Bank bosses involved in a sale of Liverpool Football Club have asked a High Court judge to declare them not guilty of "any dishonesty or corruption".
Lawyers representing the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) told Mr Justice Peter Smith that former Liverpool owners Thomas Hicks and George Gillett had alleged a "grand conspiracy" but failed to produce "any evidence".
The bank's call for declarations of innocence - at a High Court hearing in London - marked the start of the latest round of civil litigation in the wake of the 2010 sale.
Hicks and Gillett launched legal action claiming that the club was sold at a "substantial undervalue" and said the RBS and Liverpool directors "deliberately" blocked their attempts to "refinance".
RBS bosses and directors dispute the allegations.
Richard Snowden QC, for the RBS, on Tuesday asked the judge to rule that there was no case to answer - and directors are expected to make a similar application if the bank succeeds.
"In short, RBS contends that it is entitled to declarations to the effect that RBS was not a party to any dishonesty or conspiracy in relation to the sale in October 2010 of Liverpool Football Club," said Mr Snowden, in written submissions given to Mr Justice Peter Smith.
"Messrs Hicks and Gillett (alleged) a 'grand conspiracy' involving RBS. More than a year later and despite an extensive review of documents they have signally failed to produce any evidence to support these allegations."
Hicks and Gillett say a trial is needed and complain that granting the RBS "the legal equivalent of a 'Get Out of Jail Free card"' would "stand justice on its head".
The hearing is expected to end later this week and the judge is then likely to reserve judgment to a later date.
Hicks and Gillett allege that the RBS unfairly "took control away" from them when it "enforced its rights to repayment against a borrower".
Their lawyers allege that the RBS brief to directors appeared to have been to "secure the sale of the assets as quickly as possible".
"Refinance was available and RBS could have been repaid in full," said Ali Malek QC, for Hicks and Gillett, in written arguments given to the judge.
"They were however so fixed on their objective of severing all links between the club and the former owners that a commercial approach was not followed."
He said Hicks and Gillett had a "powerful case" and told the judge that there was a "need for a trial".
Malek added: "To grant at this stage... the legal equivalent of a 'Get Out of Jail Free card' would be to stand justice on its head."
Liverpool was sold to New England Sports Ventures - headed by American businessman John W Henry - in a £300million deal on October 15 2010.
Hicks and Gillett, who are also American, tried and failed to block the sale after launching legal action in the High Court.
They also launched then halted legal action in the United States, claiming an "epic swindle".
Both subsequently launched damages claims against RBS and Liverpool directors Sir Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre.http://www.football365.co.za/story/0,22162,8698_7575111,00.html