independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Reds agree settlement with former owners

Tom Hicks and George Gillett have agreed an out-of-court settlement with Liverpool

Liverpool have agreed an out-of-court settlement with former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett over the sale of the club in 2010.

The Americans were unhappy with the way a sale to Fenway Sports Group (then New England Sports Ventures) was concluded by Sir Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre, who were respectively Liverpool chairman, managing director and commercial director at the time.

Hicks and Gillett subsequently made a number of claims and allegations against the trio, which were all denied, and resulted in legal proceedings. However, all parties have come to a confidential agreement which has resulted in all allegations being withdrawn and the court case being concluded.

A club statement read: "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"All claims and allegations made against Messrs Broughton, Purslow and Ayre have been withdrawn by Messrs Hicks and Gillett and all legal proceedings between the parties concluded.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."

Hicks and Gillett came under increasing pressure from creditors Royal Bank of Scotland to expedite the sale of the club in 2010 and Broughton was brought in to lead the process.

However, when he, Purslow and Ayre outvoted Hicks and Gillett on the decision to sell to FSG, the Americans tried to reconstitute the board and sack Purslow and Ayre. That failed as Hicks and Gillett were deemed to be in breach of an agreement with RBS which permitted Broughton to lead the sale process and make decisions as to the composition of the boards.

Press Association

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