I'm at the George Allen this very moment, where attorneys representing New England Sports Ventures and Kop Holdings (which is to say, Tom Hicks) are squaring off over who owns Liverpool FC. In light of the UK judge's ruling this morning, which basically tossed yesterday's temporary restraining order, the attorneys (and assorted media) have gathered to see what the judge will decide, since Hicks owes the Royal Bank of Scotland close to $500 million dollars by tomorrow.
Right now, Judge Jim Jordan is leaning toward a 7 a.m. hearing Friday to decide whether or not he will lift yesterday's TRO. Court is scheduled to reconvene shortly. Updates forthcoming.
Update at 2:20 p.m.: Jordan has ordered all parties back in his courtroom at 7 a.m. tomorrow for an hour-long hearing, at which point he will decide whether or not to lift the TRO. Quotes forthcoming.
Update at 2:39 p.m.: Before Jordan dismissed the parties till tomorrow morning, first thing, attorney Stephen Fox, repping Hicks and Kop Holdings, told the judge that "our folks are aggressively working out an arrangement with RBS to take care of the debt." Meaning: Hicks and George Gillett would pay the close to £500 million owed and then look for someone other than NESV to buy the team. Jordan said, "I hope those talks continue," but said he needs more time to consider the UK judge's ruling before making a decision concerning yesterday's temporary restraining order.
Steve Stodghill, repping Hicks and Gillett, told Unfair Park after the hearing that NESV and the Liverpool board have agreed to hold off on closing till tomorrow morning, around 8 a.m. Dallas time, when Jordan's expected to rule on the TRO. If Jordan lifts the TRO, sale's a done deal. But if Jordan doesn't, says Stodghill, "the ball's in the court of NESV, and they can decide if they want to attempt to close the transaction knowing they're in violation of the TRO. That's a decision they'll have to make."
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