Liverpool remain confident takeover will be completed

Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow is confident the proposed sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) will go ahead.

The £300m takeover would wipe out the club’s debt, ending the possibility that parent company Kop Holdings could be placed in administration.

Purslow told BBC Radio 5 live: “I’m completely focused on making sure the sale completes.

“I’m not contemplating administration and nobody should be.”

Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are set to oppose the sale of the club in the High Court because they value the Anfield outfit at double NESV’s bid.

Proceedings are likely to take place on Tuesday with the American pair’s Kop Holdings company owing £280m to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which must be paid by 15 October.

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Ireland Long-Term Sovereign Credit Rating Cut by S&P

Ireland’s long-term sovereign credit rating was cut one step to AA- from AA by Standard & Poor’s, which cited the projected cost of supporting the nation’s financial sector.

“The negative outlook reflects our view that a further downgrade is possible if the fiscal cost of supporting the banking sector rises further, or if other adverse economic developments weaken the government’s ability to meet its medium- term fiscal objectives,” S&P said today in a statement.

S&P said its new projections suggest that Ireland’s net general government debt will rise toward 113 percent of gross domestic product in 2012. That’s more than 1.5 times the median for the average of euro zone sovereign nations, and “well above” the debt burdens the New York-based firm said it projects for similarly rated countries in the region such as Belgium at 98 percent and Spain at 65 percent.

Football clubs set for reality check on pay

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a31752aa-a710-11df-90e5-00144feabdc0.html

As the new Premiership season kicks off in England on Saturday, more lower-league clubs find themselves battling winding-up petitions. This week Sheffield Wednesday, Cardiff City and Southend United made appearances in the High Court for that reason. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is no longer happy to overlook unpaid taxes.

New quarterly checks on team finances are around the corner, however.

As witnessed at Liverpool, whose heavily indebted US owners have disappointed fans, people are ever more cautious of potential buyers who may lack the financial backing and wherewithal they initially boast.

“Debt is not inherently bad,” says Ms Clark. “Debt associated with building a stadium is usually sensible. Debt to purchase a player is perhaps a less sensible business practice.”

But she is unlikely to be heeded. Much of the joy related to clubs’ triumphs over the Revenue have to do with one fact: player trading bans can then be lifted, and clubs can get spending again.