Boston Red Sox Buy Liverpool: Profiling The Club's Board Of Directors

The Guardian is all over the Liverpool sale, including a piece by Gregg Roughley profiling the five members of Liverpool's Board of Directors - from the well known to North American sports fans to the little known to the Kop faithful.

We knew about Tom Hicks, George Gillett and Mark Broughton. Though overshadowed of late, Christian Purslow is known to many, but only those who follow Liverpool's politics on the daily recognize the name Ian Arye.

The Guardian gave a brief run-down of these players. We augment:

Tom Hicks, Co-Owner

A name known to most North American sports fans, Hicks is the current owner of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars and the ignominious former owner of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers.

While owner of the Stars the franchise won the Stanley Cup in 1999, though it says something for what happened with the Rangers that two facets of Hicks' baseball ownership overshadow that accomplishment.

First, Hicks authorized the notorious Alex Rodriguez contract: a 10-year, $252 million dollar deal that brought the then-Seattle Mariner shortstop to Arlington. Texas dumped the contract four years into the deal, trading Rodriguez to the New York Yankees.

Second, a minor quibble: the Rangers ended-up bankrupt.

Along with George Gillett, Hicks has owned Liverpool F.C. since February 2007 when they were approved to buy the club from David Moores.

George Gillett, Co-Owner

Gillett, who made his money in television broadcasting, is best known in North America as the former owner of the Montreal Canadiens, the most successful franchise in the history of the National Hockey League.  Gillett bought the Canadiens in 2001 for US$185 million, selling the team in 2009 for Cdn$550 million.

Gillett and Tom Hicks had frequently been at odds over the running of Liverpool, with Gillett coming close to selling his shares to a Dubai-based group two years ago.

Martin Broughton, Chairman

Broughton was brought in st club chairman in April of this year, a move thought to appease creditors, with Hicks and Gillett's debts to the Royal Bank of Scotland threatening the club's ownership.

A Chelsea fan, Broughton was brought in specifically to oversee the sale of the club. His includion on the board meant Hicks and Gillett no longer held enough votes to block a sale of the club.

Today's sale was a result of Broughton exercising his power - aligning the rest of the board's votes against Hicks and Gillett, forcing the sale. Expect the owners to challenge the sale, though Broughton is confident the board's decision will hold-up.

Christian Purslow, Managing Director

A 46-year-old Harvard educated business man, Purslow has been overshadowed since Broughton was brought-on-board, but his predecessor - Rick Parry - was renown for being the ying to then-manager Rafa Benitez's yang.

Purslow's biggest accomplishments since joining Liverpool in June 2009 were negotiating the £80 million shirt sponsorship with Standard Chartered as well as overseeing the hiring of Roy Hodsgon as Benitez's replacement. 

In addition, Purslow has been vital in negotiating with the Royal Bank of Scotland to keep Liverpool stable while Hicks and Gillett's debt issues were being resolved.

As the sale to New England Sport Ventures was moving toward approval, Tom Hicks unsuccessfully tried to have Purslow replaced on the board of directors.

Ian Arye, Commercial Director

The true unknown amongst the board member, few beyond a club's most ardent supporters know a club's commercial director. Arye has been the club's commercial director since 2007 when he came over Total Sports Asia, having run the consultancy which advises entities on Asian marketing strategies.

A former CEO of Huddersfield Town, Arye is a born-and-raise Liverpudlian and a life-long Red.

Hicks also tried to replace Arye on the board of directors on Tuesday.

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