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Ex-Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks angry after losing club

15 October 10 21:54 GMT

Liverpool's former co-owner Tom Hicks says he is devastated after claiming the club was wrestled from him in an "epic swindle".

Hicks and co-owner George Gillett lost the Anfield outfit to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) on Friday after a lengthy takeover saga.

"There are better owners of Liverpool than the owners of Boston Red Sox [NESV]," Hicks told Sky Sports.

"I'm shocked, devastated and frustrated. I'm very disappointed."

He added: "It has hurt my family tremendously. This is a very valuable asset that was swindled away from me in an epic swindle."

Hicks, who took over the Anfield outfit with fellow American Gillett in 2007, felt the pair had been victims of an "organised conspiracy over many months".

The duo lost the club in a £300m takeover deal by American John W Henry, owner of NESV.

"Martin Broughton [Liverpool chairman] wanted a good PR event in his life and wanted to be seen as the guy that got rid of those Americans - he sold to another group of Americans," stated 64-year-old Hicks.

He claimed that he and Gillett had the funds to pay off Royal Bank of Scotland, the club's major creditors who were owed £237m, but were prevented from doing so by the bank, Broughton and employees of the club.

Hicks also stated he had identified a buyer who he believed would have been better for Liverpool than NESV, but people inside the club undermined his attempts to reach a deal.

"The interested buyers that we knew would be the right type of buyers for the club - look what's happened to Manchester City now with their new ownership - that's the kind of buyer we were trying to find for Liverpool," he commented.

However, potential buyers were scared off by "distress chatter" and an "organised internet terrorism campaign", he added.

Admitting that the club had "a little too much debt, no question", Hicks - who became a hate figure among some Liverpool supporters - accepted that "something went wrong with my ability to communicate with the fans. I am saddened by it."

But the Texan businessman added: "We spent £300m on players - £150m net on players. You never hear about that in the media."

Hicks also said he hoped Liverpool's planned new stadium at Stanley Park would be built. Work has yet to start on the 60,000-seater venue because of funding difficulties.

"We had the chance to build a world-class stadium in Liverpool and I hope the group that took the club today builds that stadium", he stated.

And Hicks hit out at former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who left the club by mutual consent in June after six years.

"Rafa never wanted to take accountability for his own results. He would blame the owners. Alex Ferguson doesn't do that at Manchester United," he commented.

Hicks and Gillett dropped a claim for £1bn damages in a US court but could take legal action in England to get compensation.

"This isn't over," said Hicks.

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