Liverpool to be sold, but not if Hicks and Gillet have their way

By Andy Rice 6 October 2010

The board of Liverpool have agreed to sell the football club to New England Sports Ventures, which owns, amongst many other things, the Boston Red Sox. According to a statement released on Liverpool's website, "the sale is conditional on Premier League approval, resolution of the dispute concerning Board membership and other matters", which is a very nice way of saying that the current owners of the club, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, have done their damndest to prevent the sale of the Reds to the NESV. Hicks and Gillett are a much-hated pair amongst Scousers, after saddling the club with debt, and have been blamed for Liverpool's woeful form in the last few years. In a move that added much salt to already smarting wounds, Hicks and Gilletts tried to sack Liverpool's managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre in order to block the sale. Purslow and Ayre are understood to have consulted their lawyers over whether they can fend off the unwanted attentions of Hick and Gillett, and force a sale. NESV is thought to be offering £300 million for the club, which would cover Liverpool's £280 million debt (in loans and fees), with a bit of change to spare. Crucially, being debt-free would theoretically free the manager to splash around a bit during the transfer period. The mood amongst Anfield die-hards is one of very cautious optimism, with most fans expressing reservations about NESV's apparent lack of a long-term plan. Read more: Liverpool website, BBC News, the Guardian

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