After months of rumours, Fenway Sports Group today confirmed an investment of £540M from RedBird Capital in exchange for the acquisition of around 10% of the Boston-based sports empire that includes Liverpool Football Club.
However, anyone expecting the club to embark on an uncharacteristic spending spree this summer as a result should temper expectations, with it likely that the funding will primarily be used to cover pandemic-hit operating costs across FSG’s portfolio.
“Our strategic partnership with the team at RedBird will enhance our ability to pursue future growth opportunities in a more accelerated way,” read a statement from FSG. “To our fans and supporters, winning continues to be the driving force for us.
“The growth of FSG as an organization allows us to further strengthen our resources and commitment to the communities we serve, and we look forward to having these talented new partners join us in the next chapter of FSG’s evolution.”
Liverpool are believed to have lost around £120M due to the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and with fans not expected back in stadiums in full until next season that’s a number that’s only going to go up in the coming weeks and months.
The bulk of the incoming money, then, will be expected to cover those operating costs as well as the pending Anfield Road stadium expansion. It is not expected that the investment will lead to changes in the management structure at Liverpool.
RedBird Capital represent, amongst others, the likes of baseball analytics icon Billy Beane—whose long-term interest in football saw John Henry consult with him before FSG bought Liverpool more than a decade ago—and basketball superstar LeBron James.
Fenway Sports Group’s other investments include Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and stadium Fenway Park, the minor league Salem Red Sox, Roush Fenway Racing, and regional American television network NESN.