Reds owners just 'TESTING the water' by putting the club up for sale

Liverpool’s owners are just ‘TESTING the water’ by putting the club up for sale, reveals former chairman Sir Martin Broughton… as he claims FSG wouldn’t be opposed to remaining in charge of the Reds

  • Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group put the club up for sale in November 
  • They are yet to receive any formal offers for a partial or full stake in the club 
  • Ex-Reds chief Sir Martin Broughton claimed FSG were just ‘testing the water’ 

Fenway Sports Group are merely ‘testing the water’ by putting Liverpool up for sale, according to the club’s former chairman Sir Martin Broughton.

FSG announced in November they were prepared to sell their controlling stake in Liverpool and made the first significant move in ending their 13-year ownership of the club. 

The full intentions of the ownership group have remained unclear, with FSG reportedly yet to receive any formal offers for either a minority or majority stake in the club.

And Broughton – who as chairman of the club sold the Reds to FSG in 2010 – revealed the ownership’s objectives after he talked to current Liverpool and FSG chairman Tom Werner.

‘I spoke to Tom Werner and asked him were they seeking to sell,’ he told the Liverpool ECHO.

Liverpool were put up for sale by Fenway Sports Group in November after 12 years at the club

Sir Martin Broughton (L) revealed how Reds chairman Tom Werner (R) told him they were just ‘testing the water’ after putting the club up for sale and wouldn’t be against staying in charge

‘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 then we’d be daft not to look at it.”

‘”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 we continued to hold it. We’re comfortable with that too. So it wasn’t that we have got an exit plan, it was more that testing the markets to see what is out there.”‘

Reports have since stated FSG are more in favour of a partial, rather than full sale and Broughton continued: ‘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, so [they said]: “Why don’t we test the market?”‘

‘I was surprised but not astonished when I heard. They have shown with Boston [Red Sox] that they are in it for the long term, they are not short-term investors going in for the short term and flipping three, four or five years.’

Broughton – who was involved in a failed bid to buy Chelsea last year – also revealed how he made ‘one or two inquiries’ with potential parties to buy the club, working on behalf of FSG, but decided against becoming involved in an ownership offer for the Reds.

Several potential groups and investors have been linked since FSG’s decision in November, including consortiums from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

This has raised concerns over potential moral concerns, due to associated human rights issues.

They have endured a hugely successful era under FSG but they said they were ready to sell up

However, Broughton believes if FSG were to sell, they would be focused on finding the best interests of the club rather than just choosing the bid with the highest price.

He added: ‘I would be astonished if they weren’t concerned about the legacy they leave. 

‘I don’t think they are people who will walk away [having sold] to the highest bidder, walking away thinking: “Well we got a great price, what a good deal, let’s move on”.

‘I think their heart is in Liverpool now.’

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