‘Shut me down’ - FSG ally lifts the lid on $350 million Liverpool takeover regret

RedBird Capital Partners own an 11% stake in Liverpool owners FSG but found Gerry Cardinale wanted to buy the club in 2008.

RedBird Capital Partners managing director Gerry Cardinale has told of his regret he did not complete a takeover of Liverpool in 2008.

Cardinale’s RedBird are a stakeholder in Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group after purchasing an 11% stake for £533 million in April 2021.

But Cardinale revealed when he was working for Goldman Sachs earlier in his career, he recommended that the investment bank to purchase a controlling stake in the Merseyside outfit for $350 million. At the time, much-maligned pair Tom Hicks and George Gillett owned the club.

Morgan Sachs’ then-CEO Lloyd Blankfein rebuffed the idea, however, and two years later, FSG purchased Liverpool for £300 million.

Speaking at the 2023 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Cardinale said: “The advice to my 20-year-old self? I started the YES Network with George Steinbrenner when I was 33 years old, so the advice to my 33-year-old self would have been the inkling that we had a few years later to go and buy Liverpool at a $350 million valuation.

“Goldman (Sachs) shut me down on that and we would have done that a lot earlier and that would have been pretty good.”

FSG are currently seeking a partial sale of Liverpool, having put the club on the market more than four months ago.