Liverpool owners FSG warned of takeover theory blocking £4billion sale

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Former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton has warned Fenway Sports Group that they’re unlikely to get the £4billion-plus they’re asking for in a full sale of the club because it’s not a London club. Chelsea’s £4.25bn sale last summer seemingly sparked other owners into testing the market themselves with both Liverpool and Manchester United publicly declaring their interest in looking for outside investment.

It appears as though both FSG and the Glazers are open to the idea of selling a minority stake to raise more funds for the club, or a full sale depending on what offers are put forward. Those offers have not been as forthcoming as what transpired with Chelsea last year when Todd Boehly and his consortium won the race to take over at Stamford Bridge.

The takeover at Chelsea was slightly different due to the situation with Roman Abramovich putting the club up for sale a week after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But Broughton, who helped oversee Liverpool’s sale to FSG back in 2010, believes neither club in the north west will get the kind of price their asking for in a full sale due to their geographic location.

“I would question whether they’ll [United and Liverpool] get the kind of prices they floated,” he told The Telegraph. “With Chelsea – and I think Arsenal and Tottenham would fall into the same category – the people we spoke to tended to be overseas billionaires who had a pad in London and the pad in London was in Knightsbridge or Kensington, Chelsea or something.

“So when they came to London, they went to Chelsea. They were football fans, and they were Chelsea fans… they’re not going to be bidders for Liverpool or Manchester United because they’ve got a pad in London and they’re not planning to move their pad to Manchester or Liverpool.” Recent reports have indicated that Liverpool are leaning more towards bringing in smaller investment as opposed to a full sale.

And Broughton, who was also involved in an investment group that tried to purchase Chelsea last summer, believes that will be the best outcome for FSG at this current moment in time. “Liverpool will be best off taking in co-investors to ensure the current owners can work alongside them and be satisfied that these are the right people,” he said.

“As I understand it, they [FSG] are interested to see what the market reaction is. They could be willing sellers. They could be willing to have investors, but if they carry on owning it, that’s fine too. That’s my understanding of their position.”

He added: “I personally think John Henry and Tom Werner are not just very good owners, but keen to have a good legacy and want to make sure that we’re passing it to good owners.

“In a sense, they had the benefit of taking over from people that the fans hated. So they had everything in their favour as long as they did what they said they were going to do, which the did – they had the following wind. They’re a difficult act to follow. To be a better owner than Fenway is quite difficult.”

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