Liverpool have agreed the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures, the owners of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox.
The sale is conditional on Premier League approval, resolution of the dispute concerning board membership and other matters, according to a Liverpool statement – with current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett likely to start a legal challenge to stop the sale. “I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process, which has been thorough and extensive,” Liverpool Chairman Martin Broughton said in a statement on the club’s website.
“The board decided to accept NESV’s proposal on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a suitable new owner. NESV’s philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox.”
Liverpool’s current American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett bought the Merseyside club in February 2007 for £218.9 million.
They instructed Barclays Capital in April to find a buyer and appointed British Airways Chairman Broughton to oversee the sale.
Broughton said he was disappointed the owners had tried to stop the deal.
“I am only disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale,” Broughton added.
The five-times European champions owe £237 million to their major creditors Royal Bank of Scotland, which has set a deadline of October 15 for the debt to be refinanced and Broughton said the agreement removed the burden of acquisition debt.