But the agreement in principle could be scuppered as it is subject to the resolution of a legal dispute with the club’s current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett and its board.
It is said that Hicks and Gillett tried to sack two board members, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre, in a last minute attempt to keep control of the club yesterday (6 October).
It is thought that NESV, led by John Henry has agreed to pay £300m for the club, £200m of which will pay off some of the club’s debt to Royal Bank of Scotland and US bank Wachovia. The rest would be paid to the club’s other creditors, leaving Hicks and Gillett with no return on their £140m investment.
It is understood that the agreement with NESV has the backing of the RBS.
Martin Broughton, Liverpool chairman, says he is “disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening” but is “delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive.”
Liverpool fans will welcome the news that Hicks and Gillett’s reign could be coming to an end. Supporters groups have launched a series of campaigns to vent their anger over the £237m debt that the club’s current owners have saddled the club with.
Broughton adds: “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”.
NESV also owns sports interest New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Rousch Fenway Racing.