Liverpool confident despite court order
Liverpool have issued a statement outlining their intention to remove a Texas court's restraining order to block the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures.
John W Henry arrived at the offices of the club's lawyers, Slaughter and May, on Wednesday night to try to complete his £300 million takeover, but Tom Hicks and George Gillett were able to secure a temporary restraining order minutes before it could be sealed. The duo are also claiming over £1 billion in damages.
Henry had said he was "pretty confident" of completing the takeover upon his arrival at the meeting in London, with the Royal Bank of Scotland having been given High Court backing earlier in the day to prevent Hicks and Gillett making changes to the board.
Hicks and Gillett predictably sought a further legal response, however, with the duo describing the sale as an "epic swindle" in which the so-called 'home team' on the Liverpool board - Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre - refused to listen to offers that would have been preferable to the co-owners.
There is some debate over whether a Texan court has jurisdiction over the sale of a club in England. In fact, legally, the court has no right to block the sale, but NESV and RBS have significant business interests in the state of Texas and will therefore choose not to ignore the judgement.
Tom Cruise, a US lawyer based in Texas, told the BBC that the ruling was ''based solely on the allegations of Hicks and Gillett'' and that the Liverpool side would get their day in court in October 25. The temporary injunction expires after 14 days.
The action has been described as "unwarranted" by the club.
A club statement on Wednesday read: "Following the successful conclusion of High Court proceedings today, the boards of directors of Kop Football and Kop Holdings met tonight and resolved to complete the sale of Liverpool FC to New England Sports Ventures.
"Regrettably, Thomas Hicks and George Gillett have tonight obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from a Texas district court against the independent directors, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and NESV to prevent the transaction being completed.
"The independent directors consider the restraining order to be unwarranted and damaging and will move as swiftly as possible to seek to have it removed. A further statement will be made in due course."
While speculation remains that there are three other potential rival offers - including one from Singaporean businessman Peter Lim - none are being discussed or reviewed, as the owners of the Boston Red Sox have already 'bought' the club with their legally binding contract.
A source close to the action inside the offices of Liverpool lawyers Slaughter & May on Wednesday night told ESPNsoccernet: "You will find that the Liverpool Board had actually re-affirmed the sale to NESV [before the Texas injunction was announced]''.