Liverpool news Timing of FSG's Liverpool sale decision explained as fans get review forum PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - As part of our Big Liverpool forum, we take a closer look at FSG's decision to put the Reds up for sale and ask for your views on whether now is the right time for them to leave

Liverpool news Timing of FSG's Liverpool sale decision explained as fans get review forum PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - As part of our Big Liverpool forum, we take a closer look at FSG's decision to put the Reds up for sale and ask for your views on whether now is the right time for them to leave

Liverpool news Timing of FSG's Liverpool sale decision explained as fans get review forum PremierLeague-News.Com
22 November 2022 - 17:01

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! When Liverpool chairman Tom Werner acknowledged Fenway Sports Group were "exploring" the sale of the club he also pointedly noted "there's no urgency" - but the timing of their willingness to sell up is significant. The Reds ownership engaged Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs several months ago with a view to seeking further investment but have recently pivoted to include expressions of interest for a full takeover, with a sales deck produced for any interested parties. The revelation that one of world football's biggest clubs, the fourth most valuable at £3.6bn according to a Forbes estimate, will have generated huge interest for prospective bidders, mainly from the North American and MENA regions. READ MORE: The Big Liverpool Forum: Your views on FSG, Jurgen Klopp and January transfers So why now for FSG? According to the Boston Globe, a newspaper that is owned by FSG chief and Liverpool principal owner John Henry, the disappointing start to the season that the Reds have endured is not something that has been a factor in their decision to explore their options as owners and mull over a potential sale. The rather dramatic crash and burn of the European Super League in May 2021, of which Liverpool were originally one of the driving forces, altered future plans with the emphatic rejection of the idea by football fans and organisations making it an almost impossible avenue for FSG to travel down in the future. They reaffirmed their commitment to rejecting their part of it by working with the Spirit of Shankly supporters group and other fan groups to create a Supporters Board that will have to be approached for consent over any such ESL plan in the future. Then there was the sale of Chelsea. The sanctions that were placed upon former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich following Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, saw the sale process of the London club expedited. A frantic few weeks saw prospective bidders from across the world show their hand before a process to whittle down the interested parties was completed, with the consortium fronted by US entrepreneur Todd Boehly and backed by American private equity fund Clearlake Capital and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss was completed. The sale price was £2.5bn with a further commitment to spend another £1.75bn on infrastructure development in the coming years. Chelsea were the first of the so-called 'big six' teams to come into play on the market for some time and the sale price will have raised eyebrows in Boston, especially given the view that based on the Reds' far healthier balance sheet, already established infrastructure developments, on-pitch success, global reach and booming commercial department the value of Liverpool would be significantly higher when presented to a fervent US investor market who see tremendous scarcity value in the biggest teams in England. There is also the continued pressure to keep up with the spending power of Manchester City and, in the coming seasons, Newcastle United given their almost limitless wealth through their ownership from Abu Dhabi and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund respectively. When Manchester City published their annual accounts it showed revenues of £613m, the second highest in Premier League history, and commercial revenues of £309m, a figure £91m higher than what Liverpool managed in 2020/21. It is a gap that, try as they might, the Reds have been unable to close thanks to the sheer number of high value deals City have struck, aided in no small part by the simpatico nature of their relationship with businesses in the MENA region. But it is the interest from the US at present that is one of the key motivating factors. There is a pent-up demand for European football property, and with the revenue differential three to one for the Premier League against the likes of Italy's Serie A, English football is where investors really want to land. The issue for many investors has been the scarcity of clubs available who tick the boxes around cost certainty, meaning those clubs who are relegation proof, a consideration that doesn't come into play in American sports given the structure of their leagues and the lack of promotion and relegation. The 'big six' teams have that security, the only real question being will they make the Champions League or Europa League.

News source = PremierLeague-News.Com

. The direction of traffic, especially with the boost that the 2026 World Cup is expected to have and the rising interest in the domestic product of the MLS in the US, is viewed as having a major upside in the coming years, with valuations expected to rise further on the back of that. When FSG purchased Liverpool in 2010 they paid £300m. Forbes magazine values the club at £3.6bn and it is entirely plausible that a £4bn sum could be reached, something that still falls well short of the kind of valuations seen in the NFL, where the Dallas Cowboys are worth around £7.5bn. There is a view that the Premier League is under monetised and some way back from where the NFL is in terms of sophistication, that despite having sports' biggest global economy and fan bases that outstrip the NFL considerably. The revenues fall well short of the NFL, however. The clamour to purchase Chelsea was something that caught even industry professionals by surprise. The club unexpectedly came up for sale and the process was expedited, and that created a major rush for interested parties to make their pitch. Where some 10 years or so ago the interest may have come from China thanks to a booming economy and rising interest in football, their regression on both those fronts has seen their place taken by US investors. Bids from the owners of the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and New York Jets all arrived before Boehly, part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his consortium won through. The weakness of the pound against the dollar at present will also likely see plenty of would-be suitors sit up and take interest, knowing that if the pound rallies, as it undoubtedly will at some stage, then their investment will already be paying off. But the reasons why there will be plenty of interest in Liverpool and why FSG may be looking at selling are the same reasons that will probably be keeping them just exploring their options at present. The direction of travel for the Premier League is going only one way for the time being and getting out now would likely see them exit at a lower valuation than Liverpool could achieve in the next five years. But given the pressures that exist and the growing need for them to spend heavily to keep up with the likes of Manchester City, whether they have the appetite for the fight and to be at the vanguard of the changing landscape of English and European football, at the same time they have one eye on a £2.5bn NBA expansion franchise in Las Vegas in the next two years, remains to be seen. It will take a considerable offer for them to consider, though. There won't be a fire sale. How happy have you been with FSG's ownership of Liverpool? You can have your say on that, as well as plenty of other issues, in our Big Liverpool Forum below or by clicking here. A version of this piece was first published on November 11, 2022

Source = PremierLeague-News.Com

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