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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Paul Gorst & Dave Powell & Keifer MacDonald

How Manchester City charges could impact Liverpool and FSG sale latest

There were plenty of talking points for Liverpool supporters to get stuck into on Monday morning following another weekend of Premier League action.

The Reds' 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon saw Jurgen Klopp's become the first Reds side to lose three consecutive Premier League away fixtures since 2012.

Most concerningly, once again, was the lethargic start that Liverpool made to the fixture in the West Midlands as they found themselves two goals down within the first twelve minutes before Ruben Neves put the icing on the cake when he completed a well-worked counter-attack with little under 20 minutes remaining at Molineux.

LIVE UPDATES: Latest on Man City charges with new developments as we get them

CITY CHARGES: Man City charged with breaking number of Premier League financial rules

On Monday, however, there was a bigger story for the wider Premier League, and world football, as the Premier League alleged that Manchester City had breached over 100 of the governing body's rules since their Abu Dhabi takeover in 2009. With breaches relating to those first flagged by the German investigative newspaper Der Spiegel in late 2018.

The ECHO's Liverpool Correspondent Paul Gorst and Business of Football Writer Dave Powell answered readers' questions on Monday morning surrounding all the latest talking points including Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, the latest on Fenway Sports Group and how Manchester City's charges could impact the Reds.

Here's a transcript from the LIVE Q and A, which can be found in full, here.

Latest state of play regarding potential Liverpool sale

CJHarris: "I know this topic has been covered a few times now but do we think fsg will go for a full sale of the club or investment for another company either way Klopp needs money to invest in the team in the summer?"

Paul Gorst: "It's been three months now since it became public knowledge that FSG were searching for external investment but they're no closer to a resolution it seems and the reality is they have been quietly looking for that for a lot longer too.

"I do agree the playing squad needs significant investment this summer, regardless of what the ownership situation looks like. I've spoken before about the need for a repeat of 2018, if you like, when Virgil van Dijk joined the January before Alisson, Fabinho and Keita. It's that sort of game-changing outlay that is needed for me."

Lioncity: "Are RedBird in talks with FSG to increase their stake in FSG?"

Dave Powell: "Hi. I saw the reports over the weekend. I'm told as of this morning that RedBird are 'not involved in the Liverpool investment/sale process'. Told that talks haven't taken place, nor are any planned. It is understood, however, that there is the potential for something like that in the future, that isn't off the table. With regards to it being related to FSG's search right now, it's not part of the thinking."

Summer recruitment

Shreyas09: "A lot has been made about Liverpool's midfield issue and rightly so. Big improvements needed in terms of quality to compete again on all fronts and I am sure Klopp & Co will get that sorted eventually. Many have ignored the fact that Liverpool will need to add a new face in the centre back position as well. When do you think that needs to be taken seriously and what type of player would Klopp like in that department?"

PG: "In terms of centre-backs, Liverpool, in an ideal world, need them to be quick, strong, have a good range of passing and an ability to play on the front foot in the highline, often without the protection of full-backs. Ibrahima Konate ticked so may of those boxes but we've seen very little of Liverpool being able to properly defend that way this season. The Reds caught the opposition offside the most during last season, clearly pointing to that highline way of defening. It takes a lot of physical attributes but also mental ones too because it's a brave way of operating and it needs everyone to firmly believe in it as anyone who drops off even half a yard could play the other team onside and lead to problems."

Potential ramifications of Manchester City's alleged breaches

Elvis1956: "Will Liverpool get awarded the PL titles they finished second in if City are found guilty of the FA charges?"

DP: "Difficult to make too many predictions on what might happen with regards to Man City here. First and foremost, the charges would have to be upheld by the independent commission. Crucially, though, if they are upheld then there is no recourse for City through the Court of Arbitration for Sport as there was for the UEFA investigation that got overturned in 2020.

"The PL will know financial penalties will not be a suitable deterrent so sporting sanctions would likely be on the table. The severity varies greatly. I don't think the PL would want to damage the league with too harsh a punishment if found guilty but they would surely want to set down a marker. Whether they can go back and hand titles to other sides retrospectively is questionable."

And if all remains the same at ownership level?

Sean1993: "Hi guys do you guys still believe in that we would be able to stay competitive in the near future under FSG ownership?"

PG: "Hi Sean, I think there's been a reluctant acceptance from inside the club - especially some senior figures - that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to compete at the top end with that model.

"For years Liverpool operated as close to textbook as you could wish; find value in players further down the leagues, turn them into superstars, sell fringe players for big fees and win trophies while you're at it. That is harder than ever to do now though and with Newcastle and now seemingly Chelsea joining Man City as the financial heavyweights of the league, it's becoming tougher to stay at the top. I think that is why FSG have privately explored the merits of a full sale and/or external investment to be honest with you. They know how hard it is too."


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