Liverpool Football Club’s future remains up in the air after FSG released a statement less than a week ago welcoming potential investment opportunities – not precluding the full sale of the side.
The prevailing feeling among commentators in the know is that a third-party investor coming in and purchasing a minority share is the more likely eventuality of the two, as things currently stand.
In a process that will likely be defined by years rather than months, of course, there’s no sense in ruling out the possibility of Fenway handing over the keys to the kingdom just yet.
With that in mind, it begs the question as to what possible scenarios fans may have to steel themselves against.
The best (and the okay)
It’s worth emphasising right from the off that there aren’t currently any genuine links between Liverpool and former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.
Possessing an estimated net worth totalling $80bn and a reputation as one of the more popular and left-leaning (when compared to the modern pool of sports owners) names in the game, however, supporters could be forgiven for singling out the NBA figurehead as the ideal potential option to shake hands with John W. Henry and Co..
Stephen Pagliuca & Bain Capital
Stephen Pagliuca was a name heavily linked with Chelsea at a time where Roman Abramovich was looking to clean his hands of UK-based assets.
Evidently, he didn’t succeed in picking up the reins at Stamford Bridge, though the Express report that he’s a ‘serious contender’ to buy Liverpool and could yet take advantage of a close relationship with FSG.
According to TEAMtalk, the American has assets that dwarf those of Man City owner Sheikh Mansour – by a whopping £112bn.
The Far East?
Stefan Szymanski, author of Soccernomics, told the Liverpool Echo that an option from East Asia is potentially more likely to come in for the club that a group from the Middle East.
“Who do you have left? Bahrain, Kuwait, I don’t think Dubai would ever put up for one, so you are running out of those kind of buyers,” he said. “The other option is someone in the Far East. Liverpool is such a big name in East Asia and there are billionaire Indonesians, Malaysians and Singaporeans, it would certainly sell well in that part of the world. It would be reasonable to think there would be a lot of interest.”
Assuming Fenway can attract an appropriately wealthy buyer, it would allow Liverpool to potentially sidestep the serious human rights concerns linked with parties based in the Gulf states.
Dubai International Capital
Dubai International Capital was keen on Liverpool at a time when disaster duo Tom Hicks and George Gillett called the shots in the Reds’ boardroom.
Now, investors in Dubai could return for a second shot at the FA Cup and League Cup holders after Arabian Business reported that they could be eyeing up a second purchase attempt.
With a wealth amounting to $13bn in terms of total managed assets (Liverpool World), DIC could be the group to catapult Jurgen Klopp’s men to the next level.
That being said, you’d be hard-pressed to find many Reds fans keen on the prospect of gulf state money coming into the club given the human rights abuses associated – and rightly so.
Four mystery Dubai entities
Four Dubai-based groups have reportedly already been in touch with the Emirate over the prospect of putting a bid together to buy the club.
The Athletic report that a lack of clear evidence on their ability to properly finance a move ended the conversation quite early.