Potential Liverpool bidders after latest FSG statement

Fenway Sports Group, the majority owners of Liverpool, has delivered another update on its future with the club.

The Reds appeared to have been put for sale by FSG in November after a statement revealed it would “consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club”.

However, principal owner John Henry has now revealed Liverpool are simply searching for investors, adding FSG is not keen to sell up completely.

“I know there has been a lot of conversation and quotes about LFC, but I keep to the facts: we merely formalised an ongoing process,” he explained.

“Will we be in England forever? No. Are we selling LFC? No. Are talking with investors about LFC? Yes. Will something happen there? I believe so, but it won’t be a sale. Have we sold anything in the past 20+ years?”

FSG has delivered Premier League and Champions League success during the latter stages of its tenure, owing to the hiring of manager Jurgen Klopp back in 2015.

However, the group has been accused of not backing Klopp in the transfer market at critical points and was also heavily criticised by supporters for their backing of the proposed European Super League.

Liverpool enlisted American banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in their expanded investment search last year. Since then, a number of parties have been linked with potential takeovers.

The owners of Paris Saint-Germain are thought to be keen on expanding their network following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority which is the sovereign wealth fund of the gulf state, have spent enormously at PSG to dominate the Ligue 1 landscape.

They wouldn’t be able to pursue a full takeover as two clubs that have ‘common control’ are not allowed to compete against each other per UEFA regulations. Talks aren’t thought to have been held but QSI could hypothetically target a minority stake.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, has previously said there is private sector interest from the Middle East country in Liverpool as well as Manchester United.

Newcastle famously have Saudi owners following the controversial 2021 takeover and have spent big in the transfer market to successfully improve their on-field fortunes, with a Carabao Cup final against Manchester United on the horizon.

Al Faisal told BBC Sport: “From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there’s a lot of passion about football.

“It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League.

“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom.

“But if there’s an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not?”

FSG sold a 10% stake of Liverpool to New York-based private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners in 2021, raising the club’s value to £5.32bn. Gerry Cardinale said in November 2022 the company was open to raising his share in the Reds.

“We did not underwrite that with that as the goal,” Cardinale told the Financial Times’ Business of Sport US Summit in October 2021 when asked if he could be Liverpool’s owner in the future.

“I definitely would not exclude it as it would be a privilege but I think that Liverpool is in fantastic hands with the current group. We are there to support and play a supporting role where we can but that is a phenomenal team from ownership and management all the way down.”

RedBird Capital Partners completed an acquisition of Serie A giants AC Milan in 2022.