Liverpool Football Club: Done Deal To Confirm End of Hicks and Gillett Era?

Jon FeatonbyCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Liverpool  fans display anti American banners before the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Sunderland at at Anfield on September 25, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It might just finally be over.

The news that all Liverpool fans have been waiting for these past months was announced this morning: The Board has accepted a bid that will signal the end of the Tom Hicks and George Gillett reign at Anfield.

The new owners? New England Sports Ventures (NESV), who own the Boston Red Sox, among other things.

However, before fans get too happy, the saga that is the club's ownership may not be over yet: There are reports surfacing that the deal is subject to a legal challenge by Hicks and Gillett, who reportedly want more money for the club (something that is more than believable).

The American pair tried to replace two board members, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre with Hick's son Mack and Lori Kay McCutcheon, a vice president at Hicks Holding, in what looks like a desperate attempt to get control of the board.

But Purslow and Ayre, along with chairman Martin Broughton, have agreed to the sale and are now in a battle to ensure that Hicks and Gillett finally bow to fan pressure and end their tumultuous time as owners of Liverpool.

With the club in turmoil, languishing in the bottom three of the English Premier League, it is vital that the problems surrounding the ownership are sorted out, and fast.

Furthermore, the £237.4 million debt that Hicks and Gillett have run up while the club is due for repayment by 15 October, or else a £60 million charge will be added.

NESV currently owns the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, and Rousch Fenway Racing, and it is hoped that they will provide the investment Liverpool needs to compete at the highest levels of English and European football.

A statement by Broughton on the club's website read:

"I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive. The Board decided to accept NESV's proposal on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a suitable new owner."

But he also added that he is "disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale."

Liverpool fans will be hoping Hicks and Gillett are denied this one last opportunity to drag the club down.

Maybe, just maybe, their time at Liverpool has finally come to an end.