Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Liverpool 'to shed debts' in deal

Liverpool fans in the Kop
Liverpool are currently in the Premier League relegation places

Liverpool's prospective new owners say they will clear the Premier League club's debts when they take over.

New England Sports Ventures (NESV)issued a statement saying they would move "all acquisition debt" away from the club if their £300m bid succeeds.

NESV - owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team - confirmed their bid has been accepted by Liverpool's board.

But current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have launched a legal action to try to block the sale.

NESV's statement continued: "NESV wants to create a long-term financially solid foundation for Liverpool FC and is dedicated to ensuring that the club has the resources to build for the future, including the removal of all acquisition debt.

"Our objective is to stabilise the club and ultimately return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies.

"Since 2001, New England Sports Ventures has made successful investments in sports and entertainment properties.

"Our portfolio of companies - including the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Roush Fenway Racing - are all committed to one common goal: winning.

"NESV wants to help bring back the culture of winning to Liverpool FC.

"We have a proven track record, shown clearly with the Boston Red Sox. The team has won two World Series championships over the past six years. We will bring the same kind of openness, passion, dedication and professionalism to Liverpool FC."

BBC Sports understands manager Roy Hodgson will be given time by the Massachusetts-based partnership to turn around the club's fortunes on the field, having dropped into the relegation zone after the weekend's defeat at home to Blackpool.

If the sale goes through, they will assess the situation and it is thought Hodgson still retains the support inside Anfield.

The Premier League expects the hurdles for the takeover bid to be cleared this week.

The club's current, much-criticised, American owners Hicks and Gillett, say the NESV bid - and a rival one from an Asian consortium - "dramatically undervalues" Liverpool's worth.

NESV is thought to be offering about £300m for the club, enough to pay back the £240m of loans and £40m of fees owed to Royal Bank of Scotland, which must be settled by 15 October else a penalty fee of £60m will be due.

Hicks and Gillett have said they value the club at £600m.

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