Saturday 16 December 2017

Video: Red Sox boss buys Liverpool

SALE: Deal follows boardroom war

Liverpool FC today agreed to sell the club to the owners of the Boston Red Sox.

Chairman Martin Broughton announced the sale to American billionaire John Henry on the club's website.

Terms of the deal were not announced, and it remains subject to the settlement of a board dispute. The announcement said the deal was conditional on "resolution of the dispute concerning board membership and other matters".

The current American owners of the club, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, had been in dispute with club management over proposed takeovers, saying the bids, including that of the Red Sox group, were insufficient.

Chairman Martin Broughton told www.liverpoolfc.tv: "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 the 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 FC."

Mr Broughton added: "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 (Tom Hicks and George Gillett) have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale."

The boardroom battle between American owners Hicks and Gillett and their England-based colleagues escalated to a new level last night.

With news of two new "excellent" bids having been received, the pair, led primarily by Hicks, tried to effect a coup by removing managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre from their positions on the board minutes before a meeting to discuss the new offers.

It was intended to allow the Americans to regain control of the sale process, allowing them the final say on any offer.

This was rebuffed as the two club officials, backed by chairman Broughton, out-voted the Americans three to two.

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