Reds win court battle
The High Court has ruled in favour of Liverpool against the injunction gained by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett on Wednesday.
Last Updated: 14/10/10 7:17pm
The High Court has ruled in favour of Liverpool against the temporary injunction gained by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett on Wednesday.
The decision was granted by Mr Justice Christopher Floyd, who issued an order on Thursday against the temporary injunction gained by Hicks and Gillet on Wednesday evening in Dallas, Texas.
The ruling now gives the green light for New England Sports Ventures (NESV) to push ahead with their £300million purchase of Liverpool - which was voted through on Wednesday night after Mr Justice Floyd had earlier dismissed Hicks and Gillett's attempts to stop the sale at the High Court.
Hicks and Gillet's injunction in America was seen as their last bid to prevent the sale against their will, as they argued the club's board - led by chairman Martin Broughton - did not have the legal right to go ahead with any deal.
But the High Court has now again ruled in favour of Liverpool, NESV and the club's main financiers the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
David Chivers QC, who told the judge that his clients, NESV, already considered themselves the new owners of Liverpool, asked the judge for a speedy serving of his orders on Hicks and Gillett so the deal with NESV can be completed and money transferred from the US.
"We are the owners (of Liverpool)," Chivers told the High Court.
"The owners from beyond the grave are seeking to exercise with their dead hand a continuing grip on this company."
RBS, the club's main creditor, had won the injunctions on Wednesday that would have meant they would be paid back a £200 million loan which becomes due for settlement on Friday.
Richard Snowden QC, for the bank, said there were no legal representatives for Hicks and Gillett in court although they had been informed of the latest
Mr Snowden said they had been forced to act because of "extraordinary events" following the High Court ruling. He said the American owners had complied with the orders to restore the original directors of the Liverpool board but at the same time had launched a US action.
Lord Grabiner QC, representing the Liverpool companies, revealed the board on Wednesday approved the sale of the club to NESV by three votes to two for the second time.
But he said, in the 28-page petition presented to the judge in Dallas, that there was only one paragraph which dealt with the proceedings in London and their claims were "a grotesque parody of the truth".
Mr Justice Floyd has given Hicks and Gillett until 4pm on Friday to comply with the order.
He also underlined his criticism of the American pair, he said their decision to get an injunction was one of: "Unconscionable conduct on the part of Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett."
He added: "This case has no real connection to Texas."
Fresh Dallas hearing
Based on what has happened in London, a new hearing of the Hicks-Gillett injunction case is currently taking place in Dallas.
An official for the 160th Civil District Court in Dallas, which issued a temporary restraining order in the matter on Wednesday, said the judge would be holding a new hearing with legal representative from both sides.
Liverpool's board of Martin Broughton, Ian Eyre and Christian Purslow issued a statement confirming their delight at the latest ruling.
"The independent directors of Liverpool Football Club are delighted with the verdict of Mr Justice Floyd in the High Court this afternoon which now requires Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to withdraw their Texas restraining order by 4pm tomorrow," it said.
"We are glad to have taken another important step towards completing the sale process."