Back in 2010, while Liverpool were in the midst of crisis both on and off the pitch under former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the club appointed British Airways chairman Martin Broughton as chairman with the specific task of finding a buyer.
He was key to doing just that, helping to push through the sale to Fenway Sports Group at a time when the club was under real threat of administration, points docking, and potentially even relegation due to the actions of their widely reviled owners.
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that the since-knighted Broughton would have retained some links to the club and their current owners—and that he might be able to offer some insight into the matter of another potential sale of the storied club.
“I was surprised but not astonished when I heard,” Broughton told The Liverpool Echo of reports FSG could be seeking a sale. “They have shown with Boston that they are in it for the long term, they are not short-term investors going in and flipping.
“They have been here 13 years now and they saw the Chelsea deal and I think certainly realised that prices were maybe higher than they had in their mind of the increase in value that they had during that time [and said], ‘Why don’t we test the market?’”
That, in the end, appears to largely sum up the situation according to Broughton. There is no firm determination—not to sell and not to find minority investment, either—but rather a desire to explore options. To test the market and see what happens.
“I spoke to Tom Werner and asked him were they seeking to sell?” he added. “Were they seeking investment? What was the objective? And he said: ‘There isn’t one. We’re testing the water. If there is an offer that is a very high figure we’d be daft not to look.
“‘If there is an investor that wants to come, we’d certainly be willing to look at that and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if we didn’t get either and continued to hold. We’re comfortable with that, too.’ It was more testing the markets to see what is there.”