Hicks: Liverpool sale organised conspiracy

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LONDON - Former Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks spoke of his devastation over the sale of the club on Friday and described how he felt the victim of an "organised conspiracy" after it was bought by John W Henry's NESV.

Hicks and George Gillett fought a rearguard action to stop the Premier League club they bought in 2007 being sold for 300 million pounds to the Boston Red Sox owner, which has left them more than 100 million pounds out of pocket.

"This was an organised conspiracy that went on over many months," Hicks, who also accused "internet terrorists" of sullying the American duo's reputations and whipping up a frenzy of hatred, told Sky Sports News in an interview.

"That consisted of the Royal Bank of Scotland, (Liverpool chairman) Martin Broughton, who wanted to have some good PR, he's a Chelsea fan not even a Liverpool fan.

"He wanted to be seen as the guy that got rid of the Americans and sold it to another group of Americans."

Henry's company New England Sports Ventures (NESV) completed the deal to buy Liverpool on Friday - wiping out the club's debt at a stroke and saving it 30 million pounds a year in interest repayments to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

FUNDS READY

Earlier on Friday, Hicks and Gillett, who valued the club much higher, removed a restraining order from a Texas court that had prevented NESV from going ahead with the deal on Thursday.

Texas businessman Hicks said he had funds in place to repay more than 200 million pounds of outstanding debt to RBS but his approach had been rebuffed.

"I can confirm that we had the funds to pay off RBS in its entirety but between RBS and the chairman and the employees that conspired against us they would not allow us to pay it off. I thought they were friends, they were loyal, but I was wrong."

Hicks, talking in front of a framed image of the proposed new Liverpool stadium, reiterated his claim that he had been the victim of a swindle.

"I'm devastated, frustrated," he said. "This has hurt my family tremendously this was a very valuable asset that was swindled away from me in an epic swindle.

"I'm very angry about it. We know there are better owners around the world who should own Liverpool Football Club than the Boston Red Sox group. We knew who they were and we had conversations with them.

"Our desire was to sell Liverpool to a proper owner who would build the stadium for the top club in the world that it deserves to be."

Following the completion of the NESV deal to buy Liverpool, Texas attorney Tom Melsheimer, who represents Hicks and Gillett, said they would seek $1.6 billion in damages.

"All legal recourse will be pursued," Texas attorney Steve Stodghill, who also represents the pair, said in a statement that cited "self-serving and illegal behavior from (Liverpool) directors and outsiders."