Liverpool move a major step towards sale

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Liverpool have moved a major step closer to being sold after the High Court ruled against current co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett in their dispute with the club's board.

Hicks and Gillett failed in their attempt to block a £300million sale of the club to the owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise.

Last week the board of the Anfield club, led by independent chairman Martin Broughton, agreed to sell to their parent company, New England Sports Ventures (NESV).

Hicks and Gillett's three-and-a-half year reign had left the Anfield club in debt to the tune of £230million.

The decision by Judge Christopher Floyd to side with the board and major creditor the Royal Bank of Scotland has paved the way for a sale to be concluded before Friday's deadline, which could have resulted in administration.

In a further blow to the American pair, who in court were accused of committing "a calculated breach of contract", they were also denied the right to appeal.

"I am not prepared to grant any relief," said Mr Justice Floyd. "If I did it would risk stopping the sale and purchase agreement going ahead."

However, speaking on the steps outside the High Court, Broughton suggested that the sale of the club to NESV might now face a fresh challenge.

On Tuesday, former interested party Peter Lim tabled a new and improved £320million offer, which included £40million for the acquisition of new players.

The cash-only deal offered by the Singapore businessman is likely be discussed at a hastily arranged board meeting on Wednesday evening.

"We will have a full board meeting this evening once board has been reconstituted and proceed with the sale process," said Broughton.

"We're delighted with the result, justice has been done. That's what we came for and that's what we got. We have a great future."

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