x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Purslow urges NESV to give Liverpool supporters a voice

Liverpool fans could have a voice in the running of their club under their potential new American owners, Christian Purslow, the club's chief executive, said.

Club could go into administration if owners refuse to sell Mitch Phillips Liverpool fans could have a voice in the running of their club under their potential new American owners, Christian Purslow, the club's chief executive, said yesterday. 

However, there is still a fear that the club could go into administration, and therefore risk the possibility of being docked nine points, before the deal is completed. That would likely spell the end of any takeover bid.

Purslow said he was confident that the £300 million (Dh1.75 billion) deal with New England Sports Ventures (NESV) would go through and that the group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise, would clear Liverpool's debt. "Our fans have felt totally disenfranchised by the experience of the last three years. One thing I really liked about NESV is they are really serious about the importance of engaging with their fans," Purslow told the BBC. "I've asked them to consider a scheme at our club that will give our fans a real sense of ownership, a real sense of inclusion, the kind of voice they deserve and NESV have told us they'll look at this very seriously if they complete.

"It's not been easy with the current owners - tensions have been high and so that side of things has been difficult - but now that we have potential new ownership I don't want to miss the opportunity to make sure that our fans never again feel so disenfranchised. "The most important principle is that fans need to feel that they have a means to express their views and to be listened to and the sense of ownership obviously is the most extreme example of that."

Liverpool fans have protested against Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the current owners, who are challenging the sale in London's High Court in a case starting tomorrow. If they succeed in halting the sale the club could go into administration, potentially suffering a nine-point deduction punishment from the Premier League. Purslow, however, said he was not worried about that possibility. "We have done our homework and NESV are buying this business with cash and clearing our debt which transforms our financial position overnight - I'm not even contemplating administration," he said.

"Right now they [Hicks and Gillett] have the opportunity with one simple correspondence to allow a sale to complete and that would clear the club of all the acquisition debt and give us a massive lift before the Everton game [next weekend]. "A fresh start and real hope for our fans and players that we can get back to the top, that's in their gift and would enable them to leave with some dignity and some peace rather than precipitating a messy dispute. I hope they'll think about that."