Posted on: October 13, 2010 9:43 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:54 am

Boston owner looks to be adding soccer team

It's looking as if the group headed by Red Sox owner John Henry will take control of English soccer team Liverpool F.C.

Former Rangers owner Tom Hicks and partner George Gillett lost their court case to retain control of the soccer team , allowing the sale to Hicks' New England Sports Ventures group to add Liverpool FC to their holdings, which includes the Red Sox.

"NESV has a binding agreement in place with the Board of Liverpool FC and we are looking forward to concluding the deal," the group said in a statement. "We are ready to move quickly and help create the stability and certainty which the Club needs at this time. It is time to return the focus to the Club itself and performances on the pitch."

Henry tweeted : "Well done Martin, Christian & Ian. Well done RBS. Well done supporters!"

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:54 am

Another bidder enters Liverpool picture

Well, now we've officially written more about the English Premiership than necessary -- but it looks as if Red Sox owner John Henry has company bidding on Liverpool FC.

The Associated Press, among others, reports Singapore businessman Peter Lim has issued a statement saying he has increased his offer to top Henry's group, New England Sports Ventures.

NESV has already signed an agreement to buy the team from Liverpool board of directors, but Tom Hicks and George Gillett are contesting that.

The matter is currently tied up in court in London.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 8, 2010 11:36 am

Premier League approves Henry's bid

The Premier League has approved the sale of Liverpool F.C. to a group led by Red Sox owner John Henry.

The Premier League released this statement earlier today:

"The Premier League has met with the owners and directors of New England Sports Ventures (NESV) regarding their proposed takeover of Liverpool FC and has received details, in accordance with Premier League rules, of the proposed company and ownership structure as well as the make-up of the new board.

"The Premier League is satisfied, with the information provided, that the individuals NESV intend to put in place in the event they complete their takeover of Liverpool FC meet the criteria set out in our owners’ and directors’ test.

"The board of the Premier League will continue working with Liverpool FC in regard to this process, however, we are aware that the formal completion of this takeover is yet to be resolved and it is therefore inappropriate for us to offer any further comment at this time."

The sale is believed to be worth £300 million, but a legal challenge by current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett could stand in the way.

Liverpool faces similar bankruptcy problems that made HIcks' sale of the Rangers such a mess, and this one is just as messy.

The Royal Bank of Scotland holds the debt and has throated to take over the team.

Henry has stated his interest in Liverpool will not impact the Red Sox or their payroll.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 5, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Report: Red Sox owners make bid for Liverpool

Liverpool fans On July 21, the Red Sox hosted Celtic FC of the Scottish Premier League battling Sporting Clube de Portugal in the first soccer game at Fenway Park since 1968.

That's appeared to be a harbinger of things to come, as Sky Sports reports that Red Sox principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, under the umbrella of New England Sports Ventures, are one of two final bidders for the Liverpool Football Club.

Liverpool is one of the most prestigious English football squads with five European championships and 18 top league titles in England, but has fallen on hard times lately. Liverpool most recently finished seventh in the Premier League, causing it to miss the cut for the Champions League. The team has two very unpopular owners in Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

You may recall Hicks as the former owner of the Texas Rangers who is trying to bail himself out of debt. Things got so contentious down south that an auction had to be held to name new Rangers owners which ended up being Nolan Ryan and lawyer Dennis Gilbert. Hicks currently owns the Dallas Stars along with 50 percent of Liverpool. Co-owner Gillett, who is one of the owners of Richard Petty Motorsports and previously controlled the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, tried to sell his share of Liverpool previously but was blocked by Hicks as their friendship crumbled.

Now, both Henry and Werner have stepped into the breach along with a "Far East" bidder, as Sky Sports notes. The asking price of the team, currently at £600 million, has so far caused countless bidders to drop out. (£600 million is, as of October 5, worth about $831 million.) Forbes valued Liverpool as the sixth most-valued soccer team in the world, with a team value of $822 million (dollars, not euros).

However, Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton, currently in charge of selling the team, has recommended both Henry and the Far East bids of roughly £300 million, according to the Daily Telegram , for consideration. However, Hicks and Gillett are fighting against the bids as both owners would not see any revenue due to the team being so far in debt. In fact, in a Liverpool press release announcing the two bids -- but not who made the bids -- mentioned that Hicks and Gillett are attemping to remove two directors from Liverpool's board, with one replacement being Hicks' son, Mack.

There are some reports that the interest of the Red Sox and the Far East consortium may be a bit of misdirection aimed at getting Hicks and Gillett profit, as well as jack up the price of the club for those currently waiting for the bank to take over. Another bidder, Yahya Kirdi, told the Guardian that the current asking price defies "logic."

"Right now is not the time for me and my group to enter into any negotiations," Kirdi said. "Once everyone is united and there's logic in the price and the overall deal, me and my group will be prepared to return to the table."

If the £300 million bid is accepted, it would cover £282 million in fees to the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is threatening to take the team over and sell the squad themselves if no buyer is found by October 15. The rest of the bid would go to cover the playing squad and bring in talent. A new stadium also needs to be built, with the current stadium older than even Fenway Park, built in 1884. Hicks planned to build a new stadium, but debt curtailed these plans.

If the Red Sox do buy Liverpool, expect the squad to come stateside and play in Fenway Park for preseason friendlies much like rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham have all done to date. Regular-season games could possibly be a factor, as the Premier League has discussed playing regular-season games abroad.

-- Evan Brunell (Danny Knobler also contributed to this report)

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Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com