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Is Liverpool Up for Grabs? Reports Of Potential Sale Make Waves In Premier League
Fenway Sports Group is reportedly exploring a sale of the legendary Premier League franchise.
After a tumultuous and erratic season, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool may now be able to add a “For Sale” sign to their laundry list of distractions as franchise owner Fenway Sports Group (FSG) is reportedly looking into offers for the fabled Premier League team.
According to the New York Times, FSG has enlisted the help of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to explore a potential sale, citing two sources with knowledge of the situation.
If that is, indeed the case, Jeff Bezos might want to hit the pause button on his rumored interest in buying the Washington Commanders because Liverpool isn’t just one of the most storied franchises in England, it’s one of the most revered sports teams on the planet. In FSG’s 12-year run in owning the Reds, the team’s soared to cosmic heights, eclipsing it’s 30-year title-less drought by winning the Premier League championship in 2020 and just about every other major honor in the sport. Along the journey to glory, the team’s popularity skyrocketed, resulting in a massive value boost from its $340 million in 2011 when FSG purchased it to a current Forbes valuation of $4.45 billion. Using Chelsea’s recent sale of roughly $3 billion as a comparison, Liverpool figures to fetch even more.
For its part, Liverpool acknowledged the rumors, but steered clear of confirming the club was for sale.
“There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and rumors of changes in ownership at EPL clubs and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group's ownership in Liverpool," 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.”
FSG, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, has long looked for ways to boost Liverpool's revenues, with John W. Henry participating in the widely reviled and ill-fated European Super League proposal in 2021, in which Europe's top club teams attempted to form their own exclusive league with an eye toward divvying up what would have been massive broadcast revenues. But the idea crashed and burned amid immediate fan outrage, prompting Henry to issue an on-camera apology to the Liverpool faithful.
“I want to apologize to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours,” Henry stated. “It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.”
That same year, the group sold an 11 percent stake in FSG for $743 million to RedBird Capital Partners which they then reinvested to own a majority of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as renovations at Anfield.
The news of a potential sale has predictably sparked a wave of speculation as to who may step in to buy the club. Kuwait Sport TV analyst Adel Al-Mishry reported that FSG has already struck a deal with an unnamed party from Qatar. And according to The Daily Mirror, a Dubai-based investment group is reportedly also highly motivated to purchase the team, and it’s currently pondering a £4.3 billion bid. Neither of those reports have been confirmed and, given the rampant rumor-mongering that typically surrounds dealmaking within European football, should probably be taken with a healthy dose of salt.
However, if FSG does decide to pull the trigger on a sale, the presumably deep-pocketed purchaser just may deliver another seismic shift to the Premier League.
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