Liverpool chairman tells of administration fears
Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has told ESPNsoccernet that administration and the docking of nine points is a frightening possibility that he is desperately fighting to avoid.
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• Redknapp backs Hicks and Gillett
• Liverpool set for High Court
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Speaking from Washington, he talked candidly about the threat of administration on Liverpool. With the Royal Bank of Scotland's deadline for the repayment of £237 million looming on October 15, a Liverpool civil war will take place in the High Court just days before the banks can foreclose on Tom Hicks and George Gillett with the option of taking control of the club or putting it into administration. Broughton told ESPNsoccernet: "It could happen, yes. This is all part of why it is important that we made the decision on Tuesday to accept one or the other of the two very acceptable bids. Heading for administration was a very likely outcome if we didn't."
"Even now with the court case looming, administration cannot be ruled out," Broughton confessed. "It is not inevitable, and I am not going to start giving percentages of how much it is possible. That is why we are going to court to clarify our position on the sale of the club, and we have to win in court, and we will win in court."
When Broughton was reminded that it isn't just Liverpool fans who want to see the club survive, and the whole of football would mourn once-mighty Liverpool, one of the global brands in the game, he responded: "Yes, I agree with you. Yes, this is about Liverpool, but it is also about football, not just Liverpool, and all of football would want to see Liverpool in a healthy state. Yes I am confident that we shall succeed, but lawyers are always confident - on both sides."
The impact of administration is not lost on Broughton. He said: "Going into administration needs to be avoided at all costs, as the negative impact would be catastrophic. Setting aside the nine-point deduction, it would have an impact on Liverpool's value and be wide open to predators, whereas we have what we believe is the right new owners to take the club forward."
With a court case looming, the legal team backing Liverpool have advised Broughton to be circumspect about what he says about Hicks and Gillett.
However, Hicks' public declaration that he had not given any undertaking to Broughton about the constitution of the Board and the sale process will be central to the court case. Clearly, Broughton's argument is that an undertaking was given to the Royal Bank of Scotland as part of the agreement to increase the facility for the loan
Broughton said: "If an obligation is given to RBS as part of the agreement then an obligation has been given to the major creditor and one would expect that to be honoured."