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Liverpool

'FSG acting in Liverpool's best interests' - Reds assistant Lijnders addresses takeover talk

2:21 am AEDT 9/11/22
Pep Lijnders Liverpool 2022
Pep Lijnders says talk of FSG selling Liverpool is no distraction as he hailed the Reds owners for the job they've done at Anfield.
  • Reports on Monday said LFC was for sale
  • Statement said FSG were open to 'new investors'
  • Reds valued at more than £3bn

WHAT HAPPENED? A report in The Athletic on Monday said Liverpool had been put up for sale, with banking giants Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs asked to source potential buyers. FSG, who have been in situ on Merseyside since 2010, issued a statement admitting they were open to "new investors", although, crucially, there was no denial that they were now open to the prospect of a total sale.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking at a press conference ahead of Liverpool's Carabao Cup tie with Derby County, assistant manager Lijnders was asked about the stories. He said: "The statement was clear. It’s nothing new for a club to try to find new investors. They are acting in the best interests of the club, and trying to take the club forward. I believe they always did. For me, they are good owners, and I will explain a few reasons why. First, they tied down one of the best managers in the world for seven-plus years. That says a lot. Second, they tied down the best players in the world. The difference between European or World top, and sub-top, is that you have to sell your best players. They tied down [Mohamed] Salah’s contract.

“Then, what is even more important in my opinion, is that we have a stable academy. They invested in the academy, they invested in where we are sitting now, one of the best training grounds in the world. It is our home, and it was not easy to replace Melwood, but we feel at home now.  Then of course the Main Stand, the new [Anfield Road] stand. They made a lot of good decisions. If they were not good owners, we would not be sitting here. In the end, we won a lot of cups, a lot of national and international prizes, and I believe they are acting in the best interests of the club to take it further."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It remains to be seen what happens next, and whether FSG choose to pursue a total sale of Liverpool, or to look for third-party investment. It is understood that there has already been significant American interest in the club, which has been valued by Forbes at more than £3.5 billion ($4.7bn), and that the sale of Chelsea to the Todd Boehly-led Clearlake consortium earlier this year, plus the collapse of a proposed European Super League in 2021, are significant factors in FSG's decision to widen their search for investment.

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WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? The Reds face League One side Derby as they begin their defence of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, before hosting Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.