Liverpool FC, already in the relegation-zone after its worst start to a Premier League campaign in fifty years, faces a race to complete the deal with John Henry’s New England Sports Ventures, the owners of the Boston Red Sox, before they have to declare insolvency.
The main obstacle to the deal is a legal challenge launched by current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who stand to lose nearly £140 million on the deal. Though NESV will wipe out Liverpool’s debt and provide cash for a new stadium, Hicks and Gillett will not be reimbursed for the money they personally pumped into the club for purchasing new players.
According to reports, if the court rules in favour of Hicks and Gillett, Liverpool’s biggest debtor Royal Bank of Scotland could call in the club’s debt, forcing Kop Holdings, the current holding company, into administration.
If that happens, Liverpool would be deducted nine points as a penalty, which would put them on minus three points, rendering Champions League football next season (which can only be achieved by a top-four finish) nearly impossible.
Current chief executive Christian Purslow, however, believes the deal will go through and that Liverpool will not be docked any points.
“I'm not even contemplating administration,” Purslow said.