Stuff that matters

Liverpool’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, has appointed two major investment banks to attract fresh investment and establish how much potential buyers would pay for the club. FSG has enlisted Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in a sales presentation for Liverpool which raises the possibility of its 12-year tenure at Anfield coming to an end.

The Boston-based company, however, is understood to have no immediate plans to sell a majority stake in Liverpool and considers the move an exploratory step at this stage.

FSG has been open to outside investment for several years and has confirmed it would sell a stake “if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club”. Liverpool’s owner wishes to test the market after the recent sale of Chelsea for £4.3bn to a consortium led by the American billionaire Todd Boehly. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will head the process of sounding out potential investors and putting a value on the Premier League club. It remains to be seen where the search will lead.

In a statement released on Monday, FSG confirmed: “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.”

Since buying Liverpool for £300m in 2010 the ownership has overseen success on the pitch under Jürgen Klopp, the redevelopment of two stands at Anfield stadium and the construction of a new £50m training complex in Kirkby. A new £80m stand on Anfield Road, that will increase the stadium’s capacity to above 61,000, is due to be completed in time for the start of next season.

In March 2021 FSG sold a 10% stake in the entire company, including the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the Nascar team RFK Racing, to RedBird Capital Partners for £543m. That enabled the company to absorb the impact of the pandemic but it is seeking more investment in Liverpool to be able to compete with clubs such as Manchester City.

Klopp enjoys a close personal and working relationship with the FSG president, Mike Gordon, and signed a third contract extension at Liverpool only seven months ago, committing his future to the club until 2026. Liverpool’s chairman, Tom Werner, insisted FSG continued to see the club as a “long-term project” only in May.

FSG agreed to the creation of a supporters’ board at Liverpool following its ill-fated attempt to join a Super League, giving fans representation at board and executive level. The Spirit of Shankly supporters’ union, which is represented on the supporters’ board, has called on FSG to clarify its intentions for Liverpool and to engage them in any potential sale.

SOS said in a statement: “We have seen reports today that FSG have put Liverpool FC up for sale. Spirit of Shankly have written to LFC for clarification and will await a reply before making comment. We do, however, expect both the Supporters Board and SOS to be engaged in some part of the process so that supporters are front and centre of any sale and the first thoughts of prospective owners.”