A judge has this morning ruled against the current Liverpool owners in a High Court decision involving Liverpool FC.
Tom Hicks – loses case in High Court
Judge Christopher Floyd at 10:30 am this morning in London, ruled that Liverpool’s American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have no legal power to stop the sale of the Liverpool FC club to Boston Red Sox owner, John Henry for £300M.
The Liverpool Board had last week voted 3-2 to sell the debt-ridden Premier League club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV), but that wasn’t before Tom Hicks had tried to sack two Board members and replace them with his son and another member who would have both voted against the sale.
The judge had referred to that move by American as being breathtaking it its arrogance and he wasted no time this morning in giving his ruling.
While you would think things would now be straight forward in selling the club the New England Sports Ventures and John Henry, Singapore Billionaire Peter Lim yesterday increased his bid for the English Premier League club to £320M, just before yesterday’s High Court got under way.
Obviously that was deliberate timing by Lim, who has said he will put his own money into the bid, which is a total cash deal for £320M, with an additional £40M to buy new players in January.
But we think the bid may be too late, and since Hicks has to repay around £237M debt to the Royal Bank Of Scotland by this Friday, money which he doesn’t have, we expect things to move quickly in the next day or two – otherwise Liverpool could be put into administration and have 9 points deduced.
That is now very unlikely to happen as Liverpool Chairman Martin Broughton is expected to wrap up the NESV deal within a day or two, and then repay the loan to RBS by Friday.
However, Hicks could again try to put a spanner in the works, by lodging an appeal of the verdict, but in his ruling the judge disallowed any appeals, so that hurdle has also been removed.
It looks like the American owners will lose about £140M on the sale, after making it obvious to everybody over the last three years, they were only in it to make a profit.
You live by the sword – you die by the sword.
Liverpool Chairman Broughton said after the verdict today:
“We’re delighted. We came for justice and we got justice and we’ve delivered.” “This will clear the way for a sale.”
” We’ll have a board meeting this evening, once the board have been properly reconstituted and continue with the sale process. The meeting was called to decide who we will sell to.”
That may mean that that Peter Lim still has a chance – so this case is not over yet.
In his closing statement, Judge Christopher Floyd said:
“I am not prepared to grant any relief,” “If I did it would risk stopping the sale and purchase agreement going ahead.”
“The current state of Liverpool is unsatisfactory and I refuse to do anything that might prevent the sale.”
By that statement the Judge has endowed himself to Liverpool fans forever – that’s for sure.