New England Sports Ventures, the sports investment group led by Red Sox owner John Henry, successfully completed the purchase of Liverpool F.C., a
football soccer club that plays in the English Premier League. The £300 million deal (roughly $480 million) was officially announced late Friday morning, and ends a litigious week for all involved.
NESV was all but guaranteed to be awarded the club after Singapore billionaire Peter Lim withdrew his £320 million bid. The team's previous owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett -- possibly "the two most unpopular men in England" (seemingly a very safe bet) -- lost their battle in court to retain ownership, and then also "withdrew a court action in Texas that attempted to block the sale" (though they still plan to file a lawsuit, "claiming their removal as owners of Liverpool has been '"an extraordinary swindle'").
But enough of that for now, because now is a time for celebration.
"Champagne has been popped," Globe reporter Stan Grossfeld said.
Via the official release put out on Liverpool's site, John Henry had this to say:
"On behalf of the entire NESV partnership, I want to express how incredibly proud and humbled we are to be confirmed as the new owners of Liverpool FC. We regard our role as that of stewards for the Club with a primary focus on returning the Club to greatness on and off the field for the long-term. We are committed first and foremost to winning. We have a history of winning, and today we want LFC supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great Club."
Roy Hodgson, the club's manager, seems just as excited:
"A cloud has been lifted from this football club," Liverpool FC manager Roy Hodgson told the Telegraph. "For this long drawn-out court battle to take place and Liverpool's name to be on the television screens and in the newspapers every day for anything other than positive reasons has been a bad time."
Liverpool faces Everton Saturday at 8:30 a.m. EST.