Liverpool could be a target of a new source of investment, with Moneyball founder Billy Beane leading a special purpose acquisition group in a reported search for a Premier League club.
Liverpool’s owners FSG have not been shy in their openness to the idea of selling a minority stake in the club in return for the right investment.
They are open to offers from groups or individuals in acquiring a minority stake, having rebuffed proposals to buy the club outright.
And earlier this month, Beane – whose statistical approach to recruitment formed the basis of ‘Moneyball’ with the Oakland Athletics baseball team – and sports banker Gerry Cardinale disclosed they had raised $575 million (£438m).
The funds were raised through a company called RedBall Acquisition Corp through a SPAC and from various investors, with the New York Post claiming they are “shopping for a UK soccer team.”
But the acquisition target of a SPAC must be determined within two years otherwise the funds will be returned to investors, meaning the clock is already ticking – but they have already identified their main focus is “on professional sports franchises.”
The report goes on to claim England is at the centre of that focus as the Premier League‘s former executive chairman, Richard Scudamore is on the company’s board as a director.
And Liverpool, with their ties to Beane – who is friends with owner John W Henry and a fan of the club – have emerged as the headline target for a large minority investment.
With an existing relationship and deep respect for Beane from Liverpool’s owners, it would not be out of the realm of possibility that they would sanction a deal – but Tottenham were also namechecked in the report.
It is also interesting to note that Beane already holds a minority stake in Championship side Barnsley.
Using a SPAC, however, would see part of Liverpool’s ownership equity traded on the New York Stock Exchange, like Manchester United currently.
With money in their pocket and a deadline to complete any deal, RedBall are unlikely to want to waste time in their search, with the Reds undoubtedly a lucrative team to tap into.