The owners of Liverpool FC have said they are open to offers, raising the prospect of the club being sold.
The Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which also owns the Boston Red Sox, bought the club in 2010, with it going on to win the Premier League in 2019-20 and the Champions League in 2019.
In a statement FSG said: “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 club is principally owned by John W Henry, alongside FSG chairman Tom Werner.
The pair have looked at other opportunities in the past, but nothing has ever come of them.
It is understood banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will help with the sale process if an offer is accepted.
Fans group Spirit of Shankly (SOS) said it had written to the club for “clarification” and hoped that fans would be consulted over any potential sale.
The group said in a statement: “We have seen reports today that FSG have put Liverpool FC up for sale.
“Spirit of Shankly have written to LFC for clarification and will await a reply before making comment.
“We do, however, expect both the Supporters Board and SOS to be engaged in some part of the process so that supporters are front and centre of any sale and the first thoughts of prospective owners.”
Testing the waters
The way Liverpool’s owners are characterising it, is that they are always welcome to expressions of interest in potentially investing in the club, but their willingness to go public in some way signals a desire and keenness to have external fresh investment come in – maybe potentially a full takeover.
A crucial part of the statement is the way they reference recent changes of ownership in the Premier League – they now know, effectively, how much the value of a club at the top end is, especially since Chelsea was sold in May.
That could really be a signal from Liverpool, they are trying to test the market here.
They say in their statement they remain “fully committed” to the club, but things have changed significantly – even in the past decade or so – in terms of the landscape of finances across European football.
It’s increasingly hard for Liverpool to compete with those clubs that are state owned – Qatar owns Paris St Germain, Manchester City is being funded from Abu Dhabi and Newcastle from Saudi Arabia.
The struggles Liverpool are enduring this season – they are only eighth in the Premier League – might be a signal they want fresh investment in the club.
This statement certainly indicates they will be interested.
Liverpool have seen great success under manager Jürgen Klopp, who took the position in 2015, and Anfield itself has also benefited under FSG.
The ground has a new £110m Main Stand and work on the £80m Anfield Road Stand is due to finish next summer.
This will take capacity at the ground to 61,000.
Earlier this year, Russian Roman Abramovich completed the sale of Chelsea FC to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital for £2.5bn.