Last night Anfield Road reported in good faith that Martin Broughton and the other English members of the Kop/LFC boards would not be at the High Court today for the hearings related to Liverpool FC and the dispute with co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
We’d been passed this information by a very reliable source and a source we trust completely.
This was later backed up when Spirit of Shankly cancelled arrangements to travel down to London to be there for the hearing.
When we learned this morning that Martin Broughton and Christian Purslow had arrived at the High Court we were understandably confused and disappointed. We still had no reason to doubt the intentions of our source – and our source was also confused (and angry) as to why two of the board had actually attended the court after all.
The story last night was that today’s trial – which is actually RBS v Hicks and others – was little more than a discussion between lawyers to discuss the process and to agree times and dates. RBS had taken this action because Hicks had tried to interfere with the board, something that RBS and LFC contend he doesn’t have any right to do.
Although the hearing is important to LFC’s overall battle against its owners it wasn’t seen as the main event compared to what’s to come later in the week. For fans to take the time off work and go to the expense of travelling for what was expected to be a short meeting (a matter of minutes) between lawyers would have been a waste of time and money and best left until that next hearing.
Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre would also not be attending.
It has now emerged that a major change took place during the night.
We have been informed that Tom Hicks has now counter-sued Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, Ian Ayre and RBS with the claim that they had not acted appropriately in terms of accepting the bid from NESV.
This means a straightforward procedural hearing has now escalated – RBS taking the decision this morning after legal advice and consideration throughout the night. Today’s hearing is now much bigger than expected.
Martin Broughton and Christian Purslow were already in London and so the decision was taken at short notice that both would attend court. Ian Ayre was still in Liverpool but will be in court when LFC’s case (at which he’ll be a witness) takes place later in the week.
It has been pointed out that Broughton and Purslow are still only there as observers for today’s hearing. This is RBS’s trial, not Liverpool FC’s.
Anfield Road has been assured that the message relayed last night was not done so in an attempt to dissuade supporters from being there for the LFC trial. We have been assured that this is quite the opposite to what is wanted.
As soon as the date, time and location of the trial are known the details will be released and relayed to supporters.
The message Anfield Road has heard is quite clear – if fans are going to take time off work and spend their hard-earned cash travelling to the court to show their support for the club, please don’t turn up on the wrong day.
That was the message last night and it remains the message today.