Liverpool FC owner John Henry has been rumored to be ready to sell the Reds. However, the American has now announced that he is more interested in investing than selling.
Fenway Sports Group (FSG) said in November 2022 it was considering “new shareholders”, leading to speculation about a possible takeover of the club.
But a sale is now off the table. What does that mean for the club, coach Jürgen Klopp, potential transfer targets and the future in general? SPOX takes a look at the club.
Will FSG be ready to fund the Bellingham deal?
Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, who by the age of 19 has already become a key player for his club and England, will have many top clubs to choose from this summer.
Liverpool will be in contention with Manchester City and Real Madrid for Bellingham and have already declared the midfielder their top target for the summer transfer.
However, the Reds are aware Bellingham won’t come cheap. Liverpool are likely to have to break their transfer record and make the midfielder their highest-paid player if the club wants to bring him to Anfield.
The big question fans are asking is whether FSG are ready to fund a summer deal as expensive as Bellingham’s.
Liverpool are also in the middle of a difficult season, both nationally and internationally. Not achieving the Champions League qualification for next season would hit the club hard financially and sportingly.
The anger of the fans continues
The news that FSG are not selling the club will cause anger among large sections of Liverpool’s supporters.
Fans have been frustrated during FSG’s tenure over increases in ticket prices, the failed attempt to trademark the ‘Liverpool’ name and the decision to lay off club staff during the coronavirus pandemic. This latest decision comes just six weeks after Liverpool announced a pre-tax profit of £42m. It was then reversed very quickly.
And then there was the Super League fiasco, which prompted another U-turn from Liverpool after players and fans made it clear they didn’t like the idea.
There is no doubt that FSG have done a lot for Liverpool FC but the team struggles on the pitch – and that’s why many fans want big investments to strengthen the squad this summer.
FSG aim to complete Anfield redevelopment
FSG have long wanted to refurbish Anfield and are no longer far from making the plans a reality.
Work on the new grandstand began in 2021 and is expected to be completed in time for the new 2023/24 season.
Under FSG’s redevelopment plan, the capacity of the famous old stadium will increase by 7,000 to 61,000 spectators, making it the fifth largest stadium in England and the third largest in the Premier League.
The owners have made mistakes during their tenure, but the stadium’s refurbishment undoubtedly shows great ambition.
The arena will also have drawn the envious eye of neighbors Manchester United, who would like to see their ramshackle Old Trafford refurbished.
Big names before the jump?
Although FSG are still looking to reinvest in the club, those associated with Liverpool aren’t exactly confident that there will be the financial means to keep everyone happy.
If the Reds don’t show ambition in the summer, or simply aren’t able to because their hands are tied by financial constraints, it could provoke a mass exodus – especially if the team fails to qualify for the Champions League.
Despite signing a new deal last summer, Mohamed Salah’s future remains uncertain, while other players such as Luis Díaz and Ibrahima Konaté could be lured away by lucrative offers from other clubs.
What’s next for Klopp?
Jürgen Klopp’s future in Liverpool is of course secured, as the coach signed a new contract in 2022 that runs until 2026.
The Reds manager recently opened up about his decision to stay and made it clear he also wants to oversee a rebuild at Anfield.
This includes finding a new sporting director to replace Julian Ward, who announced his retirement at the end of the season in November, to the club’s surprise.
Klopp will obviously need help rebuilding the squad but it’s not yet clear who will pick the next sporting director. Will Klopp have the last word or will FSG make the decisions important to the renewal?
Beware of Manchester United
Liverpool may not be up for sale, but arch-rivals Manchester United are receiving takeover bids that could see the Glazer family, who own Old Trafford, leave soon.
The Reds have enjoyed great success under FSG, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Club World Cup, while the Red Devils have been without a major title since 2017 and haven’t won a championship in almost a decade.
However, a club takeover at Old Trafford could bring new investments to bring United back to the top of English football.
Liverpool certainly won’t be happy to see the Red Devils back at the top of the table and everyone knows coach Erik ten Hag is already leading his side in the right direction.
The Reds managed to sign Cody Gakpo in the January transfer window but keeping up with the fierce rivals may require further significant investment when new owners are unveiled at Old Trafford.