On Friday, the big news out of Liverpool Football Club wasn’t actually coming from Anfield. It was actually based thousands of miles away in New York City. The New York Post reported that Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group and John W. Henry are running a “passive” sales campaign to offload the club.
The report has been denied by Liverpool and FSG since the New York Post published it. A club spokesperson stated the report was “unfounded”.
“As loathed as we are to give a story of this nature a meaningful response, on behalf of the club’s ownership I can completely dismiss this unfounded speculation,” the spokesperson said.
“To repeat once again, the club is not for sale, including any ‘quiet process’ or anything of that nature.”
The news comes as a relief.
Why was the report created?
There is no definitive reason the story was published, but speculation is it could have to do with another sports team. Being that it was a New York-based newspaper to first report the story, it seems perhaps the writers or sources could have been angry over FSG’s Boston Red Sox winning the Major League Baseball World Series. The Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry is thick and historic and perhaps the story was created to frustrate the Red Sox-Liverpool owners.
Or perhaps with Liverpool doing so well in the Premier League, it was created to unsettle the club.
Friday’s story wasn’t the first of its kind. At least twice previously Liverpool have been linked with a takeover. The most recent prior to Friday’s report came in August when the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour allegedly offered £2 billion to buy the Reds.
Liverpool Reds FC Blog’s opinion
With the amount of investment and success Liverpool are having currently, it seems strange FSG would sell, evenly passively. There were some links to the Boston Red Sox losing millions of dollars during the MLB season and the sale of Liverpool to make up for the losses made.
However, MLB is a sports league that features revenue sharing and there are mechanisms in place to keep clubs from going broke, unlike in world football. So, selling Liverpool because the Red Sox had a bad financial year seems a stretch.
Fangraphs has some great information on MLB’s revenue sharing.
Liverpool are not the only team to be rumoured with a takeover. Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked with sales this season. It isn’t anything new, yet it seems that Liverpool and FSG get far more headlines than Roman Abramovich and Chelsea or the Glazers and Manchester United. Why? Is it due to fans of other football clubs (or sports teams) putting rumours together and producing a story that will get readers to their websites? Perhaps.
The good news is, Liverpool are not for sale and that should make all Reds supporters happy.