The race to acquire Liverpool has begun after FSG declared the club’s sale in a surprising revelation on Monday, having been in command at Anfield since their £300 million takeover in 2010.
Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have sensationally declared that the club is for sale – and now a slew of investors will be vying to buy the legendary club.
“There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and reports of changes in ownership at EPL teams, and consequently we are questioned regularly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool,” FSG said in a statement released on Monday.
“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.”
Here are three candidates who could replace John Henry and co. at Anfield, 12 years on from their £300million takeover, and buy the club valued at a whopping £3.5billion by
The early favorite to take up the mantle, RedBird Capital Partners are an investment vehicle that already owns a 10 percent stake in Liverpool. Having stumped up £538m early last year, owner Gerry Cardinale refused to rule out fully owning the Reds, confirming at the Financial Times Business of Sports US Summit: “We did not underwrite that with that as the goal.
“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.”
Back in August, RedBird bought AC Milan in a deal worth more than £1bn. Its portfolio includes the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toulouse FC, the Rajasthan Royals, the YES Network, the SpringHill Company, Skydance Media, the XFL, OneTeam Partners, and Dream Sports.
Basketball legend LeBron James is another minority stakeholder at Anfield who could team up with RedBird, having purchased two percent of the club 11 years ago. In March 2021, James became a minority partner of FSG to strengthen his ties to Anfield along with business pals Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter.
James has previously spoken of owning an NBA team and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner said that the American icon would “weigh in” on decisions for the Reds. “I would welcome their thoughts,” Werner said of James and his business partners. “I consider Maverick to be one of my closest friends.
“I’ve spent hours with him talking about strategy, coaching, the lessons that I’ve learned from Jurgen Klopp, and the lessons that he’s learned as an astute observer of basketball. We have a very collaborative relationship, so I would actually say that their wisdom and their experience is going to be hugely helpful to us going forward.”
Middle East offers
In the most recent attempt to purchase Liverpool in the wake of the European Super League fiasco in April 2021, Mirror Football exclusively reported that principal owner Henry rejected an eye-watering offer for the club worth nearly £3bn. The bid, which came from the Middle East, was knocked back despite the Coronavirus pandemic costing the Reds around £120m in lost revenue.
Henry’s decision to invite offers could now pique the interest of the unconfirmed party, who should have better luck this time around given FSG’s dramatic change of stance, which was largely unexpected before it was revealed on Monday.
Another Middle East bidder’s luck could also be in; Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour reportedly failed with a £2bn bid to purchase Liverpool from FSG in late 2017 and early 2018. The Mail claimed that Sheikh Khaled’s purchase would’ve been the most expensive in football history at the time had it been approved.
Back then, the Reds confirmed that they weren’t up for sale, although made clear: “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.”
Sir Martin Broughton-led consortium
A familiar name to Liverpool fans, Sir Martin Broughton plotted to buy Chelsea earlier this year and signaled his intentions to return to football. As the former chairman of British Airways, Broughton was briefly Liverpool chairman in 2010 and is credited for brokering the Reds’ eventual £300m sale to FSG.