News that Fenwick Sports Group were open to selling Liverpool FC began two months ago, yet fresh speculation emerged this weekend over a possible majority stake being taken by a consortium of both Saudi and Qatari origin, which would mark a major milestone in the two countries’ relations.
After 12 years with FSG in charge, Liverpool’s valuation comes in around the $5bn mark, narrowing down the list of likely candidates.
Speculation over who might be buying Liverpool resurfaced over the weekend. There had been early suggestions the Qatari Investment Authority had bid, others claiming that a separate entity, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), were placing a bid. This weekend, a consortium from two Gulf nations combined, Saudi and Qatar, were reportedly in the race.
This latest consortium suggestion could be the answer to what The Times’ Martyn Ziegler suggested would make it impossible for QSI to buy Liverpool from FSG. Ziegler explained that due to QIA’s controlling stake in PSG they could not complete an outright purchase of any other major European club.
QIA CEO Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud hinted at investment in football to Bloomberg during Davos last week, and after the World Cup success for Qatar and for the Saudi team, Saudi Arabia placed a bid to host the World Cup 2030. A consortium comprising both nations would be another sign that relations between the two Gulf nations have improved drastically. The region plunged into a crisis in 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar ending in January 2021.
How much of Liverpool FC’s the club’s owners, FSG, is selling is also subject to speculation with many wondering if FSG might opt for selling a partial stake, instead of a full sale such as the Telegraph “the compromise might be the sale of part of the club that raises funds that can be reinvested.”
One thing is certain – there is bound to be interest from the Middle East.