Thursday, October 07, 2010

Reds Chief Outlines Deal

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has spoken exclusively to Sky Sports News about the proposed sale of the club.

Broughton has confirmed that the agreed deal with New England Sports Ventures (NESV), the parent company of the Boston Red Sox baseball club, is worth around £300million.

Broughton believes it will take a week for the deal to go through with current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett challenging the sale via the courts, with the offer significantly under their own valuation of the Merseyside club.

While Broughton admits he is disappointed by the American duo's stance, he does not expect them to hinder NESV's projected takeover of the club.

"This was their last chance to leave with their heads high, it's a pity they have chosen this route," said the Reds chairman.

"Part of the terms of me taking on the role was that they gave a written undertaking that only I could change the board and they would not interfere and frustrate any reasonable sale.

"And this is frankly an abuse of these undertakings."

Broughton revealed Liverpool had only received two bids that they deemed valid, with NESV's track record with the Red Sox proving a key factor in their decision.

He also confirmed that the potential new owners plan to invest in new players in January, as well as exploring the prospect of a new stadium.

"They want to be judged by what they do rather than what they say and can demonstrate what they plan to do by what they have done," added Broughton.

"If you look at the Boston Red Sox as a classic example of taking a very famous, historic, major team that has seen better days and restored them to their glory, I think that is a parallel that demonstrates action.

"Their mentality is all about winning. They have invested a lot of money in players [at the Red Sox] and they have committed to making the necessary investment in players at Liverpool."

Broughton revealed NESV have not decided whether to continue previous plans to build a new stadium in Stanley Park, or to redevelop Anfield, but he insisted the new ownership intend to have a 60,000 capacity ground in place either way.

"They want to make sure they do the right thing on the stadium," said Broughton.

"They have built stadiums and they have restored stadiums. They have not committed to which is the right thing.

"We will have a stadium of more than 60,000. We will get substantial stadium development."

Broughton gave positive indications on Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson's chances of having funds to spend in January adding: "I think there will be money for players in the next transfer window."

Hicks Confident Over Blocking Of Liverpool Takeover

Liverpool fans rejoicing at the prospect of current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett departing Anfield profit-less may need to postpone their joy after Hicks insisted his move to block John Henry's takeover was 'legal'.

Reds chairman Martin Broughton announced on Wednesday that a takeover could be completed in time for the forthcoming Merseyside derby, after Liverpool came to an agreement with New England Sports Ventures. The only people blocking the move are the club's current owners, who will go to court next week in attempt to block the sale.

Hicks and Gillett attempted to have Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre removed from the board in order to alter the majority voting in favour of the takeover, but Liverpool claim only chairman Broughton has the right to change members of the board.

"The key thing is the court case," Broughton explained. "We need to go to the court to get a declaratory judgement ... part of me taking on the role - and I was appointed by Tom and George - was that they gave a written undertaking that only I could change the board, they wrote that into the articles of the two companies Kop Football and Kop Holdings. They also gave a written undertaking to RBS that they would not frustrate any reasonable sale and this is frankly a flagrant abuse of those two written undertakings."

However, both Hicks and his spokesman have rejected Broughton's claims, insisting they are well within their rights to prompt changes at board level. The matter goes to court next week, and Hicks is confident he holds a strong legal position.

"We legally reconstructed the board and the board does not approve of the transaction. That's why there are laws and courts," he told the BBC.

Spokesman Mark Semer added on "There were no such undertakings given to Broughton. The board has been legally reconstituted, and the new board does not approve this proposed transaction."

Liverpool Owners Look To Replace Roy Hodgson With Jurgen Klinsmann

New Liverpool owners New England Sports Ventures are rumoured to be planning to replace current Anfield boss Roy Hodgson with German legend Jurgen Klinsmann as they look to build for a new future by removing the under fire former Fulham manager.

Klinsmann had been linked with the USA national team post and has many links with the country and currently resides in California but it has been rumoured that he may be approached to take over the reins at the Merseyside club.

The former Inter Milan and Tottenham striker had been linked with the job when Rafa Benitez was still in charge and could well be interested in a return to club management, especially at a club with new investors and reportedly a decent amount of money to invest in the transfer market and without the debts that Tom Hicks and George Gillett had saddled the club with.

Klinsmann had a successful stint as manager of the German national team at the 2006 World Cup where he led the host nation to an unexpected third place finish which he then followed up with a less than glorious year at Bayern Munich.

Kenny Dalglish A Serious Contender To Become Next Liverpool Manager After Proposed Takeover

Former Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is even money to take over as Reds boss when the club takeover is complete.

The Anfield favourite put his name forward as a candidate to replace Rafael Benitez before the club opted for Roy Hodgson in the summer. Following Liverpool's latest defeat against Blackpool at the weekend Dalglish's name was chanted around Anfield by large sections of the home faithful.

Unemployed Martin O'Neill is also in contention at 4.50 with American Bob Bradley at 11.0 and Didier Deschamps at 11.0. World Cup winner Deschamps was approached to succeed Benitez in the summer while another contender Michael Laudrup came close to joining the Reds as a player during their 1980s heyday.

Club chairman Martin Broughton has announced the club will be sold to New England Sports Ventures pending a legal protest from current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Hodgson's tenure has got off to a dreadful start as the 18 times champions reside in the bottom three. He's 4.50 third favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be axed.

David Mole,'s Betting & Odds expert believes the odds of 4.50 on Hodgson getting the sack are well worth considering.

"Hodgson (or 'Woy' as some Liverpool fans I know are rather harshly calling him) looked like just the man to steady the Liverpool ship when he arrived into the rather choppy waters this summer. However, not even the staunchest Manchester United fan would have predicted that they would reside in the relegation places as we sit here in October.

"Nice guy, wrong job has been touted around but the new owners will surely want stability more than anything and I can't see them making a change too swiftly. Dalglish runs the risk of repeating Shearer's short time in the managerial hotseat if the Messiah is allowed to take over, only to disappoint those chanting his name. Taking a punt on his successor could be tricky but 4.50 looks like a reasonable price for the axe to fall at Anfield next as a relegation battle will surely not be tolerated."

Liverpool Line Up Hopeful £18m January Bid For Manchester City Pair

Roy Hodgson has earmarked moves for Manchester City pair Shaun Wright-Phillips and Roque Santa Cruz in January. The Anfield and hopes that by the time the transfer window reopens the club’s American owners will have left leaving the way open for new investment and the potential for further additions to help revive the Merseyside outfit’s fortunes.

Having started the season shockingly the former Fulham manager has set his sights on resolving two areas of concern, namely the need for more natural width and an experienced striker to help share the goalscoring burden with misfiring Fernando Torres.

Wright-Phillips stated last month his desire to force his way into a regular starting spot at the Eastlands club but it seems that may be something Roberto Mancini is unable to guarantee given the abundance of wide players the club has, not least new signings Adam Johnson and David Silva. A move to Anfield would surely interest the England international and offer him a way to kick start a stuttering career.

Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz seems unable to get a break at the City of Manchester Stadium and has thus far this season managed just a Carling Cup run out and not one minute of Premier League action. Roy Hodgson tried to land a striker as the transfer window closed and failed in moves for Carlton Cole and Roman Pavlyuchenko and appears to see the former Bayern Munich man as a viable target.

The pair would set Liverpool back around £18m and clearly any such move would depend greatly on where the club stand’s financially come January.

Liverpool Takeover War Set To Scupper Bid For Danish Starlet

Liverpool's insecurity off the field could mean they miss out on exciting Danish starlet Emil Larsen.

The club is currently embroiled in a bitter takeover wrangle, with current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett said to be ready to resist the reported £300m bid to buy the club by New England Sports Ventures.

Until the deal has reached a resolution, Roy Hodgson has no real indication of what he will be able to spend in January and although he is interested in attacking midfielder Larsen, he faces competition from clubs in France and Germany.

Larsen, 19, currently plays for Danish club Lyngby and Hodgson monitored him during his days as Fulham manager.

The Liverpool boss had an extensive Scandinavian scouting network at Fulham and Larsen has been on his radar since his move to Anfield.

But sources at Lyngby have confirmed Hodgson has yet to make his intentions known to them and that no bid from Liverpool seems to be forthcoming.

And with Liverpool's boardroom battle the main priority at the moment, Hodgson risks losing out on the talented teen when the transfer window reopens.

Prospective Liverpool Owners NESV Are Nothing Like Hicks And Gillett - MLS Chief Don Garber

MLS chief Don Garber believes the prospective new Liverpool owners, New England Sports Ventures (NESV), cannot be compared with the club's current American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Garber believes NESV, owners of the MLB franchise the Boston Red Sox, has a great track record of operating more successful and more prestigious sports teams than either Hicks or Gillett, who can count the Texas Rangers among their other sporting interests.

Garber believes NESV's work with the Red Sox is an encouraging example of what could be in store for Liverpool, should the takeover be completed.

"They [NESV] have a tremendously robust understanding of the sports business and how to protect and enhance the legacy of the historic brand," Garber told the Leaders in Football conference in London.

"That's in essence what they have done with the ownership of the Red Sox. There is something called the Red Sox Nation, a brand supported by fans going back generations, similar to Liverpool supporters.

"The ownership has not only graced that but enhanced it, they have enhanced and renovated the stadium, they have brought modern technology to improve the fans experience.

"They have put championship teams on the field and managed their enterprise with an eye to profitability, so they are tremendous pro-sports team owners."

NESV are led by John Henry, and while Garber didn't want to be drawn on his methods when compared with the current Anfield incumbents, he did highlight his credentials with high-profile sports organizations.

"I can't speak for the difference between Gillett and Hicks and John Henry and his partners," Garber started.

"But if you are a sports fan in the USA, pick two or three of the most revered and successful clubs in our nation's sporting history and the Red Sox are one of them.

"I don't know if you could say the same about the teams owned by Mr. Gillett and Mr. Hicks."