Writing for the Mirror, David Maddock has suggested that Gerry Cardinale – whose organisation, RedBird Capital, recently paid for a stake in Liverpool’s owners, FSG – could help transform the Reds into a dominant force in football.
The investor’s appreciation for how content is viewed, in particular, suggests what direction significant change may first occur.
“Interestingly, it appears – strongly – that his investment in FSG is powered more by the chance to take a stake in Liverpool, than the Red Sox,” the journalist wrote.
“Cardinale has a vision for the way a huge, global franchise – such as Liverpool – can adapt to the changing market and become an even bigger success.
“Fundamentally, he wants to change the face of football forever, by first changing the way people watch the sport. He has teamed with Amazon at the Yes Network, as he recognises they will play a big part in the broadcast of sports in the future.
“His plan is to become one of the first sports teams to make real money from that sort of future ‘content consumption’.
“He believes football clubs are still undervalued, and can make bigger profits and offer bigger returns for investors in the future. And he recognises that is based on clubs like Liverpool ‘monitising’ their fanbase even further, to generate funds to find the best players in the world, and make them dominant.”
What would this mean for Liverpool?
While Cardinale’s intentions are still not quite crystal clear when it comes to Liverpool, it would appear that his involvement will be well worth keeping an eye on – particularly in terms of affecting how we watch the sport, which could reap great financial rewards for the club.
Following a similar trajectory to FSG’s ownership, we would expect the American’s vision to be implemented over the long-term, though, like Maddock, we won’t rule out the possibility of a more short-term impact.
The most obvious benefit would be RedBird’s ownership of Ligue 2 outfit Toulouse, which presents us with an opportunity for a Red Bull-esque partnership.
With the football world in a state of disarray, both financially and structurally (amidst the threat of a European Super League), Cardinale has chosen an interesting time to invest; we’re no less intrigued, however, to see how this plays out in the long run.