It’s clear that Fenway Sports Group’s stock among Liverpool supporters has never been lower.
Regardless of whatever success has come under their ownership, the Super League debacle was unforgivable. To remove the club from the very pyramid structure its success is built on, and to make the club nothing more than a profit generator, is as low as it gets. Things are at breaking point.
But it seems FSG do not have intentions of changing course. John Richardson of The Mirror claims that John Henry and co “have rejected a bid of almost £3billion for the club”.
This offer apparently came from an unknown entity in the Middle East, which isn’t exactly shocking. It’s claimed this was tabled before the Super League collapsed immediately after announcement, but it doesn’t appear Liverpool’s stance has changed.
Honestly, I’m not heartbroken here. Yes, I’m concerned FSG would want a Super League. But I’m very unconvinced the answer is simply to swap them out for a different set of owners. Does anyone seriously think Liverpool would not have joined the Super League under Hicks and Gillette? The other top six club with Middle Eastern investment, Manchester City (though I do not think this would be such a large project), also signed up. They all did.
The answer cannot be found in simply swapping one set of owners out for another. Any new investment into the club is going to have broadly the same interests. What’s needed is greater structural reform, and clearer roles for supporters in the decision making process.
But unless that happens, it’s just musical chairs. The model of elite football is such that another such Super League will be proposed eventually. If we want to avoid this, we need genuine reform rather than simply hoping for better owners.