Liverpool and FSG to undergo £1.2billion ownership merger?

Good morning all, hope your weeks have started well. Depending on your point of view this news will either better or worsen your mood.

FSG are reportedly in talks regards selling a 20% stake of Fenway Sports Group to RedBall Acquisition Corp.

The latter, referred to as a special purpose acquisition company - basically meaning they have zero tangible assets of their own, or more precisely:

A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), sometimes called blank-check company, is a shell company that has no operations but plans to go public with the intention of acquiring or merging with a company utilising the proceeds of the SPAC's Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Well that's cleared things up.

The 'SPAC' is headed by Billy Beane or to use his full name, William Lamar Beane III.

Bill is well known for his money-ball recruitment strategy used in his general manager role at Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team. Willy was also previously a baseball player and we know FSG are big fans of his money-ball philosophy. 

We've also known for sometime that FSG are keen to sell a minority stake in our club and so this looks to be a credible and likely deal.

To unpick things further: my basic understanding is the SPAC was set up by Billy B (the 3rd) and a chap called Gerry Cardinale who at the same time established Redbird Capital Partners, raising $575million with a view to acquiring a sports franchise.

In July, RedBird Capital Partners bought a majority stake in Ligue 2 side Toulouse, as their first move and it looks like purchasing a minority stake in FSG and by default Liverpool FC, is possibly to be their second acquisition.

RedBird Capital Partners, are in turn owned by or linked with parent company of the whole shebang - 'Redball' with Beane on their board as well as ex Premier League Chief Exec Richard Scudamore.

A deal as described would convert FSG into a publicly listed company valuing them at $8billion. It would also set the stage for the imaginatively named holding company Redball, to follow a similar path to Redbull in snapping up full or partial stakes in other sports teams. FSG owned Red Sox would be included in the proposed deal.

Redbull Redball hope to increase their stake in FSG from 20% to 25%. Additionally they plan to raise a further $1billion and state their intention to "use data analytics to improve on-field and revenue performance" of the various teams/clubs under their ownership.

We would in effect be looking at the same kind of overall scheme as Redbull and their various assets such as RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg. We could also see a similar ladder type set up where players progress throughout the various teams within the group.

Is this good news or bad?

I don't really know to be honest. Need more time to mull this over and am keen to hear everyone's thoughts on the matter. Some good points are possibly the recruitment of new players and the Redbull type strategy of owning feeder type clubs. Maybe we'd buy Southampton.

Is it good for the game overall though to have this type of structure? Not sure as a fan I'd be too happy to know my team was a 'feeder club' and maybe this is a deal which if it goes through is leading us down the path of an ever widening gap between big clubs and smaller ones.

The haves and the have-nots if you like.

Do we want Liverpool to become a part of a larger machine? To an extent we already are but would it risk diluting our values, culture and character or would it be progress which could see our financial clout reach similar levels to the likes of City and Chelsea but in a less questionable way.

Good, bad, or indifferent, please vote and post your views below.


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