Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has insisted that he would not walk away if there is any change in the club’s ownership.
Klopp also downplayed talk of a potential sale after owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) admitted they would consider new shareholders.
FSG bought Liverpool for £300 million ($342.06m) in 2010.
Earlier this week, the Americans responded to reports of a sale, by saying they would consider the option of bringing in investors only if it was in Liverpool’s “best interest.”
“Whatever happens, I really like how we work together with our owners, but if that would change, I’m committed to the club, obviously.
“As far as I know, they are looking for investors and I thought that makes sense,” Klopp told reporters after Liverpool beat Derby County on penalties in the League Cup.
Three things to happen if FSG sell Liverpool as vital ‘final act’ may already be done
These are three things that will definitely happen if FSG sell the Reds.
Supporters board has a big role to play
When Liverpool announced the formation of the Supporters Board in August, it looked to be a positive step by FSG in their bid to enhance engagement with fans. Now, it looks like it could be a critical moment in the history of the club.
The board, made up primarily of members from the Spirit of Shankly group, has been given a say in ‘key strategic decisions’ at club level (via the ECHO). None could be more important than a potential sale process.
Some tough decisions could lie ahead. Liverpool is a club that lives and dies by its values; there are only a very select few who could afford the purchase, and not all of them are suitable. The exact role the Supporters Board will play in making those calls remains to be seen, but it is vital for fans to have a seat at the table.
And with the role of the new Supporters Board written into the club’s Articles of Association, the group will continue to have a say on decisions moving forward, regardless of the identity of potential new buyers. If this is indeed one of FSG’s last acts, it will go down as a very good one.
Questions over Klopp’s future
Any potential new owners would be desperate to keep hold of Jürgen Klopp. But whether the German would be so keen to see out the rest of his contract in the event of FSG’s departure remains to be seen.
Part of the rationale for his last extension was that he is so settled at Liverpool. He is known to have a good relationship with FSG, meeting regularly with Mike Gordon. Getting plunged into the unknown could prompt a rethink, though much will depend on the speed of developments and who takes over, if anyone at all.
On the other hand, it is likely that fresh ownership would make significant funds available. Even at Chelsea, where the owners are said to want to pursue an FSG-style model, there has been an initial cash injection running into the hundreds of millions. Perhaps Klopp could be tempted by the prospect of a proper rebuild.
Still, in a season that has already seen wild swings from one extreme to the other, this uncertainty is far from ideal. Whatever happens with the future of Liverpool Football Club, hopefully it can be settled relatively quickly.
A mixed legacy for Liverpool
One thing’s for sure: if FSG do sell, they will bank a massive profit, having purchased Liverpool for £300m back in 2010. In all likelihood, that will increase tenfold or more.
That shows just how much Liverpool have grown in that time, both on and off the pitch. The tenure has delivered every major trophy, and brought the club back from the brink. In the lottery of modern ownership, FSG will surely go down as very acceptable stewards of the club.
Even so, there have been some serious low points. Ticket pricing has prompted walk-outs in the past, while the Super League fiasco seemed to suggest lessons had not been entirely learned. Meanwhile, the amount of investment in the team has been a constant point of contention.
However, the reality for FSG is that they cannot keep pace with teams backed by the kind of money available to Manchester City. If indeed they are looking to sell, this inevitable truth has no doubt played some kind of part in their thinking, especially with Financial Fair Play now in tatters. Soon, Liverpool may have to confront uncomfortable questions over what sort of backing they would be willing to accept in exchange for a bit more transfer clout.