Richard Scudamore: Liverpool were never at risk


Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore claims Liverpool were never on the brink of going out of business before their latest takeover.

New England Sports Ventures, the owners of the Boston Red Sox, successfully purchased the Anfield club from former co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett earlier in the month.

With major creditor the Royal Bank of Scotland setting a takeover deadline and the deal being contested in the courts on both sides of the Atlantic, there were genuine fears that the Reds could slide into administration.

However, Scudamore claims the situation at Liverpool was never as dire as was being painted.

"The club was never at risk," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"There were bidders for it and the outcome was always what was likely to happen."

Meanwhile, Scudamore has admitted that leveraged buyouts – whereby potential new owners borrow money to complete the purchase – are still allowed.

Liverpool owed RBS £237million following the 2007 acquisition of the club by Hicks and Gillett.

"They are allowed," he continued."But if we deem the level of leverage to be too high and the business to be unsustainable then we have much more power as a board to either prevent that from happening or to apply some pretty stringent controls on the club.

"I am not sure that (the level of debt) was going to threaten the existence of Liverpool Football Club.

"I would prefer everything to be done in cash. I would prefer everybody to pay their bills on time, but we have to live in the real world and football has always attracted investment.

"Leveraged debt per se is not bad. It is the level of it, the terms of it, the short term nature of it.

"Anybody who borrows that amount of money and has to repay or refinance in 12 months is certainly at the risky end of the business."

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