Hodgson: Takeover will lift Liverpool cloud

LIVERPOOL - A cloud over Liverpool has been lifted after a takeover by its new American owners, manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday.

The 18-times English champions were taken over by New England Sports Ventures (NESV) for 300 million pounds after a Texan court lifted a restraining order designed to prevent the sale.

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"It's a very good day for the club," Hodgson told a packed news conference at the club's training ground shortly before the deal was officially confirmed.

"It's a relief... it's been a very difficult couple of weeks... we've had to live through that bad time.

"There's no doubt a cloud has been lifted from the football club today."

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Hodgson said he had spoken to NESV owner John W Henry but had been given no details of how much money might be available to buy new players in the next transfer window.

"We didn't talk about investment but that said, the mere fact that the club will be taken over and the debts wiped off immediately puts us into a very different financial position to the one we've been in," he said.

"The sort of money we would have to pay the bank in interest can now possibly be made available for players and if that money alone was made available we'd be quite wealthy."

Departing American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have been unpopular with fans for burdening the club with debt which has left little money available for transfers.

The club have had their worst start to a season for more than half a century, which some fans have blamed on the lack of new blood, and sit in the relegation zone with six points from seven games.


Hodgson said the club could not blame the takeover saga for the poor results on the pitch but said it would be good that players would no longer have uncertainty hanging over them.

"No doubt the players will be able to get on now with playing football without having to any questions to answer or having any fears," he said.

"It would be naive to say these things (takeover issues) don't matter. When club in a bad situation it is bound to affect you in some way." He said news of the takeover was coming at the right time ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby at Everton, in which the club would be looking to kickstart its season.

"The derby match comes at a good time," said Hodgson, whose team suffered an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat by Blackpool in their last league match two weeks ago.

"We've had two weeks to chew and to savour that defeat. Having a game of the quality and magnitude - in a derby against our fiercest rivals - that is an ideal way to bounce back if we are capable of doing so. I think we'll be ready for the game."

They will be boosted by the return to fitness of Spain striker Fernando Torres but will be missing Dutchman Dirk Kuyt who was injured on international duty

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