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Liverpool ‘open talks with Saudi, Qatari consortiums over £3bn takeover’

Liverpool ‘open talks with Saudi, Qatari consortiums over £3bn takeover’

Liverpool‘s owners are reportedly in discussions with consortiums based in Qatar and Saudi Arabia over a £3bn takeover.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Fenway Sports Group – spearheaded by principal owner John W Henry – were looking for new investment into the club.

Chairman Tom Werner subsequently confirmed that FSG would consider selling Liverpool in the right circumstances, 12 years after acquiring the club in a £300m deal.

FSG partner Sam Kennedy has revealed that there is “a lot of interest” from potential investors, but there was not reported to have been any concrete talks with buyers until now.

According to the Daily Mail, Saudi and Qatari consortiums are now in talks over a mammoth £3bn takeover, which would see FSG’s profit increase tenfold from their 2010 purchase.

© Reuters

The report adds that FSG director Mike Gordon has been personally approached by both prospective buyers over a deal, and they are private companies rather than state-owned firms.

However, the pair are also said to possess close links with their country’s royal families, and Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal recently talked up the prospect of a private sector buyer taking over Liverpool or Manchester United, who are also up for sale by the Glazer Family.

“From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there’s a lot of passion about football,” Al-Faisal told BBC Sport. “It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League.

“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom. But if there’s an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not.”

A Saudi-backed consortium completed a £300m takeover of Newcastle United last year, transforming the Magpies into a club pushing for Champions League qualification as they sit third in the Premier League table.

Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan with part owner Amanda Staveley in the stands before the match on October 17, 2021© Reuters

However, Newcastle’s ownership has been overshadowed by allegations of sports washing, as well as criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Since FSG took control of Liverpool in 2010, the Reds ended their agonising wait for a Premier League title and have also won the Champions League, FA Cup, EFL Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup since Jurgen Klopp took charge.

The American firm were blasted for their attempts to join the doomed European Super League last year, though, and fans have also taken aim at Henry for a lack of investment in the transfer market in recent times.

Following the news that FSG were prepared to consider a sale, it was announced that sporting director Julian Ward was to step down from his position at Anfield at the end of the season.

The 41-year-old only took over from Michael Edwards last year but is now believed to want to take a break from football, and a possible sale was reportedly a factor in his decision to leave.

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