BBC BLOGS - Peston's Picks
« Previous | Main | Next »

Liverpool: A frustrating goalless game

Robert Peston | 09:32 UK time, Friday, 15 October 2010

It's been on my mind to point out that although there may be a rational argument for placing the holding companies of Liverpool Football Club into administration, that may be technically impossible as of this moment.

Liverpool Football Club's Anfield Stadium

 

How so?

Well, the restraining order issued by the court in Dallas on Wednesday contains the following clause:

"The defendants and their offices, agents, servants, employees and attorneys are temporarily enjoined from... taking any action to modify, pledge, sell, transfer, seize, foreclose or dispose of Plaintiffs' ownership in Liverpool FC."

So although today is the day in which Royal Bank of Scotland has said it wants its £240m (plus penalty charges) of debt repaid, on pain of placing LFC's holding companies into administration, as of now RBS can't actually exercise the threat of administration under UK insolvency procedures.

In other words, the Dallas court has castrated both Royal Bank of Scotland, as creditors of LFC, and New England Sports Ventures, deemed by the British courts to be the new contractual owners of LFC.

Which is messy, to put it mildly.

And here's another bit of messiness.

Let's say, as per David Bond's note of this morning, that one of the current co-owners, Tom Hicks, sells his shares to Mill Financial and persuades Mill Financial to hand over £200m-plus to repay the debts owed to Royal Bank and Wachovia.

Now if the money is wired to RBS from Mill Financial, RBS can refuse to see it as a wiping out of Mr Hicks' debts.

But if Mill Financial transfers the money first to Mr Hicks, Mill Financial is taking something of a risk, unless Mr Hicks transfers very substantial collateral to Mill.

It looks to me as though stalemate still characterises the current state of play - which is why so much hinges on whether the Texas court at 0700 local time (1300 UK time) lifts the restraining order and would therefore allow either the sale of LFC to NESV to be completed or RBS to put the business into administration.

Update 1305: So Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett have surrendered the restraining order, and the basic principle that national laws apply in property cases lives to fight another day.

Phew. I was beginning to worry that the Liverpool takeover spat was infecting and undermining the tenets of capitalism.

So where next?

Well the Red Sox owner, NESV, is racing to complete legal niceties so that it can transfer 200m squids to Royal Bank of Scotland and call it a deal.

But no-one thinks Mr Hicks has chucked in the towel - and there is a widespread assumption that he will somehow magic up £200m from Mill Financial to pip NESV to the post.

I would find this a preposterous notion, were it not that so much that has happened in this tussle has defied belief.

 

Update 1601: So it’s all over. NESV is now the proud owner of Liverpool FC.

It would all feel like something of an anti-climax, if the previous owners weren’t planning to sue Royal Bank of Scotland and the club for around £1bn.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    How is it that a US Court can have any jurisdiction over the debt of an English Business to a UK Bank?

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh! the joys and benefits of being mere tenants of our industry and commerce.

  • Comment number 3.

    @ #1
    I think it's because it's not an English business in that the holding company of LFC, whom RBS extended the loan to, is incorporated in the US. LFC has merely been used to leverage the deal. That's my guess.

  • Comment number 4.

    Not another day of debating this stupid topic!

    Surely Liverpool FC as a business is not worthy of 3 blog posts?

    How about getting in touch with some of your banking insiders and asking them to explain why Gold and Silver are on a blazing streak, even though the stock markets have largely been in positive territory?

  • Comment number 5.

    1. At 09:50am on 15 Oct 2010, London_FD wrote:

    Q. "How is it that a US Court can have any jurisdiction over the debt of an English Business to a UK Bank?"

    A. Globalisation

  • Comment number 6.

    Please explain how the Texas court has jurisdiction. An English judge yesterday explicitly rejected their authority: 'High Court ruling on Thursday when Mr Justice Floyd issued an anti-suit injunction that rendered Hicks and Gillett's temporary restraining order, which they put in place to try and prevent a sale taking place, ineffective. '

  • Comment number 7.

    How can RBS say Hicks still owes when Mill clear THAT debt, about as unfair and illegal a move as I have ever seen postulated on a BBC blog!

  • Comment number 8.

    This is a lovely example for the British public of the way in which the US courts have shown an ever-increasing tendency to extend their jurisdiction to matters that should quite obviously be dealt with by the domestic legal system. An English court would never have made such a decision - it really does display the arrogance and inadequacy of the US judicial establishment.

  • Comment number 9.

    Yawn.

    The outcome of this takeover affects such a minority Robert, can we have a return to your pseudo-journalism soon please - at least that way you will generate some real debate here.

  • Comment number 10.

    I want a valid reason as to why the Dallas court adjourned overnight.

    There was no reason to adjourn - the ruling from UK was clear and explicit.

  • Comment number 11.

    Can there have been a better recent example of the lawyers getting rich, even as the wheels are falling off everything else?

  • Comment number 12.

    It's a useful real world lesson to folk who are not usually interested in global finance and law to understand how tied together we all are. There will be a few folk in Liverpool musing how it comes that their local football club's destiny can be controlled by a Texas judge, over their morning teabreak today.

  • Comment number 13.

    Will the UK authorities seek to extradite Gillet and Hicks to face penalties for contempt of court? It's time that a two way street was established and giving them a few weeks in the Scrubs would go down very well with the voters in Liverpool!

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    It's just a shame that whatever happens (even at a £300mill sale) it seems Hicks and Gillett will have made a profit from this venture despite the fact they've done nothing good for Liverpool. I hope other clubs will take heed and be careful in any takeover deals to see this isn't repeated.

  • Comment number 16.

    Boardroom battles are good for the crowds Robert - but currency wars are far more relevant.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11548899

  • Comment number 17.

    #1 & #5, I think the likelihood is that the courts will find that there is not juristriction (have to say that this info stems from someone who knows a great deal more about business law than me). Whilst the world of business continues to dance to the most absurd tunes, I think that the world of law remains rather more rooted in reality (cue many angry responses!).

    It would appear that these kinds of injunctions, restraining orders etc. are not too unusual in business, their purpose simply being to buy more time for the parties concerned. I think that the sheer absurdity of this process and obviously the high profile nature of LFC means that there is simply a stronger spotlight on some of the more absurd financial dealings that go on day in day out. Possibly not a bad thing.

  • Comment number 18.

    as others have already pointed out, the Texas court has no jurisdiction.

    Mr Peston, unfortunately you sound like you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

  • Comment number 19.

    1. At 09:50am on 15 Oct 2010, London_FD wrote:

    > How is it that a US Court can have any jurisdiction over the debt of an English
    > Business to a UK Bank?

    Maybe they think that Old England is just another part of the States, lying to
    the east of New England (Liverpool does resemble East Coast cities like
    Boston and Montreal.)

  • Comment number 20.

    Now do the taxpayers own RBS or lloyds? I have lost the way on this one but do the taxpayers own any part of the the club, or is that Liverpool council?
    The way of businesses these days would just to let the club go into administration then play their way up again. Or do the true fans think that might not happen?

  • Comment number 21.

    I don't understand why, if Gillett has already sold out to Mill Financial, he is party to action in Texas and why he's still trying to frustrate the sale to NESV.

  • Comment number 22.

    From where you (and I) sit, do we not admireeven more the way Arsène Wenger runs our club?

  • Comment number 23.

    8. At 10:27am on 15 Oct 2010, idlegent1 wrote:
    This is a lovely example for the British public of the way in which the US courts have shown an ever-increasing tendency to extend their jurisdiction to matters that should quite obviously be dealt with by the domestic legal system. An English court would never have made such a decision - it really does display the arrogance and inadequacy of the US judicial establishment.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since when has the UK shown any kind of independance from the US. Extraordinary rendition and torture of our civilians, falsified claims of WMD's to lead us to War. These are just two examples. The rest as they is history.

  • Comment number 24.

    17. At 10:47am on 15 Oct 2010, Deep-heat wrote:

    "#1 & #5, I think the likelihood is that the courts will find that there is not juristriction (have to say that this info stems from someone who knows a great deal more about business law than me). Whilst the world of business continues to dance to the most absurd tunes, I think that the world of law remains rather more rooted in reality (cue many angry responses!)."

    ...but that advisor is discounting the 'jursdiction' created by the current offer being an American and that RBS have American interests - i.e. the Globalisation (of RBS in particular)

    If the new offer came from a Brit and RBS were solely a national interests bank - then what the Dallas court says simply wouldn't matter.

    What I find fascinating is how 'things are done' in the US - if you're rich and not happy with something then you can speak to a 'friendly judge' who will obligingly do anything he legally can to assist you in protecting your wealth.

    This is what comes of a society driven by greed and self interest - eventually the rich start making their own laws - or simply deciding which one's they choose to follow.

    America - the Birthplace of corrupt capitalism. Land of the (legal) Fee and home of the slave.

  • Comment number 25.

    Would this administation not be a bit unusual anyway? Typically there are numerous unsatisfied creditors, headed by the bank and HMRC, then trade creditors and others. Liverpool FC (if I may call it that for brevity) is presumably up to date with its day to day payments, it seems to have good cash flow and on recent evidence seems to be worth quite a bit more than it owes.

  • Comment number 26.

    The only way out is for RBS to put Liverpool into administration through an application to the UK court. The US court has no jurisdiction and could not stop this.

  • Comment number 27.

    For clarity - it's not so much that the Texan court has "juristiction" over LFC and associated elements / UK high court judgement - it doesn't.

    However it DOES carry weight within the US - and both NESV and RBS (along with the other parties!) have substantial US infrastructure - so they'd be more than brave to go against the Texan injunction.

    That said, it's just been lifted - so a little symantic!

  • Comment number 28.

    No jurisdiction without representation!
    Liverpool Tea Party.

  • Comment number 29.

    I think that english taxpayers should take ownership of Liverpool FC and then we can field that team as our new england team

  • Comment number 30.

    Another topic could be derivative markets. Why can't a large financial institution profitably place a deal based on the performance of FTSE 100 stocks in the last three weeks?

    I can take an educated guess.

  • Comment number 31.

    4. At 10:08am on 15 Oct 2010, RiskAnalyst wrote:
    Surely Liverpool FC as a business is not worthy of 3 blog posts?
    How about getting in touch with some of your banking insiders and asking them to explain why Gold and Silver are on a blazing streak, even though the stock markets have largely been in positive territory?

    I agree entirely with the first point. What about the reduction in pension tax allowance for rich people; Oh he might have to approve of a government action.
    As for gold and silver see here http://www.economist.com/node/17151109?story_id=17151109

  • Comment number 32.

    What a mess! Again It looks like the tax payer will pick up the tab Because of yet another RBS TOXIC loan! ... the holding company should be wound up and the best price got for the Tax payer... In Future British Banks should stay clear of Football especially banks bailed out by the tax payer. If this was an investment bank in profit giving high bonuses , the country would be up in arms .

    BUT because it is a football club that gives High wages and bonuses and is IN DEEP finical trouble ... that seems OK ... it's only taxpayers money at stake...

  • Comment number 33.

    "14. At 10:40am on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall wrote"
    3 points on this WOTW
    "All this before the biggest week in British politics since the end of the second world war."
    Yes, LFC is irrelevant to the big picture but isn't it fun!! We can comment because it doesn't matter much. When it gets serious then comment is stifled because there's not much you can do and anyway it's someone else's responsibility - usually the government, which seems to have intruded its authority into every part of every day life. A good example is animal cruelty where we wear our emotions on our sleeve, condemning with outrage the most almost innocuous act. Compare that with child cruelty where the responsibility is taken over by the government and NSPCC (merely an extension of the authorities) so even in horrific cases we don't see the same amount of outrage, merely a blaming of the authorities for not preventing it.

    "............. as the Government continue their attack on the poorest members of society to pay for the excesses of the rich."
    Are you showing your left wing credentials here? Don't forget that the reason we're in the mess is not all down to the bankers (persuaded to lend money to poor people who should have known better than to ask for it) but continual overspending by the last government who did not benefit personally (except for expenses) on salaries and wages in the public sector, so most who did benefit were not in your category of "the rich".

    "...now on with the strikes - I believe the London Fire brigade might announce theirs today"
    I was in London a week last Monday; arriving ignorant of the tube strike. I can tell you Londoners are thoroughly fed up with it so the firemen may not get much sympathy, and the same goes for other strikers as well.

  • Comment number 34.

    On the subject of the rich making their own laws:

    http://nyti.ms/c9Pbnw

    http://bit.ly/ar4HNT

    Jesus. I've resorted to finding stories for Mr Peston.

    Linking this in to Police tweets.

    I saw four Liverpool fans playing football with a hedgehog outside my house last night. I was just going to ring the police when the hedgehog went 1-0 up.

  • Comment number 35.

    #14 WOTW

    I generally enjoy your posts and find myself in instictive agreement. I'm not sure I follow you all the way to a revolution - simply because I have more belief in the inertia of people - but I agree with your analysis of the mess we're in.

    I'm a bit perplexed however when I read your penultimate paragraph about the "frenchies" the "mass movement for the poor" and not allowing Europe ("theieves and vagabonds") to rule over us.

    To my way of thinking, as you guys contemplate the cuts anticipated next week - and the likely effect - ponder too the fact that the welfare state that is about to be ripped up is the template for what they call the "European Social Model": a model that the French and others are fighting to hold onto in the face of economic crisis while the UK seems hell bent on throwing it out.


    Given the choice between the "American corporate model" of society and the "European social model" I'm for Europe!

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    29. At 11:26am on 15 Oct 2010, ulric allsebrook wrote:
    I think that english taxpayers should take ownership of Liverpool FC and then we can field that team as our new england team

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    England's problems are bad enough without that!

  • Comment number 38.

    No one outside Liverpool cares. Boardroom battles happen all the time at football clubs but they rarely get the kind of coverage this one is getting and which certainly isn't justified.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm not an expert in American law, but in the UK an injunction is relatively easy to obtain. An injunction prevents you from doing something that is causing harm and is easy to obtain because it needs to be. Imagine if someone was about to sell a story about you to the press - you want to get an injunction to stop the story going public immediately, then argue later about whether they can or can't publish that story in future. The harm that's about to be done needs to be stopped quickly before it happens, so a full blown court case isn't necessary to get an injunction - it just allows you time to argue over it. I understand that The Dallas court has issued an injunction against NESV, which is an American company, and so it has jurisdiction to do that. The injunction doesn't carry any weight over here, but it understandably makes RBS very nervous over letting the sale go ahead.

  • Comment number 40.

    This Restraining Order just emphasizes the sheer arrogance that our American 'friends' show towards their little island allies. Why don't they just walk away, and let us get on with more pressing issues, like how they managed to screw up the rescue of a UK aid worker. Rank amateurs at best!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    What astonishes me (and shows up my lack of knowledge about business law) is that the LFC board can sell the club against the wishes of the shareholders.

    I thought that a board of directors had a duty to the shareholders and were always required to act in their best interest - the LFC board is (admirably) acting in the interests of the club and (less admirably) the major creditor (RBS).

  • Comment number 42.

    A lot of people seem to keep yacking on about this being "an english business". It seems it's not: what you mean is, Liverpool FC is an English club.

    But if the current owner is a US Corporation, as seems likely with two major shareholders who are American, then the ownership of assets is going to be defined under US law. And if the comment at 10.05 is correct, the RBS loan is to the American corporation. So it's an American business, which happens to own a British football club.

    One might just as well ask, what jurisdiction the UK courts have - arguably less. Except the directors of the club may be officers of a UK co (if the club is a UK subsidiary of a US company parent). If that's so then the legal pressure on them (fiduciary duty) comes from their liability in English law to do their job properly - which at the moment amounts to conserving assets for creditors. Remember it is directors that can go to jail for failing to do that, not shareholders: which is why the UK directors were keen to act on completing the sale promptly - before the bank accuses them of trading-while-insolvent.



  • Comment number 43.

    Just noted a couple of comments above re jurisdiction.

    All parties here might be able to totally ignore the Texan injunction- English company shares (Kop Holdings Ltd), English business (Liverpool FC). Nobody cares who/where the shareholders are based, that doesn't create a jurisdiction issue.

    That the interim injunction was granted in Texas was probably because it was made without notice, i.e. looking to ensure no prejudice was caused while everyone gets themselves together/prepared today. If everyone involved- NESV and the board and the texan judge can get their act together for the hearing at 1pm UK time then they'll probably dismiss it and thats why Slaughters will probably have been liaising through the night with US attorneys to ensure it is chucked out pronto to allow the NESV deal to complete by 4pm.

    Hicks/Gill/Mills need to come to a deal protecting Mills if they pay off RBS by the deadline (to avoid administration risk) but dont end up without control of the company. Paying RBS would probably do away with Broughton's alleged protective undertakings (of H & G) too depending on how they're worded. Then it boils down to what has already been agreed between the board and NESV, if anything. If nothing, all bets are off and Mills are potentially in there. If the board are already committed then its lose lose for the board as its most likely be litigated re controlling interest.

    The reason the parties are not ignoring texan injunction is partly due to global interests but the real issue is what punitive sanctions are available if it transpires that that the court processes are being abused? Probably nothing remotely worth worrying about compared to the few hundred million on the line for H & G/Mills and NESV/Kop Holdings.

  • Comment number 44.

    Liverpool again....

  • Comment number 45.

    RiskAnaylst - just stick to matters you know about, which obviosuly isnt football !!!!

    Liverpool Football Club matters to a large section of the UK population and its about standing up to US bullies, which our PMs have failed to do on several occasions.

    As for the forth-coming spending review, sack 50% of council workers that do nothing , no Unemployment benefit unless you do community work, sack middle management in NHS AND Why do we pay so much in Welfare benefits to couples with children they cant afford to keep and dont even work ?? MPs are too scared to tackle the main problems facing the UK.

    Welfare/Law&Order , NHS, Immigration and Tax.

    Labour is the party for benefit cheats and the UK is too much of a soft touch. In other parts of Europe, no work = no money.

    SIMPLES !

  • Comment number 46.

    LORD RANT _ what planet do you come from ??????

    LFC is a viable, profitable business, hence why a new owner is willing to pay £300m for ownership rights. It is NOT insolvent.

    LFC are trying to repay the debt of approx £240m to RBS but are being prohibited by a Dallas Court.

    The UK tax payer is not affected, in fact it will shortly benefit to the tune of a £40m penalty tax levied by RBS.

  • Comment number 47.

    What could be down the road for Manchester United in a few years will make this look like a walk in the park.

  • Comment number 48.

    Robert Peston I am a Chelsea Fan but I do believe Liverpool fans are the most passionate (always crying). However Banks and Goverments do not comprehend the implication of eliminating an institutional team like Liverpool FC which is just unthinkable and impossible.

    How on earth can the Government bail out a rubbish Bank like Royal Bank of Scotland who've been involved in the dodgiest business transfers and fraudulent corrupt deals since Premiership football on Sky overtook BBC yonks back. Liverpool FC can never die.

    ☮Various - London Jazz Classics
    ☮ L'eroe Di Plastica ☯ Mr. Blindman☮ Bananeira ☯ Bananas ☮
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-dunMAbmy8

  • Comment number 49.

    Yet another example of the USA's belief that it still rules the world. Its the same with its attitudes towards regulation, they truely think they rule the world.
    Can't help but wonder if H&G will then use the Texas court as the catylyst to extradite UK citizens to Texas for a court case, using the anti terrorist legislation, remember the Nat West 3 and the lad who did the computer hacking.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think that most people who are complaining have forgotten about the reason for bliogs, and these BBC ones in particular. They are to allow the correpsondants to write about the things which interest them, in a way which hopefully other people will also find interesting and comment on.

    They are not to provide news stories - theres the news pages for that. And if a particular story is not being covered, thats down to the editors - write to them.

    As for this story not being of interest to anyoen who isnt a LFC fan, it draws interesting parallels with other football clubs, and indeed other businesses. For instance, what if something similar were to happen with Cadbury? I presume that Kraft used Cadbury as collatoral for its takeover of Cadbury, so could RBS force that into administration if Kraft defaulted? Could a US court override a business decision taken in the UK?

  • Comment number 51.

    16. At 10:42am on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall

    Totally agree. The LFC story is small fish!!! We should ALL be worried about how this currency war develops!!!

    I think American arrogance feels this will be over very quickly...... so so wrong!!!!

  • Comment number 52.

    @24. At 11:18am on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "America - the Birthplace of corrupt capitalism. Land of the (legal) Fee and home of the slave."
    Rubbish. You commented on my lack of history on one blog here, you of all people should know that corrupt capitalism was developed further in the UK during the early time of the goldsmiths (small "g") following the end of the Dark Ages and the slow dissolution of feudalism. The inception of the BoE and the shenanigans of Nathan Rothschild later on in particular cemented our position as embracers of the worst aspects of capitalism.
    To the Americans' credit they have tried on several occasions to at least reduce corruption primarily by attempting to get rid of their privately owned central bank, although admittedly that all changed completely with Woodrow Wilson. (The specifics regarding the inception of the first central bank efforts are rather murky).
    Naturally being completely indebted (viz. bankrupt) at the end of WWII meant we (the UK) lost the uneviable position of corruption and immorality grand master, and the baton handed over to the country the UK had spent the most time trying to corrupt and adopt "our" form of capitalism - the USA.
    I thought you had watched "The Money Masters"...

  • Comment number 53.

    #46
    'The UK tax payer is not affected, in fact it will shortly benefit to the tune of a £40m penalty tax levied by RBS.'

    Nice, should help offset the £850bn paid by the taxpayer to bale out RBS last year. Better if the govenrment just wrote of the debt and took the club into state ownership. Sorry, ludicrous proposal i know as the bankers won't like it and it would be terrible to upset the apple-cart in the poor old finance sector. Bless their little bonuses.

  • Comment number 54.

    Sorry, to all those who want to move on, but to all football fans this is important.
    Many of our major clubs have gone down the stock exchange route with varying results.Some have gone the rich benefactor route and the rest have struggled along.
    Once this saga is over, lets hope that a review by the FA or the Government as to how finance in major sport is obtained.
    I am not holding my breath however waiting for this to happen.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'd love to see Premieship clubs and BSkyB knocked down a peg or 2. Money has spoilt the English game and until the 'powers that be' can be persuaded of this simple fact, then English football and the England team are going to suffer for many more years yet.
    Clubs will go into administration and the England team will continue to win nothing. Reject the money and reverse the decline or keep accepting the money and see an end to our so-called beatiful game, along with a dire England team.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    For all those posters who are moaning about it being 'Liverpool FC again...' should take note. This is another fine example of US owners flagrantly abusing another British institution. Today LFC - Tomorrow Cadburys, or BP (again).....

  • Comment number 58.

    Football maybe important when it comes to a Saturday afternoon, but it should only be the icing on the cake, otherwise you need to look at your life style.

    More important things are the state of the economy and that both Labour & Conservative sold Industry down the road and focused too much of the service sector.

    As far as I am concerned, football has been hijacked by the "Prawn" sandwich brigade and doesn't belong to the working class any more. Until there is more respect paid for the working class, the game of football is dead, as far as I am concerned.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well said "Wyatt". No coincidence then that the legal fraternity have the public, companies and government over a barrel when it comes to the extortionate legal fees being charged in all walks of life. The epitome of a self perpetuating profession.

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm not a lawyer or contract's expert but every time I have had any dealing with contracts one of the clauses has been "Applicable Law". So naturally I'd assume that when RBS loaned the money there would be an applicable law clause, and that all parties will have signed up to it. If the applicable law is UK law then the Dallas court seems to have no jurisdiction, if the applicable law is US then our court perhaps has no jurisdiction over the loan, (but may well still have jurisdiction over what the directors are allowed to do and the compositon of the board).
    What fun for the lawyers, they could be earning nearly as much as footballers out of LFC at this rate.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think I am right in saying that the shareholders would have to consent to the club being put into administration, and would presumably be constrained by the Dallas Court injunction, but that shareholder consent is not required for RBS to appoint a receiver. Perhaps this is the way ahead.

    The end result would be much the same: the administrator/receiver would sell the club to the highest bidder.

  • Comment number 62.

    33. At 11:37am on 15 Oct 2010, pietr8 wrote:

    "............. as the Government continue their attack on the poorest members of society to pay for the excesses of the rich."
    Are you showing your left wing credentials here? Don't forget that the reason we're in the mess is not all down to the bankers (persuaded to lend money to poor people who should have known better than to ask for it) but continual overspending by the last government who did not benefit personally (except for expenses) on salaries and wages in the public sector, so most who did benefit were not in your category of "the rich".

    - you need to get your facts straight - Government spending was less than 40% of GDP until the banks collapsed (Golden rule - remember?) - which was no more or less than Government spending has been in the last 40 years or so (so how can it be down to the last Government) - the reason we have so much public debt is because of the double whammy of bank bailout (adding to the debt) and the disappearance of the tax receipts the recession brings - which was prompted by a credit crisis.
    You need to stop getting your facts from Tory HQ - only the gullible think all this was caused by the last Government.
    ....or are you suggesting the US also lavishly overspent to create it's debt mountain (under a Republican / conservative administration??)

    Stop buy that Daily mail would you - it's inaccurate and misleading!

    "I was in London a week last Monday; arriving ignorant of the tube strike. I can tell you Londoners are thoroughly fed up with it so the firemen may not get much sympathy, and the same goes for other strikers as well."

    Funnny how you formed that opinion, that's not what the e-mails into BBC London last night were reflecting. I'm a londoner and I'm not thoroughly fed up - I see the safety and security on the tube as more important than getting to work on time (and besides, I sensibly ride my bike to work)
    I think even those moany Londoners will see things differently after Wednesday when they realise what 'historially unmatched cuts' really means - with London being hit very hard as it's the biggest cost area of public services.

    If you actually look at the people interviewed who complain about the tubes - they're all trying to catch one - clearly these people aren't intelligent or they would have found an alternative so they could arrive bang on time like I did.

    ...and how you were 'ignorant of the tube strike' is beyond me - whatever paper you are reading - you need to change it as it's not informing you of what you need to know!!

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    45. At 12:14pm on 15 Oct 2010, ANT4LFC wrote:
    RiskAnaylst - just stick to matters you know about, which obviosuly isnt football !!!!

    Liverpool Football Club matters to a large section of the UK population and its about standing up to US bullies, which our PMs have failed to do on several occasions.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    But we're not discussing the actual football (i.e. the point at which the players enter the field and kick the ball). We are discussing the business. I think thats a slam dunk right there, but I feel the urge to continue.

    Do you have any credible statistics that show that Liverpool FC matter to a large population, say 20%? I doubt more than 40% of the population even watch or care about football as a whole. Let alone LFC!

    Talking about standing up to bullies, how about standing up to your beloved football clubs and telling them what you think about their ticket prices and the behaviour of their players? Sleeping with grannies, prostitutes, each others wives, drink driving, assault etc? Is justified by keeping fit (arguable) and running around after a ball three times a week and then being paid a ridiculous amount of money?

    I wouldn't mind if it was something like rowing, atleast Sir Steve Redgrave brought something home. The squad that won the 1966 world cup are in stark contrast to the diving overpaid pansies we pay to watch, week in-week out.

  • Comment number 65.

    35. At 11:42am on 15 Oct 2010, tFoth wrote:

    "I generally enjoy your posts and find myself in instictive agreement. I'm not sure I follow you all the way to a revolution - simply because I have more belief in the inertia of people - but I agree with your analysis of the mess we're in."

    The inertia is only while it all sinks in - the people have had it easy for 50 years or so - the 'sheep effect' works in social circles as well as market ones - so don't be surprised when things go from inert to rapidly changing in a number of days.

    "I'm a bit perplexed however when I read your penultimate paragraph about the "frenchies" the "mass movement for the poor" and not allowing Europe ("theieves and vagabonds") to rule over us."

    I think you misunderstood, the thieves and vagabonds are the rich who have extracted the wealth of the productive working class. In France the people (who didn't benefit from the thievery) have been told to pay for this with their pensions. As you can see they are not going to do that - and the addition of the students into the mix is a sign that the Government will be defeated.

    "To my way of thinking, as you guys contemplate the cuts anticipated next week - and the likely effect - ponder too the fact that the welfare state that is about to be ripped up is the template for what they call the "European Social Model": a model that the French and others are fighting to hold onto in the face of economic crisis while the UK seems hell bent on throwing it out."

    I'm not sure the "European Social Model" isn't a milder form of the corporate model which is imposed on all western nations.

    "Given the choice between the "American corporate model" of society and the "European social model" I'm for Europe!"

    This is true, but the corporations want to impose the came model around the world - fascism - and they are employing Governments to help them achieve this.
    Sarkozy is merely another conduit in this process.

  • Comment number 66.

    We need to get to the real root of this problem, otherwise many more clubs will fall foul of the same position.

    The sheer greed of Scudamore's commercialism together with his cronies at the Premier attempt at delivering the "best league in the world" should mean they are all now hanging their heads in shame. They, through their blatant commercialism have encouraged over spending not just at club sin the Premier , but those outside it too as they all thought those golden promises would bring riches galore and improve the National team as well.

    This week is in effect a proper reflection the result of their term in office.... a terrible International perfomrmance, one of their biggest "shining jewel" members teetering on the brink, one of their previous members Portsmouth, fighting for their very future.

    Like the rest of the country, it is time to curtail the Industry's spending and change the whole leadership, like the country did at the last election.

    Don't for one moment think, once the Liverpool debacle is over, there will be many more to follow and this will be happening across many communities throughout the country.

    A indictment of the policy of the premier league and it's failing leadership and control. Can't see any apology forthcoming from those that allowed this, they sit in their ivory towers and can you imagine them coming out and saying we got it wrong and resigning.

    About as much chance as the Shay men at Halifax winning this years FA Cup... wait.........aren't they still in it.



  • Comment number 67.

    # 43. At 12:10pm on 15 Oct 2010, pawns_or_players wrote:

    "This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain"

    Come on - what are you trying to say - we're all dying to know.

    Can't you put it in a way to get past moderation?

  • Comment number 68.

    45. At 12:14pm on 15 Oct 2010, ANT4LFC wrote:

    "RiskAnaylst - just stick to matters you know about, which obviosuly isnt football !!!!

    Liverpool Football Club matters to a large section of the UK population and its about standing up to US bullies, which our PMs have failed to do on several occasions."

    LFC doesn't matter to a large section of the UK population - only a fraction of the UK population are interested in football and only a fraction of them are interested in Liverpool! - you set yourself up there fella.

    "As for the forth-coming spending review, sack 50% of council workers that do nothing , no Unemployment benefit unless you do community work, sack middle management in NHS AND Why do we pay so much in Welfare benefits to couples with children they cant afford to keep and dont even work ?? MPs are too scared to tackle the main problems facing the UK."

    Sounds like you need a new sort of MP - one who wrote Mein Kampf perhaps?

    "Labour is the party for benefit cheats and the UK is too much of a soft touch. In other parts of Europe, no work = no money."

    Well that's where you're wrong, European benefits are just as 'soft' as they are here - which is why their tax rates are higher.

    "SIMPLES !"

    Yes - you clearly are.

  • Comment number 69.

    16. At 10:42am on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "Boardroom battles are good for the crowds Robert - but currency wars are far more relevant.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11548899"

    Yes - the economist cover is also "Currency Wars" this week. Though there take on it is that it is overblown at the moment. Most likely it will escalate just as the journalists move onto something more interesting (as we approach Xfactor and Strictly Come Dancing finals).

  • Comment number 70.

    With all due respect to Liverpool's supporters I hope this is resolved quickly. Not that I don't want the sale to go through so that your club is run by (hopefully honest and sensible) custodians but because my head is spinning more than when I raided my parents drinks cabinet Xmas 1990 while they were out.

    I had a similar experience when I read some of Professor Stephen Hawkings work; despite being pretty well educated some issues become too complicated to get the old grey matter around. When the news comes on this evening I'll turn over to watch In The Night Garden and Waybuloo with my two year old so I don't get depressed about my lack of understanding of global coroprate law.

  • Comment number 71.

    61. At 1:06pm on 15 Oct 2010, Greenbeacon wrote:

    I think I am right in saying that the shareholders would have to consent to the club being put into administration

    ===========================================================================

    I think you are totally wrong in saying that. Administration is aimed at protecting creditors, in this case RBS, and not shareholders.

  • Comment number 72.

    "From where you (and I) sit, do we not admireeven more the way Arsène Wenger runs our club?"

    ------------

    Venger doesn't run 'your club'. He's the coach. Good grief - gooners eh?

    Seems to me that Hicks is engineering a situation in which he can sue someone afterwards...

  • Comment number 73.

    WOTW:

    "If you actually look at the people interviewed who complain about the tubes - they're all trying to catch one - clearly these people aren't intelligent or they would have found an alternative so they could arrive bang on time like I did."

    There are plenty of intelligent people who have 'roids, thus precluding cycling.

    I do agree that people interviewed generally aren't the sharpest. But I think that is selection bias. IE I beleive that agreeing to an interview correlates strongly with having nothing useful to say.

    PS why did you need to arrive at work on time? can't you post to this blog from home ;)

  • Comment number 74.

    46. At 12:20pm on 15 Oct 2010, ANT4LFC wrote:

    "LFC is a viable, profitable business, hence why a new owner is willing to pay £300m for ownership rights. It is NOT insolvent."

    http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2010/08/03/liverpool-fc-s-financial-turmoil-revealed-by-accounts-92534-26983727/

    With a string of losses - and a declining market (or do you think people have more disposable income for matches and merchandise since the recession began?) - what makes you think it's viable?

    Don't be fooled by a price tag of £300 million - Many people paid high prices for their houses in the last decade - and now they're discovering they're worth less than what they paid for it - that's what tends to happen when you're borrowing the money to purchase something - which is no different to the Liverpool case.

    "LFC are trying to repay the debt of approx £240m to RBS but are being prohibited by a Dallas Court."

    No they're not! - LFC can't pay that debt (or they would have already) - they're hoping someone else will buy the club and pay it for them! - big difference.

    "The UK tax payer is not affected, in fact it will shortly benefit to the tune of a £40m penalty tax levied by RBS."

    ....and you've deducted the lost interest and opportunity cost on £300 million from that - have you?

    Got to love those die hard fans - don't let any logic get in the way of your love for the club.
    If love for Liverpool could sort out the problems then the club would clearly be fine - sadly there is no value for love in business.

  • Comment number 75.

    52. At 12:40pm on 15 Oct 2010, Stuart Wilson wrote:

    @24. At 11:18am on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "America - the Birthplace of corrupt capitalism. Land of the (legal) Fee and home of the slave."
    "Rubbish. You commented on my lack of history on one blog here, you of all people should know that corrupt capitalism was developed further in the UK during the early time of the goldsmiths (small "g") following the end of the Dark Ages and the slow dissolution of feudalism. The inception of the BoE and the shenanigans of Nathan Rothschild later on in particular cemented our position as embracers of the worst aspects of capitalism."

    ...but that doesn't fit nicely into a one liner does it? Ok , perhaps it should read "America - the Birthplace of rampant corrupt capitalism. Land of the (legal) Fee and home of the slave."

    Does that reflect historical events better? - Gosh I didn't realise you were so pedantic. I promise to try harder in the future.

    "To the Americans' credit they have tried on several occasions to at least reduce corruption primarily by attempting to get rid of their privately owned central bank, although admittedly that all changed completely with Woodrow Wilson."

    ...that's not because they want to end corrupt Capitalism - it's because the free maarket supporters blame the central bank for crises - they're shooting the doctor who tries to cure the terminal disease - because whoever he treats - dies!!

    "Naturally being completely indebted (viz. bankrupt) at the end of WWII meant we (the UK) lost the uneviable position of corruption and immorality grand master, and the baton handed over to the country the UK had spent the most time trying to corrupt and adopt "our" form of capitalism - the USA."

    True - we are the best exporters of misery in the history of the world, colonialism, wars, pillaging and Capitalism.

  • Comment number 76.

    WOTW, look at your reply @ 68 and mine @ 64. Both very similar responses!

    Would be good to have a intellectual discussion in person.

  • Comment number 77.

    56. At 12:55pm on 15 Oct 2010, ukblahblahblacksheep

    Whoops! - I think you accidently selected the whole blog!

    All that for a one line response! - classic, absolutely classic.

  • Comment number 78.

    73. At 1:30pm on 15 Oct 2010, Dale_Lemma wrote:

    "There are plenty of intelligent people who have 'roids, thus precluding cycling."

    Does that mean what I think it means? - I think I've had them too and it hasn't stopped me - just need a softer seat.

    "I do agree that people interviewed generally aren't the sharpest. But I think that is selection bias. IE I beleive that agreeing to an interview correlates strongly with having nothing useful to say."

    I refuse to believe that the 'general public' is as daft as the people the TV find to interview in the street. How many times have you been stopped in the street and asked for a 'moment of your time' and brushed them off because you have something useful to do.
    Only those with nothing better to do will hang around for an interview or a survey. God help the BBC is they ever stop me - they'll have to cancel later programmes just to fit my 'vox pop' in!!

    "PS why did you need to arrive at work on time? can't you post to this blog from home ;)"

    How dare you - I'm not wasting my valuable free time on this!!! (that's a joke before everyone starts freaking out again)

  • Comment number 79.

    This game is already in extra time. If they don't get a result soon, it will have to go to penalties.

  • Comment number 80.

    76. At 1:40pm on 15 Oct 2010, RiskAnalyst wrote:

    "WOTW, look at your reply @ 68 and mine @ 64. Both very similar responses!

    Would be good to have a intellectual discussion in person. "

    Are we schizophrenic? - or are you real?

    I do feel sorry for the Liverpool fans - they clearly have a lot of passion for their club - but sadly business and feelings are mutually exclusive.

    However I'm not surprised we share the same ideals - we both work in the same area of finance - the one nobody listens to but who they blame when it all goes wrong!!

  • Comment number 81.

    WOTW
    "True - we are the best exporters of misery in the history of the world, colonialism, wars, pillaging and Capitalism."

    As a relatively small nation we didn't have enough people to make miserably locally. Russia and China are spoiled in this respect. Mr Mao's Great Leap Forward is something we could never match in the UK alone.

  • Comment number 82.

    I love ANT4LFCs' idea that any business with £240m debt is 'financialy viable'. Says a lot about the way our economy works, controlled as it is by the city and the banks. They love debt, keeps everyone under control and generates the massive bonuses they pay themselves.

  • Comment number 83.

    #80 WOTW and RiskAnalysis,

    "business and feelings are mutually exclusive" - only for those who sell their souls to work for the highest payers, in your respective cases banks. The reason why you both think the same is that the way you think is programmed into you by the banks you work for.


  • Comment number 84.

    @79. At 1:47pm on 15 Oct 2010, stevekimberley wrote:
    "This game is already in extra time. If they don't get a result soon, it will have to go to penalties."
    I'm sure the banks will just find a referee to decide in their favour. Can't imagine which football club that might reflect.

  • Comment number 85.

    25. At 11:18am on 15 Oct 2010, Jack Sanderson wrote:

    Would this administation not be a bit unusual anyway? Typically there are numerous unsatisfied creditors, headed by the bank and HMRC, then trade creditors and others. Liverpool FC (if I may call it that for brevity) is presumably up to date with its day to day payments, it seems to have good cash flow and on recent evidence seems to be worth quite a bit more than it owes.

    Jack - as someone involved with valuing small & medium businesses, you normally look at last 3 years profits, apply a multiple of between 4-12 depending on the sector, and then add/subtract the net worth (balance sheet) value.
    Over the last 3 years Kop Football (Holdings) results have been
    2007 - Loss of £33M
    2008 - Loss of £40M
    2009 - Loss of £54M

    The business currently has a negative net worth of £128M.
    So using the usual rules of valuation LFC is currently worth in my book absolutely ZIP all!
    Clearly others have suspended normal rational thought to pay any substantial amount for this company.

    Incidentally the complex web of ownership of this business also includes a Cayman Islands registered company - surely not a tax dodge???

    it is time for football to wake up and be treated like any other business

  • Comment number 86.

    @83. At 1:58pm on 15 Oct 2010, Kudospeter wrote:
    #80 WOTW and RiskAnalysis,
    "business and feelings are mutually exclusive" - only for those who sell their souls to work for the highest payers, in your respective cases banks. The reason why you both think the same is that the way you think is programmed into you by the banks you work for.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why are they not advocating the "system" then? Surely they wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them?
    Technically we all "work" for banks if you think about it...

  • Comment number 87.

    83. At 1:58pm on 15 Oct 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    I think you have misinterpreted what we are saying. I know WOTW doesn't advocate doing business solely with for profit at other's expense and I don't either.

    Whilst we may work for large financial institutions, we do not share their views. In fact, we both have been very vocal opponents of the way banks operate and moreso the wider financial system.

  • Comment number 88.

    78. At 1:47pm on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Only those with nothing better to do will hang around for an interview or a survey. God help the BBC is they ever stop me - they'll have to cancel later programmes just to fit my 'vox pop' in!!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Voxpops:
    Have I posted this link before?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHun58mz3vI&feature

  • Comment number 89.

    77. At 1:41pm on 15 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    56. At 12:55pm on 15 Oct 2010, ukblahblahblacksheep

    Whoops! - I think you accidently selected the whole blog!

    All that for a one line response! - classic, absolutely classic.

    Yeah..and now someones deleted it and i can't remember what my one line comment was. Oh well...

    Just as a matter of interest, what is the (presumably blameless) area of the finance industry that nobody listens to but everyone blames when it goes wrong. Pardon my ignorance, but i thought the entire finance sector was about making money from money itself... which has more than a little to do with the mess we are in ATM

  • Comment number 90.

    Bobby P blogs about the Liverpool FC ownership debacle.

    WOTW talks about a revolution against capitalism.

    Just another day in paradise!

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    Greenbeacon (1.06pm), no that's incorrect - shareholders have no say in Administration: either the Directors or any holders of a Debenture (security over corporate assets) - which in this case is RBS - can call in administrators, regardless of the view of any shareholders (even if 100% of them disagree).

    The reason a debenture holder can call in administrators is specifically in order to protect the security he was granted over the money he lent: shareholders may disgree but unless they want to stump up themselves collectively and pay the loan repayment demanded, they can expect any secured creditor to use his powers under the debenture if he thinks his money is going to go west.



  • Comment number 93.

    83. At 1:58pm on 15 Oct 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    "business and feelings are mutually exclusive" - only for those who sell their souls to work for the highest payers, in your respective cases banks. The reason why you both think the same is that the way you think is programmed into you by the banks you work for.

    Nonsense - who you work for doesn't define who you are. If you pretend that there is a place for emotions in business, then under a capitalist system - you won't be in business for long - which is the essence of what I say - it promotes an anti-human and anti-social reaction.

    ...and in the case of Liverpool this is never more evident - otherwise G&H would not be alienating themselves from half of Liverpool for a 'measly' £140 Million. Only those who attempt to make capitalism acceptable cloud the waters by claiming there is a place for morals in business (usually while helping themselves to the profit of not doing so)

  • Comment number 94.

    79. At 1:47pm on 15 Oct 2010, stevekimberley wrote:

    "This game is already in extra time. If they don't get a result soon, it will have to go to penalties."

    You're right, and I'm going to hit the bar if there isn't a rebound off this post first!

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    88. At 2:07pm on 15 Oct 2010, Kit Green

    I'm a big fan - did you ever see that early piece he did on TV and how it infects us with it's aspirational rubbish?

    It really shows how we get into such a mess as society - I mean how do we expect the poor not to take credit offered to them when they're are bombarded with images of the OC which suggest "this is the way to live".

  • Comment number 97.

    Robert, please stop banging on about Liverpool FC, most people don't give a monkey's, seriously. How about the Uni's losing £4.2 billion worth of funding in next week's CSR and the likely impact of this on UK economic competitiveness? Far more important topic, I would have thought?

  • Comment number 98.

    90. At 2:08pm on 15 Oct 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:
    Bobby P blogs about the Liverpool FC ownership debacle.
    WOTW talks about a revolution against capitalism.
    Just another day in paradise!


    No..just another day in a debt ridden economy heading for metdown, filled with people who say nothing can be done , but really don't want anything to change because they are fully paid up members of the i'm-all-right-jack club.

    Unless i miss my guess......

  • Comment number 99.

    89. At 2:08pm on 15 Oct 2010, ukblahblahblacksheep wrote:

    "Just as a matter of interest, what is the (presumably blameless) area of the finance industry that nobody listens to but everyone blames when it goes wrong. Pardon my ignorance, but i thought the entire finance sector was about making money from money itself... which has more than a little to do with the mess we are in ATM"

    Risk - it's like being the first mate on the titanic, you're all like "I think we should slow down a bit" but the Capitain and crew cry "this ship is unsinkable, don't get in the way of progress" - then when we hit the iceberg they all turn round and ask "why didn't you stop us?"

    Most Risk managers saw this collapse coming - but it's no good having an opinion that gets in the way of 'making money'.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/4585672/HBOS-whistle-blower-I-warned-FSA-about-bank-risks.html

  • Comment number 100.

    90. At 2:08pm on 15 Oct 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:

    "WOTW talks about a revolution against capitalism.

    Just another day in paradise!"

    Switzerland - paradise? - or do you mean Hendon?

    How will you leave Switzerland when the French and Germans go on strike? - won't that make it a little difficult to get out of your land locked country?
    ...better hope Austria and Italy are still functioning or you might be trapped there...

    No man, and no country is an island - you seem to forget that when indulging in the pursuit of self interest.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.