Liverpool sale updates, including first FSG quotes, potential buyers, others who have been ruled out, asking price, and further information
Fenway Sports Group is looking for new shareholders at Liverpool and has not ruled out a full sale of the club.
The American group has hired prominent banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to examine market circumstances, overseen by principal owner John W Henry.
When news of a potential sale first broke early in November, FSG provided the following statement to the ECHO: “There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at EPL clubs and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool.
“FSG routinely receives interest expressions from outside parties looking to invest in Liverpool. As previously stated by FSG, if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a team, we would consider new shareholders under the proper terms and conditions.
FSG is still wholly dedicated to Liverpool’s success, both on and off the field.”
Here, we examine what has been said thus far, the reasons FSG may be selling, Jurgen Klopp’s perspective, and potential suitors for the club.
HUGE BLOW FOR THE EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE AND FUTURE PLOTS UEFA HANDED “TOTAL VICTORY”
Today’s development about the idea and any prospective future has given a severe blow to the teams who planned for a European Super League.
The European Superleague Company, or ESLC, was formed by Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus to challenge what they perceived as UEFA’s monopoly on the European game – and whether it could amount to a potential breach of EU antitrust law.
However, this morning, Athanasios Rantos, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice, issued his ‘Opinion,’ which strongly favors UEFA.
It implies that UEFA and FIFA have the authority to prevent the formation of new competitions, such as the failed Super League, and to punish teams that participate in breakaway schemes.
A NEW US INVESTMENT HAS ARRIVED IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE.
AFC Bournemouth has a new owner after American billionaire Bill Foley finalized his £150 million buyout of the Premier League team.
This comes as Liverpool’s US owners, FSG, and Manchester United’s Glazers have both stated their desire for new investors to step forward, either as part of a partial or full sale.
Foley also owns the NHL ice hockey team the Vegas Golden Knights, and his firm, Black Knight Football Club, has recently acquired a 100% ownership in the Cherries.
With this move, more than half of Premier League clubs now have some form of US ownership, including Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and West Ham.
WHAT THE FSG ARE THINKING AS THE DUST SETTLES ON THE LIVERPOOL SALE REVEAL
FSG is in no hurry to leave Liverpool as things currently stand. While valuations are starting to slow down in the rapid growth that has occurred over the past five years or so, where Liverpool’s shot up from £1.2bn to £3.3bn since 2017 according to figures from Forbes magazine, there is still expected to be a little more runway to grow before a plateau comes into effect and the view is that there would be an element of “leaving money on the table” for those that exit now.
According to well-placed sources in the US, while FSG principal John W. Henry would contemplate a full sale, he was not in any hurry to sell and was inclined to keep the club if no large bid came in. Some other owners, such as RedBird Capital Partners who control 11 per cent of FSG, were also said to be keen for Liverpool to remain as part of the FSG portfolio given the infancy of their FSG investment.
However, it is understood that some minority partners may be more willing to cash out, which is where the prompt to seek a market valuation of the club as a whole came from, with the arrival of a “strategic partner” to pick up the shareholding of anyone who wants out at a $4bn-plus valuation understood to be preferred to a full sale, though a sale would be on the table if a bidder comes in above and beyond that with a serious plan.
There will also be some potential bidders weighing their options.