FSG’s NBA plan, LeBron James’ role & why it could be factor in Liverpool sale

Fenway Sports Group are exploring the possibility of selling Liverpool FC, and their interest in moving into the NBA could explain their decision.

John Henry is now said to be leaning towards the idea of partial investment rather than a full one, but much will depend on FSG’s negotiations with any forthcoming parties.

Why the Liverpool owners are now suddenly open to a sale is largely unclear, but it could be that they are eyeing investment in other sports teams.

Last week, the Liverpool Echo‘s Business of Football writer Dave Powell said any new strategic partner would potentially be “a major player in the media and entertainment space, taking a slice of the club and bringing expertise, platform and the ability to scale the business further into the ranks.”

And Powell also claims FSG have aspirations to acquire an NBA expansion franchise to add to their $10 billion portfolio of sports teams.

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

They are reported to want that franchise to be based in Las Vegas, with basketball legend LeBron James to take charge of the team after he has retired. James, of course, is already an FSG partner and formerly a direct Liverpool shareholder.

Those plans are not thought to be imminent, and Powell believes there is no direct correlation between investing in the NBA and selling LFC, but FSG certainly seem to be making plans for the future.

Last March, FSG sold a significant number of shares to James and his business partner Maverick Carter, along with investment company RedBird Capital Partners.

The report also states that Liverpool’s owners are not ruling out the takeover of an MLS side in the future, but the next major move is likely to be into the NBA.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's owner John W. Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds’ owners are still very much in the early stages of exploring their options regarding new investment for Liverpool.

Last week, in an interview with This Is Anfield, the Boston Globe‘s Michael Silverman said that despite indications FSG’s most preferable outcome was a partial sale, all scenarios remained on the table for the time being.