Even though the stance remains the same, Fenway Sports Group’s owners have opened themselves up to expressions of interest from parties seeking a full takeover for the first time.
The Boston Globe, a newspaper privately owned by FSG principal John Henry, reported on Thursday that the Reds owners were leaning towards a ‘partial sale’ of the club as opposed to a full takeover, although both options remain on the table and the group in dialogue with parties interested in both sides of a deal.
In light of well-placed US sources informing ECHO that FSG will remain custodians of the football club for some time yet, it appears very likely that FSG will remain custodians for some time to come. A move by Liverpool owners to seek outside investment and accept expressions of interest in a full sale was considered “explorative” as a result of Chelsea’s £2.5bn sale that generated a great deal of interest.
The uncertainty comes at a time when Liverpool needs to spend on transfers to resolve the issues that have dogged them during the early part of the season.
Especially about midfielders, the Reds will need to spend a lot of money, and this recruitment will have to be conducted without generating much money from transfer sales recouped, with little in the way of saleable assets that would generate significant sums the club would be willing to part ways with.
Names such as Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, and Cody Gakpo have all been linked with the Reds, and whether it arrives in January or the summer, transfer spending is needed, with one suggestion from the Globe’s sources being that minority investment could arrive to aid player recruitment.
But with the possibility of a full takeover not off the table, transfer spending can have an impact on discussions when it comes to the changing of ownership.
The author of the book ‘Done Deal,’ Daniel Grey, has been involved in many high-profile takeovers. He told the ECHO: “When a takeover continues until a deal is finished, new owners cannot materially influence decisions.”.
“What tends to happen is that owners will be more cautious about big signings or deals because ultimately things are paused or put on hold if new owners want to view a deal. Generally, buyers and sellers would have to be on the same page over big spending.”
A full takeover would be a far lengthier process to complete, with due diligence and legal requirements needing to be fulfilled. Such delays could cause some level of reluctance to spend big if a deal was in the process of happening.
If FSG wanted to close on the sale of a minority stake then it would be a swifter process that would have little impact on transfer plans.
“A 10 percent minority shareholding sale is a different beast to a full scale. When you take a minority stake you will do due diligence over all assets and costs, although you aren’t likely to have a real say. It is a speedier process.
It is important to know more details about what is happening if you buy a club, paying whatever valuation is placed upon it because you are buying a club at such a high value. There will be a more thorough due diligence process conducted into every aspect of the club, as well as a substantially negotiated legal document accompanying the sale.”