Maybe Tom Hicks Was Right?

Categories: Biz, Sports
hicks and gillett 21.jpg
On Wednesday we noticed Tom Hicks's UK attorney was back in court, trying to convince the judge to lift the order keeping him (and his former Liverpool FC partner George Gillett) from suing over the soccer club's £300m sale to New England Sports Ventures back in October. Hicks, you'll recall, branded the sale an "epic swindle" and said he'd sue -- because, far as he was concerned, the club was being sold for pennies on the pound. Attorneys at Fish & Richardson branded the sale as "illegal" and vowed for fight for Hicks's $1.6 billion -- in England or Dallas, wherever they could get a courtroom.

In English court yesterday, Hicks and Gillett's attorneys read what the Liverpool Echo classifies as an "astonishing email" from former Liverpool FC managing director Christian Purslow, who, a month before the sale went down last fall, brands New England Sports Venture's offer as "bottom of the barrel." As far as he was concerned, Purslow told then-Liverpool chair Sir Martin Broughton and the rest of the board, the only good thing about NESV and John Henry was that they "existed" at all -- as in, "So what is positive? Answer, they exist. Which is not a lot, but it is not to be underestimated in importance." After all, Purslow reminds the board, there had been significantly better offers -- some, at least twice what Henry offered, though Hicks rebuffed some advances while others proved to be less than serious.

The Echo story goes on to detail other e-mails offered by Hicks's attorney, Paul Girolami -- several of which seem to suggest the Liverpool board and NESV conspired to keep Hicks and Gillett out of the loop till the last possible second. Says the paper: "The pair have recently been told by lawyers acting for Sir Martin that they have 75,000 emails involving the sale." So there's my first book.

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25 comments
stephen_hawkings_boots
stephen_hawkings_boots

Wilonsky. It amazes me how you repeatedly fail to understand anything about this case. Get a real job.

Jofrad
Jofrad

Yes its unfortunate that this comment has come out but Christian Purslow was just expressing caution to his fellow board members. It should be remembered that the board was legally tasked by the owners with finding the best owners for Liverpool in the long term. It was emphasized many times that this would not necessarily mean the highest bid. In view of the urgency of finding a buyer given RBS's stance the board made the right decision which I'm sure is also legally sound.Don't forget Hicks attempted (illegally) to sack the board and transfer the debt to Mill Financial through a larger loan with Liverpool FC as collateral. Hardly in the best long term interests of the club. It should also be remembered that in fact the club was sold at a profit but H&G made a sizeable net loss because of interest and and penalty clause on the original loan.They both got what they deserved and good riddance to them.Oh and please no more abuse to our good fiends the Texans, they're not all like Tom Hicks.

Donclark
Donclark

If the club had been relegated, it would have lost much more than half its value. Notice recently Chelsea bought Fernando Torres for more than the Premier League's Blackpool club is worth... Blackburn FC sold for less than 50 million pounds, whereas Liverpool FC sold for around 300 million pounds...

Mjustasec
Mjustasec

Typical of a Texas newspaper to defend tom hicks, a greedy bastard who nearly destroyed a beautiful club with a respectable past. Can't take this too seriously though, as Texas is America's embarrassing shithole full of bigots and idiots.

Shankly's Ghost
Shankly's Ghost

Purslow was no good for the club he made his share of poor plans whilst working with the Debt Ridden Duo. His honesty can and should be questioned. By time this email was written the club had two weeks to push through a sale or be thrown into conservancy by the bank and the club docked 9 points putting the prospect of relegation square on. Relegation alone would have cut the value of the club by half.

Just curious isn't this the same Hick's who just lost your beloved Texas Rangers club to bankruptcy? Silly Americans and their leveraged buyouts. Buy it with debt, The American anthem. Your citizens have the highest debt to income ratio amongst the developed world, you businesses don't understand the difference between an owned asset and a leveraged asset, homes are to be mortgaged two, three or four times. No wonder Hicks is some form of maligned hero for your ilk. Keep your debt model to your own country. It makes my annual trip that much cheaper.

El Rey
El Rey

"the club was being sold for pennies on the pound."

Shouldn't it be "pence on the pound" or "shillings on the pound"?

Not sure myself, but I would hate for a certain editor from a Highland Park-owned periodical to give you a Frontburner beat-down... JK!

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

And this shows Hicks was right about what? That the team was sold at a bottom barrel price? So OK, it was sold for a bottom barrel price. So what?

See, this is just legal hand waving. Hicks is like a bad magician trying to get you to watch what's unimportant so that you don't pay attention to what is important.

What's important is that (1) RBS loaned Hicks money to purchase the team. (2) Hicks defaulted on the loan. (3) RBS repossessed and sold the team.

This thing happens on foreclosed houses ALL THE TIME. The fact that RBS sold the team for a low price doesn't even enter into things.

Rooster
Rooster

Please, please, please, please, please dear Lord Baby Jesus, lying there in your...your little ghost manger, lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental...videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors..., we hope that you can use your baby Jesus powers to make this not screw up Hick's sale of the Stars.Amen.

K-Dawg
K-Dawg

I'd be surprised if this got very far. Seeing as RBS are prime defendants, they are liable to the majority of the payout and, including UK Givt's stake in the bank, they would have done more than just due diligence to make sure they are not exposed in any way, especially to lawsuits in other countries which puts UK taxpayer money at risk. Furthermore, the fact that the UK High Court, TWICE agreed that the board had the power and authority to accept any deal satisfying the criterion set by RBS, Broughton, Hicks, Gillett and LFC MDs, I can't see another judge overturning that easily.As an LFC fan, I empathise with Stars and Corinthians fans, and am quite surprised one man has almost single-handedly destroyed such great sporting institutions. I'd like to say he is getting what he deserves, but I think it is far more important he is kept from any other great organisation for fear it may be ruined.

the dude abides
the dude abides

so tom hicks lost a lot of money in liverpool.

it couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

he thought he'd come to Liverpool and make a fool of us.

Well, who's laughing now, Tom. heh heh

Derelict
Derelict

chairman emeritus shithead

BTD Greg
BTD Greg

Wait, I meant "Chang" not "change."

BTD Greg
BTD Greg

You know, Change is a Liverpool fan. But it makes him look like Waldo.

(Yes, I bothered to comment just so that I could make that observation. Sorry.)

Anonymous
Anonymous

How does this in any way say that Hicks is right? So there were better offers but he chased them away because he was deluded into thinking that if he did that, he could keep the keys. It's not always a good strategy, but it's definitely one that incumbent management/owners of distressed companies use in a desperate attempt to maintain control. Other offers were not "less than serious" meaning that they were bullshit offers to begin with.It still sounds like Hicks has no one to blame but himself for putting way too much debt on the team and then failing to pay it back. If you are trying to sell a house in a short sale and 5 people come to the auction, you don't chase away your next door neighbor who is offering good money just because you don't like the guy and he wants to tear down your house and build a pool. And you can't just take the highest offer if the person is trying to pay in Monopoly money. In the end, there may only be one offer that's all in cash. If even if it's low, at least it exists.

J
J

Screw Hicks. All this crap is the reason why the Stars sale is going so slow, and why I'm not optimistic that it's going to happen anytime in the next couple of years. For how badly he's screwed over his teams, I don't give a flying crap if he thinks the sale was "bad". He deserves whatever he gets, and he should be lucky he's getting anything.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Have you received 25,000 death threats and spams from Liverpool citizens for identifying yourself as a member of "Team Hicks"?

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh

"Relegation alone would have cut the value of the club by half."

This is actually the most relevant point of the entire sale. Hicks is right that the team is worth more than NESV is paying for it, but he was up the creek to begin with.

Combine a bad market for selling a major international franchise with the fact that the team was in position to keep dropping in value (finishing low enough to completely miss UEFA qualifying hurts, but relegation would gut the value massively) and you have to realize that no potential buyer was going to overpay for what amounts to a team that was damaged goods at the time of sale.

(As for the second half of that, no one here would proclaim Hicks a hero. The guy does nothing as an owner. When you consider that his local competition consists of two extremely passionate owners [Cuban and Jones], Hicks looks like a tremendous bum to sports fans around Dallas.)

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

And this is why I'm taking a few days off. I clearly have lost my hilarious touch.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Let me be clear: The headline doesn't refer to anything other than the e-mails revealing how the sale went down. That's it.

LaceyB
LaceyB

You're gonna stay off the blog for DAYS?? I bet the last 3/4 of my Weller 107 bottle that you cannot stay off Unfair Park for 48 hrs. without itching to at least have a looky.I'm an UP junkie. I know these things. Not that it matters, but see ya in a few hrs.

J
J

Aaw. I chuckled at it.

Rooster
Rooster

Might want to put another question mark or two at the end of the headline. Your intent doesn't seem to be resonating with the angry horde.

LaceyB
LaceyB

True. But, uh, see below. Enjoy today.

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