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

Broughton: 'I have the power to sell Liverpool'

Robert Peston | 14:08 UK time, Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I've just interviewed Martin Broughton, chairman of Liverpool since April.

And what struck me was his confidence that he can sell the club from under its owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

He told me that when he took the post of chairman, he received explicit undertakings that he was in charge of selling the club - and that Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett surrendered any right to block a sale to a bidder he deemed most suitable.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Those undertakings will now be tested in court, probably in the middle of next week.

But bankers tell me that if the courts rule against the transfer of Liverpool FC to the new ownership of John Henry and New England Sports Ventures, the sale will still probably go through - although via the ungainly mechanism of Royal Bank of Scotland putting Liverpool into administration (see my earlier post on how this would work).

So it looks like the parent company of the Boston Red Sox will be the proprietor of the Liverpool FC.

It is proposing to pay £300m, of which £200m would pay off the longer term bank debt provided by Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia of the US (three quarters of that £200m goes to RBS).

Another £40m would pay off other creditors, such as the local council.

And £60m would stay in the business as debt secured on the stadium plus working capital facilities.

Not even a brass farthing will go to messrs Hicks and Gillett, which means they stand to lose the £140m they've put into the club - and it's why they will do all they can to frustrate the deal.

If, as seems likely, the deal goes through one way or another, Liverpool will once again have relatively modest debts - around £60m -which, as I've said, should feel like something of a liberation.

And Mr Broughton told me he was confident that the new owner wouldn't simply take money out by foisting new borrowings on the club as and when financial markets recover sufficiently - though there aren't any cast iron guarantees to that effect.

Nor has he extracted a binding commitment to build the new Stanley Park stadium. But Mr Broughton pointed to the track record of John Henry in developing sporting facilities in an imaginative way.

Mr Broughton believes that Mr Henry wants to own Liverpool for what the Kop would see as the right reasons - namely to turn it again into a winning club on the field, as the sine qua non of commercial success.

Mr Henry's record at the Boston Red Sox - which has won two World Series under his ownership after decades of ignominy and failure - would make that a plausible assertion.

But although globalisation is increasingly a phenomenon in sport as well in finance, there are still huge cultural differences between sports clubs in different countries. Mr Henry will find much about Liverpool FC unfamiliar, even alien.

So perhaps astutely, Mr Broughton refused to make any prediction of when silverware would once more grace the Liverpool trophy cabinet, to follow the silver raining into Royal Bank of Scotland's coffers.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "Mr Henry will find much about Liverpool FC unfamiliar, even alien."
    Don't worry, the scousers will soon tell him, and with humour if he listens.

  • Comment number 2.

    "If, as seems likely, the deal goes through one way or another, Liverpool will once again have relatively modest debts - around £60m -which, as I've said, should feel like something of a liberation. "

    Tell that to Sheffield Wednesday. Likely to go into admin over £25m of debts. Modest - no not really - just managable by the club.

  • Comment number 3.

    The only model that works for the fans is for it to be a proper club, owed by those who want to support it.
    Like FC Barcelona.
    "Mes que un club."

    https://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/english/index.html

    They have "Unicef" on their shirts, not a beer ad.
    It only costs about £150 a year to own a part of the club.
    The football club debt bubble has to burst but only once it's Ponzied to the hilt.

  • Comment number 4.


    Broughton: 'I have the power to sell Liverpool'

    writingsonthewall: 'So why haven't you sold it already then???'

    These monkeys in suits really believe their own press don't they? - They actually think they are gods with power.

    What's he going to do when he finds out that 'The market doesn't want to buy a money losing football club at the moment'?

    "Mr Broughton believes that Mr Henry wants to own Liverpool for what the Kop would see as the right reasons - namely to turn it again into a winning club on the field, as the sine qua non of commercial success."

    Like Hicks and Gillet? - If Broughton believes this then he is an even bigger fool than I give him credit for! Seriously does he think Henry is a closet Liverpool fan?

    Jeeeees Broughton - this is capitalism we're in, not communism - you know the rules - nobody does anything unless it's for a profit.

    "And Mr Broughton told me he was confident that the new owner wouldn't simply take money out by foisting new borrowings on the club as and when financial markets recover sufficiently - though there aren't any cast iron guarantees to that effect. "

    Why didn't you ask him how this is going to be achieved when Henry's 'fortune' is posted at a pre-credit crunch £540 Million - which includes assets.
    Did he say he was selling his other interests to fund it? - well then it's borrowing to the hilt it is then. Why would anyone put their own cash into such a ludicrous investment at a time of international depression? - you don't 'make' £540 million by making idiot decisions like that my friend.

    I think this interview shows the sheer desperation of LFC to get itself sold before Friday

    Is anyone still confused as to why the economy is collapsing? - look at the clueless blind optimists we have in the prominent positions in business - I'm just surprised it's lasted this long...

  • Comment number 5.

    So the little recession continues. But football will be just fine, will it?

    https://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/oct/06/football-fans-tighten-wallet-merchandise?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
    Premiership football fans tighten their wallets on club merchandise

    Makes me ask: What planet where these people on when they commissioned so many new season shirts? The planet where they go down if they can't sell merchandise because that is what they rely on isn't it?

  • Comment number 6.

    @ thomas_paine - I don't believe that Standard Chartered sell beer.....

  • Comment number 7.

    The chairman seemed very confident the commitments he'd been given by the owners were binding upon them so the courts will not second guess that. The deal should go through without the need for administration.
    It seems a bit strange though, that the owners entered into a contract with the chairman they appointed which allowed him to sell the club at a loss of £140 million to themselves.
    What were they thinking.

  • Comment number 8.

    RE: thomas_payne

    The only model that works for the fans is for it to be a proper club, owed by those who want to support it.
    Like FC Barcelona.
    "Mes que un club."

    They have "Unicef" on their shirts, not a beer ad.
    It only costs about £150 a year to own a part of the club.

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

    Would this be the same Barcelona that took out a £130million loan from Santander as it couldn't pay the wage bill? The same Barcelona that loan money to pay off a charity to have their Logo and 'look good'?

    Sure sounds like an excellent model to follow.........

  • Comment number 9.

    Whats the chances that Hicks and Gillett will let Liverpool go into Administration just out of spite?

  • Comment number 10.

    Well done Mr Broughton - someone with Liverpool's interest at heart

  • Comment number 11.

    The current owners bought the club and saddled it with debt guessing that the recent success Liverpool had at the time (2 Champions League Finals in 3 years, FA Cup Wins and decent standings in the league) would mean their investment would double and they could sell in a few years for a big profit.

    Lets face it guys - even my bank repeatedly tell me that investments may lose value as well as increase in value - your plan didn't work and you need to pay your debts and get out. It may just be an investment to you but it's the jobs of thousands of people at risk. Sell, cover your debts and learn a lesson in investment.

  • Comment number 12.

    Do the americans know that there are other leagues in England other than the premier?
    How far down could Liverpool go before the new owners sold them off?

    This one will run until the 9 points are deducted off,

  • Comment number 13.

    As a Leeds United fan, I can imagine most Liverpool fans will not be happy to hear that yet another American business seems to be about to own the club. It would be like 'son of Ridsdale' coming back to Leeds.

    Liverpool is a great club with a great history. I hope the club can recover but when I heard it was to be sold to Americans again, I must say I wasn't optimistic.

  • Comment number 14.

    I myself was seriously damaged by Americans taking over my firm, promising investment and a new dawn, but then using the firm's money to fund their other activities. Beware, Liverpool, (again!) of American promises of investment. They are only after your ass(ets).

  • Comment number 15.

    If he can sell it to whoever he chooses, for whatever amount he chooses, against the will of the owners, why doesn't he sell it to himself for a quid?

  • Comment number 16.

    I have the power to sell my team too......

    The ground is called the Subbuteo Stadium, there's three nice stands - the fourth was tragically destroyed by a large unsupervised dog during a re-enactment of York City's magnificent 4th Round FA Cup win over the mighty Arsenal, electric scoreboard - stuck on York City 1 Arsenal 0. The playing surface is in good nick and there's a squad of arouund 88 although some players are nursing serious leg injuries, on the plus side the tube of magic potion gets them back on their feet within an hour or so. I can even throw in a replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy for good measure.

    The whole shebang cost me around £20 so by current standards could be acquired for say £100 - any offers

  • Comment number 17.

    Robert Peston - can you run a story on the financial model proposed by ShareLiverpoolFC? In fact, can anyone of the critics of the left show me how giving the fans not only a financial but a decision-making share in the Club would be bad for business?

    NESV are a group of investors and they have a winning mentality. So do the Liverpool fans. We all want the same things (I hope), so if the proposed buyers want to understand what makes football so important to people over here they could do a lot worse than entering into formal discussions on fan ownership with the Spirit of Shankly. Let's have a serious debate about fan representation on the board, fan-based investment in the club and linking the club back to its roots in Merseyside. I worry that treating the club as a 'franchise' will make it global at the expense of the local, profitable but too expensive, successful but not accountable to the fans and the community.

    This is a fantastic opportunity to have an honest and open debate about (at least part) fan ownership of a Premier League FC!

    YNWA

    www.shareliverpoolfc.co.uk
    www.spiritofshankly.com/supporter-ownership.html

  • Comment number 18.

    I dont wish to question the expertise of Robert Peston but "Not even a brass farthing will go to messrs Hicks and Gillett, which means they stand to lose the £140m they've put into the club"

    How do they stand to lose the £140m they've put into the club? What happened to the £237m borrowed from RBS because it didnt get spent on a new players or a new stadium?

  • Comment number 19.

    11. At 3:42pm on 06 Oct 2010, R Breaks wrote:

    "Lets face it guys - even my bank repeatedly tell me that investments may lose value as well as increase in value - your plan didn't work and you need to pay your debts and get out. It may just be an investment to you but it's the jobs of thousands of people at risk. Sell, cover your debts and learn a lesson in investment."

    R Breaks - you're talking to a pair of arch capitalists - what do they care about job losses? I would have thought the constant stream of job losses being announced daily would have shown you this.

    When it comes down to making a profit and axing a few thousand jobs - the Capitalist only has one goal - profit.

    That is why we're all going to get sacked and offered new jobs at lower rates and with less job security and benefits - it's to restore the capitalists profit margins through the only way possible - wage reduction.

    They don't care if the price of food is rising at 4% a year - that's your problem mate - as long as you eat enough to be fit to work for the capitalist - that's all they care about.

    https://www.farmersguardian.com/home/world-news/food-inflation-at-15-month-high/34788.article

    This is a systemic problem - not a footballing one. Welcome to the real world.

    ...and sadly - it's only going to get worse - the last 2 years were but a taster - now the real collapse has begun.

    I'm willing to bet in 5 years time half the people on here won't be bothered about football at all - surviving the depression will be their main aim.

  • Comment number 20.

    Football pays far too much to its players - beyond all commercial common sense. Just like Banking. Both need to get a grip.

    This gets me back to my earlier them of the week; the failure of trickle down economics - we need a national maximum wage for everyone. We need local Liverpudlians playing for Liverpool.

    No one is worth more that the Prime Minister so all pay above his should be taxed at 100% - that goes for footballers just as much as bankers and city fat cats - all of them. Unbridled greed has failed as a way of enriching the Nation and it must be rejected! This is a Big Society Tory doctrine - was it not the Prime Minster himself that said that no-one should earn more than 20 times the lowest paid employee - let us see that put into the tax code, Dave! Or was it just hot air?

  • Comment number 21.

    As a lifelong Liverpool fan I ca only hope that this ownership change is a positive one, and the signs are as good as we could hope in the circumstances. I have take my hat off to Mr. Broughton, whose determination to find the right ownership model for Liverpool, rather re-coup the investment made by Hicks and Gillett, means that we will have an owner who actually owns the club instead of an "owner" who has a 100% mortgage on the club.
    Liverpool has a very strong balance sheet, and the operating profit is strong, though a poor year will put a dent into that, with most of the profit going into servicing the debt, that money will suddenly be available for other things.
    The new ownership will look to do what they did at Boston. They hired a very innovative and driven club exec. Theo Epstein, who immediately swept through the line-up, brought in a top coach and did some great deals to get top quality players on the field. In the background the stadium was renovated and revenues increased dramatically. This allowed for a push at the World Series and they achieved it after an 86 year wait, repeating a couple of years later. They are still a very strong team this year, but have had a ridiculous injury problem, which has prevented them from challenging for the play-offs. The Red Sox and Liverpool could be soul-mates, the parallels are huge.
    I hope very much that this deal happens fast, after that my wishlist is
    1. New leadership at the club
    2. Ground Share underway with the blues (time to get real on the new ground issue!)
    3. A top manager who can attract real quality players.
    4. An entertaining and attractive style of play that re-establishes our reputation (which right now is at an all time low.)
    5. Compete for trophies at the highest level.
    Three years from now if this is the situation I'll be a happy little scouser again!

  • Comment number 22.

    16. At 4:21pm on 06 Oct 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    "The whole shebang cost me around £20 so by current standards could be acquired for say £100 - any offers "

    ...that depends - are you in Europe?

    I'm a man with a spare £100 to play football owner - but this will require £250 worth of investment just to get it up and running as my basement will need converting to accomodate such a grand club.

    I'm also eyeing a nice motor racing deal - some guy has got a neat scalextrix with a Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button replica cars - it's well nifty too.

    I also got my eye on some property deals - I hear Park lane and Mayfair are for sale (as a set) and it's ripe for hotel building - I just sold my old kent road and Whitechapel places for a cool £10,000 and got hold of Marylebone station to boot.

    Would you be interested in my yacht at all? It's currently moored in monaco - but the sail is collapsable and it will fit in the post!

  • Comment number 23.

    > Liverpool will once again have relatively modest debts - around £60m

    Diddly squat?

  • Comment number 24.

    Well, that’s it then - the Liverpool board has agreed to sell the Premier League soccer team to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) for 300 million pounds.
    Tom Hicks & George Gillett, the American duo, asked Barclays Capital in April to find a buyer; Barclays Capital appointed British Airways Chairman Broughton to oversee the sale with the stipulation that Broughton was not to be interfered with while working the project.
    Hicks and Gillett had got into mischief trying to remove the managing director, as well as the commercial director from the board, in spite of the original agreement which warned the American duo about interference.
    The price tag - 300M pounds, including 200M in write-downs re all acquisition debt. This is likely the best accounting seem by Liverpool in quite some time.
    The Liverpool Team owe 237M pounds, mainly to creditors Royal Bank of Scotland who have set October 15th for the debt to be refinanced.
    Now there should be money for new players and maybe an updated stadium or an expansion to Anfield.
    NESV is headed by John W Henry and Tom Werner. In 2004, two years after they took over the Red Sox, the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918. They repeated in 2007.
    Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool in February 2007 for 218.9M pounds and have not moved the club forward, except deeper and deeper into debt; yet Liverpool had been English champions 18 times...
    So let's hope this sale turns them around.

  • Comment number 25.

    The banks say it will happen so it will happen. Borrowing on anticipation of an economic recovery and future revenues? Sounds like how the banks financed housing.
    Mr. Henry will run the club as a business and a sport, culture is addressed through public relations.

  • Comment number 26.

    I find this very hard to believe. Hicks and Gillett are two hard-nosed US businessmen. Why would they sign an agreement that would allow a third party to sell their own assets from underneath them that would value their equity in the club at zero? Way too easy a lesson in how to blow £100 million plus. After all, and I am not saying he has been, but what if the buyer had "got to" Broughton in order to pick the club up on the cheap? Just doesn't add up without some form of veto or guarantee that their investment would be protected somehow.

  • Comment number 27.

    Mr Broughton believes that Mr Henry wants to own Liverpool for what the Kop would see as the right reasons - namely to turn it again into a winning club on the field, as the sine qua non of commercial success.

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



    Well, duh! I'm sure that H+G had the same attitude. It's obvious to any owner that winning on the field is necessary (if not sufficient) to commercial success. H+G trusted Rafa to take care of the "winning on the field" part of the equation, which is why Liverpool FC is in its current dire straits.

  • Comment number 28.

    don't clubs who go into receivership get an automatic 10 point penalty deduction? avoiding relegation won't be a certainty. Sorry but i receivership was used as a tactic to wip of debt then the penalty deduction should be doubled

  • Comment number 29.

    Robert, (or anyone else with the facts/knowledge)

    Please can you explain with some detail how Liverpools situation would differ from say Southamptons or Leeds', both of whom suffered point deduction. I may have my history wrong here but thought that both of these teams entered administration because they could simply no longer service their debt. In Southamptons case the ruling was that the club and holding company were strongly interlinked and so the club itself were therefore guilty of financial mismanagement = point penalty. How exactly are Liverpool different? Cannot meet obligation = admin = point penalty....unless your a big club maybe....I'm smelling something fishy about this.

    Please furnish me with facts on the FA rules.

  • Comment number 30.

    So if someone, somewhere, is willing to put in £300m as an investment (not "free money" a-la Abramovitch), then presumably they're expecting a return on that investment of, I would guess, at least 5% a year (whether by interest or capital gains) which would be £15m a year that the club has to find on top of players and stadium costs.

    I'm not a banker or wealthy investor, but if I had £300m to spare, I certainly wouldn't take that risk for that return. Right now I probably wouldn't do it for £30m a year either. How do these numbers compare with what Liverpool gets without Champions League football? How about if they were relegated?
    How many £xxx million does a new stadium cost?

    Also, how much do they owe the local council, and does the council have money owed by Everton? How do national-government auditors react to these kind of debts (or "soft loans" as some might describe them)?

  • Comment number 31.

    @geofffromleeds

    Its just part of the risk they took when they borrowed so much money to finance the takeover of Liverpool and entered into the agreement with the bank which took power away from them to make this deal.

    Long and short of it, they've made a huge blunder here in their haste to try and sell Liverpool on quickly, something which never happened, and in their overvaluing of the club. How they ever thought they were going to get £600 million for it I don't know because I just can't see where they've added value to the club (or rather where they think they've added value) since they took over.

  • Comment number 32.

    Did Hicks & Gillette agree to Broughton as a result of insistence from RBS? In April RBS may have said you will accept Broughton and his authority or we will not offer the refinance deal up to October. It is possible that the Americans were stuck as they might be skint and were desperate to refinance and would have agreed to anything.

  • Comment number 33.

    To those asking why Martin Broughton can't just do whatever he likes: as a director he, like Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre, has duties under sections 170 to 177 of the Companies Act 2006, and if he failed to perform them his decisions could be challenged in court. Section 172 imposes on a director a duty to promote the success of the company, section 173 imposes a duty to exercise independent judgment, and section 174 imposes a duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence. Therefore if Mr Broughton accepted some ridiculous offer (or, more relevantly, failed to accept a suitable offer) he could be liable to suit for breach of those duties.

  • Comment number 34.

    "He told me that when he took the post of chairman, he received explicit undertakings that he was in charge of selling the club - and that Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett surrendered any right to block a sale to a bidder he deemed most suitable."

    Can someone explain, why on earth would Hicks and Gillett agree this kind of deal? Doesn't make any kind of sense from their point of view to me. Or am I just missing something?

  • Comment number 35.

    Sell to the fans and make a decent return, another false dawn, You'll Never SOX Alone"

  • Comment number 36.

    brilliant news for liverpool.the £237 million is the original purchase money h+g used to buy the club only its been refinanced over and over because they were unable to service it.the reason liverpool will notet a points deduction if they do have to go into administration is that the club itself is solvent.the debt is on the parent company kop holdings,it is that company and not the club that would go into administration.broughton has so much power because when it was announced that g+h were being sold rbs insisted on an independent chairman overseeing the sale so the cowboys couldnt hold it up

  • Comment number 37.

    #22 LoL :D

    And your other stuff is about right too. Thanks.

  • Comment number 38.

    "3. At 2:56pm on 06 Oct 2010, thomas_paine wrote:
    The only model that works for the fans is for it to be a proper club, owed by those who want to support it.
    Like FC Barcelona.
    "Mes que un club."

    https://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/english/index.html

    They have "Unicef" on their shirts, not a beer ad.
    It only costs about £150 a year to own a part of the club.
    The football club debt bubble has to burst but only once it's Ponzied to the hilt."

    Yeah, I reckon Barcelona are an excellently run outfit:

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8797183.stm

    Portsmouth would blush.

  • Comment number 39.

    To the people of Liverpool you are getting a first rate owner.

    But why he wants to get involved with a second rate sport is beyond me.

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    It seems to me that Hicks and Gillet may now be getting what they deserve - a loss of £140m. It serves them right for borrowing millions of pounds in order to finance the purchase and wages of overrated football stars.

    Lets just hope the any cash that RBS receive goes direct to the Government so that it can help reduce the national debt. It might at least pay the interest on the national debt for 2 or 3 days!

  • Comment number 42.

    Ok, if Broughton has the power to sell then get rid of those two Americans. I am in two minds about this new deal by NESV. As a Liverpool fan i am so happy to see the back of those two Americans. The NESV ownership have got a winning American mentality. They will help in a way buy the success the fans want. But i will be wary of them coming in until i see results.

    On the other part of my mind is like i dont want this deal to go through. The reason is that i am a baseball fan here in the UK and my team is the New York Yankees. Who are our bitter rivals going back years and years. So it will be like supporting the owners of my most bitter rivals. Like the Ownership of Everton buying Rangers FC.

    So we will have to wait and see if NESV can buy the club and get it back to winning ways. My heart is torn on this one.

  • Comment number 43.

    Sir Alex Ferguson dried my hair

    Yes, you are definitely missing something, like an attention span. If you read the article in full, you would know that Statler & Waldorf are opposing the deal

  • Comment number 44.

    @20 "No one is worth more that the Prime Minister so all pay above his should be taxed at 100%..."

    John - in general I agree, but 100%? You are a bit harsh. Limit it to 19s 6d (97½p) in the pound, as in the old days of supertax (introduced by Churchill). At least give them a commission as tax-collectors. The shortfall could be made up from taxes on luxury imported goods.

    As for people talking about "great" clubs ... what's great about buying players ... isn't that just the power of money? People become irrationally attached to brands, even when there's no connection to what originally made then attractive*. Coca Cola no longer contains cocaine, and Chelsea no longer has players with origins in the area, or even the UK. What's the point? Please explain to me why I'm wrong in thinking that you are all mugs.

    *PS - the same applied to New "Labour" too.

  • Comment number 45.

    robert, you're needed in the great counselling chambers of the country. We have a PRime minister who thinks equality is unfair. or a fool who thinks he can argue for fairness without implying complete equality. Help him.

  • Comment number 46.

    It is sad to see Liverpool in such a mess (even though I'm an Evertonian) but two things , first I belive that it is not Friday of this week that RBS have as the deadline, but next week, so there is some time, but I'm afraid the days of Liverpool being a top 4 team are possibly on the wane, Chelsea and City are the money bags, Tottenham and Arsenal seem to be well run, I'm afraid it will take all of Hodgson's experience to rescue an ageing Liverpool team and I fear that Torres will not remain, the amount of money that will be available is likely to mean mid table finishes for a while, maybe near the top, but not in the top 4. As for a 10 point deduction, that wouldn't be enough to send them down, they are good enough to escape.

    Having been so kind I do, however have to point out that a new Stadium in Stanley Park is a non-starter, I believe a council spokesman said last week that a Fair once a year in Stanley Park was acceptable, but a Circus twice a month was not.

  • Comment number 47.

    44. At 11:43pm on 06 Oct 2010, Sasha Clarkson wrote:
    @20 "No one is worth more that the Prime Minister so all pay above his should be taxed at 100%..."

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

    You cannot be serious man!! We are in this mess thanks to our previous two Prime Ministers, if anything they weren't worth the Prime Ministers salary, up to this week, much as I dislike the man, I did at least think Cameron may be worth the salary, now I'm having second thoughts.

  • Comment number 48.

    Hick and the other muppet have increased Liverpools debts.

    As a working profitable business it has been dragged down by very poor administration of which if these 2 muppets were to continue, the debts would just get bigger.

    These 2 muppets have taken Liverpool to the brink of bankrupsy, so what if they lose £140 million, thats just the penalty for their ineptitude and negligence.

    The next thing, is that the proposed NEW owners, will NOT just be looking to THROW £200million away in paying off Liverpools loans. They WILL WANT A PROFITABLE RETURN on EVERY DIME they invest. They do though, have some very serious experience in achieving it.

    BUT, what NEEDS to be remembered by Liverpool supportes, is that this NEW USA outfit is just a variant part of the hustlers and shakers and movers of the banking/financial investments sector.

    For the new prospective owner(s) Liverpool is an investment, so they will be seeking to make some changes to Liverpools structure, plus also probably to its trainee/apprenticeship policy and drag out of Liverpool as MUCH as possible, NOT for Liverpools long term sake, but PURELY for profit.

    As and when Liverpool picks up and looks a better prospect, its value, like much else in this world, will be over inflated and it will be dumped whenever maximim profit selling price becomes available, hence it is AFTER this proposed new ownership that could ultimately be an even BIGGER danger to Liverpool FC.

  • Comment number 49.

    29 : Liverpool will go into administration, but not get a points deduction allegedly thanks to reports from the Liverpool area, that the Premierships self protection mob led by Richard Scudamore will do anything to ensure their "major clubs" (all 5 of them) do not fall foul of such draconian measures.

    Unlike the Football League who impose penalties on all that have gone in to administration for what ever reason, technical i.e. holding companies, or otherwise.

    Some may say the Premiership is the best league in the world, unfortunately it is riddled with bad management and practices of self interest. The spirit of real competition disappeared long ago, and runs along the parallel line and mirrors recent failures at International level.

    All the talk is of money generated, but no-one can in their right mind can call it the richest league in the world because most , if not all clubs, are heavily in debt, either to Banks or their owners. Right way to finance sporting competition, I think not, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Sadly until there are a few real big failures, nothing will change. I would not wish that on Liverpool or others but it is needed to bring a reality check on the corporate quango that is supposed to "run" and administer the top league of our national game, but in the process stole the century long traditions of the Football League and leeched power from the FA.

  • Comment number 50.

    I find it hard to believe that the 2 individuals gave Mr Broughton such an agreement. I am confident Liverpool FC will have to go through administration via RBS before any deal can be done.

  • Comment number 51.

    Robert, to me it seems that there's still something missing from the story.

    The story so far:

    RBS lend over £200m to Hicks&Gillette, who know even less about football than RBS do themselves, so they can buy a shiny EPL football club (Liverpool). Foolish, but all entirely legal.

    When reality arrives, and the debt cannot be serviced, H&G are called in to the headmaster's office, where they are trussed up like Christmas Turkeys for the oven. RBS, who may be fools, but are not idiots, write their (updated, but secret?) loan agreements such that the asset that the loans are secured against (i.e. the Club) won't be further damaged by 'silly-things' like EPL regulations that lead to points deductions (as if the EPL would really bite-off one of it's own Crown-Jewels!).

    As a result, the liability for remainder of the money owed to RBS is by H&G, not the club. All very convenient for Liverpool, RBS and the EPL, especially if it had got to the point where they didn't really expect it to be paid back. This way the club never formally defaults and everything in the courts is rosy: A nice quick in-and-out of the court just to get the judge to give the OK for the asset seizure. H&G then scuttle back across the Atlantic, tails between their legs, and with RBS apparently in hot pursuit.

    But, on the way, they pass another sports-businessman coming in the opposite direction who clearly IS an idiot (and not even as wealthy as other apparent idiots).
    Not only has this person never heard of The Mighty Cobblers of Northampton Town (O No, my precious, not yet he hasn't), but he also seems happy to pay £300m to buy a club from a bank that has just told the whole world that it isn't even worth £200m. And despite all the evidence to the contrary, he appears to think he can make a profit from this during the depths of a recession, and while competing against other owners who have not just deeper pockets, but are among the wealthiest people in the world. People who can buy EPL clubs as toys. Some of them could afford to buy the whole of the Premier League itself.
    This "investor" does appear to have a shred of wisdom though: He's making no promises. Not binding ones, at least.

    Bloomberg also mentions the extra £140m (or so), that is recorded as loans made TO the club by H&G. Has this money just disappeared into the aether and been quietly forgotten about? Bloomberg says it is unclear. Just because they are about to be "former owners" of the asset does this mean that H&G have really relinquished all title to these "loans"? What does a judge say? And will it be a judge in the USA or the UK? If these were related to bank accounts in the Cayman Islands then this raises a few other questions, doesn't it? We may never find out, but after all the goings-on at Portsmouth, the Premier League seems just a little bit too comfortable at the moment.

    I can't help thinking that somewhere, there is a dog that hasn't barked.

  • Comment number 52.

    " Mr Henry's record at the Boston Red Sox - which has won two World Series under his ownership after decades of ignominy and failure - would make that a plausible assertion."

    Please stop this. Redsox failed to win the title for long time, but they have been far from ignominy and failure. I guess you don't follow baseball. In baseball after 162 games 8 teams (4 from American league where Redox play, and 4 from national league) go to knockout style play-offs. YOU HAVE TO BE PRETTY GOOD TO MAKE IT TO PLAYOFFS. Redsox have usually (as often as any other team including the Yankees) been either play off team or on contention till the end of the long regular season (162 games long). Early rounds of play-offs are short 3 (now 5) games, where anything can happen. It is in these play-off rounds where Redsox came short. In fact, the reason Redsox titles years were sore point for their fans is because they always had good teams and only failed in these final hurdle, far from the "decades of ignominy and failure."

  • Comment number 53.

    thefrogstar,

    "The story so far" that you write is not the real story, but one UK media and Pool fans have adopted.

    How about the correct version: G & H bought Pool (With mostly theory own money), they borrowed to buy and sell new players (They spent 220 million, the money from sell of the players only in later years went to repay the interests most of it went back to the club in early years at least). They borrowed to startup a new stadium. And of course interest on their borrowing. Their investment (bringing Rafa and giving him contract) and money to Rafa to buy players (Yes believe it or not G &H hired rafa to work for them, Not pool fans, pool fans and media actually drove out Rafa). At any rate their investment in new manager Rafa, players, also saw Liverpool become a profitable (Pool did not magically become so much more profitable), and of course their investment also saw Pool have some of their best form since late eighties.

    So that now Pool are profitable after G & H borrwing to pay for Rafa and Players, Pool fans and UK media just want them to disappear, "Hey we are profitable club, its them Yanks who ow money." Clearly You people live in some sort of children's world. Like children whose parents borrow to give them a profitable business, you want the daddy to disappear and stop bothering you with "his debts". THOSE ARE YOUR DEBTS! G & H borrowed and invested in Pool made it more profitable, and no court is going to cut them off cause Liverpool fans' feelings are hurt.
    And unlike sports, in business, media shrills won't sway decisions.



  • Comment number 54.

    Liverpool FC will NOT be hit with points deduction. There are a few people citing Southampton and Leeds but forget West Ham went into adminstration last year and did not have points deducted.

    The Premier League has confirmed this. An article from the Press Association also printed this:

    A Premier League source told Press Association Sport: "The aim of the regulations is primarily to capture clubs who have gone into insolvency."

    For example, last year West Ham's Icelandic owners went into administration but that did not lead to any Premier League action as the club itself was solvent.

    All prospective owners are obliged to give the league 10 days notice of a takeover and prove they have the funds to sustain the club.

    Any prospective owner has to have a face-to-face meeting with league chiefs to convince them they have enough money for the season to come.

    Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/liverpool-could-avoid-administration-points-penalty-2099252.html

  • Comment number 55.

    U11148453, (such a charming name),

    I think you may have misread, and certainly misunderstood, my last post.
    I am not a Liverpool supporter. In fact, as a Leeds supporter growing up in the 1970's, in Northamptonshire (the key is in the words), I am about as far as you can possibly get from being a Liverpool supporter. I was born, live and work in the USA.

    But that does that does not mean that football clubs and supporters in Liverpool should be denied honest and open ownership and good governance of their clubs. If you re-read my post you might see that I was actually hinting at something deeper that might come close to financial "malfeasance", something that is of interest to governments in both the USA and the UK.

    Meantime, go back and re-read my post. Then, after you've run it through a spell-checker and had a look at improving the grammar, re-read what you have written. Then throw it in the trash.

    Scousers reading this might be interested to know that my brother was actually in Boston when the Redsox finally got their end-away. He said their celebrations were worse behavior than any he has ever seen from British Football fans when they loose.

  • Comment number 56.

    Perhaps for balance you could interview H&G and put their point of view Mr. Peston.

    This is an unbelievably one sided article.

  • Comment number 57.

    @ post 21 redforever

    Liverpool has a very strong balance sheet, and the operating profit is strong, though a poor year will put a dent into that, with most of the profit going into servicing the debt, that money will suddenly be available for other things.

    _________________________________________________________________________


    Very Strong balance sheet? Really?

    Yes, they have a positive balance sheet to the tune of £14m but this is propped up by £45m worth of "assets" relating to "the new stadium". These "new stadium" assets will most likely have to hit the income stream in the next set of accounts (y/e 2010) - causing a massive loss for the year and is probably why they have bought no one this summer.

    Strong operating profits? Special Dispensation FC made an operating LOSS of £7.6m in thier last set of accounts.

  • Comment number 58.

    Broughton: 'I have the power to sell Liverpool'

    writingsonthewall: 'So why haven't you sold it already then???'

    @4

    Why would you want him to sell it so quickly? That's exactly what happened with Hicks and Gillett...they never did due dilligence on Hicks, only on Gillett. That is presuambly why they didn't know about Hicks' disastrous takeover of Corinthians (Brazil) or the fact that his baseball franchise – the Texas Rangers — was also in trouble.

    If Broughton has taken the time to extensively examine the 2 real offers put forward, and has carried out adequate due dilligence, that is all we can ask for.

    He has sold the club in within 6 months of arriving. That doesn't seem too bad at all.

    Now we can only hope that these owners are right for the club.

  • Comment number 59.

    I don't understand how they will be losing 140 million each? They borrowed the money to purchase Liverpool therefore no money was taken from their pockets. The debt produced interest payments that pushed up the debt so RBS was used to refinance it.
    Could it be that the loss is the projectected return for over pricing the club in a sale? False money? Made up money? Isn't this what got the banks into trouble in the first place.
    Making money an idea rather than a fact is why we are all in a mess globally.
    Stick to reality Hicks and Gillette. No money used to buy the club so no money from the sale. Simples!

  • Comment number 60.

    If these owners are serious about engaging with the fans then they should do it withactiona rather than words. Part fan ownership would not only give them great credibility but would raise much needed funds for players. Allowing a rights issue for 10% of the club (SOS-SL already have undertakings of £20m secured) would be a sensible approach to take - assuming it would generate in excess of £30m of funds.

  • Comment number 61.

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

  • Comment number 62.

    why can't some people understand that it wasn't h+g that gave broughton this power it was rbs who insisted on an independent chairman to prevent these two holding on and refusing to except reasonable bids and probably pricing the club out of the market.as for them fighting this bid it makes no difference.if broughton wins the court case the club is sold and the do nothing but incur legal cost on top of their already big losses(ha ha).if h+g win then come next friday when they can't make the payment rbs is due then the bank takes control and sells to nesv anyway.it is the last act of a tenure that apart from the signing of a couple of good players is going to end in a spectacular failure for these two clowns

  • Comment number 63.

    "to follow the silver raining into Royal Bank of Scotland's coffers."

    That's a colourful way of describing the redemption of a loan Robert. You're not trying to throw in a cheap shot against a bank, who heaven forbid will look to get a return on one of their loans, are you? Surely this would free up some capital for some lending to some more deserving targets, or reduce the level of support required from the tax payer.

  • Comment number 64.

    Are you sure RP that the club would go into administration? If Hicks & Gillet as owners are allowed to change the board, then they will immediately re-finance with the clubs assets (as they have been blocked from doing up till now by the board).
    That buys them more time while the team continues its decline (3 years of no net transfer spending now).

    It does beg the question why they didn't try to change the board before though.

  • Comment number 65.

    59. At 09:00am on 07 Oct 2010, micktug wrote:
    I don't understand how they will be losing 140 million each? They borrowed the money to purchase Liverpool therefore no money was taken from their pockets. The debt produced interest payments that pushed up the debt so RBS was used to refinance it.

    ......................................

    Actually it's £140million between them. This is money they invested into the club from their own pockets, although it was probably raised by leverage on some of their american assets knowing them.


    Some of the posts here are absolute dross, obviously written by those who hate lfc and just want to have a dig.

    There will be no points deduction if lfc go into administration, not because of any favouritism or corruption, but purely because lfc is a profit making club and does not run beyond it's means. The lack of money is caused by paying interest on an acquisition debt, brought about to buy the club obviously. There is no debt brought about by the running of the club that is not sustainable.
    The suggestion that Mr. Henry's fortune is approx £540million so he'll have to borrow money secured against the club is nonsense. Mr. Henry isn't buying the club, New England Sports Ventures are and they are owned by several seriously rich people.

  • Comment number 66.

    As I udnerstand it, the commitment to a new stadium hasn't been made because, like Fenway Park, they're also looking at the possibility of developing Anfield. And they did a very good job of Fenway.

  • Comment number 67.

    The bitterness is laughable.

  • Comment number 68.

    I understand the qualms Scouse have with American owners. John Henry, is one of the best baseball owners I have seen. He is nothing like Hicks and Gillett. He's quiet, deliberative and prudent. He's an honest man and he's not a fast buck artist. I can't recall his proposing anything that hasn't got done with the Red Sox except that he didn't build a proposed ballpark because most fans wanted to keep the old one which he had renovated brilliantly. I don't know whether he knows footie, but that may not make a difference, because Mr. Henry hires the best and most competent people he can find to run an operation and lets them do their job with little interference. He claims his major goal is to produce a winning team. I believe him. His player payroll with the Red Sox is pretty close to that of Liverpool. He's also been inventive in finding the Red Sox new sources of revenue using the ballpark for rock concerts, ice hockey and football (a Celtic vs Sporting Portugal friendly this summer)for the first time in 50 years. The main problem for Sox fans is that tickets are no longer easy to get. The relatively small ballpark has been sold out since he bought the team with 3 million a year attending. The only thing strange about Mr.Henry is his demeanor. He reminds me of David Bowie in "The Man Who Fell to Earth."

  • Comment number 69.

    @ 30. At 7:05pm on 06 Oct 2010, thefrogstar wrote:
    So if someone, somewhere, is willing to put in £300m as an investment (not "free money" a-la Abramovitch), then presumably they're expecting a return on that investment of, I would guess, at least 5% a year (whether by interest or capital gains) which would be £15m a year that the club has to find on top of players and stadium costs.

    I'm not a banker or wealthy investor, but if I had £300m to spare, I certainly wouldn't take that risk for that return. Right now I probably wouldn't do it for £30m a year either. How do these numbers compare with what Liverpool gets without Champions League football? How about if they were relegated?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think you misunderstand the situation on a number of points. Firstly, capital gains return is not an annual return.....and this is the return they are all after. Buy a growing business now and sell in x years for xxx million profit. Annual return is irrelavent, it's the end game that counts.

    Secondly, Liverpool is currently valued on a going concern basis at 540M (Forbes, June 2010). Henry is getting a bargain. Without the debt Liverpool is a profitable and growing business....hence the valuation based on revenue, profits, assets and growth projections.

    Henry will have an unrealised profit from day one and if he manages the club properly will reap a major profit in some years to come, possibly more than doubling his initial outlay.

    It's actually a great deal, which is why H&G are squirming. They're caught between a rock and hard place from a time perspective and regardless of the outcome of the court case the end game is the same for them.

    They're like a drowning man coming-up for air for the 3rd and final time. Next week you can write their obituories...so to speak.

  • Comment number 70.

    Put them in administration now. Let RBS sell them to Mr Red Sox.. and then he'll enjoy the away day at Scunthorpe next season.

  • Comment number 71.

    Oh please please sell it. Perhaps the club will finally go into liquidation and the site be sold for housing.

    One less Premier league club is fantastic news. All the scallies will have to stay home and get on with DIY and other jobs for their hard done by wives.

  • Comment number 72.

    A sign of the times when you need an MBA to post on a football blog. It seems that everything in the sport today is about money. You have it: you succeed (normally). You don't: you go down. Long gone are the days of Brian Clough when with a bit of footballing nous and some great coaching skills you can transform a middling club into European champions. That's never going to happen again unless the rules are changed.
    That's why Platini's proposals should be accepted although I personally don't think they go far enough. The big clubs will still be able to buy all the big talent and win all the big trophies. All the others will be cannon fodder. In Spain it's the big 2, in Italy it's the big 4, in the Permier it's maybe the big 5. Outside of that you've no chance, which makes Liverpool's present position all the more worrying. Tradition counts for nowt. You need the money and you need lots of it. I'm not sure that Mr Red Sox realises this.
    Never in the history of football has there been so much news about what is happening OFF the pitch.
    Finally, if this is taken to court by G&H and drags on for months, how is this going to affect things? What's RBS's position? Etc Etc Etc
    Too many unknowns, at least for the fans who, after all, are the ones who end up paying for it all. But that's for another blog.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hicks and Gillett are not stupid. There is no way on this earth there going to give this up lightly. All we are hearing is the Boughton side of things.
    These are the things the fans want to here. Liverpool have made the biggest mistake upsetting them both. Remember H ang G own the majority of the shares in Liverpool. The rest of the board own barely nothing. Out voted or not they will have the final say. As for the bank taking control I'm sure Hicks and Gillett have thought of that too.

    Liverpool fans now better prey to god that boughton is right because Hicks And Gillett will just brake this club up now if they get a chance.

  • Comment number 74.

    @ post 65

    Some of the posts here are absolute dross, obviously written by those who hate lfc and just want to have a dig.

    There will be no points deduction if lfc go into administration, not because of any favouritism or corruption, but purely because lfc is a profit making club and does not run beyond it's means.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Bit like your post then as Liverpool made a loss of £14m in their last set of accounts.

    Seeing as your reason for not receiving a points deduction is rubbish why else shouldn't they have points deducted if not favouritism?

  • Comment number 75.

    For those of you wondering... H&G HAD to agree to those terms for "hiring" Boughton when they refinanced their debt with RBS several months ago. The debt was maturing and the only way RSB would agree to an extension - along with a hefty penalty fee - was to insert some control over the manner and date/deadline by which the club would be sold.
    It gave the current owners more time to test their sale price, kept the club going, and made more money for RSB.

    If H&G had been successful in selling the club over the summer, then this end game could have been avoided. But for the past 6 months everyone in the world with a TV or Internet knew LFC was for sale at 600 million pounds and no one stepped forward. So now RSB - either itself or through Broughton - says it is time to get repaid and have a nice day H & G.
    So H&G are not stupid for agreeing to these terms. The gun was at their head in May or so and this is the only way RSB would extend financing that came due then.

  • Comment number 76.

    In effect H & G relinquished 100% control earlier this year when they negotiated an extension of the debt with RSB.
    Gaining some control of the club in terms of sale and deadline was what RSB wanted at the time and let the owners do what they could for six months. They failed in getting a buyer or other financing to remove RSB. Simple as that.
    Maybe in the next week a buyer at 350 million or more will appear or somehow some other financial institution will write a big check to RSB....That is what H & G are hoping

  • Comment number 77.

    ENGLAND 1 - 1 UNITED STATES
    C.R.E.A.M
    >>>>>>>
    CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME
    $100 DOLLAR BILL
    GET THE MONEY YA'LL

  • Comment number 78.

    Seems to be a lot of speculation, misinformation, theories, biased opinions, (one way or the other), and guesswork by a lot of posters on here

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    @74 are you deliberately disregarding the earlier comment re: west ham and no pts deduction?

    £14 million loss, sure - but that's after the interest on £200m plus. What's the best rate RBS will give you in interest on that kind of money after you've refinanced it?

  • Comment number 81.

    @80

    West Ham did not owe a penny to their holding company. Special Dispensation FC owe £100m to Kop Holdings. Completely different situation. Special Dispensation FC are as insolvent as Kop Holdings - they could not repay £100m on demand: if Kop Holdings goes down then Special Dispensation FC should follow - they are so interlinked.

    Regards your point on interest payments: The accounts show that total interest payments and similar charges were only £13m so Special Dispensation FC would still be making a loss. Furthermore, the amount of interest payments due in relation to the £200m you refer to is only £9m, so when you disregard this (and why would you?) Special Dispensation FC still made a LOSS of £5m. Now what was your point again?

    Special Dispensation FC are NOT profitable.

    Also, if you don't owe £200m plus and are therefore immune to insolvency then what are you paying interest on?

  • Comment number 82.

    Perfect! Very well put across, explaining it easily like water. Thanks Mr Preston. I am a finance person, but not sure if I could have edited it that smoothly.

  • Comment number 83.

    Despite all the bad press about Liverpool's debt to RBS, the takeover by the Americans could actually end up helping them. There are far too many clubs in this country with serious debt problems and with the cost of players going up year on year and sooner or later there will be a cap on salaries. The big clubs without debts will do better from this than the smaller ones.

  • Comment number 84.

    @54

    "Liverpool FC will NOT be hit with points deduction. There are a few people citing Southampton and Leeds but forget West Ham went into adminstration last year and did not have points deducted........

    For example, last year West Ham's Icelandic owners went into administration but that did not lead to any Premier League action as the club itself was solvent."

    AND

    @80
    "are you deliberately disregarding the earlier comment re: west ham and no pts deduction?"
    ____________________________________________________________________

    What is all this nonsense about either West Ham or their holding company going into administration and avoiding a points deduction?

    Hansa did go into administration but only AFTER CB Holdings took control of West Ham. At no point were West Ham owned by an insolvent holding company if I am not mistaken. Nor have West Ham ever been declared insolvent. I do not see a precedent but I am happy to admit I am wrong if someone can show me different.

    West Ham is a complete red herring in this case.

  • Comment number 85.

    54 Blue Boy, & 65 you need to read rocket racer 81. The holding company owning West Ham was just a small part of their empire. Liverpool's holding company was designed and is totally and solely interlinked with the Football Club, a situation more akin to Southampton.

    So going into admin a penalty would be deserved, but I fully expect Scudamore and his team of cronies to come up with some reason not to penalize to protect "the product" and there protecting the rest of his buddies, giving yet more creedence to the ever rising debt financing English football in a spend spend spend frenzy.

    Just like the economy with the Labour government burying their heads, at some time that bubble will burst and the game will take 30 years to recover.

  • Comment number 86.

    I really can't see where this is going to end, as the owners say 'we will not sell' and an employee of the owners says 'oh yes we will'.
    Personally I would not allow any Americans to get involved at all, given the past history. Were the present owners ever interested in anything else except selling the club in order to try and make a vast profit? A couple of shows at Anfield to make it look as if they loved Liverpool, but seemingly all they really ever wanted was to make 300 millions on a sale. The question is will the proposed new buyer want anything different? You really have to go back to previous owners who sold the club to Hicks and Gillett (also to make money) and question their loyalty. They were the people who let Liverpool down.
    It is a sorry state of affairs and even dear old Bill Shankley would have to admit that this is a serious situation if he was still around.
    I just hope for all Liverpool fans that whatever the outcome they will still have a football club to support.

  • Comment number 87.

    The power to sell the club from under the nose of the owners, whilst rendering them powerless to prevent it? Is there anybody who can perform such a miracle for my beloved MUFC?

  • Comment number 88.

    I will never trust Americans again. I also have no reason to like them - frankly, I have more and more reasons for the exact opposite.

    Liverpool should have BP as their next sponsor.

  • Comment number 89.

    It really is sad that the major debates in football now surround money. In my era as a Liverpool season ticket-holder (1965-1979) I don't recall a single debate over the "Board", "investments", "salaries", "mergers" etc etc. It was always about the next battle with Leeds, Man City, Man Utd and our chances against St Etienne in '77, whether Tommy Smith would headbutt Brian Kidd or whether Jimmy Case would score a blisterer, Hansen & Thompson, Keegan & Toshack, the magnificent Dalglish.
    Great days when football was just that... footie.
    I get no satisfaction from football anymore, albeit I still watch it (on TV).
    It is now just a money-making, heartless and passionless machine.

  • Comment number 90.

    81. At 5:23pm on 07 Oct 2010, rocketracer69 wrote:
    ========================================================================

    The clearest and most sensible post on here, thank you.

    Now I await with interest the "reasoning" behind the Premier League's eventual refusal to sanction a points deduction: of course I can absolutely guarantee right now that there will be no points deduction in this special case. The Premier League is a bent game,everything designed to favour the "big boys"- all real football fans should stay away until it is cleaned up.

  • Comment number 91.

    #7

    RBS forced Gillett and Hicks to provide undertakings giving Broughton exceptional powers, or, they'd have put LFC into administration much much earlier. RBS have extended deadlines a number of times now.

    This deal will go through, even if it is a shockingly bad commercial outcome for H & G, which perversely will satisfy many in Anfield.

    Investors in the premier league will take note (unless they aren't bothered about losing a couple of hundred million in just over 2 years)...and that can't be a bad thing. What you don't mention Robert is that this sends a strong message to cowboys around the globe- that the clubs need to be run as commercial entities rather than assets with an exponentially increasing value against which ever increasing debt can simply be leveraged.

    What with their shopping centre catastrophe in the US and now this shambolic mess H & G won't be able to afford a season ticket at this rate...still, no doubt they'll be cheaper if people are paying to watch Championship football, no?!

  • Comment number 92.

    #87 Paul

    MUFC debt will need refinancing at some point and that will bring takeover opportunities, if only through the backdoor. A similar bank led withdrawal of credit/exit strategy would wipe the smile off the Glazers in exactly the same way as it has for H & G as they'd need to put more money in (think how you need a high deposit on a house at the moment). Trouble is, Glazers would probably be able to secure more finance as they have deeper pockets and more assets against which any bank debt could be secured.

    This is the reason why people sat up and paid notice when the (rather ambitiously titled) Red Knights 'rode' onto the horizon. With a couple of Goldman heavyweights and lawyers there or there abouts- guess what they'd be (probably) lobbying the banks to do to the Glazers?! There's now a protocol with reference to H & G.

    Of course whether its out of the frying pan and into the fire for LFC nobody knows- the key man behind NESV set a precedent in Boston for not developing a costly new stadium, but re vamping the old one...make do and mend, perhaps appropriate, but not necessarily popular. Can't help but think Liverpool fans will only be satisfied when (if) they can own the club themselves, another American in charge will bring brief respite, but long term may get an earbashing from the Kop.

  • Comment number 93.

    It is remarkable how unscathed RBS has been (so far) in all of this:

    https://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/hicks-gillett-v-royal-bank-of-scotland/

  • Comment number 94.

    its sad but football has moved on from what it used to be.... it is now just another business but one which the banks allow to build up more debt than is good for it... but most banks will only let debt run on for so long before they get a bit twitchy and look for their money back....
    pity its liverpool in the frame this time but there may be more to follow... most clubs burn money like theres no tomorrow and need good cup runs to survive .. no champions league for liverpool will hit them further in the pockets.... what a shame lol
    If they go into receivership the FA will do its usual falling on its sword where liverpool are concerned and do absolutely nothing as regards docking them points...

 

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.