Jurgen Klopp has welcomed this week’s announcement by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group that the club is open to new investors.
FSG, who bought the club in a deal worth about £300m in October 2010, are believed to be considering a sale although they would prefer to attract new investors by selling a minority stake.
Sky News reports Liverpool’s American owners have asked Goldmann Sachs and Morgan Stanley to gauge buyer interest and the banks are expected to sound out whether some of the shortlisted bidders who missed out on buying Chelsea are interested in investing in the Merseyside club.
Klopp refused to be drawn on whether FSG want to sell Liverpool, but did reaffirm his commitment to the club no matter what changes may happen in the ownership hierarchy.
“Everyone said he [Liverpool owner John W.Henry] wants to sell the club, what I read is we’re looking for investors. That makes sense, I like that!” said Klopp after Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory over Derby County.
“For me, it means nothing. Whatever happens – I really like how I work together with our owners – but if that would change, I’m committed to the club.
“As far as I know, we’re looking for investors and I thought that makes sense. For me, while this process is happening, it’s important that we just keep going and planning.
“These things take time and I’m not an expert on this but whenever it will happen and someone comes in or whatever, things can happen a lot of things in that time. Not just football time, in between as well.
“In the moment, nothing has happened. It’s just news, nobody got a heart attack when we saw it. We knew. It’s a decision, that’s fine. We work together really well with FSG. It’s a good relationship, nothing will change [on that front].”
What FSG announced this week
Liverpool are principally owned by John W Henry, alongside FSG chairman Tom Werner.
FSG admits it is open to accepting new shareholders but has not gone as far as to say the club as a whole is on the market, although it has not definitively ruled it out.
Premier League clubs are rarely officially available for sale as that would affect their value – and a statement from FSG read: “There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at EPL clubs and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool.
“FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool. FSG has said before that under the right terms and conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club.
“FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch.”
Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly has written to Liverpool asking for clarification on FSG’s current position.
A statement read: “We have seen reports today that FSG have put Liverpool FC up for sale.
“Spirit of Shankly have written to LFC for clarification and will await a reply before making comment. We do, however, expect both the Supporters Board and SOS to be engaged in some part of the process so that supporters are front and centre of any sale and the first thoughts of prospective owners.”
Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher on the latest episode of The Overlap:
“I’d imagine there’s something in it. How strong it is in terms of selling fully or trying to bring money into the club, I’m not sure. I think FSG have done a great job at the club, and I don’t think they’ve ever proclaimed to have the funds of Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City.
“They were the owners who brought the title back, the owners who brought Jurgen Klopp, the stadium has been transformed, the training ground has been transformed. They’ve almost been a model for clubs like Arsenal.
“I just thought that with so many American owners coming into the league, I thought there was a power play in some ways where they could see something in the future given what we’ve seen in American sports, so I thought the owners would be here for a while.
“Maybe they woke up on Monday morning and read about how much Manchester City have made commercially and thought, ‘you can’t stop it, can you?!’”