Pep Lijnders has conducted a press conference in which he has defended Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group and praised them for tying down manager Jurgen Klopp to a new contract.
On Monday, David Ornstein of The Athletic revealed Liverpool had been put up for sale by FSG. They are inviting other major businesses to make offers for the club.
New reports claim FSG want £4billion to sell Liverpool. This is presumably a direct result of Todd Boehly’s consortium purchasing Chelsea for £4.25bn earlier this year.
Ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup match against Derby County on Wednesday, Liverpool assistant coach Lijnders was asked about the potential takeover.
He jumped to FSG’s defence by pointing out several factors which demonstrate why they are good owners. He also downplayed the sale claims by referring to FSG’s follow-up statement, which claims they are ‘fully committed’ to the Reds but will entertain other parties wanting to join the ownership.
“Everybody who knows us as a club knows we have a strong relationship with the owners,” Lijnders said at a press conference (via Liverpool Echo). “I always know the owners act in best interests of the club and always have done. The statement was very clear.
“You are just speculating [about a possible takeover]. Statement was clear. It’s nothing new for a club to try to find new investors. For me, they are good owners. They tied down one of the best managers in the world for seven plus years. That says a lot.
“They also tied down our top players. And we have a stable academy. They have invested in it, and they have invested in this training ground, one of the best in world football. It wasn’t easy to leave Melwood. Then there’s the Main Stand and the new stand.
‘Statement was really clear’, says Pep Lijnders
“If they weren’t good owners we wouldn’t be sat here. We have won a lot of cups and a lot of international prizes. Do I feel they are here for the long-term? I think the statement was really clear, to be honest.”
Lijnders was then asked about the Champions League draw. Liverpool will face Real Madrid in the round of 16, whom they lost to in the final last season.
“I don’t believe in revenge,” the coach responded. “It’s a new season and new teams. It’s an international clasico – two of the biggest clubs with so much history in this competition.”
On the Derby match and young players coming in, Lijnders added: “As we proved last year, this competition gives moments for talent but also the Academy. We will need to use the full squad again to compete if we want to go for the cups.”
“Derby have not been in an easy period. But the players want to break walls for the coach. They have a few injuries.”