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UPDATED--Hicks Still a Bastard, Watching Dust Settle

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**UPDATE** New England Sports Ventures, the Henry led company, has officially confirmed that its proposed purchase of the club has been accepted and released a statement. Key quote:

"NESV wants to create a long-term financially solid foundation for Liverpool FC and is dedicated to ensuring that the Club has the resources to build for the future, including the removal of all acquisition debt. Our objective is to stabilize the Club and ultimately return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies."

Well, it sounds good, especially the part about removal of all acquisition debt. Then again it sounded good last time, too, so fingers crossed. Full press release here, original post follows /**UPDATE**


Right, Ed may still be passed out from trying to pull an all nighter watching the news develop, so it's down to me to pass along that, by and large, there have been no major developments. Cracking stuff, I know.

Still, all that has gone before appears to have settled itself into being agreed upon fact rather than hopeful, panicked speculation. The long and the short of it is, lawyers willing, Liverpool has a new owner, and no matter what happens Gillett seems to be out of the equation. Quick recap time, then, and a few points which have come up so far today.

The good news (no I'm not bitter) is that if this all goes through, our wonderful, glorious, fabulous owners stand to lose £144 million on the whole shebang. Turns out that on top of not giving them much by way of a profit, the proposed deal won't repay the Cayman Island loans that represent Hicks and Gillet's personal saddling of the club with added debt by way of lending their own money to it. It's probably wrong of me to feel some small amount of actual joy at the thought that for all the pair seemed to care little of the club or their legacy, at least there is the potential for them to feel some personal hurt at the end of it all rather than walking away unscathed, since we sure as hell aren't leaving this without a couple of new scars (no I'm not bitter).

In other important news, the rumblings--no hard sources yet, unfortunately--are that if entering administration for a short period is what it takes to force this sale through against the wishes of H&G, the club will not be docked nine points for doing so if the sale has been agreed and the potential owners signed off on by the FA beforehand.

In less important news, we all now have to figure out just what to think of Broughton and Purslow. If they have just saved our bacon--though as said, it will probably be years before we know for sure--there goes the whole "Four horsemen of the Apocalypse" thing. Purslow still fired Benitez, still was likely the "senior source" leaking so much negativity to the press last season, and still tried to play football manager at times over the summer. And Broughton is still a Chelsea supporter. But if they can pull this off without having the club docked nine points and this time the new owners have actually been picked for their suitability and the best long term prospects of the club, I suppose I can almost forgive them. Still, right now I'm not sure exactly what to think that so many are now looking at these two to be the saviors after all that has happened. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that, even if it tends to leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth.

If you have time, check out Broughton's interview on The Offal, which touches on the ongoing process and the concept of finding the best fit to move the club forward rather than to make the largest profit. Whether this will turn out to be a good sale won't be clear for at least a couple of years, but that man in charge of getting the club sold--who finally, at the eleventh hour, got it done--is right when he talks of "a club with a wonderful history, a wonderful tradition that had lost the winning way, and bringing it back to being a winner," being Henry's experience with one of the few franchises in American sports which are more than a franchise.

In any case, I might be back in a bit with something on Henry--or Ed might wake up and have something to add before that. It's all a little confusing right now. I blame Hicks for that.

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