Most Likely Buyers for Liverpool FC as FSG puts them up for sale
The race to purchase Liverpool FC has begun following FSG’s shocking declaration on Monday to put the club on sale.
Fenway Sports Group made the surprising announcement that the club was up for sale. And now, a swath of investors will be eager to enter the race to buy the illustrious team.
“There have been several recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at EPL teams. And we are questioned constantly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool,”. This is what read a statement from FSG released on Monday, setting off a frenzy in the football world.
Statement further read:
“FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool. FSG has said before that under the right terms and conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club. FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch.”
Twelve years after their £300 million takeover, here are three possibilities which could succeed John Henry and company at Anfield and purchase the club, which Forbes values at an astounding £3.5 billion.
Parties interested in buying Liverpool FC after FSG put it on sale
RedBird Capital Partners, an investment company with a 10% stake in Liverpool, is the early favourite to assume the mantle. Owner Gerry Cardinale did not rule out entirely owning the Reds after spending £538 million early last year. They said at the Financial Times Business of Sports US Summit: “We did not underwrite that with that as the intention.
“I definitely would not exclude it as it would be a privilege but I think that Liverpool is in fantastic hands with the current group. We are there to support and play a supporting role where we can but that is a phenomenal team from ownership and management all the way down.”
RedBird bought AC Milan in an agreement for more than £1 billion back in August. The Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toulouse FC, Rajasthan Royals, YES Network, SpringHill Company, Skydance Media, XFL, OneTeam Partners, and Dream Sports are among the teams in its portfolio.
Another minority shareholder at Anfield who might collaborate with RedBird is basketball legend LeBron James, who bought 2% of the team 11 years ago. Along with business associates Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter, James joined FSG as a minority partner in March 2021 to further his ties to Anfield.
Middle East offers
After the ESL failed in April 2021, Henry reportedly turned down an offer for the team for around £3 billion. This was the most recent attempt to buy Liverpool. Despite the Coronavirus outbreak costing the Reds over £120 million in lost revenue, the Middle Eastern bid was rejected.
The unconfirmed party may now be interested in Henry’s choice to make bids. And given FSG’s abrupt shift in position. It was highly unforeseen before it was made public on Monday—they might have a greater chance this time.
Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, another bidder from the Middle East, might also strike it lucky.
A £2 billion attempt by Sheikh Mansour’s relatives to buy Liverpool from FSG in late 2017 and early 2018 failed. The Mail said that, had Sheikh Khaled’s acquisition been authorised, it would have been the most costly in football history at the time.
“What the ownership has said, again clearly and consistently, is that under the right terms and conditions, we would consider taking on a minority investor if such a partnership was to further our commercial interests in specific marketplaces and in line with the continued development and growth of the club and the team,” the Reds stated at the time.
Sir Martin Broughton-led consortium
Sir Martin Broughton is a well-known figure among Liverpool supporters. Earlier this year, he plotted to acquire Chelsea and clarified his desire to get back into the game. Broughton was Liverpool’s interim chairman in 2010 and is credited with brokering the Reds’ final £300 million sale to FSG as the former chairman of British Airways.
When Abramovich made the decision to sell Chelsea, Broughton, a passionate Blues fan, entered the fray with his consortium. He expected significant financial support from Evolution Media Capital and CAA whose portfolio includes the football agency Base.
Lord Sebastian Coe acted as his right-hand man during his quest to purchase Chelsea. But getting him back on board would be challenging given his history as a Conservative MP.