillett's temporary restraining order ineffective.

But the anxiety of Broughton, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre will last into Friday as a hearing which began in Texas on Thursday, following the latest High Court ruling, was adjourned until 1300 BST (0700 local time).

A statement issued on behalf of the Liverpool board read: "The independent directors of Liverpool Football Club are delighted with the verdict of Mr Justice Floyd in the High Court this afternoon, which now requires Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to withdraw their Texas restraining order by 1600 BST on Friday.

"We are glad to have taken another important step towards completing the sale process."

It all has a familiar air to it after Wednesday's events, when an original High Court ruling, allowing the sale to go through, was blocked by an injunction taken out by Hicks and Gillett from a Texas court.

So Liverpool fans could be forgiven for thinking Thursday's High Court judgement might not the final chapter, but the BBC's sports editor David Bond believes that administration is unlikely and a deal with NESV should go through.

Time is running out for Hicks and Gillett with Mr Justice Floyd giving the much-criticised owners until 1600 BST on Friday to withdraw their legal action in America, or face charges of contempt of court.

NESV, owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, also plan to make their own submission to the Dallas court to overturn the injunction obtained by Hicks and Gillett.

The American co-owners claim that Broughton, Purslow and Ayre have attempted to sell the club for "a price they know to be hundreds of millions of dollars below true market value."

The details of their injunction also disclose that the pair are seeking more than $1.6bn (£1bn) in damages.

Mr Justice Floyd described Hicks and Gillett's conduct as "unconscionable" while Richard Snowden QC, representing RBS, said the duo's behaviour was "outrageous" adding that the proceedings in Texas were "plainly inappropriate".

During the Thursday's hearing in London, David Chivers QC, representing NESV, said his clients already considered themselves to be Liverpool's new owners.

And the head of NESV John W Henry was later seen entering the London offices of Liverpool's solicitors Slaughter and May for a meeting with the board.

Henry's group is not thought to be the only interested party, with Mill Financial still "very much part of the mix" and "waiting to dive in if a deal with NESV does fall through," according to BBC Radio 5 live's Brian Alexander.

But Singapore businessman Peter Lim, who was also thought to be waiting in the wings, has withdrawn his £320m bid.

"The [Liverpool] board is intent on selling the club to NESV to the exclusion of all other parties, regardless of the merits of their bids," he said.

Liverpool, who face Everton on Sunday, are in the bottom three in the Premier League table after picking up only six points from their opening seven games.

Should the club be put into administration, it would leave them rooted to the bottom of the table on minus three points.

source:Liverpool are waiting to see if the club's £300m sale to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) goes through before the deadline to settle the club's debt.

The Reds must pay off a £240m loan to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on Friday to avoid the threat of administration.

Although the High Court ruled American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett could not block the sale, they have a further hearing in Dallas at 1300 BST.

"We're nearly there," said Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton.

"We've still got to take away the restraining order."

Broughton added that he hoped NESV head John W Henry would be at the Merseyside derby on Sunday as Liverpool's new owner.

"Mr Henry is very committed. My guess is we'll have it done and he'll be there - but we've got to get rid of this order first," Broughton stated.

Friday has become a hugely important day in the history of the football club with the threat of administration meaning the club could suffer a nine-point penalty should it fail to pay off the loan to RBS.

Liverpool board members will be privately fuming that the potential sale to NESV has gone down to the last day as Hicks and Gillett have continuously sought to prevent the purchase of the club they bought in 2007 for £174m.

It looked as though that prospect might be avoided after the latest High Court ruling on Thursday when Mr Justice Floyd issued an anti-suit injunction which rendered Hicks and Gillett's temporary restraining order ineffective.

But the anxiety of Broughton, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre will last into Friday as a hearing which began in Texas on Thursday, following the latest High Court ruling, was adjourned until 1300 BST (0700 local time).

A statement issued on behalf of the Liverpool board read: "The independent directors of Liverpool Football Club are delighted with the verdict of Mr Justice Floyd in the High Court this afternoon, which now requires Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to withdraw their Texas restraining order by 1600 BST on Friday.

"We are glad to have taken another important step towards completing the sale process."

It all has a familiar air to it after Wednesday's events, when an original High Court ruling, allowing the sale to go through, was blocked by an injunction taken out by Hicks and Gillett from a Texas court.

So Liverpool fans could be forgiven for thinking Thursday's High Court judgement might not the final chapter, but the BBC's sports editor David Bond believes that administration is unlikely and a deal with NESV should go through.

Time is running out for Hicks and Gillett with Mr Justice Floyd giving the much-criticised owners until 1600 BST on Friday to withdraw their legal action in America, or face charges of contempt of court.

NESV, owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, also plan to make their own submission to the Dallas court to overturn the injunction obtained by Hicks and Gillett.

The American co-owners claim that Broughton, Purslow and Ayre have attempted to sell the club for "a price they know to be hundreds of millions of dollars below true market value."

The details of their injunction also disclose that the pair are seeking more than $1.6bn (£1bn) in damages.

Mr Justice Floyd described Hicks and Gillett's conduct as "unconscionable" while Richard Snowden QC, representing RBS, said the duo's behaviour was "outrageous" adding that the proceedings in Texas were "plainly inappropriate".

During the Thursday's hearing in London, David Chivers QC, representing NESV, said his clients already considered themselves to be Liverpool's new owners.

And the head of NESV John W Henry was later seen entering the London offices of Liverpool's solicitors Slaughter and May for a meeting with the board.

Henry's group is not thought to be the only interested party, with Mill Financial still "very much part of the mix" and "waiting to dive in if a deal with NESV does fall through," according to BBC Radio 5 live's Brian Alexander.

But Singapore businessman Peter Lim, who was also thought to be waiting in the wings, has withdrawn his £320m bid.

"The [Liverpool] board is intent on selling the club to NESV to the exclusion of all other parties, regardless of the merits of their bids," he said.

Liverpool, who face Everton on Sunday, are in the bottom three in the Premier League table after picking up only six points from their opening seven games.

Should the club be put into administration, it would leave them rooted to the bottom of the table on minus three points.

source:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

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