Just 90 minutes after Liverpool fans heard the bad news they’d drawn their Champions League bogeyman Real Madrid, they were left stunned at the announcement owners Fenway Sports Group were putting the club up for sale.

It’s unclear if FSG wants to sell all of its stock or its majority shareholding and retain a minor stake. Nor is it known the reasons for FSG, which also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team, wanting to sell.

So, Liverpool’s avid fans have many questions about the move. Here are some possible reasons and outcomes for the situation.


Having bought the club in 2010, FSG walked into an underwhelming situation. The team had finished 7th the previous season and over the previous decade, despite winning two FA cups, two league cups, a UEFA cup and a champions league trophy, had been unable to clinch a Premier League title.

FSG’s decision-making has since seen the club reach three Champions League finals, win a champions league title, an FA cup, and an EFL cup. The club has effectively had two entire squad refreshes, and most importantly a Premier League title. But, as this squad comes to the end of its cycle the club is in a transitionary phase.

Players like Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luiz Diaz, Darwin Nunez, all under 25, Mohammed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Thiago and many more are all 30 years old or older.

The younger players are not good enough to qualify for the champions league, the older players are unlikely to stay with the club due to the wage model.

The next three years, and probably the previous year too, require a great amount of investment from the owners of Liverpool Football Club while running the chance of failing to qualify for the champions league in that period. It is a good time to sell, especially after the league has bounced back since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another possible but less likely reason could be the reality that with this business model, sustained competition with Manchester City with its United Arab Emirate backing. If this were true, why would FSG have built all of this in a league where Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan already owned a title challenger.

Statement from FSG promising their committment to "the success of Liverpool Football Club, both on and off the pitch" while not eliminating the possibility of a full sale of the club

Via The Athletic

Another reason FSG may be keen to sell is the volatility of the British currency, and their domestic market at large suffering the effects of the pandemic and brexit, which will have a large impact on British football.

In the end this could all simply be bringing in a third party of shareholders, as their somewhat cryptic statement to Ornstein appears to imply, but this kind of move is usually not made public unless there is known interest in a sizeable offer for the club.


A select few.

With the recent sale of Chelsea from Russian billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich to American investor and partial owner of the LA Dodgers, LA Lakers and betting platform DraftKings Todd Boehly for £2.5 billion ($3.85 billion), we have an idea of the relative value of the club FSG will be using.

Chelsea was actually valued at £4.25 billion and only sold for so little due to Abramovich’s ties with Russia, so one would have to assume Liverpool Football Club is worth even more than that.

FSG have the opportunity to sell a majority stake in the club, of which they had already sold 11 per cent of to RedBird Capital Partners for £655 million in April 2021. They’d paid only £300 million for the whole club back in 2010. The reason for lack of investment in crucial ageing parts of the squad for the last two years is now made more clear seeing as they have a willingness to sell.

Realistically the most likely candidate for Liverpool ownership is a Middle Eastern oil prince or investment group chaired by an oil prince, which has its advantages and disadvantages.

Liverpool fans have openly criticised the human rights violations and ethical issues with the ownership of such clubs like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, ex-Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich along with the new owners of Newcastle United Football Club, the Saudi Investment Fund.

With the exception of Newcastle, Middle Eastern investors usually have found a smaller team struggling to find success located in a major city. Liverpool doesn’t fit that bill, and the fan backlash would be drastic, particularly within the city of Liverpool.

It is also unlikely the FA would allow the sale of one of the most supported club in England to a Middle Eastern oil tycoon.

This would however create a level of financial parity between Liverpool and Manchester City, and eventually Newcastle. The Premier League would truly have its own El Classico, or Oil Classico as it inevitably would come to be known.

It should be noted however that the Mirror published back in 2021 that FSG had turned down a £3.3 billion offer for the club from an unnamed Middle Eastern investor-to-be.

Whether this was because FSG deemed the price too low, they didn’t believe the FA would approve such a bid, or less likely, they are opposed ethically to sports washing is unclear.

Another potential investor is another American owner, be it an investment group or a single billionaire owner. Seeing the issues Boehly has had at Chelsea both on the pitch and with his numerous blunders with the press would not fill most Liverpool fans with confidence.

With football fans already wary of authoritarian state sports washing and the Americanisation of the Premier League, either outcome will be destabilising.

Ultimately it is to be seen how this situation develops, but with the turbulent landscape of football ownership it seems likely FSG would rather sell their majority stake in the club, and they appear to have a list of suitors in mind.

Main image by Mike Pennington/Wikipedia.