A lawyer specialising in shareholder disputes claims Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks’ request chief executive Rick Parry resigns is further evidence of the problems in resolving the long-term ownership of the club.
It was revealed Hicks had sent a three-page letter to Parry insisting he tender his resignation, as the battle for control at the club reached a new level of embarrassment.
The American was believed to have been enraged by Parry’s interview recently on BBC Radio Five Live in which he pleaded with Hicks and co-owner George Gillett to end the war between them and come to an agreement that would allow the club to move forward.
And Paul Lunt, a litigation partner and specialist in shareholder disputes and rights at North West law firm Brabners solicitors, believes the letter characterises the problems at Anfield.
“Reports that Tom Hicks has asked Rick Parry to resign demonstrate the increasing damage potentially caused to the club by the ongoing dispute between co-owners,” Lunt said.
“It also demonstrates the weakness of the position of both Hicks and Gillett, with neither individually holding total control of the business.
“Requests from a business owner for an employee to resign are rare in as much as the owner can normally impose his will and decide to sack an employee, if that is his wish.
“The fact that Hicks has asked for a resignation suggests that he cannot impose his will in that respect and demonstrates the problems in trying to manage a business effectively in these situations.
“I suspect that Hicks faces this difficulty because he doesn’t control the board of directors itself and because he may well be subject to restrictions on what he can do without Gillett’s consent by reason of what Hicks has called the ’partnership agreement’ between them.
“As a former shareholder who sold to Hicks and Gillett myself, I would be disappointed to see Parry forced out. He always presented as a real asset to the board and the club.”
Parry was in London at a Football Association hearing that rejected Javier Mascherano’s appeal against an extra two-match suspension imposed following his red card at Manchester United.
In a statement released to PA Sport, Parry made it clear he is prepared to take on Texan co-owner Hicks, saying: “It is my intention to remain focused on the job of serving Liverpool Football Club to the best of my abilities at this very important time of our season.”
Parry clearly believes he has the backing of Gillett, and it is known potential buyers Dubai International Capital have no plans to oust the man responsible for the day-to-day running of the club if they eventually buy out the Americans.
In a further development, DIC chief executive Sameer Al Ansari said the consortium would “still love to own” the club.
Sources close to Al Ansari also insisted he did not tell an Arabian business magazine DIC were prepared to pull out of negotiations.