David Ornstein insisted there was a “good chance” Fenway Sports Group (FSG) would sell Liverpool, while the journalist also revealed a timeframe for any future takeover.
On Monday Ornstein broke in the Athletic that Liverpool had been put up for sale and that a full sales presentation had been produced for interested parties.
However, the Reds owners FSG subsequently released a statement that read: “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 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.”
Will Liverpool be sold and if so when?
There has been a general sense of uncertainty over FSG’s current position – will FSG sell the club imminently? If so who is likely to buy the Reds?
On Monday Fan group Spirit of Shankly wrote to the club asking for clarification on the matter.
However, on the Athletic Football podcast, Ornstein attempted to shed some light on the situation. The journalist claimed that although there is a “good chance” a deal for the club will be completed, it is unlikely to be any time soon.
Ornstein claimed: “Fenway Sports Group have put Liverpool up for sale and they are open to the sale of the whole club, and that’s the difference here because when our story came out, there was quite a lot of reaction on social media suggesting this is just what we always knew, that a part of it may go.
“And a part of it may go. It may not turn out to be a full sale, but they have invited offers for a full sale.
“They have sent out a full sales deck or presentation, documentation inviting interested parties to come forward.
“This may be exploratory, I think this is the start of an evaluation process. FSG have explored situations in the past that haven’t come to anything, and this might not come to anything, a deal might not be done.
“But equally, there is a good chance of it now, and they, as they said in their statement that they released to us, in the right terms and conditions and circumstances, they are open to considering new shareholders.
“They didn’t say additional shareholders, and so it’s crystal clear what’s happening here in terms of their willingness to listen.
“I’ve spoken to people around the situation that think this is not imminent, but in the next couple of years, they may get there.
“Jurgen Klopp is aware of it and that means that this situation is incredibly interesting and important.”
Who will buy Liverpool?
Ornstein insisted that FSG have been “very clear” that the club will only be sold to the “right people”.
He also added that the club’s owners may have lost the urge to “keep pace” with the financial wealth of Manchester City and Newcastle, who have investment from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia respectively.
Ornstein explained: “Liverpool, FSG I should say, have been very clear internally from what I’ve heard that if they’re going to sell it needs to be – to what they consider – the right people, who exhibit the right political and sporting plans, intentions, values and continue the trajectory that they have been on.
“They may not feel that they have the ability to keep up in this arms race, and that’s certainly something that I have got the feeling of from our conversations around this story.
“Are they prepared to go for another five or 10 years and try and keep pace with these guys?
“Michael Edwards was sporting director, he decided to step aside after a decade and they listened to him in that hierarchy, still, from what I’ve heard.
“Whether it was more personal, in terms of his decision to end this cycle, or whether he felt others at the club should be doing the same, I don’t know precisely. I suspect he wasn’t alone in that feeling, and that perhaps explains a bit of this as well.”