While the talk of John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group's acquisition of Liverpool FC has largely gone by the wayside in the United States after the success and expense of this last offseason, things are not so quiet on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Texas billionaire and former Liverpool owner Tom Hicks has been active in the British court system, claiming himself to be the victim of an "epic swindle," costing him an alleged $200 million.
The possible impact of any such suit on the Red Sox is unclear. In the past, the ownership has sought to reassure Sox fans that the two ventures are essentially separate, but any major hit to the group could have relatively far-reaching consequences.
It's good news, then, that it doesn't seem like Hicks is getting very far. The Independent reports that not only has a judge upheld an injunction that prevents Hicks from bringing suit against Henry and co. in the United States (where the damages awarded could be much higher), but his ruling seems to suggest rather strongly that Hicks is on his last legs, legally speaking.
"I still find it difficult to imagine what possible real connection such a claim would have with any jurisdiction in the United States.
"The disputes concern an English asset, duties owed by English directors under English law to English companies, and corporate governance arrangements governed by English law.
"I think the time has come when they need to state their case or accept that they do not have one."
While I cannot claim to be the least bit familiar with the laws that would come into question, I can comment that Hicks is generally not seen in the best light over in the UK. He was unpopular during his tenure with Liverpool, and is seen by many as having just been involved to milk the team dry. That he would then claim he was swindled when the organization was sold out from under him strikes me as morally flimsy, if perhaps not legally.
Luckily, the judge doesn't seem to think it holds up too well in that area, either.