Jamie Carragher admits he is surprised that Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are considering selling the club, but Gary Neville thinks now may be the time to stop.
FSG is working with two US banks to see how much the club is worth – and city insiders think it could be as much as $5bn (£4.4bn).
A report on Monday suggested that the US-based owners had produced a sales deck and that investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were aiding the evaluation process.
FSG admits it is open to accepting new shareholders but has not gone so far as to say the club as a whole is in the market, although it has not definitively ruled it out.
Speaking of the latest episode of the overlap, Carragher said: “I can imagine there is something in it. How strong it is in terms of full sales or trying to bring money into the club I’m not sure. I think FSG has done a great job at the club , and I don’t think they ever proclaimed they have the funds from Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City.
“It was the owners who brought the title back, the owners who brought Jurgen Klopp, the stadium has been transformed, the training ground has been transformed. They have almost been a model for clubs like Arsenal.”
“I’m surprised. Will the club ever be as valued as it is now? With Klopp as manager and the team that has been so successful in recent years? Maybe there’s something in that.”
“I just thought that with so many American owners coming into the league, I thought there was some kind of power play where they could see something in the future, given what we’ve seen in American sport, so I thought that the owners would be here for a while.
“Maybe they woke up Monday morning and read how much Manchester City have made commercially and they thought, ‘You can’t stop it, can you?'”
FSG, who bought the club in October 2010 with a deal worth around £300 million, are believed to be considering a sale, although they prefer to attract new investors by selling a minority stake.
They have asked Goldmann Sachs and Morgan Stanley to gauge buyer interest and the banks are expected to investigate whether some of the shortlisted bidders who have not bought Chelsea are interested in investing in Liverpool.
Pressure on FSG, led by lead owner John W Henry, has increased this season as the indifferent results have left Liverpool far behind their Premier League rivals.
Just last month, Klopp spoke about the difficulties of keeping up with Manchester City, admitting the club couldn’t compete with their financial might and had to find other ways to keep in touch.
FSG has not been negative about seeking additional funds and in April last year, to help mitigate losses from Covid, it sold a 10 per cent stake to RedBird, a private investment firm, for £533 million.
But this season, the owners have been criticized for a lack of investment in the squad this summer.
Earlier this year, Russian Roman Abramovich completed the sale of Chelsea to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in a deal advised by Goldmann Sachs, bringing the total acquisition value to £4.25 billion.
Marcel told the overlap“I said four or five months ago about Manchester United that they have to sell partly because they need the money to do the things Liverpool have done – like transforming the training ground and the stadium.
“But also, that Chelsea valuation may only take 18 months to two years for people to realize that Chelsea isn’t actually making a profit, so where are these US investment funds going to get the money.
“I think the Liverpool sale makes sense – FSG don’t have the money to compete with the other top teams in the league, they’ve already developed the stadium, they’ve got Jurgen Klopp and now it’s a question of how long will he be there.” still two or three years?
“If the Chelsea sale determines valuation at this point, FSG thinks now is the time for us to potentially step out because if we go down in the league, if people think Boehly has paid too much at Chelsea, and it a bit more of a struggle in the coming years, they may think now is the right time.
“I think the Glazer family will be in a similar situation. I suspect they will both be looking for outs or part outs. With the Glazers I think a few of them want to stay in but with FSG I think that they have a £3bn to £4bn valuation on Liverpool when they raised some money from Covid.
“They can probably get that right now, but they might not be able to get that in two years. They certainly can’t compete financially with some of the other clubs in the league, so I don’t think it’s a big surprise when you get to looking at some of the evidence.
“The question always comes – as it did with the Glazer family at Manchester United – who will buy it next? It’s either going to be a more aggressive, richer American investment fund or it’s going to be a sovereign wealth fund or a state nation.”