Liverpool ownership deal rumbles on as BoSox buyout edges closer

Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:42pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool's ownership battle rumbled on Thursday as the High Court ruled against Tom Hicks and George Gillett, only for the American pair to demand the club's chairman be jailed for contempt of court.

A High Court ruling on Wednesday had set up Liverpool to be sold for 300 million pounds ($479.8 million) to New England Sports Ventures (NESV), before Gillett and Hicks obtained a temporary block in a Texas district court.

In response, lawyers for chief creditor Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) went back before the judge in London and he granted an injunction to restrain the Dallas court ruling, saying the case had no connection to Texas.

Undaunted, Hicks and Gillett returned to the Dallas court, filing for contempt and demanded that chairman Martin Broughton and other defendants be filed and jailed.

That case was adjourned and will resume at 1200GMT Friday -- three hours before the British High Court's deadline for the American duo to comply with their ruling.

Amid the transatlantic legal wrangling, rival Singaporean bidder Peter Lim announced he was pulling out of his 320 million-pound offer.

The latest, and most extraordinary, day in the saga of which American businessmen own a football club in the north west of England began with lawyers for RBS -- who are attempting to secure the repayment of 240 million pounds in loans -- returning to the High Court.

In front of the same Judge, Mr Justice Floyd, who ruled in their favor on Wednesday, they sought an injunction to stop the club's American owners continuing with their U.S. legal action.   Continued...

<p>A woman exits the club shop at Liverpool football club in Liverpool, October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Staples</p>