Liverpool owners block sale by US court’s temporary restraining order

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LONDON - Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have claimed that a US court has granted a temporary restraining order stopping the sale of the English Premier League club.

The American duo revealed the move hours after a British High Court ruled in favour of Liverpool’s board.

Hicks and Gillett claim that the injunction by the 160th District Court in Dallas prevents Liverpool from executing the sale of the club to US-based New England Sports Ventures (NESV), with a hearing date set for October 25.

“The legal action in Texas is part of a lawsuit filed against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, Ian Ayre, NESV and Philip Nash” the BBC quoted a statement posted on the American duo’s behalf by international law firm Fish and Richardson, as saying.

“The lawsuit also seeks temporary and permanent injunctions, and damages totaling approximately 1.6 billion dollars. The suit lays out the defendants’ “epic swindle” in which they conspired to devise and execute a scheme to sell LFC to NESV at a price they know to be hundreds of millions of dollars below true market value,” it added.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s board blasted the restraining order and insisted that they were “resolved to complete the sale”.

“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,” the board said in a statement.

NESV has tabled a 300-million-pound bid for the club.

Although the Texas court has no direct jurisdiction in the UK, both NESV and Liverpool’s bankers, Royal Bank of Scotland, would not wish to be seen to be willfully defying that court, because that could cause harm to their substantial US operations.

Liverpool could be given a nine-point deduction by the Premier League due to the row over the club’s ownership.

On current points tallies, the nine-point deduction would leave Liverpool at the bottom of the table on minus-three points. (ANI)

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