Will Fenway Sports Group sell Liverpool in full this season? Or will it be bought by minority shareholders next season? Or maybe next season?
When and if these potential investors buy small amounts of shares, will they seek to become direct owners? Who might these people or groups be? how much time is required?
Now, the last thing Anfield lacks is problems. But what about the answer? This is the tricky part. The longer the current uncertainty persists, the more damaging it will be for clubs.
almost two weeks Athletic It was revealed that Liverpool was in the transfer market. A full sales presentation is ready to be shown to any potential investors and the services of Bank of America Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are reserved to assist with any potential sale.
Since then, FSG has had very little formal communication — until the last 48 hours, that is. First, Boston Red Sox CEO and president and FSG partner Sam Kennedy confirmed to The Boston Globe that “a number of potential partners have expressed strong interest in considering investing in the club.”
Then, more importantly, FSG Chairman Tom Werner followed up his own comments to the paper, confirming that FSG was “exploring a sale”, while adding some important caveats.
“We have no sense of urgency, no time frame, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual,” he said. “One outcome could be that we continue to manage for quite some time.”
Liverpool fans will no doubt welcome FSG breaking their vow of silence, but the comments hardly set the record straight. In fact, they largely just confirmed what we already knew – Liverpool are a sizeable asset and an interesting proposition for the wealthy few who can afford to buy. There is no guarantee that the uncertainty currently hanging over Anfield will disappear anytime soon.
In the coming weeks and months, the club’s followers need to brace themselves for this kind of dripping noise from interested parties, all of which will be repurposed as headlines and by those eager to decipher the stance shift. people study carefully.
It’s going to be a long winter – and maybe spring and summer. Chelsea’s £2.5bn takeover could be rushed through in a matter of weeks, but that is an anomaly given the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich and the government’s own deadline on the deal. Liverpool’s own saga has the potential to continue.
Fans can take comfort in at least two things. First, Jurgen Klopp’s continued commitment. “For me it doesn’t make sense,” Klopp said days after the news first broke. “Whatever happens, I really like the way we’re working with the owners, but if that changes, I’m committed to the club. As far as I know, they’re looking for investors, which I think actually makes sense. of.
“It’s important to me that we keep moving forward and planning while this process is happening. Whatever happens, we’ll see and we’ll deal with it.”
Klopp walks the talk: he has been focused on getting Liverpool back to winning ways ahead of the World Cup break and has managed to do so.
Second, FSG doesn’t come across as an ownership group desperate to sell its assets. As well as continuing the £80m rebuild of the Anfield Road Stand, which is due to be completed next summer and increasing the stadium’s capacity to around 61,000, they have also sanctioned a host of new contracts. Scotland youth international Ben Doak, academy midfielder Dominic Koness and first-team player Curtis Jones, all aged 21 or under, have committed their futures to Liverpool in recent days.
Even relatively small but significant symbolic developments, such as the appointment of John Barnes as an official club ambassador, can be read positively – proof that FSG haven’t stopped thinking about the future.
Of course, it is unknown how long these contracts will last under FSG’s ownership. So we get back to the crux of the matter: for all of Klopp’s statements of intent and Werner’s assurances, a sizable portion of Liverpool fans and staff are just craving certainty.
And, at least in the short term, there is little sign of one.
(Above: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)