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Family owner resigns as director of Liverpool FC

Tom Hicks Jr, son of the co-owner of the English Premier League football club Liverpool FC, resigned yesterday as a director of the club and its parent company Kop Holdings.

His resignation came following a severe backlash from the club's fans over an alleged abusive email sent by Hicks Jr to a fan. In a statement Hicks Jr said: "I am very sorry for my harmful words. To the fans and club, please accept my sincerest apologies. I do not want my actions to take away from the club's future, therefore I am resigning from the board."

The club announced it has elected three new board members in the wake of Hicks Jr's resignation. "These are Philip Nash, LFC chief financial officer, Ian Ayre, LFC commercial director and Casey Coffman, executive vice-president of Hicks Holdings," the statement said. The new directors will sit alongside Hicks Jr's father Tom Hicks, co-owner George Gillett, his son Foster and the club's managing director Christian Purslow.

Hicks and Gillett took over at Liverpool in March 2007 in a deal worth £400 million, but have had a mixed run of fortune since being in control. The club's supporters have continually voiced their dissatisfaction with the level of debt taken on by the American owners and the club's success has been mixed.

For both Gillett and Hicks, their investment in Liverpool FC is only a part of their wider business empires. Gillett started Booth Creek Ski Holdings and Corporate Brand Foods America in the 1990s and all his four sons work one of his businesses. Aside from his investment in Liverpool, Hicks also owns hockey franchise the Dallas Stars along with the Texas Rangers baseball team.

This announcement coincided with one from the Glazer family, owners of rival Premier League club Manchester United, on how they plan to refinance their debt. Part of the family's plan is to issue £500 million of bonds in an attempt to ease the immediate debt burden and allow the title-holders to continue spending on players. Here too fans have criticised the family owners for the level of debt the club has accumulated, most recent figures place it at £699 million. 

Picture: Gillett and Hicks in 2007

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