Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) are in talks over an investment deal worth £6 billion which would help them build a network of football clubs. FSG are reportedly going into a merger with a company founded by Moneyball mogul Billy Beane. According to The Wall Street Journal, Major League Baseball side Oakland Athletics's owners are hoping to acquire a 25% stake in the company that owns Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox.
Billy Beane is currently an executive vice-president and shareholder at Oakland Athletics, a Major League Baseball franchise where he developed his 'Moneyball' theories to take them from obscurity to play-off success on a tiny budget. However, MLB rules state he can not have an interest in two baseball franchises, with FSG also owning the Boston Red Sox. If the deal goes through, it is understood that Beane will step down from the Oakland A's. The merger also means that FSG will be valued at $8 billion, which would result in the company being listed on the public stock exchange.
ICYMI: #LFC owners FSG are in talks over a £6B investment deal with RedBall acquisition - a group fronted by baseball legend Billy Beane. The deal would see the two companies merge, with RedBall taking a stake of just less than 25% in the new company. [@MaddockMirror]— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) October 13, 2020
RedBall’s company website also lists the former Executive Chairman of the Premier League Richard Scudamore on its board of directors, and he too is likely to take a role in the new European venture. The RedBall company is set up by Beane and billionaire American financier Gerry Cardinale.
Cardinale recently bought French Ligue 2 football side, Toulouse, through his multi-billion dollar investment company in the United States and was in negotiations to buy AS Roma until talks fell through. Cardinale is also a major stakeholder in America’s biggest regional sports TV network, the YES group, which broadcasts live games of the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New York City Football Club.
The benefits for Liverpool would be obvious, allowing them, for instance, to follow the same practices as the Red Bull group in bringing young players to Europe and blooding them at a smaller club, before moving on to the bigger club - a route followed by Naby Keita and Sadio Mane.
The biggest backers of Project Big Picture at the moment are Liverpool, Manchester United and the EFL. The controversial Project Big Picture plans what would be the biggest shake-up of football in the UK since the Premier League was formed in 1992.
Included in the Project Big Picture blueprint is a proposal that clubs can gain control of their own broadcasting rights for eight matches - which would allow them to sell the games on their own pay-per-view channels and could also mean that the Premier League’s biggest clubs become even more powerful than they already are.