The Liverpool board’s attempts to
sell the club hit more obstacles on Wednesday when the American owners
launched a last-ditch bid to stop a sale despite a High Court judge
having ruled they could not block it.

The board remained
determined to sell the club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV),
owners of baseball’s Boston Red Sox, but while it met to discuss the
details a Texas court granted the owners a temporary injuction on the

Months of uncertainty appeared to be drawing to a close
earlier in the day when the ruling cleared the sale of the debt-laden
Premier League club and red-clad fans celebrated outside the court that
they would soon have new owners.

They will have to wait, though,
after American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett filed a lawsuit,
claiming damages of $1.6 billion for the “epic swindle” of trying to
sell the club at a knockdown price.

“The independent directors
consider the restraining order to be unwarranted and damaging and will
move as swiftly as possible to seek to have it removed,” Liverpool said in a statement on their website (

the London hearing, the board was in the process of agreeing a £300
million sale to NESV ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline to repay over £200
million worth of debt.

It had also received an increased £320
million offer from Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, who confirmed he was
still interested in the deal.

“They conspired to devise and
execute a scheme to sell LFC to NESV at a price they know to be hundreds
of millions of dollars below true market value (and well below Forbes
magazine’s recent independent $US822 million valuation of the club),” a
statement issued by Hicks’s spokesman Mark Semer said.

Earlier in
the day, fans wearing the club’s red shirts and scarves had pushed with
journalists to get into the tiny oak-panelled court room to hear
Justice Floyd deliver his almost hour-long verdict.

The stone corridors around Court 18 were also teeming with spectators straining to hear and make sense of the judgment.

delighted with the result,” chairman Martin Broughton said after
emerging from court, shouting over the noise of singing fans. “Justice
has been done. This will clear the way for the sale.”

ownership battle engulfing one of the world’s most famous sporting
institutions ended up in court after Hicks and Gillett tried to sack
members of the board last week in a another late bid to keep control of
the club.

The judge said the pair had been guilty of the
“clearest possible breach” of corporate governance rules and did not
grant the pair the right to appeal although they can still go to the
Court of Appeal.

NESV maintained this week that they had a binding agreement to buy the club.

are ready to move quickly and help create the stability and certainty
which the club needs at this time,” NESV said. “It is time to return the
focus to the club itself and performances on the pitch.”