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“Everything’s in play” – FSG set to expand as investor reveals plan to “add other teams”

A year on from RedBird Capital’s major investment into FSG, Gerry Cardinale has outlined plans to “add other teams” to their portfolio, which includes Liverpool.

Cardinale founded RedBird Capital Partners in 2014, and last year, the billionaire saw a $750 million investment secure an 11 percent stake in Fenway Sports Group.

That saw the group overtake president Mike Gordon as the third-largest shareholder in FSG, behind only John W. Henry and Tom Werner.

The deal saw Paul Wachter, LeBron James and Maverick Carter also join the ownership group, with plans to expand FSG to include other sports teams and branch out into entertainment.

Separately, Cardinale has purchased Ligue 2 side Toulouse through his new setup Redbird FC, while it is believed that an investment has also been made into Spanish club Malaga.

However, in an interview with the Boston Globe to mark a year with FSG, Cardinale has outlined the group’s vision of increasing their portfolio – and revealing his ambition to “significantly increase” his own investment.

“Everything’s in play I would say but as usual we’re going to have a very strict funnel,” he explained.

“The bar has never been higher in terms of what really fits in the [FSG] portfolio.

“You should think about us looking to add other teams and the businesses around them.”

C883PY LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 15, 2011: LeBron James and Maverick Carter before the Premiership match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cardinale described buying an NBA franchise as a “real top priority,” but there are also ambitions of owning another football club, either in the United States or abroad, along with investment in WNBA, cricket and possibly even the NFL.

How this impacts Liverpool is unclear, though the expansion of FSG would almost certainly increase revenue which, at the very least, would allow the club to continue to improve its elite infrastructure.

FSG have already presided over the redevelopment of Anfield’s Main Stand and, currently, the Anfield Road End, while a new £50 million training ground was built in Kirkby.

Liverpool have also seen major investment into their staff, including an emphasis on analytics and recruitment, and big-money transfers and new contracts have been sanctioned.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 21, 2017: Liverpool's co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner, Director Michael Gordon and Linda Pizzuti during the FA Premier League match against Middlesbrough at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is unlikely to ever manifest into a free-spending club, of course, with FSG re-emphasising their belief in a self-sustaining model upon the release of the financial results for 2020-21.

But the ambition of Cardinale, who confirmed his desire to “significantly increase the amount of capital that we’ve invested in Fenway to date for more opportunities” could have a heavy influence on Liverpool’s future.

Nevertheless, the RedBird founder insisted that while he and his partners have a “real seat at the table,” Henry retains “the golden vote,” with FSG’s new investor happy “playing a supporting role.”

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