We always knew that October was going to be interesting.
An embarrassing defeat to Blackpool, a guaranteed stay of at least two weeks in the relegation zone, a viral video “Dear Mr Hicks” telling the co-owner where to go and the re-emergence from hiding of Pizza man Yahya Kirdi before early evening on the fifth day of the month.
Claims had been made earlier in the day that at least two of the club’s English board members were en route to America for a meeting or meetings on Wednesday.
Then came a leak that sounded quite remarkably like it had come from the club’s “independent directors”. Various media outlets had been informed that two bids had been made for the club. These bids, the reports said, had been recommended by the “independent directors” but blocked by the American ones, the owners.
The leaks even went as far as giving some clues about the bids, one was claimed to be from Asia, the other from the US.
It was later claimed that one of the bids was from the owners, or an owner, of MLB outfit Boston Red Sox. Liverpool fans will be less than enamoured at the thought of another MLB owner coming in to run their football club.
Before there was time to discuss this there came a fairly astonishing official statement.
The wording suggested the war between owners and directors had got bloodier.
The Board of Directors have received two excellent financial offers to buy the Club that would repay all its long-term debt. A Board meeting was called today to review these bids and approve a sale. Shortly prior to the meeting, the owners – Tom Hicks and George Gillett – sought to remove Managing Director Christian Purslow and Commercial Director Ian Ayre from the Board, seeking to replace them with Mack Hicks and Lori Kay McCutheon.
This matter is now subject to legal review and a further announcement will be made in due course.
Meanwhile Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre continue to explore every possible route to achieving a sale of the Club at the earliest opportunity.
One point to note is that the individuals named as potential new board members – Mack Hicks and Lori McCutcheon – are both from the Hicks camp. McCutcheon is vice president of Hicks Holdings.
George Gillett is no longer believed to be taking part in a fight to retain his share of the club. His “cash” investment in the club is reported to have come via a loan secured on his share of LFC.
Under normal circumstances the club’s owners would be able to choose who sits on the board. But RBS only approved the 6-month extension to the finance, which expires on October 15, on condition that the owners appointed certain individuals to the board and began a formal sales process.
If Hicks was able to find someone to refinance the debt, removing RBS from the picture, there is nothing the current board could do to stop him removing them. This video was produced to try and reduce the chances of that happening.
However his attempts today to force changes to the board may well have been sufficient to trigger a default on what is left of the RBS loan, in theory giving RBS the right to take the club out of the owners’ hands.
The situation is one that is now in the hands of lawyers, and more statements are expected tonight.