And just when you thought it was over (or at least nearly over), there’s been another twist in the ownership saga of Liverpool Football Club. Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim was initially unsuccessful after being outbid by John Henry’s New England Sports Ventures company, but will now look to revive his bid in light of tomorrow’s court case.
Lim was reportedly surprised that Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton had turned down his offer in favour of NESV, and held talks with Broughton regarding how to announce his supposedly inevitable takeover. He was offering to pay off Liverpool’s ever so slightly burdensome £200million long-term debt to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, in addition to £60million of other debt and the injection of £40million of working capital. Not only that – and this, people, is fairly crucial – Lim intends to buy the club with his own resources, with absolutely no borrowing. Hicks and Gillett, this ain’t.
Questions have been raised as to the difference an NESV takeover would make, with concerns that Henry would need to borrow in order to finance the purchase. NESV’s bid could already be in jeopardy, with questions over the legality of the sale: a court case will decide whether or not Broughton had the right to sell the club against the wishes of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the owners. The case is due to begin tomorrow morning at 10.30.
One thing’s for sure, Lim will be following the case closely tomorrow. Unlike the current owners, Lim knows a little of beautiful game. He even has a string of football themed bars in Asia … Manchester United-themed bars, to be precise.
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