Of all the stories to have been broken in recent years, Liverpool Football Club being put up for sale has been arguably the hardest to cover.
From the moment David Ornstein suggested Fenway Sports Group was open to a complete ownership sale, the pendulum of this particular story has swung back and forth quickly. Jürgen Klopp then quickly put out remarks in a presser that it was most likely a minority stake, and since then it’s been pretty much full-on chaos, with new potential owners entering and leaving the discussion in the span of a few days, and in some cases, like Mukesh Ambani, hours.
CBS Sports Journalist published a series of updates today on his Twitter. Here’s the cliff notes version:
- He understands that FSG would prefer a full sale over selling a minority stake, though nothing is certain.
- Sale will probably happen sooner rather than later.
- Guarantees have been made to Jürgen Klopp that the next two transfer windows won’t be affected by the process.
- A Middle East North Africa-based buyer or investor is not likely.
- Bids of $3 billion or more will be seriously considered.
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) are a genuine suitor and, since trying for Chelsea, have remained on the market for a global club/brand. This isn't great news for Palace (Harris/Blitzer own shares). But Palace didn't present any roadblocks during #CFC sale tender.— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 15, 2022
Jacobs named Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) as a potential suitor. They’re already minority owners in Crystal Palace and were in the hunt for Chelsea a few months back. Their full portfolio includes:
- Philadelphia 76ers, a National Basketball Association team
- New Jersey Devils, a National Hockey League team
- Delaware Blue Coats, an NBA G League team
- Utica Comets, an American Hockey League team
- Dignitas, an esports team
- Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
- Sixers Innovation Lab, a sports startup accelerator
- HBSE Ventures, a sports technology venture capital firm
- Elevate Sports Ventures, a marketing, hospitality, and event ticketing partnership
HBSE’s net worth is estimated to be around $3bn, so they would likely need another partner in a consortium to make themselves real players in this process.
They are rumoured to be working together with Sir Martin Broughton, a man who is of course no stranger to the club. As club chairman, Broughton sold the club to New England Sports Ventures (now FSG), for the sum of £300m. He was also involved in a bid for Chelsea (the club he supports), with global investment firm Centricus, with Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams amongst the partners.