Liverpool settle dispute with former owners

Former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett drop legal action against English club after resolving dispute over sale.

    Liverpool settle dispute with former owners
    Hicks, pictured left, and Gillett, pictured right, lost control of Liverpool in 2010, alleging that club directors and a bank had conspired to sell the club at a reduced price [EPA]

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

    The American duo had launched legal action against Liverpool directors Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre, who oversaw the takeover by current owners the Fenway Sports Group (FSG).

    However, all parties have now reached a confidential agreement that means Hicks and Gillett have withdrawn their allegations of wrongdoing against the trio.

    "All claims and allegations made against Messrs Broughton, Purslow and Ayre have been withdrawn by Messrs Hicks and Gillett and all legal proceedings between the parties concluded," Liverpool said in a statement.

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

    Under pressure

    Hicks and Gillett were put under pressure by creditors the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to speed up the club's sale in 2010 and as a result, Broughton was brought in to oversee the process.

    However, Hicks and Gillett tried to sack Purslow and Ayre after being outvoted over plans to sell the club to FSG, only to fail when RBS deemed that they were in breach of an agreement to let Broughton manage the sale.

    Last year, Hicks and Gillett took legal action against Broughton, Purslow, Ayre and RBS by alleging that they had conspired to sell the club at a reduced price.

    Friday's announcement brought that process to an end and RBS subsequently announced that they, too, had reached a settlement with the American pair, who no longer have any outstanding legal claims in Britain.

    "All claims and allegations against RBS arising out of the sale process have been withdrawn (and will not be repeated) by Messrs Hicks and Gillett and as a consequence all legal proceedings between the parties have been concluded," said a statement from RBS.

    "The parties have agreed a settlement (the terms of which are confidential)."

    Purslow, who stepped down as managing director shortly after FSG completed their takeover, expressed relief that the matter had reached a satisfactory conclusion.

    "I am delighted we can finally close this traumatic chapter in the history of Liverpool FC," he said in a statement to Britain's Press Association.

    "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."

    SOURCE: AFP


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