Soccer

UK judge says he doesn't trust ex-Liverpool owners

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LONDON (AP)

A judge at London's High Court said Wednesday that he doesn't trust the Americans who used to own Liverpool, as they pursue legal action over the enforced sale of the club.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. lost control of Liverpool in what they claimed was an ''epic swindle'' by club directors and a bank in October 2010.

The Boston Red Sox ownership group bought the 18-time English champions for a cut-price 300 million pounds (then $476 million).

''I do not trust your clients,'' Judge Peter Smith told lawyers representing Hicks and Gillett. ''(They) have demonstrated ... that if it suits them they will abuse the process.''

Smith refused to grant Hicks and Gillett ''full and unrestricted'' access to private documents in the litigation over fears of ''potential misconduct.''

Hicks and Gillett tried and failed to block the sale of Liverpool before launching damages claims in which they alleged that the club was sold at a ''substantial undervalue.'' They claimed that the Royal Bank of Scotland and then-Liverpool directors had ''deliberately'' blocked their attempts to refinance the club's debt.

Hicks is a former owner of baseball's Texas Rangers and Gillett used to own the NHL's Montreal Canadiens.



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