How can one of the most benign and successful owners of the Montreal Canadiens tranform into one of the most reviled team owners in English Football history in three years? 

That seems to be the story of George Gillett and his co-ownership history with the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premiership.

The tumultuous Gillett/Tom Hicks-Liverpool ownership reportedly will ltake a combined US$ 222 million investment loss after the Liverpool FC board of directors agreed to sell the club to John Henry’s Boston Red Sox holding company.

Although Hicks and Gillett have mounted a legal challenge of the sale price their position is weak.  The agreed sale would pay off team debts and leave nothing of the partners’ original investment. Bank credit has run out for Gillett/Hicks along with ability to find outside back-up financing.

The partnership has been running for it’s Liverpool financial life for over a year as  their highly leveraged financial position caught up with them.

A 237 million pound Royal Bank of Scotland loan is due to mature next week. The bank was expected for foreclose and hold their own fire sale if a purchaser was not found. 

Earlier this year Hicks said he expected Liverpool to sell for as much as 800 million pounds before reducing his estimate to 600 million. The sale to the John Henry group will realize less than half that.  On Tuesday the owners released a statement saying the two offers that were considered by the team’s board of directors “dramatically undervalue the club.” 

In March, the cash-strapped Gillett reportedly had a deal in place that would have allowed him to sell 49 percent of the team to Dubai interests.  Gillett would have walked away with an 81 million pound profit on his initial investment.  Hicks, under terms of the partnership agreement with Gillett, exercised his right to block the deal. 

Gillett can identify with the situation, if not enjoy it. He purchased the Canadiens plus the Bell Centre for a bargain-basement price ten years ago when no other serious investors appeared, after Molson Breweries put their assets on the market.  He sold the club for eight years later for almost three times his initial purchase price.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

George Gillett Tom Hicks

That seems to be the story of George Gillett and his co-ownership history with the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premiership.
 
The tumultuous Gillett/Tom Hicks-Liverpool ownership reportedly will ltake a combined US$ 222 million in investment loss after the Liverpool FC board of directors agreed to sell the club to John Henry’s Boston Red Sox holding company.
 
 
 
 

 

The tumultuous Gillett/Tom Hicks-Liverpool ownership reportedly will ltake a combined US$ 222 million in investment loss after the Liverpool FC board of directors agreed to sell the club to John Henry’s Boston Red Sox holding company.

That seems to be the story of George Gillett and his co-ownership history with the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premiership.

The tumultuous Gillett/Tom Hicks-Liverpool ownership reportedly will take a combined US$ 222 million in investment loss after the Liverpool FC board of directors agreed to sell the club to John Henry’s Boston Red Sox holding company.