The Legend Has Been Sold
New England Sports Ventures has just bought FC Liverpool as their 300 million pound offer (around $480 million) was accepted by Reds’ board. “I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process, which has been thorough and extensive,” Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton would announce today. Thus, current American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett who bought the Reds three years ago against 218 million pounds are expected to quit following their desire to sale the club which dates for months. Broughton would show disappointed with Hicks and Gillett refusal to sale the club today. The two Americans denied plenty of other offers that have been shown over the last months mostly because of the prices.
However, Liverpool owes 237 million pounds to their major creditor Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank has set a deadline of October 15 in order to be refinanced. New England Sports Ventures (NESV) also own US baseball team Boston Red Sox. Hicks and Gillett wouldn’t have been that happy to hear that Reds’ major creditor RBS supports the sale of the club. It was the same Broughton who assured that the new owners were the most suitable people for the job. Still, the current owners complicated the sale process as Hicks and Gillett contested the transaction. The reason? The small price. They went further to name two new members of the five-man board these days so they could resist any sale that undervalued the club. “It was the last chance for them to leave Liverpool with their heads high. It’s a pity they’ve chosen to go this route,” the chairman said. Broughton mentioned in the same time that “part of the terms of me taking on the role was that they gave a written undertaking that only I could change the board… and they also gave a written undertaking that they would not interfere and frustrate any reasonable sale.” He would label this situation as a flagrant abuse of those who written undertakings.
NESV prove already they are able to manage successful clubs. The reason would be here Red Sox who are performing very well in the MLB. “NESV’s philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox,” Broughton said referring to the World Series Boston won in 2004 and 2007. But the new owners will have now to take Liverpool from the relegation zone to grow them up and be part of an Europa League position, if not Champions League, at the end of this season. Hodgson seems not to handle that well the situation. The NEVS is headed by multi-millionaire John W. Henry. Broughton added the officials met the new owners few weeks ago in Boston, London, but also in Liverpool in order to discuss over the deal. “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.”
A club statement read the NESV wants to create a long-term financially solid foundation for Liverpool FC and is dedicated to ensuring that the club has resources to build for the future, including the removal of all acquisition debt. It continued to read that the main objective is to stabilize the club and ultimately return Reds to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies. “Since 2001, New England Sports Ventures has made successful investments in sports and entertainment properties. Our portfolio of companies, including the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Roush Fenway Racing are all committed to one common goal: winning. NESV wants to help bring back the culture of winning to Liverpool FC.”
The organization is finally hopeful with regard to the pending legal and English Premier League procedures. As for the players, Jamie Carragher looked delighted with club’s sale. “Everyone knows it’ll be a good thing for the club. Hopefully it will be sorted sooner rather than later and we can start looking forward on the pitch and start improving results, which is what we need to do.” However, Liverpool is now 18th, second from the bottom, in the Premiership with only six points earned in seven games. They won just one match and lost three, while other three ended with draw.11