Hicks will fight to keep Reds control

Broughton, appointed as chairman in April to oversee the sale of

the club, revealed on Wednesday that Hicks attempted to sack

managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian

Ayre and install his own people in order to block a

£300million deal with New England Sports Ventures (NESV). That

was blocked by Broughton, who insists Hicks signed agreements not

to oppose the sale when they received an extension to their

refinancing deal with Royal Bank of Scotland earlier this year.

Hicks and co-owner George Gillett stand to lose a total of

£144million if the NESV deal goes through. Hicks’ New

York-based spokesman Mark Semer said that Broughton’s claim was

disputed by the Americans. “There were no such undertakings given

to Broughton, the board has been legally reconstituted, and the new

board does not approve of this proposed transaction,” Semer told

Bloomberg News. After rejecting the attemped coup, which would have

seen Hicks’ son Mack and Lori McCuthcheon, of Hicks Holdings,

replace Purslow and Ayre, Broughton continued with the conference

call board meeting even though Hicks had put the phone down. The

chairman is confident he and the other two England-based members of

the board have acted appropriately, but they will not be able to

have that confirmed until the issue is thrashed out in court next

week.