It’s not every day that a Dallas district court spars with the High Court in London over the sale of the Liverpool Football Club. But, that is exactly what happened last week. For those who are not familiar with Tom Hicks, he is presently the owner of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, formerly the owner of the Texas Rangers, and now former Liverpool co-owner.
Last week, Hicks’ business entities instituted a law suit here in Dallas to essentially stop the sale of Liverpool FC. (The petition and temporary restraining order are below for review.) Liverpool was founded in 1892 and is worth approximately $822 million according to Forbes. With significant debt owed to the Royal Bank of Scotland, Hicks made the decision to sell Liverpool. The details and goings on of the proposed sale are set forth within the petition.
Utimately, the board of directors of the company that owns Liverpool was set to approve the sale of the club to strangely enough, John Henry and the New England Sports Group – the owners of the Boston Red Sox.
In response to the impending sale, Hicks filed the aforementioned lawsuit stating that “Plaintiffs bring this suit to save them from an epic swindle at the hands of rogue corporate directors and their co-conspirators.” Hicks didn’t think Henry was going to pay enough for the team.
On Wednesday of last week, Judge Jim Jordan of the 160th Court here in Dallas entered a temporary restraining order that prevented the sale from going through. In response, the following day, the British High Court entered an anti-suit injunction giving Hicks a deadline to end the Texas suit. (Take a look at the Guardian newspaper’s blog on the events for more detail.) Ultimately, Hicks gave up on the TRO but has vowed to fight another day. The sale to Henry went through.
It is amazing that a Texas court would intervene in such a dispute. It would be akin to a British court meddling with the sale of the Cowboys. But, it highlights the nature of a temporary restraining order proceeding in Texas. With verified affidavits, a Plaintiff can apply for a TRO without the other side being there – even when it comes to the sale of a British football club.