(WFI) The English Premier League has indicated that the New England Sports Ventures (NESV) group, who are hoping to take over Liverpool, has passed its fit and proper persons test – giving it the green light to carry on with its takeover.
The Premier League set out the criteria to disbar from taking ownership of a club anyone who holds disqualifications as company directors, recent criminal convictions or has engaged in other sorts of improper behaviour.
NESV next week face a legal challenge from current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who say that the Liverpool board does not have the authority to act on their behalf to push forward sale. The future ownership of the club hangs on the outcome of the case.
“The Premier League has met with the owners and directors of New England Sports Ventures regarding their proposed takeover of Liverpool FC and has received details, in accordance with Premier League Rules, of the proposed company and ownership structure as well as the make-up of the new Board,” said the Premier League in a statement
“The Premier League is satisfied, with the information provided, that the individuals NESV intend to put in place in the event they complete their takeover of Liverpool FC meet the criteria set out in our Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
“The Board of the Premier League will continue working with Liverpool FC in regard to this process, however, we are aware that the formal completion of this takeover is yet to be resolved and it is therefore inappropriate for us to offer any further comment at this time.”
In a separate development, the BBC reports that Liverpool are likely to face a nine-points deduction if parent company Kop Holdings goes into financial administration.
League rules say that the penalty can be applied if a parent company insolvency is caused by the club’s management. The BBC quotes unnamed sources saying that Liverpool would struggle to argue the running of the football club by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett had not affected Kop Holdings.
The threat of administration looms if the sale to NESV is not completed by 15 October, when a loan is due to the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Premier League sources earlier this week – before NESV’s takeover hit the headlines – indicated to INSIDER that they did not believe that Liverpool would suffer a points deduction because of the way that Hicks and Gillett’s debt was structured, but acknowledged that the issue was still being scrutinized and did not discount the possibility.
From INSIDER‘s James Corbett
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