Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), sensationally confirmed that the club were up for sale on Monday. But who are the most likely candidates to take over at Anfield?
The race is on to purchase Liverpool as FSG confirmed they “would consider new shareholders” following reports the club is up for sale.
FSG bought the Merseyside club in 2010 for £300 million and has since upgraded Anfield, developed a £50 million state-of-the-art training centre and brought the club back to its former glories on the pitch.
Upon hiring Jurgen Klopp as manager in 2015, the club won their first league title in 30 years alongside a Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
In turn, whatever the outcome of FSG’s search for new investment in Liverpool, the club looks like a far more attractive proposition than it did 12 years prior. With Liverpool valued by Forbes at a whopping £3.5 billion, here are the three candidates most likely to buy the Reds.
RedBird Capital Partners
RedBird, an investment vehicle that already owns a 10 percent stake in Liverpool, are the early favourites to take over the club outright.
The New York-based company has links to LeBron James and rapper Drake and claims to have more than $7 billion (£6.1 billion) of assets under its management.
Last year owner Gerry Cardinale invested £538 million into the Reds, and at the time refused to rule out further investment in the club.
“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.”
However, the comments were made before the investment firm bought AC Milan in a deal worth over £1 billion.
RedBirds ownership of the Serie A giants could be a potential stumbling block in any plans to be majority shareholders of Liverpool as there are strict rules in place when it comes to owners of different clubs meeting in UEFA competitions.
RedBird’s portfolio also 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.
Middle East offers
Only last year, there was reported interest from an unnamed Middle Eastern buyer to buy Liverpool.
According to a Mirror report a £3 billion bid came in for the club from a buyer from the region, but it was knocked back despite Covid having cost the club around £120 million in lost revenue.
However, FSG’s decision to put Liverpool on the market may have piqued the interest of the unnamed party.
In 2017 the Daily Mail also reported that Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, part of the ruling Abu Dhabi family, met with FSG over months with a view to buying Liverpool.
The publication claims Sheikh Khaled, who is the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, proposed a £ 2 billion takeover with a Chinese minority shareholder.
At the time, FSG released a statement insisting the deal had broken down before Sheikh Khaled and FSG’s majority shareholder John W Henry had met.
A consortium led by Sir Martin Broughton
Sir Martin Broughton, the former head of British Airways, was briefly Liverpool’s chairman in 2010 and brokered Liverpool’s sale to FSG at the time.
The 75-year-old is a Chelsea fan and earlier this year teamed up with Sebastian Coe to build up a billionaire consortium to take over the London club.
Part of the consortium was seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
This signalled that the business mogul may have a desire to return to the world of football.