Liverpool 's owners, Fenway Sports Group, are no longer interested in a full sale of the club, it has been claimed.
FSG have been in charge at Anfield since their £300million takeover in October 2010, guiding the Reds back to glory with achievements such as winning their first Premier League title in 30 years and claiming a sixth Champions League crown. Three months ago, however, the American sports holding conglomerate, led by John Henry, announced that they were open to selling the club or welcoming outside investment.
Liverpool supporters who've been left frustrated by FSG's approach to running things at Anfield - such as spending far less than their Premier League rivals and dramatically falling behind this season - rejoiced in the news, but a fresh development has tempered their excitement. As reported by the Mail, one of Liverpool's current shareholders, US investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, are considering upping their stake after learning that FSG aren't now as keen on a full sale.
A source has outlined that there's a growing feeling FSG aren't interested in completely selling Liverpool. Instead, Anfield chiefs would rather welcome another minority stakeholder - like the 11 per cent RedBird boast - as a further 20 per cent sale could see FSG generate £1billion.
It's added that Henry and co are watching the potential sale of archenemies Manchester United closely, as their owners, the Glazer family, are also weighing up a full sale or partially selling shares. If United were to be sold for a record £7billion, then Liverpool's market value would likely rise by a significant amount after fellow Premier League foes Chelsea went for £4.25bn last April.
RedBird have already distanced themselves from becoming the club's principal owners, although are open to purchasing a larger stake. The investment firm bought Italian giants AC Milan last year and boast a majority shareholding in French side Toulouse.
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It's claimed that FSG have held preliminary talks with the Qatar Investment Authority among other interested parties, a move which has been criticised by fans following the scrutiny which Qatar faced when they recently hosted the World Cup. QIA's preference would be to buy a controlling stake in Liverpool, while FSG have made it clear that a minority sale is their current preferred option.
FSG's statement issued in November read: "There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at English Premier League clubs and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group's ownership in Liverpool.
"FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool. FSG has said before that under the right terms and conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club. FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch."