Red Sox Group's prospective takeover at Anfield wins Premier League approval

The importance of next week's court case to the immediate future of Liverpool was laid bare yesterday as the Premier League approved the prospective takeover by New England Sports Venture (NSEV).

It also emerged that if the deal does not go through by Friday the club faces the likelihood of a nine-point penalty.

The Premier League board met with John W Henry and Tom Werner, the owners of the Boston Red Sox, earlier in the week and are satisfied with the Americans' plans for the club should the deal go through.

Henry and Werner will be joined on the board by three other Americans, David Ginsberg, vice-chairman of the Red Sox and an usher at Henry's wedding last year, Jeffrey Vinik, who made his fortune as a hedge fund owner and now owns the Tampa Bay Lightning ice hockey franchise, and Michael Gordon, a partner in NESV. The initial make up of the board may cause unease among sections of the Liverpool support who remain sceptical of another US owner.

No date has yet been fixed for the High Court – it will be Tuesday at the earliest – but the consequences of Tom Hicks and George Gillett succeeding in their bid to block the sale is likely to lead to a points penalty.

Next Sunday Liverpool face Everton, of all opponents, at Goodison Park. If the takeover has gone ahead Henry and the new board will almost certainly be in attendance. If it has not, a day after the game the Premier League will almost certainly impose its penalty. Liverpool currently have six points.

The present American ownership face a Friday deadline to repay £282m worth of loans and fees to Royal Bank of Scotland and failure to meet it will leave the duo with little option but to put their company, Kop Holdings, into administration.

It had previously been thought that as Kop Holdings is Liverpool's parent company, the club would escape a points penalty. West Ham United's parent company, the Icelandic bank Straumur, went into administration last year, but the east London club made up one of the company's several off-shoots and so were not penalised. That is not the case with Liverpool.

The Premier League also take into account whether the actions of the club's management have contributed to the parent company's administration, and in this case it would seem as if the League would have little option but to apply a penalty. Portsmouth were the first Premier League club to be penalised in this fashion last year.

Hicks and Gillett are contesting the decision of Martin Broughton, Liverpool's chairman, to agree a £300m takeover with NESV. They claim that that figure "dramatically undervalues" the club and that Broughton and Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre, who make up the board, did not have the authority to accept an offer that went against the co-owners' wishes.

Whatever the court's decision next week an appeal is probable. If the legal case is ongoing come Friday, RBS have the option of extending the deadline until the process is complete.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'