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Date: 14 December 2018

  World - Soccer


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Ownership battles over at Liverpool?

[Posted 14 Oct 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Hicks and Gillet are fast losing their fight to prevent the sale of Liverpool FC

It seems like there is drama everywhere in football in the world these days. If one thought that drama in football governance only happens in Zimbabwe, Nigeria or Zambia, then one will be forced to revise their oponion. The sale of Liverpool has provided the recent biggest drama at global scale.

News filtering through from England is that Liverpool's American owners have failed in their bid to hold onto Liverpool.

A London High Court ruled on Thursday that an injunction to block the sale of the club by a Texas District court on Wednesday was ineffective in Engand, as per Judge Christopher Floyd's ruling.

On Wednesday night, the Liverpool Football Club board of governors had voted two to three in favour of selling the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) whose offer to buy the club had been accepted by the board.

Current Liverpool owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillet then sprang a suprise on their colleagues by getting the Texas District Court injunction, which served the purpose of temporarily halting the sale of the club.

Hicks and Gillet's victory was short-lived, and somehow they knew that it was to be. A litigation expert explained that an injunction under Texas law is a temporary reprieve given to applicants and can expire within 14 days, calling it a "a Texas ambush".

"A temporary restraining order under Texas law is an emergency measure where life or liberty is at issue and that's why it has to expire within 14 days," Tom Cruise of US law firm Baker and Hostetler told the BBC Sport on Wednesday.

But why are the American owners of Liverpool FC Hicks and Gillet so keen on fighting the sale of a club that has more than 250 m debts which they are struggling to pay off?

Their main reason for opposing the sale of their club is to be found in the basis of the Texas injunction.

"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," read part of the unsubstantiated claim by Hicks and Gillet which was signed by Judge Jim Jordam of 160th District Court in Dallas.

Hicks and Gillet claim that the director defendants abdicated the fiduciary responsibilities that they owed Liverpool stakeholders in the sale of the company.

The Liverpool owners are also arguing that there are some better offers than the 300m offered by NESV and accepted by the board. Apparently some suitors have offered 320 m and 400m respectively and Hicks and Gillet want the best offer to be accpeted.

On Thursday Judge Christopher Floyd dismissed the injunction by the Texas court and called the action of Hicks and Gillet in contesting the sale of the club "unconscionable".

Now that the challenge of the current Liverpool owners has been thrown out of court, is the battle for the ownership of Liverpool now over?

Only time will tell if there will be peace will now return to Anfield. Judging by the events of the past few weeks, it is difficult to tell if the court battles are over. 

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