Following FSG’s statement on Monday, appearing to suggest they’re willing to listen to offers from parties interested in investing in Liverpool, one of the names being linked is former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The 66-year-old American is recognised as the 10th richest person in the world and has an estimated net worth of a staggering $80bn, that’s according to @AnfieldEdition on Twitter, though it’s worth emphasising that there is a distinct lack otherwise of genuine links.
The Detroit-born businessman also owns popular basketball side LA Clippers and has previously been voted as the ‘best owner in the NBA’.
Earlier this year, Forbes named Ballmer as the richest owner in sports for the eighth straight year (courtesy of Yahoo Sports) so it’s clear that he would bring a serious amount of financial strength to the table on Merseyside.
At a time when Reds supporters are calling out for the signing of Jude Bellingham, a player that will easily cost any potential suitor over £100m at the end of the season, the Ballmer rumours will be recognised by many as extremely exciting.
But the fact that our current owners are willing to sell the club (or part of it) also leads to uncertainty for many fans.
Ever since taking over the club back in 2010, it’s fair to say that FSG has divided opinion.
Despite a number of questionable decisions, like the one to place club staff on the government’s furlough scheme during the coronavirus pandemic and the attempts to trademark the name Liverpool, John Henry and co. have done a lot of good things for the club both on and off the pitch.
Overlooking the £50m move from Melwood to the AXA Training Centre in Kirby as well as the redevelopment of the Main Stand and Anfield Road end of our iconic stadium are just a few of the things that the Americans deserve credit for.
Although Jurgen Klopp is the man that should be credited for bringing success back to the club, FSG has delivered stability and there’s no denying that we’re currently in a very healthy position.
In recent days, though, rumours have also circulated suggesting that Dubai-based and Middle Eastern investors are among the potential buyers.
Despite the endless amount of cash that they may be able to supply (within the confusing boundaries of FFP), if investors from nations that have questionable human rights records were to take over at the club it could certainly damage our image and pose a threat to the morals of Liverpool both as a city and in a sporting sense.
Ballmer, however, does appear to be a good guy (at the very least, as good as they come).
According to Influence Watch, he and his wife have funded political groups that look to increase opportunities for black people in society and ultimately result in equality for all as well as also making significant donations to help tackle important issues such as gun control groups.
The fact that his thoughts and ideas appear to coincide with many Liverpool supporters is a promising sign – the fact that he’s filthy rich is also a very nice bonus.