Fenway Sports Group, led by John Henry, is ready to cash in on Liverpool after purchasing the club for £300 million in 2010 and profit handsomely from their trophy-winning asset.
Liverpool FC has been put up for sale by John W Henry, who is asking a whopping 4 billion pounds for the club.
Henry’s Fenway Sports Group (FSG) has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to handle the sale of Liverpool FC, which he purchased for £300 million in 2010.
The prospect of a massive profit, the failure of the European Super League project, in which Henry was a key figure, and a sense that it will become increasingly difficult to compete financially with state-backed clubs have convinced Liverpool’s owners that it is time to cash in.
FSG representatives refused to confirm whether the entire club is now for sale. Still, a statement said: “FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool.” FSG has previously stated that “we would consider new shareholders under the right terms and conditions if it was in the best interests of Liverpool and a club.”
The £4.25 billion his compatriot Todd Boehly paid for Chelsea appears to have turned Henry’s head. There is a growing suspicion that FSG has accepted they cannot compete with Sheikh Mansour and, in the future, the Saudi owners of Newcastle United.
Despite the high asking price for the six-time European champions, a takeover is expected to be fiercely contested. RedBird Capital Partners, led by Gerry Cardinale, who purchased an 11 percent stake in FSG for £538 million last year, could be an early bidder.
He told the Financial Times Business of Sports US Summit: “I definitely would not exclude it (owning Liverpool) as it would be a privilege, but I think Liverpool is in fantastic hands with the current group.”
However, those hands apparently want to sell the club, and interest is expected from the Middle East and Sir Jim Ratcliffe. The Oldham-born billionaire, founder, and CEO of chemical conglomerate Ineos, already owns the French club Nice and a significant stake in the Mercedes Formula One team. He has previously expressed an interest in purchasing Manchester United, but the Glazers have informed him that the club is not for sale.
On the other hand, Liverpool is now for sale, and even if Henry compromised and sold only a portion of the club, he would still profit handsomely from his initial investment.
Three top candidates to buy Liverpool FC as owners FSG put Anfield club up for sale.
According to sources, Liverpool’s valuation could exceed £4 billion because of the club’s trophy-winning history, global fan base, and commercial value.
In a statement, FSG said: “There have been several recent changes of ownership and rumors of changes in ownership at EPL clubs, and 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 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 Forbes.
Redbird Capital partners
The early favorite to take up the mantle, RedBird Capital Partners is an investment vehicle with 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.”
LeBron James, the basketball legend, is another minority stakeholder at Anfield who could join forces with RedBird, having purchased 2% of the club 11 years ago. James, along with business associates Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter, became a minority partner of FSG in March 2021 to strengthen his ties to Anfield. James has previously expressed interest in owning an NBA team, and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner stated that the American icon would “weigh in” on the Red’s decisions. Werner said of James and his business partners, “I would welcome their thoughts.” “I count Maverick as 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.
Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan
Middle East bidders could also be in; 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 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 line with the continued development and growth of the club and the team.”
Sir Martin Broughton-led consortium
Sir Martin Broughton, a familiar name to Liverpool fans, plotted to buy Chelsea earlier this year, signaling his intention to return to football. Broughton, the former chairman of British Airways, was briefly Liverpool chairman in 2010 and is credited with arranging the Reds’ eventual £300 million sale to FSG.
When Roman Abramovich decided to sell Chelsea 12 years later, Broughton, a lifelong Blues fan, put his consortium in the running. He was set to receive significant financial backing from Creative Artists Agency, a US firm whose portfolio includes the football agency Base and Evolution Media Capital.
Lord Sebastian Coe was his right-hand man in his attempt to buy Chelsea. However, given his background as a Conservative MP, re-engaging him may be difficult.