NESV complete Liverpool sale

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The Independent Online

New England Sports Ventures today completed the £300million takeover of Liverpool with new owner John W Henry saying he is "proud and humbled" by the responsibility.

The owners of the Boston Red Sox have taken control of the club after Tom Hicks and George Gillett were defeated in their legal battle to stop the takeover.



Hicks and Gillett are promising to sue for more than £1billion but their hugely unpopular three-and-a-half-year rein at the club is over.



NESV said the club's debt servicing costs would drop from £30million a year to £2million-£3million.



Henry, the principal owner of NESV, said: "On behalf of the entire NESV partnership, I want to express how incredibly proud and humbled we are to be confirmed as the new owners of Liverpool FC.



"We regard our role as that of stewards for the club with a primary focus on returning the club to greatness on and off the field for the long-term.



"We are committed first and foremost to winning. We have a history of winning, and today we want LFC supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great club."



Liverpool's independent chairman Martin Broughton added: "I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive.



"The board decided to accept NESV's offer on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a new owner. NESV is buying Liverpool in order to put it on an excellent financial footing and continue to develop it internationally.



"This is a good deal which comprehensively resolves the pressing issue of the club's debt and should give staff, players and fans great confidence regarding the future of Liverpool FC."

Henry will not attend Sunday's Merseyside derby away to Everton, and said: "I think it's better for our first experience with the supporters to be at home."

That leaves the October 24 match against Blackburn as his likely first appearance at a Premier League match, by which time he will have begun getting to grips with his new responsibilities.

However, Henry told reporters: "It's too early to say what we're going to do but we're here to win, we have a tradition of winning - we (the Boston Red Sox) are the second-highest spending club in Major League Baseball and we're here to win, we will do whatever is necessary.

"We're not going to have a lot to say, our actions will hopefully speak for us."

Reflecting on a dramatic week in and out of court, Broughton added: "As every Liverpool fan knows, the most nerve-wracking way to win a match is on a penalty shoot-out.

"But in the end, as long as you get the right result, it's worth the wait. We got the right result.

"It's been pretty stressful but I think we've been confident all the way through that we would get there. We've always known we were doing the right things, that we would get justice, and I think exactly what we got in the end was justice."

Broughton also confirmed he would stay on in "a transitional role" for the early stages of Henry's stewardship of the club.

Spirit of Shankly, the fans' group who have been among the biggest critics of Hicks and Gillett, welcomed Henry's reign with cautious optimism.

James McKenna, a spokesman for the group, told Sky Sports News: "Hopefully this is the start of a bright future. We certainly welcome the new owners but they've got to come in and prove they can do the job.

"We hope the board have done their job in ensuring they bring in the right people.

"Liverpool FC have needed stability ever since Hicks and Gillett came in with their broken promises and lies. We need a period of stability and to get back to our old ways.

"Liverpool FC doesn't need a Sheikh Mansour or a Roman Abramovich to compete in the transfer market, we generate enough money that has, for the last three years, been used to pay debt."

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