There were celebrations outside London’s High Court on Wednesday as a judge ruled on the sale of Liverpool football club.
Delighted fans mobbed members of the board of directors who had won their case against the club’s unpopular American owners.
Barring an appeal, the decision meant the sale of Liverpool should be able to go ahead.
It has to be sold to pay off the loan from Royal Bank of Scotland which owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett took out nearly four years ago to buy one of the world’s most famous sporting institutions.
If RBS does not get a more than 250 million euros loan repayment on Friday the club faces being put into administration.
That money should now come from the sale to New England Sports Ventures, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, which said it has a binding agreement to buy Liverpool and is looking forward to concluding the deal.
In a statement it said: “We are ready to move quickly and help create the stability and certainty which the Club needs at this time. It is time to return the focus to the Club itself and performances on the pitch.”
But there is another potential buyer – billionaire Peter Lim – who has said he is ready to make an increased cash bid for the club of 360 million euros – more than New England Sports Ventures is paying.
From his base in Singapore, Lim said he welcomed the High Court decision and urged the Liverpool board to consider all sales options.
“I am asking the board to run a full and fair process that enables all of the offers to be considered on their merits before the future of the club is decided.
The 57-year-old former stockbroker added: “I have delivered my offer to the board and believe that my ownership represents the best option for the future of the club and its supporters.”