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Liverpool FC case begins

Tue 12th Oct 2010 | Legal

The future of Liverpool Football Club is in the hands of the High Court this morning as the legal battle between the club’s owners and board of directors hots up.

 

The case brought forward by current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to block the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) was due to start at 10.30 but has been delayed due to the complexity of the case.

 

This morning John W Henry who heads up the NESV bid addressed Liverpool supporters via his Twitter feed @John_W_Henry  

 

Hello LFC supporters!"   He commented this morning, followed by;

"It would be inappropriate and presumptuous at this time to respond to questions. In the interim, we're all rooting for the same thing."

The case will consider the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS), application to the court against co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Hicks and Gillett, who bought the Reds in March 2007, owe RBS £240m but are blocking the £300m sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).

The American duo have opposed the sale as they say it undervalues the club.

In an attempt to block the sale of the club Hicks and Gillett sought to replace Commercial Director Ian Arye and General Manager, Christian Purslow with Tom’s Son and his assistant. However, Chairman, Michael Broughton overruled the changes stating that he has the legal right to force the sale of the club and that any attempts to change the composition of the boardroom by Hicks and Gillett was beyond their control.

Broughton claims when the owners decided to put the club up for sale in April, RBS requested undertakings from them that only he - as independent chairman - could make changes to the club's board.

 

Hick’s attempt to force this son onto the board has contravened this ruling and RBS released a statement yesterday confirming it had sought an injunction against Hicks and Gillett

 
“As is well known, Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett purported to make changes to those corporate governance arrangements on 4 October. This was in breach of those contractual undertakings.

In light of that purported breach of contract RBS sought and obtained on Friday 8 October 2010 an interim injunction against Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett until a further hearing scheduled for tomorrow.”

The case is now underway and further news will follow

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