The Premier League have approved New England Sports Ventures (NESV)’s takeover of Liverpool.
The green light to the takeover by the American company, owners of the Boston Red Sox, means that only the High Court action by current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett can halt the £300m deal going through.
Hicks and Gillett are opposed to the Red Sox bid, which they say “dramatically undervalues” the club. They are challenging the authority of Liverpool’s three other board members to proceed with the sale.
The league said in a statement: “The Premier League has met with the owners and directors of New England Sports Ventures (NESV) regarding their proposed takeover of Liverpool FC and has received details, in accordance with Premier League rules, of the proposed company and ownership structure as well as the make-up of the new board.”
The statement continued: “The Premier League is satisfied, with the information provided, that the individuals NESV intend to put in place in the event they complete their takeover of Liverpool FC meet the criteria set out in our owners’ and directors’ test.
“The board of the Premier League will continue working with Liverpool FC in regard to this process, however, we are aware that the formal completion of this takeover is yet to be resolved and it is therefore inappropriate for us to offer any further comment at this time.”
If the takeover is not completed by next Friday then the Royal Bank of Scotland could put Kop Holdings, the company owned by Hicks and Gillett, into administration over their unpaid £280million debt.
If that happens, Liverpool could face the possibility of a nine-point deduction.
Under Premier League rules, the fact that the holding company is solely concerned with the ownership of Liverpool and football-related matters could trigger the nine-point penalty.