As Liverpool FC Sale Moves Back to English Court, a Motion for Contempt Filed in Dallas
Following yesterday's surprising turn of events that landed the sale of Liverpool FC in the 160th District Court at the George Allen, attorneys representing the Liverpool board and Royal Bank of Scotland were back in U.K. High Court this morning trying to push through the sale of the soccer club to New England Sports Ventures for around $476 million -- half of what Reds' owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett say the club is worth. An Liverpool board attorney called yesterday's filings " grotesque parody, preposterous, unfair, unjust ."
But proceedings there have come to a halt: This morning, attorneys repping Hicks and Gillett here filed a motion for contempt, claiming that this morning's legal doings overseas are a violation of the temporary restraining order granted by Judge Jim Jordan, pending an October 25th hearing. Says the doc, which follows in full:
Within the last few hours, Defendants have made statements to the press in London that they intend to take even further action designed to violate the Court's order. Specifically, Defendants have stated that they intend to initiate new legal filings so that they can obtain a blessing of a foreign court to complete the transaction and to sell Liverpool FC.
In plain and simple turns, Defendants -- and their lawyers -- have deliberately and intentionally decided to ignore the TRO.
Plaintiffs, therefore, ask this court to set a hearing and to order the Defendants to show cause why they should not be held in contempt.
Among the requests: "Ordering Defendants -- and any of their agents and/or attorneys that were aware of the Court's order -- jailed until they purge themselves of their contempt." Look, nobody's going to jail. Still, you'd best jump, before the judge in the U.K. rules any ... moment ... now ...
Update at 11:25 p.m.: From the Guardian, which has been running a liveblog:
5.21pm: Judge rules that anti-suit injunction wanted by RBS and other parties (board) against owners action in Texas is granted. "This case has nothing to do with Texas."
In other words: Sale on! Calls are in to Hicks's Dallas attorneys.
Update at 12:57 p.m.: Still no word from Hicks's Dallas attorneys. But Liverpool FC has just issued the following statement:
The independent Directors of Liverpool Football Club are delighted with the verdict of Mr Justice Floyd in the High Court this afternoon which now requires Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to withdraw their Texas restraining order by 4pm tomorrow.
We are glad to have taken another important step towards completing the sale process.
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