Just when you thought it was safe to grab something to eat another part of the crazy finale to the Tom Hicks and George Gillett era unfolds.
It wasn’t expected to be that much of a busy day. Today was the day we got the timetable, not the day we got the action. It began as expected…
LFC are taking Tom Hicks to court. We await details and end up skipping lunch. Never mind, we think up what kind of meal we can cook tonight.
Plans are scaled down after the realisation that its RBS taking Tom Hicks to court, not LFC. There won’t be as much time to grab the ingredients; it’ll have to be a more simple meal.
No time to think exactly what the meal will be before another piece of news emerges. The RBS hearing is actually a continuation of action they started on Friday. They got an injunction – and nobody noticed. At least we’ve got a statement now.
The server isn’t too happy; lots of people wanted to read about the earlier story, without the RBS statement. Eventually it stops sulking long enough to add the RBS statement to the site.
And the day’s drawing to a close now. The colourful autumn leaves are lit up by the setting sun in a display of nature’s beauty. Well, presumably they are, we’ve not really had chance to look.
But we know it’s getting late, in terms of the working day, and even though there might still be plenty to discuss about the day’s events the chances are the lawyers have gone home. The lawyers have gone home and the PR companies have nothing left to share. It should be quiet now. Spaghetti Bolognese is sounding good. Done the lazy way of course.
Just need fix this server, it’s not happy at being asked to repeat all this news in such a short space of time. As soon as it’s fixed we can run out and get the bits for the food. Tummy’s rumbling, hurry up.
Server kicked and recovering. Just check Twitter while we wait.
Why did we do that? If we’d left Twitter alone we’d never have known. More news. Another twist. Twist as in spin, twist as in diversion or twist as in a development that is better for the club?
We don’t know yet.
The news comes from the BBC. Peter Lim – knocked into second place by the Broughton board last week – has come back with a bigger offer.
Sources close to the Singapore billionaire claimed he was the club’s preferred bidder in the days leading up to last week’s decision, even talking with Broughton about how he would announce his takeover – the sources said.
His lawyers are Macfarlanes (for the British end) and the Wong Partnership (for the Singapore side) and he was reported to be unaware of why Martin Broughton went with NESV. He found out he’d lost the battle a matter of hours before the BA man announced the winners.
The sources say that the LIM offer matched NESV bid financially, satisfying the RBS demand for repayment of £200m of debt alongside taking responsibility for £60m of debt that is to remain on the club and putting £40m in for working capital. None of the money he used would be borrowed, according to the source.
Not only that, he was going to provide “tens of millions of pounds” for new signings in the January window.
And “executives close to Mr Lim” told the BBC that Broughton expressed an opinion that Lim was the more attractive of the two bidders thanks to his ability to use cash to fund his bid, cash that comes from substantial resources.
In a claim that will concern any fans who believe it the report says “Mr Lim was told that Liverpool’s board was concerned that New England Sports Ventures would have to borrow to finance the takeover – raising questions about whether Liverpool really would break free from the financial shackles perceived to have been imposed by the current owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks.”
NESV have insisted their purchase will not be done with debt, but few details have been provided. And fans won’t ever forget the promise made by Hicks and Gillett in 2007.
The BBC say they were told “Mr Lim is keeping a close eye on the court case”, and that he feels the judgement “may give him an opportunity to bid again, whatever Mr Broughton may wish.”
Following on from NESV sources insisting they would walk should LFC be hit with a nine-point deduction, Mr Lim reportedly has no such concerns.
The BBC also go on to report that “according to sources close to [Lim], he feels that he may have been shut out because New England made an offer to Royal Bank of Scotland to pay some of the £40m penalty fees the banks have demanded.” The report says Lim was “prepared to pay RBS and Wachovia more than the £10m or so which New England Sports Ventures is said to have put on the table.”
The source is quoted as saying: “He never had a chance to negotiate directly with RBS. He was expecting to do so, after agreeing the takeover with the board.”
Lim is a billionaire – in sterling – according Forbes. What might also make Reds shudder is that he owns a string of Manchester United theme bars in Asia. As a result he knows there’s money to be made out of the game.
Liverpool supporters are more concerned about the timing of the announcement, with some suggestions that this would be an ideal way for Tom Hicks to win his court case. The idea that Broughton and his other board members didn’t try hard enough to get the best possible price for the club could work in his favour.
Of course this would need to be proved in court, and there is no suggestion that Lim and Hicks have spoken since Broughton made his decision.
Lim clearly does have the means to make the bid and seems determined to score a last-minute winner.
His fortune suggests he’s serious and if he is there are going to be some serious questions for Martin Broughton to answer.
But it’s difficult to shake off the idea that Mr Lim is being used by Tom Hicks as his own Yahya Kirdi.
Which at least provides some inspiration on what tonight’s meal is going to be. Now where did I put that pizza menu?