Premier League to green light Liverpool takeover

The Premier League is expected to approve the £300m takeover of Liverpool FC by Boston Red Sox owner New England Sports Ventures (NESV) today (8 October).

It is understood that the league will complete the requisite due diligence tests required of new owners and directors, which includes confirmation of proof of funds.

A green light from the Premier League would remove one obstacle halting completion of the acquisition.

The deal faces a legal challenge from the club’s current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, next week.

The two claim that Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton was not authorised to recommend that the NESV deal be accepted.

Hicks and Gillett had tried to scupper the deal by sacking two board members, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre, in a last minute attempt to keep control of the club on Tuesday (6 October).

The duo claim that the reconstitution of the board, with Purslow and Ayre legally replaced by Hicks’s son Mack and vice president of Hicks Holdings, Lori McCutcheon, means that the sale was blocked.

The NESV deal would leave Hicks and Gillett with no return on their £140m investment. The majority of the fee, about £200m, would pay off the club’s debt to Royal Bank of Scotland and US bank Wachovia. The rest would be paid to the club’s other creditors.

Liverpool City Council could also prove an obstacle to the take over. NESV, led by John Henry (pictured), are said to favour development of the club’s Anfield ground if its acquisition is completed.

The city council wants any new owner to stick to what is thought to be a condition of the sale, the building of a new stadium.


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