OKAY. So now we've got this Dallas Court Hearing to worry about, there's a link HERE, and it seems like THE GUARDIAN will also be updating. i'll try to use both. The KOP source uses military time and guardian is the current time in london, for the record :D
9.29pm: More from the Dallas courtroom courtesy of the Dallas Observer (via Jean-Yves Mertenat) ...
Before [Judge] Jordan dismissed the parties till tomorrow morning, first thing, attorney Stephen Fox, repping Hicks and Kop Holdings, told the judge that "our folks are aggressively working out an arrangement with RBS to take care of the debt." Meaning: Hicks and George Gillett would pay the close to $500 million owed and then look for someone other than NESV to buy the team. Jordan said, "I hope those talks continue," but said he needs more time to consider the UK judge's ruling before making a decision concerning yesterday's temporary restraining order. Steve Stodghill, repping Hicks and Gillett, told Unfair Park after the hearing that NESV and the Liverpool board have agreed to hold off on closing till tomorrow morning, around 8 a.m. Dallas time, when Jordan's expected to rule on the TRO. If Jordan lifts the TRO, sale's a done deal. But if Jordan doesn't, says Stodghill, "the ball's in the court of NESV, and they can decide if they want to attempt to close the transaction knowing they're in violation of the TRO. That's a decision they'll have to make."
9.01pm: Was there in Dallas. J. Jordan made it clear that he wanted "this matter resolved" so parties could close on 15th, says Josh Imhoff on Twitter who says he was at the hearing in Dallas which has been adjouned until tomorrow. 15 October has been the red-letter day for Liverpool's ownership for some time although absolutely no one would have predicted that a Texan courthouse was going to decide the future of the club.
8.46pm: There seems to be some confusion over what exactly is going on in the court in Dallas (confusion in this story - never). i'm not sure I can help much other than quote the passage below from the Dallas Observer's blog (courtesy of David Holden) ...
Robert is at the George Allen this very moment, where attorneys representing New England Sports Ventures and Kop Holdings (which is to say, Tom Hicks) are squaring off over who owns Liverpool FC. In light of the UK judge's ruling this morning, which basically tossed yesterday's temporary restraining order, the attorneys (and assorted media) have gathered to see what the judge will decide, since Hicks owes the Royal Bank of Scotland close to $500 million dollars by tomorrow.
Right now, the judge is leaning toward a 7 a.m. hearing Friday to decide whether or not he will lift yesterday's TRO. Court is scheduled to reconvene shortly. Updates forthcoming.
Update at 2:20 p.m.: Judge Jim Jordan has ordered all parties back in his courtroom at 7 a.m. tomorrow for an hour-long hearing, at which point he will decide whether or not to lift the TRO.
20:40 – When asked when a takeover could be completed, Martin Broughton replied:
“Were still in court in Texas trying to get the temporary restraining order overturned.”
He then added “probably some time tomorrow” when asked when the injunction could be overturned.
8.31pm: Martin Broughton has told Sky Sports News that he is hopeful that the sale to NESV will be completed tomorrow and that John W Henry will be at Sunday's Merseyside derby as owner of the club.
8.16pm: Breaking News ... Sky Sports News has reported that the Texas court has adjourned until 7am tomorrow morning Dallas time (4pm BST) - which is just three hours before the deadline set in the High Court today - and so there will be no decision on Hicks and Gillett's case until then. I guess this means the rumoured NESV hearing in Texas, which was said to be taking place over the next few hours, will now not go ahead.
20:18 – Texas District Court has adjourned until 7am tomorrow (1pm GMT).
20:10 – George Gillett has arrived in London to consult his lawyers. Given the complexity of the situation I’m not sure they’ll have much to talk about. Perhaps a game of monopoly is in order. Go directly to jail, do not pass Anfield and do not collect £1.6bn.
8.00pm: Jim Boardman of www.anfieldroad.co.uk has tweeted: Five Live - Dan Roan: Sources close to NESV say they will get a hearing in Texas to get the Hicks injunction lifted in next few hours.
20:00 – Looks like we could be in for a late night, Hicks & Gillett will not set foot out of that boardroom until they have exhausted every option available to them. Reports suggest they are donning head scarves and false beards in an attempt to launch a new bid for the club masquerading as Arab billionaires. Well, they’ve tried everything else.
7.56pm: Last little update for now. Gillett is in London consulting with his lawyers. May be nothing left to consult about. We'll see,tweets Bloomberg's Tariq Panja.
I've also been alerted to this article by Jason Cuthbert and Gary Thomas. It's a blog from the Dallas Observer which says Hicks and Gillet have failed a contempt of court motion in Dallas against the Liverpool board for violating last night's restraining order. THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
19:39 – Interesting quote from NESV lawyer David Chivers in court earlier today:
“We are the owners. The owners from beyond the grave are seeking to exercise with their dead hand a continuing grip on this company.”
19:28 – Apologies for the delay. No word from Dallas as yet, although it looks as though Hicks & Gillett have little other option than to comply with the High Court orders
7.30pm: It's time for the hourly (or so) recap on the situation ...
• The High Court today issued an order against the legal action taken in Dallas last night by Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr
• Hicks and Gillett have been given until 4pm tomorrow to withdraw their injuction otherwise they will be found in contempt of UK court
• There is currently a hearingtaking place in Dallas
• NESV claim they are now the owners of the club and BBC 5Live are stating that the deal could be done tonight
• In the High Court today NESV lawyer David Chivers said the sale would go through once the Texas case is withdrawn. "We are the owners," Chivers told the High Court. "The owners from beyond the grave are seeking to exercise with their dead hand a continuing grip on this company." [Thanks to David Hannah for alerting me to this]
18:53 – It could be a while before there is any update of substance from across the pond. In the meantime, here’s the purpose of the case tonight in a nutshell:
Hicks & Gillett have had an injunction imposed by the High Court in London to remove the injunction they were granted last night by a Texan court which has prevented the sale of the club to NESV being completed. Tonight’s Dallas court hearing will determine whether Hicks & Gillett can continue in their attempts to block a takeover, or whether they must step aside.
6.57pm: Here is that official Liverpool statement in full ...
Liverpool Football Club have tonight issued a statement following today's court hearing in London:
The independent Directors of Liverpool Football Club are delighted with the verdict of Mr Justice Floyd in the High Court this afternoon which now requires Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to withdraw their Texas restraining order by 4pm tomorrow.
We are glad to have taken another important step towards completing the sale process.
6.38pm: It's been reported that John W Henry has just arrived at the offices of Slaughter and May in London, just as he did last night. I'm sure he'll be bedding down for the evening there as they await news from Dallas. This really is Groundhog Day and we're all Bill Murray. Except for Sky Sports News' Gary Cotterill. He's Ned Ryerson.
6.31pm: Ed Graham has basically summed up the whole situation ...
So yesterday the English guys won in the English court; then the Americans won in the American court and blocked the English judge's decision (essentially). Then today the English guys won again in the English court and blocked the blocking of the English judge's decision. And now the Americans are fighting in the American court to block the blocking of the blocking of the English judge's decision. Can we guess who'll win that? How is this ever going to end?
We have a lawyer from Texas who seems to think he knows how it will end and that's with a massive check being written by an insurance company to Thomas O Hicks and George Gillett ...
The Texas TRO should be dissolved. One legal element of injunctive relief is that one must not have an "adequate remedy at law" (as opposed to equitable relief, which is what a restraining order involves). H&G have an adequate remedy at law in that they can sue the directors for money for the breach of their fiduciary duty to the shareholders to sell the club at the highest price possible. The directors likely have several Directors' and Officers' insurance policies in place for just such contingencies, so for the Names at Lloyd's who underwrote those policies, it is, to quote Sir Alex, "squeaky bum time." The sale goes through and somewhere down the road, Lloyd's writes two large checks to Hicks and Gillett (although the settlement will be confidential). Always get to the insurance.
6.13pm: The Hicks and Gillett court hearing in Dallas is now set for 7pm UK time, although Sky Sports News are reporting that it is underway and George Hicks, whoever he is, is in attendence. Rumours that Hicks was spotted in Texas singing the Warren Zevon song 'send lawyers, guns and money' haven't been confirmed.
Is it any wonder they can't agree on anything when legal disputes are even breaking out on this blog ...
My name is Henry Adams and I am an international litigator at a firm called Birketts LLP. I acted for one of the parties in a recent leading English anti-suit injunction case which went to Court of Appeal level. I'm also a Red but that's by the by.
The comments on your blog from Mark Stephens are unfortunately not quite right. Here is the position:
The Texan Court injunction is binding on the board et al in the UK, until the injunction there is lifted by the Texan Court. The anti-suit injunction is not an order against the Texan Court itself. Instead, it is effectively an order compelling H&G to apply to the Texan Court to lift the injunction, on the basis that the Texan Court has no jurisdiction to determine this case. H&G therefore face a choice: either they lift the injunction or be in contempt of the English Court anti-suit injunction, the punishment for which can include imprisonment. H&G would most likely not want to return to the UK with contempt proceedings hanging over their heads.
Hope that helps - fascinating scenario!
6.10pm: Owen Gibson has tweeted from outside the court: "Judge accepted all of RBS's arguments - except plea that deadline be set for tonight. If H+G don't comply they will be in contempt."
6.07pm: Sky Sports News are reporting that there is a hearing in the court in Dallas taking place at 6pm UK time so that should be underway right now.
6.03pm: 'If Hicks and Gillett don't comply by 4pm tomorrow they will be found to be in contempt of the UK court," says Sachin Nakrani outside the High Court. It was also stated in court that NESV are the new owners. We've been here before though, haven't we?
5.58pm: "Hicks and Gillett need to withdraw the claim by 3pm UK time tomorrow for the NESV deal to go through tomorrow, NESV's lawyer said" tweets Tariq panja of Bloomberg.
5:45 PM: From Sachin Nakrani outside court:
"Legal reps ask judge to shorten owners deadline so a takeover deal can be done by the weekend, but he refuses.
So the 4pm deadline tomorrow still stands. I thought lawyers played golf on Friday afternoon's?
5.36pm: Judge gives H&G until 4pm tomorrow (London time) to comply with order...
5.21pm: Judge rules that anti-suit injunction wanted by RBS and other parties (board) against owners action in Texas is granted. "This case has nothing to do with Texas."
5.25pm: So, the board and RBS has won it's London court battle. But, what exactly this means is another question. Will the Dallas court now back off and withdraw its injunction?
This expert opinion from Mark Stephens, sports lawyer and international litigator at Finers Stephens Innocent:
The application for a TRO (injunction) in a Texas City court is one last, desperate, throw of the dice for Gillett & Hicks reveals how bankrupt their legal position is...basic principles of international law are (1) that an injunction issued by a Texas Court has no effect on actions in this (the UK) country; and, (2) that the court first dealing with the case should be the only court dealing with the matter to the end. Therefore, the Texas court will have to relinquish control to the High Court in London...if Hicks and Gilett really wanted to stop this transaction they needed an injunction from the High Court in London and another against New England Sports Ventures in Boston where that company is located.
I confidently predict that RBS and the Directors will be able to shrug off this irksome litigation which seems calculated to delay the takeover which will ultimately be consumated.
4.56pm: Mr Justice Floyd: describes summary of high court case in owner's petition to Dallas court as "impoverished".
4.48pm: Mr Justice Floyd: It is plan that the owner's case in Texas had been in preparation for some considerable time
4.43pm: Judge is back...
4.33pm:While we wait for that ruling, and while we have all been acting with one eye on RBS's 15 October deadline for debt repayments, how about this intriguing question:
Is tomorrow's deadline irrelevant? Could it be that RBS cannot put Liverpool into administration tomorrow?
Jill Treanor, our banking correspondent, writes:
The City is still poring over the restraining order issued last night by the Texan court and getting stuck on a single paragraph. It is there to be seen in the restraining order but is causing some confusion in City circles. To spell it out, at the bottom of page 5, reads.... "the defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys.....are temporarily enjoined from engaging in the following acts;
b) ...taking any action to modify, pledge, sell, transfer, seize, foreclose or dispose of Plantiffs ownership in Liverpool FC".
Could this mean that even if RBS did want to call in its loan tomorrow night, when the £200m plus £40m of penalty charges are due, that the Texan restraining order would stop it from doing so? RBS no doubt has lawyers trying to work that out right now.
4.30pm: Apparently we're looking at a ruling by Mr Justice Floyd by 5pm.
Sachin has confirmation that the owners have no legal team here. Their legal team were contacted and emailed back to say they would be out of the office all afternoon and would not be attending.
Now there's some bare-faced cheek...
4.15pm: Break in proceedings at the High Court. Mr Justice Floyd will reveal in a few minutes if he will make a decision today. Or tomorrow!
4.12pm: Back to outside court 18, where Lord Grabiner is speaking again: He says that the owners made no reference to damages claim during trial at High Court. Wrong then that they should make damages claim in Dallas.
4.07pm: While we wait for another High Court update, let's revisit the debate about the picture at the top of this blog. It is clearly upsetting a lot of people (more emails and tweets than any other subject, believe it or not). Like it or not, it is the main point of today's story. I've already offered this link to relieve the frustration. (Disclaimer: not condoning violence). Others suggest a picture caption competition. My web friend (who is enjoying the MBM really) Anthony O Connell says: Gillet let one go and Hicks is thinking to himself "Thats a big smell for a small fella."
3.57pm: QC Chivers now speaking for NESV. It appears that G&H may have no-one in this courtroom.... (LOL YOU SUCK, H&G)
3.40pm Sachin from outside court 18: It is clarified by the board's legal team that they are looking for an order which lifts the owner's injunction. They also want an order which prevents owners from obtaining another injunction in any country except this one.
QC Chivers is up, speaking for G&H.
3.32pm: Trying to find details of when the courts in Dallas open and when there might be some hearings.
The Dallas Morning News this morning reports:
Dallas businessman Tom Hicks persuaded a state judge to halt the sale of Liverpool Football Club on Wednesday and may have gained something new in the battle: home field advantage...State District Judge Jim Jordan agreed with the lawsuit's argument that the defendants have done enough business in North Texas to fall under a Dallas court's control.
3.27pm: Lord Grabiner QC for the board: describes Dallas court as that "world famous jurisdiction" to much laughter.
(Personally, I'm not sure that they want to turn the jurisdiction debate into a fight with Dallas. Rather a simple question of primacy and priority).
3.25pm: Here are the official documents that were lodged at Companies House for the reconstituted board. Always good for finding out people's strange middle names.
3.21pm: Peter Lim says he will not proceed with his bid because the board is intent on selling to NESV "at the exclusion of all other parties...In these circumstances, I am not able to proceed with my intention to acquire the club." He added that "if current events cause the circumstances to change, my interest in acquiring the club remains."
3.14pm: A lawyer from Texas emails to say:
The Board need to go to the Texas court and file a Rule 12 Motion to Show Authority.
Since the British High Court granted the board the right to conduct the affairs of the corporation(s), H&G were therefore without authority to seek a Texas TRO on behalf of KOP Holdings, et al.
3.10pm: Lord Grabiner QC for the board: Describes H&G's actions as "grotesque parody, preposterous, unfair, unjust. They are incorrigible"
He points out that H&G signed up to this jurisdiction by getting into agreement with RBS and by agreeing to proceedings here. "It is preposterous" that they will simply go to another jurisdiction because they are not happy with the verdict.
He says G&H are probably "sitting ang giggling" at their behaviour right now.
3.05pm: Lord Grabiner QC now speaking for Liverpool: "simply incredible" that facts of this case were not revealed in Dallas court. "They want second bite of cherry and if it wasn't so serious, it would be a joke."
3.02pm: QC Snowden speaking for RBS: Argues that an injunction granted in a foreign country should not be allowed to take force when companies involved are all English. Describes H&G claim of "epic swindle" scurrilous.
2.59pm: "Court proceedings interrupted: it seems H&G are currently in court in Dallas arguing Lfc board were in contempt of US court y'day!" tweets Dan Roan
2.54pm: "Dare we ask RBS to loan us QC Snowden for impact off the bench? Assuming it won't reconstitute our boredom," asked by Jackson Gothe-Snape by email.
2.45pm: Back to Sachin outside court 18: QC Snowden speaking for RBS: Only one par in H&G injunction appeal refers high court case and even that is incorrect as it says Martin Broughton was restored to the board. In fact only Purslow and Ayre were. "This is a grossly inappropriate summary."
Witness statement from Martin Broughton reveals the board were close to agreeing deal with NESV at last night's meeting. Appears the Texas injunction stalled the process.
2.32pm: "Just received statement from Peyer Lim - he is pulling out of bidding!" tweets BBC's Dan Roan.
2.28pm: While we wait for Sachin to next get a chance to step outside court and update, here is some legal opinion from Quentin Bargate, Senior Partner of the City of London law firm Bargate Murray:
What struck me as most unusual was that the proceedings already taking place before the High Court in London merit only a passing reference in paragraph 53 of the petition...More surprisingly, I can find no reference in the Temporary Restraining Order made by the court in Dallas to the "British Court" decision at all. The court asserts it has jurisdiction without, it would seem, considering the possible impact of its order upon the already extant proceedings in London and whether the Dallas court should accordingly decline jurisdiction in favour of the High Court proceedings – where Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett may well have raised similar points already.
In short, it would appear that Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett's legal team decided against the option of seeking permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal, or decided that process would not yield a result in time and instead have attempted to take a second bite at the cherry in a different jurisdiction. Clearly, the Dallas court agrees that they were entitled to do so, at least for the time being.
So in essence, we have two diametrically opposing decisions of superior courts in England and the US based on essentially the same subject matter. It will be interesting to see what the High Court in London makes of all this...
Let's hope we find out soon...
2.20pm: QC Snowden speaking for RBS: Accuses H&G of preparing injunction request before yesterday's verdict here and anger that it was not disclosed during the trial by H&G legal team in the High Court.
BBC's Dan Roan tweets: "H&G's lawyers haven't turned up"
2.14pm: QC Snowden speaking for RBS: "Judge made verdict in Texas on basis of no evidence and solely on what was told to him."
It is claimed that H&G tried at the Dallas injunction appeal to make sure that it could be contested in the High Court in London. But the Texas judge did not agree to that, Sachin texts from outside court 18.
2.09pm: Back to court 18, QC Snowden speaking for RBS: "Proceedings in Texas are inappropriate. It involves an English football club and three English companies. It is intended to frustrate."
2.07pm: Liverpool fans who are planning to launch a counter claim Class Action against H&G have set up a FACEBOOK page
2.06pm: QC Snowden speaking for RBS: "Texas court appears to have been told remarkably little about yesterday's verdict. This is the most outrageous abuse of process."
2.04pm: QC Snowden speaking for RBS: This hearing is the result of "extraordinary events yesterday".
2.01pm: Mr Justice Floyd is in the house. Lord Grabiner QC is there again, representing the board, although there is no sign of the board members themselves.
1.56pm: Back in court 18. Less packed than yesterday, reports Sachin Nakrani.
1.48pm: In response to the 12.29pm quote from a Texas lawyer, Simon Just emails to say: "I'd be more frightened by an annoyed bunch of scousers any day than a restraining order issued in haste in Texas !!"
Along similar lines, The Wall Street Journal carried this piece a couple of weeks ago: "A Texas Tycoon Learns a Lesson: Don't Mess With Liverpudlians."
1.40pm: This story is still moving fast, and the protagonists are expected back in court at 2pm, but here is a recap of today so far:
• Just as the Liverpool board were hoping to sell the club to New England Sports Ventures last night, Hicks and Gillett obtained a temporary injunction in a Dallas court, claiming $1.6bn (£1bn) in damages and calling the sale an "epic swindle". The restraining order appears to prevent a sale taking place before the hearing on 25 October.
• The Liverpool board has vowed to overturn the injunction. Lawyers are understood to have been appointed in Texas in order to do this.
• The Liverpool board and the Royal Bank of Scotland will return to the High Court at 2pm. It is believed that the board hope that Mr Justice Floyd will rule that the injunction should not overrule his ruling yesterday, but a further hearing in Dallas may still be needed.
• There was much speculation that US hedge fund Mill Financial has bought out Tom Hicks's stake in the club (it already controls George Gillett's), but this has been denied.
• "What next for this saga's principal factions? LFC board, H&G, NESV, Lim, Mill Financial, RBS." Sachin Nakrani tries to unpick where each of the main factions go from here.
• NESV continues to be the board's preferred bidder, but one of its top executives, Tom Werner, who was due to fly to England today has decided to wait in the US.
• "Tom Hicks and George Gillett cannot accept Liverpool rules have changed," says Owen Gibson</b>
1.17pm: A spokesman for Tom Hicks has confirmed to my colleague Andy Hunter that the stake has NOT been sold to Mill Financial.
1.01pm: "Are H&G not in contempt of court by going and getting the injunction in the US? Seems to me that Judge Floyd is going to give them a rocket this afternoon at the very least for not revealing that they were planning on taking action in the US." asks Mark Teuten via email.
12.58pm: Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks remains in control of his share of the club and has not sold out to Mill Financial, Press Association Sport reports.
Reports this morning suggested the hedge fund, a branch of Washington-based Springfield Financial, had acquired the Texan's 50% share having already taken ownership of his fellow co-owner George Gillett's half.
However, a UK-based spokesman for Tom Hicks told Press Association Sport Mill Financial had not acquired Hicks' shares.
12.50pm: The Fit and Proper Person test: Owen Gibson analyses the current situation:
In the wake of the meltdown at Portsmouth and the travails of Liverpool, the Premier League introduced new rules on ownership. Last June, a new fit and proper persons test required anyone with a shareholding of more than 30% to show they had no unspent criminal convictions for a string of "honesty" offences. Anyone with a stake of more than 10% must be declared publicly and ultimate ownership revealed.
This summer, it introduced three other new rules as below:
1. Means and abilities test
A prospective new owner must provide future financial information to show the projected financial position of the club should a takeover go through. A prospective new owner must also show proof of funds to prove they can sustain the club for the year ahead.
2. Meeting new owners
The Premier League Board will have the power to request a meeting with any person proposing to acquire control of a club.
3. HMRC reporting
The Premier League Board can request quarterly information from each club showing that they are up-to-date with payments to HMRC in respect of PAYE and National Insurance
As far as Liverpool goes, the Premier League are understood to be "two thirds" of the way to passing NESV. They have met the new owners, who have passed the directors test. They have yet to formally approve the so-called "means and abilities" test that involves providing proof of funds and forward looking financial information for the coming year but do not believe it will pose a problem.
They have received no approach from Mill Financial and will not begin any other checks until the mists have cleared.
12.35pm: Updates from the BBC's Robert Peston:
RBS feels its hands would be tied if £200m were to turn up in its accounts from Mill Financial...
...So the race is on to see who can get the £200m into RBS's coffers faster - NESV or Mill?
After months of fearing they'd never get their money back, RBS must be laughing all the way to the...
12.32pm: Many people have emailed to say how upsetting it is to see Hicks and Gillett at the top of this blog every time they refresh the page. Leigh Cocker emails this link to help people channel their frustration. (Disclaimer: This website in no way condones violence).
12.30pm: Responses to Red Sox fan from Mark Baker:
What relevance does Bob Boxwell's comment have? The issue here isn't about screwing over H&G or the board selling at way below market value. It is about RBS wanting the loan repaid as H&G defaulted on the loan as far back as April. H&G signed up for this and like when any other business venture goes south, will have to pay the financial consequences.
and Ryan Moss:
The Board are acting in the best interests of the club, that is to avoid administration which would be disastrous for the club and its current league standing. The club is not being undervalued with all things considered. However, I too do not think that the sale to NESV is the best course of action. Have LFC learned nothing? On the basis that Mr Lim's bid is legal then I'd be cheering his corner if I were in that board room.
and Clive Rowlandson:
Can we just kill the 'below market value' thing once and for all. 'Market Value' is what the market is prepared to pay and despite 130 parties contacting the club no-one has been prepared to pay more than the £300m - £320m from NESV or Lim. Otherwise RBS would have bitten their hands off
12.29pm: "Hicks Dallas lawyer: "Anyone ignoring a restraining order in Texas does so at their peril"," tweets the Telegraph's Paul Kelso.
12.25pm: Why are the Board back in the High Court at 2pm if they are now facing an injunction in Texas? The belief is that the Board could get a UK court ruling that the injunction should not stand. Although this might not bind the Dallas court, it could be used to persuade the Texas judge to lift the injunction.
12.21pm: Many of you are asking below the line and via email about the status of the Fit and Proper Person test with regards to Mill Financial's position. We are trying to get some answers on that. Imran Zaffar asks:
How did Hicks pass his own shares into the ownership of Mill Financial given the fact there is a restraining order against the sale? If Hicks has passed over ownership to Mill Financial, then he has no link to the club and therefore the Texas ruling cannot stand [unless Mill Financial are Texas residents, and they brought about the injunction].
12.16pm: Mill Financial are not mentioned in the court papers filed in Texas (points out Matt Young via email). Page 2 Paragraph 2 of the petition:
"Based on the arguments of the verified petition and the arguments of counsel, the Court further finds that Liverpool FC is owned - through the various plaintiffs - ultimately by Thomas O Hicks and George Gillett."
12.13pm: Here's a view that some Liverpool fans won't necessarily like, emailed by Bob Boxwell:
I'm a Red Sox fan so I hope Henry doesn't do this deal – the Sox need him fully focused – but that aside, it all seems like some nationalist fist pumping and gate storming you'd expect from a banana republic. The "Board" can't just sell at way below market value because they don't like Hicks et al (though granted, there's a lot not to like there). And they're selling to more Americans, no less. You couldn't make this stuff up. What do you suppose FIFA is thinking right now watching all this stuff? I bet Blatter's buying a copy of Fodor's Visit Moscow. UK football is out of control.
12.01pm: In what would be an interesting sting in the tail for Hicks and Gillett, supporters on the Liverpoolfc.tv website are proposing a Class Action against H&G.
11.54am: The Liverpool Echo also speculates that Kenny Huang could be involved.
11.44am: Mill Financial has now taken over Tom Hicks's shares, according to the Liverpool Echo.
It is being claimed the American based Hedge Fund has acquired all of Tom Hicks' shares to go along with those of George Gillett, which it already owned.
It is further claimed that if they repay all outstanding loans to RBS before the set deadline, they will by default become the new owners of LFC, nudging out New England Sports Ventures.
However the Echo understands the move would not signal Hicks and Gillett returning to ascendancy in the battle for the Reds.
Instead it is believed Mill Financial, in turn owned by Springfield Financial who have links with the Washington Redskins American Football team, may be acting on behalf of another, as yet unnamed and unknown group who have put themselves in a position to move in at the 11th hour and take over the club.
11.37am: Given that Forbes' valuation of Liverpool is an element of the US injunction claim, the Red And White Kop website has put some serious work into this analysis of how the figure was calculated: "Here's how the Forbes guys royally screwed up their $822M Valuation (£515M)". The most stunning revelation in this piece is that Forbes's calculation of Liverpool's value does not include the club's debt. (Thanks to @H_T84 for tweeting that).
11.29am: The Mirror reports that Liverpool have "appointed lawyers in Dallas this morning to file a counter claim in the Dallas court as soon as business begins there, moving to have the restraining order removed."
Presumably, LFC are exploring all legal avenues, given that they are due in the High Court in London at 2pm too.
11.24am: "#LFC and #RBS in High Court [at 2pm] to injunct against Hicks's restraining order. They claim a Texas court has no jurisdiction over UK company law," tweets Bloomberg's @tariqpanja
11.21am: Sachin Nakrani tries to unpick where each of the main factions go from here: "What next for this saga's principal factions? LFC board, H&G, NESV, Lim, Mill Financial, RBS."
11.06am: Liverpool and Royal Bank of Scotland are to return to the High Court at 2pm this afternoon. More on this when we know more....
11.01am: Why did the US judge grant H&G an injunction? Well, one simple answer is that he was asked to. He has only heard one side of the case so far, but will hear the RBS/Liverpool side. The big question is timescale.
One Liverpoolfc.tv forum reader, Roshi98, also has this:
Just thought I'd use the fabulous interwebs to dig up some info on the amazing Judge Jim Jordan, whose breathtaking arrogance in approving an injunction from a little known district court in Texas has thrown a small bit of uncertainty to an otherwise done deal with NESV.
In 2008 the good judge received beaucoup funding for his failed campaign to win a seat on the Texas Supreme Court (yes, in Texas SC justices are VOTED into office). One organization caught my eye - K&L Gates LLP. Why? Because they provided Mr. Jordan with $10K in campaign contributions. One of the head partners for K&L Gates LLP is one Vester Hughes. Mr. Hughes shares multiple board seatings at various organizations with one Tom Hicks.
Dallas Civic Leaders Council
Dallas Museum of Art
10.56am: Stephen S Henry (not sure whether the initial is a new Red Sox-inspired affectation) forwards an email which, I imagine, is similar to many that have been sent:
Dear Judge Jordan,
You must be aware of the Judgement issued at the High Court London only yesterday regarding this matter yet you have taken it upon yourself to issue an injunction under US Law that is inappropriate, inflammatory and confrontational.
I respectfully ask you to take this opportunity to explain what jurisdiction you believe you have in this case and what right you have to involve the US Courts in this matter.
Stephen S Henry
10.50am: Fascinating short blogpost from the BBC's Robert Peston, which argues that Mill Financial might actually be in the box seat:
Royal Bank of Scotland tells me that if it's true that Mill has taken the Hicks/Gillett shares and if Mill repays the £200m long-term debt owed by Liverpool FC (plus penalty fees) to RBS and Wachovia, then Mill is in the driving seat. Once the debt is repaid, RBS's power ends.
As bizarre as this may seem, it also makes a lot of sense. Mill took over £75m worth of Gillett's stake/debt when he defaulted. So, in a sense, they already own a chunk of the club/debt.
We are endeavouring to find out more about Mill Financial. Thanks to all of you who have already sent over information about them. Please feel free to send more.
10.44am: Steve back. So, Tom Werner's not coming over yet. That would make sense. I have a huge backlog of emails that i'll work through and share with you. Plus any further developments as they happen.
10.40am: This from the BBC's excellent Dan Roan: "Tom Werner, Henry's NESV partner was about to board flight to London ahead of big unveiling tmrw - Hicks bombshell meant he stayed at home."
10.30am: Love them (unlikely) or hate them, were we really so surprised that Hicks and Gillett had an eleventh-hour, last-ditch manouevre, in place? Anyway, here's the latest from the Liverpool Echo:
A LFC legal challenge to the American co-owner's dramatic Texas restraining order obtained last night is expected to be heard in the next 24 hours. Lawyers for the Reds were locked in complex discussions until 3am today deciding how to deal with the latest challenge from by Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Today Liverpool FC were said to be confident they would overcome a lawsuit seeking $1.6b damages from the English directors at Anfield - Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, Ian Ayre and Philip Nash – along with lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and successful Liverpool bidders New England Sports Ventures (NESV) – claiming they were undervaluing the price of the club and disregarding other, allegedly higher, offers.
The Echo understands the defiant English board members remain confident they will push through a deal with NESV.
This morning solicitors for the Reds were hoping to have the matter listed in the High Court in London "as a matter of urgency" to obtain an injunction overturning the lawsuit.
And the Echo understands to completely veto the move they must ask for a similar hearing at a court in America. Once that happens Liverpool can be sold to NESV for £300m.
PRAYER CIRCLE THIS GETS RESOLVED TODAY. I'LL PUT SOME PICTURES/UPDATE LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER. GET READY, BBS. IT'S GONNA BE QUITE THE DAY
DIRK KUYT UPDATE
Roy Hodgson has revealed that Fernando Torres has won his race to be fit for Sunday's Merseyside derby at Everton.
I LOVE YOU ALL. YNWA AAF<33333