Report: How Dubai investors ‘plotted’ takeover Liverpool – how much they ready to pay reveɑled
After Fenway Sports Group (FSG) put Liverpool up for sale, interested parties began to reveal, with Dubai International Capital among the contenders to take over.
FSG has owned the Reds for the past 12 years, and on Monday the company stated that it is open to selling the club and “would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club.” Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are supporting the procedure as proposals are being sought.
In May of this year, Forbes valued Liverpool at more than £3.5B, or roughly 12 times what FSG paid to acquire the team in 2010. The £4 billion asking price given by the American sports investment firm suggests that it will take a very wealthy person, group of people, or government to purchase the Reds.
The possibility of Middle Eastern investors buying the Anfield side appears to be one of the most realistic choices given the wealth of the Gulf states. According to an article published in Arabian Business on Tuesday, Dubai International Capital (DIC) “may be contemplating” the purchase of Liverpool.
“We would have been the first to do it [a takeover] out of this region,” Al Ansari said. “As soon as they [Liverpool] won the Champions League in 2005, we got serious about due diligence in 2006 and almost signed in January 2007.
“What delayed us is because everyone knew Sameer was a lifelong fan of Liverpool, including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. So we did three times the amount of due diligence, as I had to prove the business sense and there were very few clubs, frankly, where you can make a business sense.”
Instead, Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. purchased Liverpool, and before FSG acquired the team in 2010, they garnered enormous debts. After FSG decided to sell the team, DIC has a chance to surpass its performance from 15 years ago and might join other Middle Eastern owners in European football.
Indeed, the CEO rejected Dubai’s offer in favor of a deal with American billionaires Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. The two spent $288 million to purchase the club, but soon after were forced to sell it because of massive debts.
Al Ansari said: “At the time Liverpool, the financials, were reasonably good and the brand of the club was enormous and we felt that with the changes that were coming in TV rights and sponsorship and stadium naming rights there was a tremendous investment opportunity. We could have done it at $360m. I would have done it.”
Asked if Dubai would still be interested in buying such a club, he said: “Today, I don’t know. A lot has changed.
“If you follow the revenues they are enormous and increases from 2007 to now are about 200% with sponsorship and TV rights. There was an opportunity. Does it exist today?
“I think they are too expensive and you would have to take a gɑmble and buy a club in a lower league and hope to turn them around and throw a lot of money at them.”
This shouldn’t come as a shock to many fans of the club after Newcastle was purchɑsed last year by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Manchester City has been owned by the Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group since 2008. Qatar Sports Investments purchɑsed French giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2011.