LONDON (AFP) Liverpools board of directors agreed Wednesday to sell the English football giants to the owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, despite fierce opposition from the clubs current American owners. The deal with New England Sports Ventures (NESV) is subject to approval by the Premier League and a legal battle with Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who bought the club three years ago and tried to scupper the latest sale. I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive, Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton said in a statement on the clubs website. If confirmed, the deal will signal the end of Hicks and Gilletts turbulent three-year ownership of Liverpool, a proud sporting institution which remains the most successful club in the history of English football. The American owners have been the subject of fierce protests from Liverpool fans, who have blamed them for a steady decline in the clubs on-field fortunes and failure to deliver on a promised new stadium. Around 7,000 supporters demonstrated on Sunday before the club suffered a shock home defeat to Blackpool, a new humiliation which sent Liverpool into the relegation zone and confirmed their worst start to a season for 57 years. New manager Roy Hodgson has also had limited funds available to rebuild a squad which failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, another embarrassing blow for the five-time European champions. Hicks and Gillett were under pressure to sell the club with an October 15 deadline looming for repayment of their 282-million-pound (448-million-dollar) loans from the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia. Liverpool were put up for sale by the unpopular duo in April, who initially sought an asking price of around 800 million pounds, a figure that they subsequently dropped to 600 million. The pair on Tuesday night attempted to remove two senior figures from the clubs board of directors before a meeting to review two offers, one from NESV and the other reportedly from Asia. In a dramatic twist late Tuesday, Liverpool released an unusual statement saying that Hicks and Gillett had tried to oust managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre from the board. Hicks wanted to replace them with his son, Mack Hicks, and a close associate, Lori Kay McCutcheon. Broughton hit out at Hicks and Gillett, saying: I am only disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale. He said the board had met NESV in Boston, London and Liverpool in recent weeks and he was immensely impressed with what they have achieved and with their vision for Liverpool Football Club. By removing the burden of acquisition debt, this offer allows us to focus on investment in the team, he added. Broughton was appointed as independent chairman as part of the sale process in April, meaning Gillett and Hicks no longer had a majority vote and could not prevent any sale that the board viewed as being in the clubs best interests. New England Sports Ventures is a group headed by John William Henry II and Tom Werner, who are credited with transforming the fortunes of the Red Sox following their takeover of the club in 2002. Philip Long, partner in the football interest group at accountancy and consultancy group PKF, told AFP: This deal could be the answer for Liverpool. It has to be a buyer who has reasonable resources, because the key thing is that they have to purchase the club without taking on huge debt to do so. That was the problem for Hicks and Gillett they took on massive acquisition debt to buy the club. Meanwhile the Liverpool Spirit of Shankly supporters group, which has led protests against the current owners, reacted with cautious optimism to news of a possible deal. I think there is cautious optimism and hopefully the football club will finally get rid of Hicks and Gillett, the spokesman said. After three troublesome years supporters will want to see the back of them quickly.