Liverpool’s ownership soap opera picked up considerable pace yesterday evening, with news that the club is to be bought by the owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
A statement on the club website confirmed that two “excellent” takeover offers. It also claimed that owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett had attempted to sack managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre from the board of directors shortly before the meeting to approve the sale of club.
The American owners claimed the English directors had “dramatically undervalued the club” and attempted to replace them on the board with Hicks’s son, Mack Hicks, and Lori Kay McCutcheon, a vice president at Hicks Holdings.
The sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV), the owners of Boston Red Sox, was eventually agreed but is subject to the outcome of a legal review into whether Hicks and Gillett did have the right to ‘sack the board’.
Chairman Martin Broughton said: “”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 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 Football Club.
“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 have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale.”
And Liverpool fans will no doubt be delighted. Having waged war against American football franchise owners, baseball was clearly the logical step forward for everyone concerned.