Maybe Tom Hicks Was Right?

On Wednesday we noticed Tom Hicks's UK attorney was back in court, trying to convince the judge to lift the order keeping him (and his former Liverpool FC partner George Gillett) from suing over the soccer club's £300m sale to New England Sports Ventures back in October. Hicks, you'll recall, branded the sale an "epic swindle" and said he'd sue -- because, far as he was concerned, the club was being sold for pennies on the pound. Attorneys at Fish & Richardson branded the sale as "illegal" and vowed for fight for Hicks's $1.6 billion -- in England or Dallas, wherever they could get a courtroom.

In English court yesterday, Hicks and Gillett's attorneys read what the Liverpool Echo classifies as an "astonishing email" from former Liverpool FC managing director Christian Purslow, who, a month before the sale went down last fall, brands New England Sports Venture's offer as "bottom of the barrel." As far as he was concerned, Purslow told then-Liverpool chair Sir Martin Broughton and the rest of the board, the only good thing about NESV and John Henry was that they "existed" at all -- as in, "So what is positive? Answer, they exist. Which is not a lot, but it is not to be underestimated in importance." After all, Purslow reminds the board, there had been significantly better offers -- some, at least twice what Henry offered, though Hicks rebuffed some advances while others proved to be less than serious.

The Echo story goes on to detail other e-mails offered by Hicks's attorney, Paul Girolami -- several of which seem to suggest the Liverpool board and NESV conspired to keep Hicks and Gillett out of the loop till the last possible second. Says the paper: "The pair have recently been told by lawyers acting for Sir Martin that they have 75,000 emails involving the sale." So there's my first book.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky