Liverpool’s sale: John Henry change in Plans
Another thrilling weekend of Premier League action was rounded off on Sunday with supporters none the wiser over who will win the league come the end of the season.
Arsenal and Manchester United both earned thrilling wins, whilst Manchester City once again dropped points having been held by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. There has also been plenty keeping supporters intrigued off the pitch, too.
The race to become the owners of Man United is still on with the front-runners being Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Elsewhere, American hedge fund Elliott Investment Management have potentially offered the Glazers the chance to stat at Old Trafford.
There are also a number of thrilling fixtures to come this week – Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the Champions League chief among those. Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp has already been giving his thoughts on the tie just over 24 hours ahead of kick-off.
John Henry’s Statement on Liverpool’s sale
Liverpool owner John Henry says that he is not selling the club.
Reds owners Fenway Sports Group were revealed back in November to be searching for investment into Liverpool as they sought to the business ahead of a potentially costly time, but with sales deck prepared for interested parties they were also reportedly open to a full sale.
The Reds, valued at around $4.5bn, have been heavily linked with potential bids from groups across the globe, including Qatar, but the sources in the US who the ECHO have spoken to have continued to maintain that they had not received any bids or held high level talks over a sale, and that a minority sale to a ‘strategic partner’ was the most likely outcome.
Liverpool rivals Manchester United are currently in the process of a potential deal to sell the team, with the Glazer family having received two bids for the club, one from INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and another from from chairman of the Qatari bank QIB, Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
There have been plenty of pain points for Liverpool supporters this season. Just half a season removed from competing for a historic quadruple, and coming away with trophies in the two domestic cups, the club have been floundering in mid-table. There has been cause for concern behind the scenes as well with the surprise departure of sever key backroom staff members.
The biggest cause for stress for many, however, had to do with FSG’s intentions for the club. The current ownership group announced their intentions earlier this year to retain Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to look at the current interest in the club. It was always unclear if FSG were looking to sell the club outright or just bring in additional investors.
The typically reclusive FSG principal owner, John Henry, gave an interview to the Boston Sports Journal while at spring training with the Boston Red Sox. While most of the questions revolved around the Major League Baseball team owned by FSG, there was one question about the potential sale of Liverpool. The response from John Henry left little doubt.
“I know there has been a lot of conversation and quotes about LFC, but I keep to the facts: we merely formalized an ongoing process. 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?”
Well there you have it, in pretty unequivocal terms. FSG are not looking to sell Liverpool at this time, merely seeking interest in additional investment. It seems likely that a deal is fairly well along for Henry to be speaking so plainly about the matter, but time is the who have to say answers for these.