Liverpool’s co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett accept defeat in their attempts to block the club’s sale, but say they will pursue damages of £1bn.
They removed the restraining order preventing the club’s sale in a Dallas court on Friday, paving the way for the sale to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
NESV, the board’s choice as Liverpool’s new owners, now look set to complete their £300m purchase of the club.
When it became clear that they were powerless to prevent the offloading of the club to NESV, Hicks and Gillett issued a statement condemning the circumstances of the sale.
“It’s an extraordinary swindle and it will result in exactly the wrong thing for the Club and the fans, said Steve Stodghill, the Texas attorney representing the Liverpool owners.
“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.”
Stodghill said the owners have no choice but to pursue every legal avenue possible, and they will.
“Mr. Hicks and Mr. Gillett wanted to position this club for the future, but others have a different agenda,” said Stodghill. “In truth, there is nothing positive from these events for Liverpool Football. That is exactly the opposite of what my clients wanted to achieve.”
In a last-ditch attempt to prevent the takeover by NESV, Hicks tried to sell his stake to Mill Financial, a USA-based hedge fund.
Mill Financial approached the Premier League on Thursday night but were rejected – the league told the fund they could only take instruction from the board of Liverpool who have already agreed to sell to NESV for £300million.