Liverpool owner claims LeBron James will be “resource for players” after new investment

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With LeBron James among those to increase their investment in Fenway Sports Group last month, Liverpool chairman Tom Werner claims he will be a “resource for players.” 

James and his business partners Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter have become part of FSG, after increasing their stake in the Boston-based ownership group.

FSG confirmed a “significant investment” at the end of last month, with RedBird Capital Partners at the forefront of a £533 million boost to Liverpool’s owners, making them the company’s third-largest shareholder.

Though James remains a less-significant shareholder, his involvement has generated the most publicity, owing to his reputation as one of the most recognisable players in the history of the NBA.

James’ association with Nike, along with the likes of Disney and Amazon, is seen as key to the commercial growth of FSG and Liverpool.

In an interview with Boston radio station WEEI, as transcribed by the Liverpool Echo, Werner has even claimed that James – who currently plays for the LA Lakers and is a four-time NBA champion – could contribute to “player psychology.”

“He’s just going to be a resource for players and player psychology, he’s not going to be making any lineup decisions or anything like that,” Werner, co-founder of FSG, said.

“LeBron and Maverick are smart people, they run a media company that is a juggernaut.

“They’ve got great relationships, from Nike to Disney to Amazon. They’ll be a resource as so many of our partners are.”

May 27, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates after drawing foul against the Boston Celtics during the forth quarter in game seven of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Werner’s latest comments follow an interview with The Athletic in which he said he would be “surprised actually if [James and Carter] don’t weigh in” on management decisions with Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox.

That appears to have been misconstrued as a bigger role than they will take up in reality, though FSG clearly believe their new partners’ expertise in sport and business can help grow LFC as a brand.

It is still highly unlikely that James will be fielding calls from Trent Alexander-Arnold on the back of being dropped from the England squad, for example, with it more feasible that he is a resource to FSG when it comes to “player psychology.”

Nevertheless, it is undoubted that his influence can benefit the Reds moving forward, namely off the field with his connections potentially increasing the profile of the club to allow it to expand into other markets.

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