Liverpool FC's prospective owners 'will wait' as Texan court imposes injunction
Thu 14th Oct 2010 | Legal
The soap opera that has become of the Liverpool Football Club ownership battle took another dramatic twist last night after it emerged that Hicks and Gillett had acquired an injunction from a Texan District Court to block the sale of the club.
After dramatic scenes outside the High Court in London yesterday which saw Michael Broughton, chairman of Liverpool and his board of directors celebrate their victory over the American owners, it emerged that an injunction had been granted by a court in Texas to stop the sale from going ahead.
Hicks and Gillett, who were refused an appeal by Mr Justice Floyd yesterday, made a last ditch attempt to halt the process after the RBS were granted the right to reconstitute the board at Liverpool and press on with the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
In reply to the news of the injunction, the Liverpool board vowed to "move as swiftly as possible to seek to have it [the restraining order] removed".
The club released a statement: "Following the successful conclusion of High Court proceedings, the board of directors of Kop Football and Kop Holdings met and resolved to complete the sale of Liverpool FC to New England Sports Ventures.
"Regrettably, Thomas Hicks and George Gillett obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from a Texas District Court against the independent directors, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and NESV, to prevent the transaction being completed.
"The independent directors consider the restraining order to be unwarranted and damaging and will move as swiftly as possible to seek to have it removed."
In what Hicks and Gillett deemed an ‘epic swindle’ the duo are said to be launching a counter claim for up to £1bn in ‘damages’.
The legal action in Texas - signed by Judge Jim Jordan of the 160th District Court in Dallas - is "part of a lawsuit filed against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, Ian Ayre, NESV and Philip Nash" read a statement.
However, it is understood that NESV are willing to wait. Sources close to John W Henry, chief executive of NESV told the BBC that he will wait as the injunction brought by the court in Texas will affect his business dealing in the US.
The injunction will be heard on the 25th Oct but it is likely that RBS and the Liverpool board’s lawyers will seek to find a resolution before this date.
The deadline given by RBS to recover its £237m loan is tomorrow (15th Oct) and the delay could force the state owned bank to call in its loans which would effectively place Liverpool into administration activating a nine point deduction by the Premier League.
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