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Ayre: Liverpool was Close to Financial Collapse
ESPN FC, April 25th, 2014 3:11PM

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TAGS:  england, soccer business

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Liverpool, which is on course to win its first-ever Premier League title, was on the brink of financial collapse in 2010 when Boston-based Fenway Sports Group purchased the club, managing director Ian Ayre has revealed. Fenway, led by John W Henry and Tom Werner, was able to take control at Anfield after a ruling by London’s High Court forced the previous regime of Tom Hicks and George Gillett to sell. Ayre claims that Hicks and Gillett nearly drove the club into administration, or insolvency.

Despite reporting an annual loss of 49.8 million pounds ($83.7 million) in its most recent financial report in March, Ayre believes that Liverpool is in better shape now, having already secured UEFA Champions League qualification for next year, while sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with three games to go.

"It is no secret, it's like that TV program -- Seconds From Disaster. We were sort of in that vein. It was horrific to see the football club in that state,” Ayre said, adding: "I do not think there was a Liverpool fan in the city or anywhere who was not worried we would not get to this position we are in now, for many reasons. People sometimes forget how bad it was. I speak to people now and they have really short memories. When you think about that day when we tipped it over the edge and finally pulled it back, we have come such a long way."

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