Monday, October 11, 2010

Lord Grabiner Likely To Fight Liverpool Case Vs Hicks

Lord Grabiner QC, one of Britain's
most eminent legal brains, is
being lined up to represent
Liverpool Football Club in the
court battle that could determine
the club ’s future.
I have learned that Martin
Broughton, Liverpool's chairman,
is set to call on Lord Grabiner to
help secure a so-called
declaratory judgement from the
High Court that last week's deal
to sell the club was legitimate.
The case, which is likely to be
heard on Tuesday or Wednesday,
has acquired additional
significance since New England
Sports Ventures (NESV) indicated
this weekend that it may pull out
of the deal if Liverpool are
docked nine Premier League
points as a consequence of
going into administration.
To recap the drama since I
revealed last week that
Liverpool was to be sold to the
owner of the Boston Red Sox:
Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the
club ’s current owners, are
seeking to block the £300m sale
to NESV on the grounds that the
agreement to do so was not
valid; and Royal Bank of Scotland
(RBS), Liverpool ’s main creditor, is
working frantically on a way to
avoid placing the club ’s parent
company into administration
even as it prepares to call in the
loans it is owed by the two
It’s far from clear whether NESV,
owner of the Boston Red Sox
baseball team, would walk away
from a deal about which it says it
is passionate to complete.
Let me explain why. Liverpool’s
torrid start to the season has left
it with just six points and in the
relegation zone. While it ’s still
early days, a nine-point penalty
would leave it on minus three
That would clearly make
qualifying for next season’s
Champions League a tall order.
But I would still wager that few
football experts would expect
Liverpool not to escape
relegation over the course of
another thirty games.
In that case, the immediate
quantifiable cost of
administration may be the £20m
of revenue or so that clubs derive
from Champions League
participation. And it may be that
NESV is able to negotiate with
RBS and Broughton some form
of price cut which still makes the
deal economically attractive to it.
Still, it would be foolish to
dismiss the idea that NESV will
walk away, a move that would
plunge Liverpool into even
further chaos.
So it’s certainly possible to argue
that Liverpool’s most important
player during the next week will
be a 65 year-old lawyer, rather
than its talismanic 26 year-old
Spanish striker Fernando Torres.
Liverpool fans will be hoping that
Lord Grabiner is more successful
in the High Court than Torres has
been on the pitch so far this
Liverpool declined to comment

Source: Skynews

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