It’s been less than a week since it was reported that Liverpool ownership group FSG is looking to sell at least a major stake in the club, if not the whole kit and caboodle. Most Liverpool fans nervously await the rumors of who might be interested in the club valued around £4 billion.
While this writer, and many others here at TLO towers, believes in the mantra that there is no such thing as a good billionaire, there are certainly people or groups who are much worst than others. And with a very limited group of people or groups who could feasibly put billions of pounds towards a sporting club, it wouldn’t be overly hyperbolic to say the sole of the club is up for sale for fans who support the club as a whole and not just “winning” the transfer window.
With petro-state backed ownership groups using Manchester City and Newcastle as sportswashing mechanisms, there is a legitimate concern that Liverpool could follow suit. Indeed, a group from Dubai was speculatively linked shortly after the news dropped. Today, multiple sources are reporting that an Indian business mogul, Mukesh Ambani, is seriously interested in the club.
Ambani is the chairman and director of Reliance Industries Limited, a conglomerate of companies that span industries including textiles, petrochemicals, telecommunications, and retail. With a net worth of over £90 billion, he is the eight richest person in the world.
Ambani is not new to the sporting realm. His company, Reliance Industries Limited, are owners of the cricket team Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Since taking over the club, the Mumbai Indians have won the IPL a record five times. Ambani was also part of a partnership that just won the streaming broadcast rights to the IPL in a deal worth £3.05 billion.
While cricket is said to be his passion, Mukesh Ambani is also heavily into football. He made a first run at purchasing a stake in Liverpool back in 2010 when FSG ultimately won out. Since then, he helped to found and fund the Indian Super League in 2013 through the entity Football Sports Development Limited.
It is still to early to say how serious Ambani’s interest is in Liverpool, and what his ownership might mean for the club. I certainly would not say I am qualified enough to know if he would be “good” or “bad for the club. More importantly, I personally do not know enough about Ambani to say how palatable he would be to the Liverpool supporters who care about the club as a whole. What I can say is he lives in a 27 story house, and lauded Mohammed bin Salman for his leadership shortly after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, so early signs point to ick.