Who could buy Liverpool? The names ruled out and those still 'in' if FSG sell

Who could buy Liverpool? The names ruled out and those still 'in' if FSG sell

Updated: 20 days, 9 hours, 49 minutes, 46 seconds ago

Something went wrong, please try again later.

Invalid email Something went wrong, please try again later.

Follow the latest transfer news and more with our LFC newsletter

Fenway Sports Group are seeking new shareholders at Liverpool and have not ruled out the prospect of a full sale at the club, the ECHO understands.

The American group, led by principal owner John W. Henry, have also recruited major banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to assess market conditions.

After The Athletic (via David Ornstein) broke the story of a potential sale on Monday afternoon, FSG provided the following statement to the ECHO: "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.

READ MORE: Liverpool transfer reality clear for January after FSG's 15-word promise

READ MORE: Why is Liverpool vs Derby in the Carabao Cup not on TV tonight?

"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."

Despite declaring their commitment to the current Liverpool project, their refusal to rule out a full sale - as they swiftly did when rumours emerged of interest from the Middle East in 2018 - hints that the Americans' stance on their ownership at Anfield may have shifted in recent months.

While any sale is anticipated to be a lengthy process - unlike Todd Boehly's speedy acquisition of Chelsea earlier this year due to the Government's decision to freeze Roman Abramovich's United Kingdom-based assets after his ties with the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin became common knowledge - the eye-watering recent valuation of the club, £3.6 billion, according to Forbes in May 2022, means the pool of potential buyers will not be an extensive one.

But who are the names currently being linked with the purchase of Liverpool Football Club?

STEPHEN PAGLIUCA AND PARTNERS

Stephen Pagliuca appears to be interested in adding a third sports institution to his ever-growing portfolio as he made a late bid, backed by a string of American-based business tycoons, to purchase Chelsea back in April.

Earlier this year, the Bostonian acquired a 55% stake in Serie A outfit Atalanta, adding to his role as co-chairman at NBA giants Boston Celtics.

But after making the final shortlist for the ownership of the Londoners - alongside the Ricketts family, Toddy Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton - Pagliuca vowed to invest heavily in the first-team squad at Stamford Bridge.

“Our first focus and goal is to make strategic investments to continue competing for championships and trophies," said the former Burger King director.

“Ultimately, fans will see our commitment and, we hope, trust us to stay true to our values on and off the pitch. We understand the responsibilities that come with such an important sporting institution and hold ourselves accountable to the fans."

The 67-year-old is also the chairman of Bain Capital, a private investment firm, that deals with over £150bn worth of assets.

On Wednesday, The Athletic named Pagliuca as a "serious contender" to buy Liverpool due to his close ties with current owners FSG.

HARRIS BLITZER SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT/SIR MARTIN BROUGHTON

Business partners David Blitzer and Josh Harris could potentially rekindle a consortium involving familiar Anfield figure Sir Martin Broughton in pursuit to land Liverpool Football Club.

The billionaire duo, who own Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, currently own 18% of the Reds' Premier League counterparts Crystal Palace - but earlier this year hinted that they would be willing to ditch their stake in the South London side to pursue their bid to purchase Chelsea.

"I love Crystal Palace, and people who know me well will know I love Crystal Palace," said Blitzer. "But there are a handful of teams/brands out there on a global basis, and Chelsea is one of them. The opportunity to invest in that particular situation with a very small number of people, frankly, given it was a complicated situation, we were comfortable giving that our best shot.

"We would have had to divest our interest in Crystal Palace had that come through. If that had happened it would have been a really sad day in one sense, but again back to the investment part it would have been a really interesting investment in terms of what's out there for Chelsea."

With Harris boasting a wealth of roughly £5bn, HSBE joined forces with Broughton - who acted as stand-in chairman at Anfield in 2010 to broker the sale of the club to FSG - in a bid to acquire Chelsea this year alongside Olympian-turned-politician Lord Sebastian Coe.

HSBE also own American sports teams Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils.

Other rumours

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL?

Due to the incomparable wealth of the Gulf states, and Liverpool's recent eye-watering valuation, FSG's welcoming of offers for the club will have no doubt alerted those in the Middle East.

Liverpool, of course, does have a history of potential investment from the Middle East with Dubai International Capital - a sovereign wealth fund - failing with a bid of approximately £300m back in 2007, prior to Tom Hicks and George Gillett acquiring the club from David Moores.

On Tuesday, Arabian Business reported that investors in Dubai could be "eyeing a purchase" of Liverpool.

CONOR MCGREGOR

Don't hold out too much hope for this one happening...but in typical Conor McGregor fashion, the international UFC sent social media into a frenzy on Tuesday evening as he claimed that he has "requested information" on the ownership situation at Liverpool.

McGregor - who has a reported net worth of over £150m, which is dwarfed by some of the aforementioned America-based groups - revealed on Twitter that he would be interested in acquiring the club.

Replying to a Tweet asking the MMA star to "Buy Liverpool FC," McGregor replied: "I WOULD LOVE IT! I requested my information on this, yes. Soon as I heard. What a turn of events! What a club!"

NOT IN THE FRAME

SIR JIM RATCLIFFE

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is someone who will seemingly not be getting his hands on the keys to Liverpool Football Club.

Standing as Britain's richest man, Ratcliffe - who owns Ligue 1 side OGC Nice and Swiss Super League club FC Lausanne-Sport - ruled himself out of the running on Tuesday evening.

"Our position has developed since the summer and we are now focusing our efforts in Nice and raising our ambitions for the club to make them into a top tier club in France to compete with PSG," a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

“This would represent much better value for our investment than buying one of the top-tier Premier League clubs."

The 70-year-old has a reported net worth of over £8bn and expressed his desire to buy Manchester United after his bid to acquire Chelsea also proved to be unsuccessful. However, the Glazer family ruled out a potential sale of the 20-time Premier League champions

Ratcliffe is CEO of the Ineos Group- the fourth largest chemical engineering company on the planet - and owns the cycling team Ineos Grenadiers.

THE RICKETTS FAMILY

Another group who have distanced themselves from rumours linking them with a move for the six-time European champions is Chicago Cubs' owners, the Ricketts family.

Americans Tom and Laura Ricketts also expressed interest in purchasing Chelsea earlier this year, and previously Tottenham Hotspur, and received backing from Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert.

However, despite their net worth of roughly £5bn, the Ricketts ruled out any potential purchase. on Tuesday.

"The Ricketts family will NOT be bidding on the Liverpool soccer team which recently went up for sale," said a spokesman on behalf of the family.

READ NEXT: