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Hicks & Gillett back down to pursue $1.6bn claim

Tom Hicks and George Gillett have admitted defeat in their bid to hold on to Liverpool as the Royal Bank of Scotland rejected the owners' pledge to pay off their debts.

• Hicks and Gillett lift restraining order • NESV seal final deal
• Forum: How will takeover affect Reds?
• Carragher signs new deal

The American duo will now pursue a damages claim of $1.6 billion for what they described as an "epic swindle" as New England Sports Ventures (NESV) took control of the club.

A statement from Hicks and Gillett's camp read: ''It's an extraordinary swindle and it will result in exactly the wrong thing for the club and the fans.''

Steve Stodghill, the Texas attorney representing the duo, added: ''This outcome not only devalues the club but it also will result in long-term uncertainty for the fans, players and everyone who loves this sport because all legal recourses will be pursued.

''Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett pledged to pay the debt to RBS so that the club could avoid administration that was threatened by RBS. That offer was rejected.

''It is a tragic development that others will claim as a victory. This means it won't be resolved the way it should be resolved. My clients worked tirelessly to resolve these issues but RBS would not listen to any reasonable solution and the directors acted selfishly and illegally.

''Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett wanted to position this club for the future, but others have a different agenda. In truth, there is nothing positive from these events for Liverpool Football [Club]. That is exactly the opposite of what my clients wanted to achieve.''

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