In a shock development on Monday, it has emerged that Liverpool FC owners Fenway Sports Group are now inviting offers for the sale of the club.
FSG have been in charge of Liverpool since their takeover in 2010, and though they have been polarising figures throughout the 12 years since, they have brought success to Anfield.
Much of that has come during the historic reign of Jurgen Klopp, who recently committed his long-term future to the club with a new contract that ties him down to 2026.
However, it appears FSG may not be owners by the time Klopp’s deal expires, with The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reporting that the club is now up for sale.
Ornstein writes that “a full sales presentation has been produced for interested parties,” and financial companies “Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been retained to assist with the process.”
A spokesperson from FSG provided an update to The Athletic, and though their public statement only indicates third-party investment as has long been the case, the report suggests a full sale is possible.
The FSG statement, which appears to be a response to the reporter, reads: “There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at EPL clubs and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool.
“FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool.
“FSG has said before that under the right terms and conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club.
“FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch.”
The public statement of FSG doesn’t state categorically that they are – or are not – putting the club up for sale, but privately that is the case.
Arguably, there could not be a better time to sell the club from a business perspective, especially with the British pound currently being very weak and an uncertain financial climate.
FSG have significantly improved the club’s infrastructure during their tenure, providing a 61,000-capacity Anfield from next summer and a new training facility for the first team.
Valuations of the Reds vary, but the most recent from Forbes was around the £3.6 billion mark.
FSG, known as New England Sports Ventures when they purchased the club, and principal owner John W. Henry have been proponents of financial fair play, but the failure of UEFA and the Premier League to enforce these principles could be one of the reasons they now look to sell.
They were also in favour of a European Super League, which would actually have offered better financial fair play implementation.
Last month, Jurgen Klopp said: “There are three clubs in world football who can do what they want financially. It’s legal and everything fine, but they can do what they want.
“We have to look at ‘we need this, we need that, we have to look here and make it younger, and here a prospect, and here a talent’. That’s what you have to do.
“It’s not a problem at all for me, it’s like it is. Don’t ask me that question because you always open this discussion and in the end it’s me telling you, but you all know it, you should know.”