Five Potential New Owners for Liverpool FC
Liverpool’s owners, FSG, indicated this week that they were willing to sell the club; we take a look at five prospective purchasers.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein broke the story that FSG was searching for investors shortly after Liverpool was drawn against Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League last 16.
As the day continued, it was revealed by The Boston Globe, which is owned by John Henry, that FSG was open to selling the entire club, driving the Liverpool fan base into a frenzy over who may potentially take over as manager of the historic club.
Since the news surfaced on Monday afternoon, several names have been bandied around, with some high-profile businessmen also ruling themselves out of the sale. Here are five possible owners who may execute one of the greatest takeovers in football history.
Ballmer, the owner of the NBA club Los Angeles Clippers, is the world’s tenth wealthiest individual, with a net worth of around $78.4 billion. Ballmer is a name that many Liverpool supporters have agreed on social media in recent days; his past began at Microsoft, where he was the CEO, before venturing into sports ownership by owning the Clippers.
Ballmer has since been rated the finest NBA owner, and his enthusiasm has enthralled the Liverpool fans. Ballmer, an owner who is not afraid to invest in order to achieve success, has changed the LA Clippers not only on the court, but also in their brand and a fresh new state-of-the-art home arena.
Ballmer is also someone who is not interested in turning his sides into a cash cow but instead injects his passion and energy into ensuring they flourish and evolve under his stewardship, with a net worth of nearly $80billion it is clear to see why his names someone many Liverpool fans would love to see take the reigns.
Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, India’s most valued firm, has a net worth of $91.5 billion, making him the world’s ninth richest industrialist.
Ambani’s name is on the lips of the Liverpool faithful since his interest in the club stretches back to 2010, with allegations circulating that he inquired about the club in 2010, 2017, 2018, and 2021. When the club had to be sold during the Hicks and Gillet period, the Indian industrialist expressed interest; his net wealth at the time was at $20 billion.
Since then his worth has increased by nearly five times, and his interest in the Merseyside club seems to of still not gone away. Indian football fans are also completely on board this takeover, believing Ambani purchasing Liverpool will evolve football in their own country to levels never seen before.
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Stephen Pagliuca & Partners
Pagliuca has a net worth of around $3.87 billion, although he is the chairwoman of Bain Capital, a private investment business with over $150 billion in assets, the Co-Chairman of NBA team Boston Celtics, and has just bought a 55% majority share in Bergamo-based Serie A side Atalanta.
Pagliuca is eager to add another athletic enterprise to his ever-expanding portfolio, and he recently failed in his bid to buy Chelsea, despite making the final shortlist of possible purchasers before the London club was sold to Todd Bohely.
When he was in the race to buy Chelsea, Pagliuca told fans that he would invest extensively on the first squad to ensure that they “continue challenging for championships and trophies.”
The Athletic has also named Pagliuca as a “serious contender” to buy Liverpool due to his close ties with current owners FSG.
Dubai International Capital
The value of DIC is unclear, although the group’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed, is thought to have a personal wealth of over £12.2 billion, with DIC managing assets worth an estimated $13 billion.
The Dubai Investment Corporation (DIC) is the foreign investment arm of Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund, and Sheikh Mohammed is the vice president, prime minister, and defense minister of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the ruler of Dubai.
Aside from being able to fulfill FSG’s $4.4 billion valuation, Sheikh Mohammed and his son Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum are also huge Liverpool supporters, as seen by their failed takeover bid of the club in 2010. Prior to FSG taking over as manager, the great majority of Liverpool fans were asking for Sheikh Mohammed to buy and’save’ the club.
Jurgen Klopp’s side is due to visit Dubai for a training camp in the coming weeks during the Fifa World Cup break, so we could potentially see more rumours surface during this period.
The Amazon founder has an estimated net worth of $119.9 billion, making him the world’s fourth richest billionaire. Bezos controls The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace firm that develops rockets, in addition to Amazon.
Although many may believe that putting the billionaire in the running to buy the club is a shot in the dark, it is widely reported that the American has a strong desire to buy a sports team, having previously been linked with the Denver Broncos and, more recently, the Washington Commanders, which is also the team that FSG is reportedly interested in buying.
Ranking as the fourth richest man on earth, if Bezos was to take over the reins of Liverpool, it surely would make the side the wealthiest and most powerful football club in the world.
Steve Ballmer is the name that jumps out among those said to be interested in taking over the club in recent days. I have a hunch this is an owner that checks every fan’s box; with half of the fans preferring non-state ownership and the other half preferring someone as wealthy as possible, Ballmer checks both boxes.
With a net worth of $78.4 billion and ranking as the 10th richest person in the world, money isn’t an issue for Ballmer; also, being elected the top NBA owner sticks out for me. Liverpool requires an owner who is enthusiastic about the team and wants to win at all costs; someone like Ballmer ensures passion and drive with a minimal investment.
Liverpool needs an owner who is passionate about the club, and wants to win at all costs, someone like Ballmer certainly guarantees passion and desire with a small chunk of change thrown in.
One thing is certain: the ownership issue will take many twists and turns before anything is established, and any prospective takeover is unlikely to materialize soon. Expect many more names to be linked to the club.