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‘Sources have told me’ - Ornstein gives major update on Liverpool takeover

Chris Byfield

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‘Sources have told me’ - Ornstein gives major update on Liverpool takeover

David Ornstein has given a major update on the Liverpool takeover and the likelihood the club would be sold to an oil-rich backer.

Last Monday, Ornstein broke in the Athletic that Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) had put the club up for sale and that a full presentation had been prepared for interested parties.

FSG responded with a statement claiming that under the right terms they “would consider new shareholders” provided it was in the “best interests of Liverpool as a club.”

They added: “FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch.”

This led to speculation and some anxiety over who may purchase the club next. Would it be another US venture capitalist? Or perhaps an oil-rich state?

Is Liverpool being sold to a nation-state?

Several potential buyers have been linked with Liverpool, including the Middle-East-based Dubai International Capital.

Indeed, such a purchase from an oil-rich backer would not sit well with many of the club’s fans or the club's manager Jurgen Klopp. Ornstein however believes that FSG would not sell to a nation-state.

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Speaking to Sky Sports, the journalist said: “He's [Klopp] just signed a new long-term contract and, from what we hear, he’s been reassured by the ownership that they’re not going to do this rapidly.

“They’re going to do it – if it happens – to the right people.

“And therefore, I think they would have that moral compass as well, FSG. I don’t think they will want to pass Liverpool into hands they’re not happy with.

“You're already hearing rumours within the industry that they’ve rejected approaches, or they’re not keen to go forward with, expressions of interest from parties that they perhaps don’t feel are the right route.

“And by that, many people would assume a nation-state because we've seen what's happened with Manchester City, Newcastle United, PSG and the sort of level of investment it takes to compete with that investment.

“Jurgen Klopp has almost hinted, in their existing model which is self-sustainable at Liverpool, that they're unable to do that. So it will be interesting for Klopp but I think FSG will be conscious of the same matters.

“But it is going to take someone with extremely deep pockets if it's going to be a full takeover because we're hearing reports of £4 billion which would take them above or around the levels Chelsea went to.”

Mike Gordon to help with the sale

Liverpool director Mike Gordon has taken a back step since Liverpool were put up for sale, with his responsibilities now being undertaken by Reds chief executive Billy Hogan.

Ornstein claimed this is because Gordon - FSG's president - will be “focusing” on the potential sale of the club.

He continued: “You're seeing the signs already that things are starting to change at Anfield because Mike Gordon, who has been in charge of operations on a day-to-day perspective, we reported - it was also in the Boston Globe which is owned by John Henry - that Gordon is going to take a step back and Billy Hogan, the chief executive, is going to be taking on greater responsibility.

“It's been described as a natural evolution but sources have told me that Mike Gordon will be working on the potential sale and focusing on that.

“This is a real situation and we'll have to see how it develops.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp

Chris Byfield
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