Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Liverpool Chairman Martin Broughton Announces Proposed Sale Of Club To New England Sports Ventures

Current owners Tom Hicks & George Gillett begin protest, however By Matt Monaghan

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has announced the proposed sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV), though current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are set to legally challenge the deal.

NESV currently own several companies, including the Boston Red Sox baseball team, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Rousch Fenway Racing. The principal owner of the group is venture capitalist John W. Henry, with chairman Thomas C. Werner.

Speaking to the club's official website, Broughton revealed negotiations between the parties had been going on for several weeks and that the bid would see the "removing [of] the burden of acquisition debt".

He said: "I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive. The Board decided to accept NESV's proposal on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a suitable new owner. NESV's philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox.

"We've met them in Boston, London and Liverpool over several weeks and I am immensely impressed with what they have achieved and with their vision for Liverpool Football Club.

"By removing the burden of acquisition debt, this offer allows us to focus on investment in the team. I am only disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale."

Current stewards Hicks and Gillett - who purchased the club in February 2007 - face an impending October 15 deadline to refinance their £237 million debt to the Royal Bank of Scotland. They officially put the Anfield outfit up for sale in April after struggling to meet repayments.

In a joint statement issued last night, they announced they will "resist any attempt to sell the club without due process or agreement" from them.

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