Sir Martin Broughton has been revealing intimate details on the sale of Liverpool to FSG (then NESV) back in 2010, via the Echo.
The former British Airways chairman was put in charge of finding buyers when it was revealed the odious Hicks and Gillett owed RBS £300m in a loan that was financially crippling the club.
According to Broughton, there were a few bidders in competition, including Peter Lim who went on to buy Valencia, but FSG won due to two key factors: their track record with Boston Red Sox, and controversially, because Broughton felt FSG would help him more when Hicks and Gillett inevitably sued.
“They were still there in the office till midnight or whatever it was in a room so I went in and congratulated them. At that stage they looked at each other and said ‘I wonder whether we’ve won or lost with this’?!” Broughton said, which seems a fairly odd reaction from our point of view…
“There were two elements which swung it in favour of what is now Fenway for me.
“One, and probably the most important one for me, was that they had demonstrated with the (Boston) Red Sox what they were planning to do with Liverpool…
“They had a track record of taking a great, traditionally successful top club which had not enjoyed success recently, enjoyed success and converted it into a much more modern stadium, but still Fenway. They wanted to do the same with Anfield.
“So why would you leave a place like Anfield -with all that that’s got – to go somewhere that’s ‘does it really fit Liverpool?’ I liked that.
“The other piece that came into it was that by now it was quite clear I was going to be sued. And I felt the Americans were much more aware of that piece of the process and much more likely to stand up through that piece of the process.”
Are we wrong to suggest the second reason seems a little self-serving, from Broughton…? You decide.
Under FSG’s ownership, we’ve won one League Cup and qualified for the Champions League just once – an absolutely miserable return, in truth. However, they did fulfil their promise of expanding Anfield and appointed Jurgen Klopp as manager, awarding him a lengthy contract extension to boot.