October 13, 2010

You'll Never Walk Alone, Sweet Caroline: It has been a dramatic start of the season for Liverpool Football Club both on and off the pitch. A new manager has struggled to maintain his team, losing players to drama and injury and dropping games they should have won at a time they can't afford to lose points, putting the once perennial champions down in the standings and at risk for relegation. Meanwhile, off the field, the clubs two hated American owners have until this Friday to pay back the club's massive debt or risk going into administration and taking a further 9 point penalty like what befell Portsmouth last season. Last week, light was seen at the end of the tunnel when New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox, offered to buy the club for roughly 300 million pounds, wiping out its debt and putting plans in place to either restore historic Anfield or build a new stadium.
Though the club's board is in favor of the deal, the current owners are not, claiming that the estimated sale price of 300 million pounds undervalues the club. They then moved to replace members of the club's board with family and employees in order to block the sale. The case went to high court and today it was announced that the sale could go through. However, a new wrinkle developed this week when a Singapore businessman (and owner of several Manchester United themed bars) upped his own bid for the footbal club. The reconstituted board meets tonight to assess the offers on the table, but the NESV purchase is looking more and more inevitable. But can a mashup of "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Sweet Caroline" really work? (via MetaFilter).

posted by rcade to soccer at 04:05 PM - 10 comments

And what appears to be another wrinkle:

A Texas court has granted a temporary restraining order stopping the sale of Liverpool Football Club, owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have claimed.

How does the Texas court claim jurisdiction? And would the High Court honor the Texas court decision?

posted by cjets at 06:04 PM on October 13

What I don't get is that if the sale to NESV does not go through, or a sale that gets RBS approval, by Friday means that the bank can force the club into administration, which probably wipes out Hicks & Gillett ownership stake. But those two are such smooth operators they probably don't believe it can happen to them.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:43 PM on October 13

How does the Texas court claim jurisdiction? And would the High Court honor the Texas court decision?

The Texas court would have absolutely no jurisdiction over LFC. However, Royal Bank of Scotland has extensive interests in the US (my brother-in-law works for them in NYC), including some in Texas. Hicks & Gillette would likely attempt to recover damages from RBS should the sale go through. Of course, Hicks & Gillette are claiming about $1.6 Billion in damages, which is about $1,599,999,999.99 more than they deserve. For what he managed to do to the Texas Rangers club and has done to Liverpool, Hicks ought to be alternately tied to the goal posts during shooting practices at Liverpool and duct taped to the front of the protective screen in front of the pitcher during Rangers batting practice.

posted by Howard_T at 08:27 PM on October 13

tied to the goal posts during shooting practices at Liverpool

From what we've seen this year this wouldn't be much of punishment.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:50 AM on October 14

Maybe it'll be motivational, Mr. B

posted by kokaku at 09:27 AM on October 14

It would be more dangerous to seat him in the stands behind the goal.

posted by Hugh Janus at 11:03 AM on October 14

Today's liveblog from the High Court, courtesy of the Guardian.

posted by boredom_08 at 11:47 AM on October 14

Scousers vs. Texans? I hope Paddy Power is taking bets on that one.

posted by etagloh at 07:01 PM on October 14

It looks as if this is now a done deal. Thank John Lennon I was afraid Hicks was going to pull some nonsense out of his Rangers ballcap.

posted by Ricardo at 11:29 AM on October 15

This soap opera finally appears to be over. Apparently, the deal is structure in such a way as to almost eliminate Liverpool's debt, which should go a long way to helping them on the pitch.

posted by trox at 11:50 AM on October 15

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