Liverpool owners FSG open to selling shares to expand $8bn empire

Date published: Tuesday 13th October 2020 12:46 - Samuel Bannister

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Liverpool’s owners are considering selling some of their shares to a corporation which has connections to Richard Scudamore and Damien Comolli, according to reports.

The Fenway Sports Group have been running Liverpool since 2010, overseeing the club’s rise back to the top of English football which culminated in a Premier League title win last season.

Now, according to France Football (via Sport Witness), they are considering selling some of their shares, with 25 per cent of shares in FSG on offer.

Two potential shareholders have already been identified. Billy Beane and Gerry Cardinale are expected to receive the first shares.

The pair are in charge of the RedBall Acquisition Corp, a US-based organisation which began operating in 2020. Previously, Beane was the subject of the Moneyball book and film about baseball economics.

Beane is also a minority owner of Championship club Barnsley and Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar.

Reports from The Athletic back in August suggested that RedBall want to acquire a Premier League team.

The special purpose acquisition company has already employed the services of Scudamore to offer his expertise on the English top flight. Scudamore was Premier League executive chairman between 1999 and 2018.

There is another familiar connection to the group interested in buying shares. Cardinale recently bought Ligue 2 club Toulouse, whose chairman is former Liverpool sporting director Comolli.

During his previous stint with Liverpool, Comolli oversaw the signings of players such as Jordan Henderson, Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll and Charlie Adam.

 

Liverpool to follow Red Bull model?

Should RedBall buy a stake in FSG, as John Henry reportedly desires (as per the Financial Times), the company would become publicly listed on the stock market and worth around €8bn (£6.1bn). The Wall Street Journal also backs up these claims.

RedBall are seeking to raise €1bn to invest in the deal.

The Times adds that FSG want to expand their empire by buying a European football club. Their aim is to become the “most powerful international sports conglomerate”.

In doing so, they could follow a model similar to that used by Red Bull, who have bought clubs in Germany (RB Leipzig), Austria (RB Salzburg), the USA (New York Red Bulls) and other countries.

Liverpool are already aware of the benefits of that model, having signed Takumi Minamino from Salzburg and Naby Keita from Leipzig in recent years. Sadio Mane also played for Salzburg in the past.

While they are open to giving up a minority stake in Liverpool, FSG are not considering an outright sale of the club. The investment would also affect the baseball team they own, the Boston Red Sox.

READ MORE: Liverpool, Man Utd fronting radical new ‘Project Big Picture’ proposal

 

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