LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB is to be sold to New England Sports Ventures [NESV], pending Premier League approval and the resolution of a legal dispute.
Club chairman Martin Broughton told the club website about the deal early this morning.
“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.”
Liverpool’s current backers Tom Hicks and George Gillett were criticised by Broughton. “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.”
That legal battle will ensue because Hicks and Gillett initiated a boardroom coup last night upon hearing of the bids to buy Liverpool. The pair attempted to remove managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre from their places on the board.
After the attempted removal of Purslow and Ayre failed, Hicks and Gillett were outvoted 3-2 on the offer- meaning they have no say in the deal.
Widespread fan protests over the ownership have surrounded the club in recent weeks, but Broughton says that NESV will suit the club better. “NESV’s philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at the 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.”
NESV are the owners of Major League Baseball franchise the Boston Red Sox and Nascar team Rousch Fenway Racing. Among their stakeholders are TV producer Tom Werner, former CEO of the American Skiing Company Leslie B. Otten and the New York Times Company.