Two of the world’s most prestigious clubs are on the market in what feels like a unique situation.
Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group made the decision to seek investment more than four months ago. When the news emerged in early November, it appeared that FSG were open to either a partial or a full sale of the Reds. However, principal owner John Henry has subsequently confirmed that the American group are searching for fresh investment.
Numerous parties have been linked - stemming from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and India, while Formula 1 owners Liberty Media recently have been mooted as potential partners. Still, despite Henry confirming discussions were ongoing, any concrete offers have seemingly yet to land.
That can’t be said at Manchester United, however. Weeks after FSG’s decision, the Glazer family confirmed they were looking to sell up. Several bids have already been made, with Skyreporting that as many as eight could be lodged ahead of Wednesday’s deadline for second offers.
One who is expected to be in the mix is British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, through his chemical firm INEOS. He visited the club last week. However, Ratcliffe - despite being a United fan - is cautious about the price tag that’s been slapped on the Old Trafford club.
It is reported that £6 billion is what the Glazer family are holding out for and the 70-year-old admitted that he did not want to regret paying ‘stupid prices’.
Ratcliffe told the Wall Street Journal: “How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint. What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”
While it is said that Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani may overpay for United, non-sovereign parties will have a price in mind that they’re willing to pay.
The latter is the sort of investor that is likely to be attracted to purchasing a minority stake in Liverpool.
FSG will be watching the sale process of United closely and they can take heed of Ratcliffe’s words that an over-valuation could deter potential parties.