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Liverpool: Settlement Agreed With Previous Owners

Liverpool: Settlement Agreed With Previous Owners

Liverpool FC have confirmed that all parties involved in legal proceedings regarding the 2010 sale of the club have reached an out-of-court settlement...

The fall-out from the sale of Liverpool FC to the Fenway Sports Group (then New England Sports Ventures) in October 2010 final appears to have reached a conclusion.

At the time previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett tried to prevent the deal from happening, claiming the club was being sold against their will and significantly below market value.

Upon completion of the sale, the American duo subsequently took court action against a number of individuals and organisations involved in the process including the Royal Bank of Scotland and former club chairman Sir Martin Broughton.

Now however all parties involved have reached a confidential agreement which sees all allegations withdrawn and the court cases concluded.

Liverpool FC published the following statement this morning confirming the news: "In October 2010, Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited ('Liverpool FC') was sold to the Fenway Sports Group.

"As a consequence of that sale, Thomas Hicks and George Gillett (being the former owners of Liverpool FC) made a number of allegations and claims against Sir Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre (being the company directors responsible for the sale of Liverpool FC to the Fenway Sports Group). Those allegations and claims were denied by Messrs Broughton, Purslow and Ayre.

"The allegations, claims and denials resulted in legal proceedings being commenced.

"The parties have now agreed a settlement (the terms of which are confidential). All claims and allegations made against Messrs Broughton, Purslow and Ayre have been withdrawn by Messrs Hicks and Gillett and all legal proceedings between the parties concluded.

"The parties will not be making any further statement to the press."

Following publication of the statement Purslow, who was managing director at the time of the sale, expressed his delight at the development and thanked fans and staff for their support.

"I am delighted we can finally close this traumatic chapter in the history of Liverpool FC," said the 49-year-old who left the club in February 2011.

"I was brought in to fix the financial crisis at the club by leading the search for new owners and that is precisely what I did.

"I would particularly like to thank Sir Martin Broughton for agreeing to come to our club to lead our board at a difficult time, all my fellow Liverpool supporters, members of LFC staff and the entire football family for their unwavering support and the solidarity shown to me during my time at Liverpool - especially over the past two and half years since I stepped down."

Vital Verdict
This development is great news for the club and finally brings closure to the unhappy ownership spell of Hicks and Gillett. For most the fact that this famous club came staggeringly close to going into administration will never be forgotten. A club of almost unparalleled stature, significance and success was almost killed by two rogue cowboys who abused the trust placed in them for their own gain. The end to legal proceedings became a possibility earlier this week after it was revealed by the Liverpool ECHO that the duo needed to pay £1m as security to continue their fight. Hopefully everyone involved can now move on but this period in Liverpool's history will always be tainted as a result of the actions of Hicks and Gillett.

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Writer:Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Friday January 11 2013
Time: 12:44PM

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