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Broughton plans defamation action

The ongoing saga following New England Sports Ventures' (NESV) takeover of Liverpool has taken a new twist with former chairman Sir Martin Broughton revealing he is to sue Tom Hicks and George Gillett for defamation.

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Hicks and Gillett, who saw the club sold from underneath them for £300 million after the running of the club was taken over by Broughton, claim Liverpool were sold way below the market price and it amounted to an "epic swindle" as they lost £140 million in the deal.

Broughton is now determined to have his day in court and prove that accusations made by the former co-owners about his running of the club were completely false.

On Thursday, Hicks' camp suffered another defeat at the High Court when they were blocked from beginning any legal action in the United States without it being in support of proceedings started in the United Kingdom. The judge also gave Broughton, and NESV, permission to sue.

Broughton told the Times: "I am suing to have my name cleared, not for any money.

"They made accusations of fraud and conspiracy which were wholly unfounded. I am not losing any sleep. I know I acted properly.''

Mr Justice Floyd, who made the ruling, criticised the delaying tactics of Hicks and Gillett, both during the sale process and in the subsequent months.

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