Judge distrusts ex-Liverpool owners

Updated: April 25, 2012, 2:55 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- A judge at London's High Court said Wednesday he doesn't trust the Americans who used to own Liverpool as they pursue legal action over the forced sale of the Premier League club.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. lost control of Liverpool in what they claimed was an "epic swindle" by club directors and a bank in October 2010.

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox bought the 18-time English champions for $476 million.

"I do not trust your clients," Judge Peter Smith told lawyers representing Hicks and Gillett. "(They) have demonstrated ... that if it suits them they will abuse the process."

Smith refused to grant Hicks and Gillett "full and unrestricted" access to private documents in the litigation over fears of "potential misconduct."

Hicks and Gillett tried and failed to block the sale of Liverpool before filing damage claims, alleging that the club was sold at a "substantial undervalue." They claimed the Royal Bank of Scotland and then-Liverpool directors had "deliberately" blocked their attempts to refinance the club's debt.

Hicks is a former owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, while Gillett used to own the Montreal Canadiens.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press