Tom Hicks Loses Round One In UK Legal Battle

There, on the High Court of Justice Chancery Division's to-do list tomorrow, is one of two U.K. cases in which locals will keep a close eye: Royal Bank of Scotland PLC v Hicks & Others. As in: Tom Hicks, from whom the Royal Bank of Scotland wants the money owed over Liverpool FC's deep, deep debts. The English papers are reporting this morning: The bank at last week's end won a temporary injunction that keeps Hicks from shaking up the soccer team's board of directors. Tomorrow's court date is intended to settle the matter once and for all.

At stake: a sale of Liverpool FC to New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox. Last week, as we noted, Liverpool's existing board OK'd the deal. At which point Hicks said: No effing way. NESV is willing to cough up £300 million; Hicks, who's said publicly he wants to recoup his losses from the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars' sales using Liverpool lucre, wants more than twice that. Which is why he tried to oust LFC managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre and install son Mack and Hicks Holdings's comptroller Lori Kay McCutcheon. Hicks and co-owner George Gillett stand to lose £254 million if and when the NESV deal goes down.

A second legal action, brought by LFC chairman Martin Broughton against Hicks and his efforts to oust the board and quash the sale to NESV, goes to court in the U.K. later in the week. U.K. legal experts expect that too won't end well for Hicks.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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