A High Court judge today said he did not trust two American businessmen who used to own Liverpool Football Club.
Mr Justice Peter Smith said Tom Hicks and George Gillett had "demonstrated" that they would "abuse" the court process if it suited them.
Texas-based Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett lost control of Liverpool when the club was sold to New England Sports Ventures - headed by another American businessman, John W Henry - in a £300 million deal in October 2010.
The judge criticised Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett when hearing evidence at the High Court in London during the latest phase of litigation launched following the sale.
And he refused to allow Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to have "full and unrestricted" access to private documentation featuring in the litigation because of fears about "potential misconduct".
The judge said an American lawyer representing Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett had twice misled an American court in October 2010 following the Liverpool sale.
He said Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett had given "no credible explanation" for that lawyer's behaviour and suggested they had taken a "Manuelesque - 'I know nothing'" stance.
"I do not trust your clients," the judge today told British lawyers representing Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett in the current High Court litigation.
"(They) have demonstrated ... that if it suits them they will abuse the process."
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