Yesterday, the Red Sox ownership team, led by John Henry, had their bid accepted to purchase the Liverpool Football Club in England. But later in the day, the current owner of Liverpool FC, and former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, stepped in the way…
On Wednesday, [Chairman Martin] Broughton said he was “delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process” to Mr. Henry’s group…Later in the day, however, a spokesman for [Tom Hicks and George Gillett] retorted: “Broughton was not given authority to sell the club, the board has been legally reconstituted, and the new board does not approve of this proposed transaction.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is now likely headed to court, but that it may never get there. The team has an Oct. 15 deadline to repay its debt, or the bank can seize the team and force a sale to the Red Sox group.
No matter how this situation is resolved, it is just another black eye for American owners in the English Premiere League. With Hicks and Gillett running Liverpool FC into near-bankruptcy and Malcom Glazer’s $1 billion in debt tied to his ownership of Manchester United, English soccer fans have shown increased animosity towards American ownership.
With the sale to the Red Sox group now in doubt, one has to wonder if a local group will step up and attempt to return Liverpool FC to English ownership. Or in a more fitting scenario, maybe the Steinbrenners will outbid the Red Sox group at the last minute.
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