Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hicks: Broughton Has No Authority To Sell Club

The Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks is determined to fight to hang on to control of the club after refusing to recognise the chairman Martin Broughton's authority. Broughton, appointed in April to oversee the sale, revealed yesterday that Hicks attempted to sack the managing director, Christian Purslow, and commercial director Ian Ayre and install his own people in order to block a £300m deal with New England Sports Ventures (NESV). That was blocked by Broughton, who insists Hicks signed agreements not to oppose the sale when the club received an extension to their refinancing deal with Royal Bank of Scotland earlier this year. Hicks and co- owner George Gillett stand to lose a total of £144m if the NESV deal goes through. Hicks's New York-based spokesman Mark Semer said that Broughton's claim was disputed by the Americans. "There were no such undertakings given to Broughton, the board has been legally reconstituted, and the new board does not approve of this proposed transaction," Semer told Bloomberg News. After rejecting the attempted coup, which would have seen Hicks's son Mack and Lori McCutcheon, of Hicks Holdings, replace Purslow and Ayre, Broughton continued with the conference call board meeting even though Hicks had put the phone down. The chairman is confident he and the other two England- based members of the board have acted appropriately but they will not be able to have that confirmed until the issue is thrashed out in court next week. The Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, has welcomed news of the planned sale. "It's very positive and of course I'm delighted," he said. "It's been going on a long time and I know how hard the board have worked to set things up. "I know it's not easy for them because the owners have other ideas in terms of the sale of the club and what is achievable. But I was delighted to hear the news and have it confirmed that it looks like it is going to go through."

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