The latest news on Liverpool investment as RedBird Investment Capital chief Gerry Cardinale makes decision.
A partner of Fenway Sports Group (FSG) has resigned as a director of Liverpool’s Europa League rivals.
RedBird Investment Capital purchased an 11% stake in FSG for £533 million in April 2021. FSG also own MLB side the Boston Red Sox and have purchased NHL team the Pittsburgh Penguins since RedBird’s investment.
Gerry Cardinale is the founder and managing partner of RedBird. The group has several footballing interests, having bought French top-flight Toulouse in July 2020 before completing a takeover of AC Milan for €1.2 billion in August 2022.
And because both Toulouse and AC Milan are competing in European competitions next season, Cardinale has stepped down from the board at the former outfit.
Toulouse finished 13th in Ligue 1 but booked their spot in the Europa League by winning the Coupe de France. AC Milan will compete in the Champions League after claiming fourth spot in Serie A. However, there is a chance the San Siro could be demoted to the Europa League if they finished third in the group stage of the Champions League.
UEFA rules state that two clubs owned by the same shareholder cannot participate in the same European competition – which has led to Cardinale’s exit from Toulouse.
Meanwhile, Greg Maffei, the chief executive of Liberty Media, has admitted the group have looked into investing in Premier League clubs.
Liberty have been linked with potentially purchasing a stake in Liverpool. FSG are seeking fresh investment in the Reds, having put the club on the market last November. Liverpool principal owner John Henry confirmed earlier this year he’s been in talks with parties.
Liberty have owned Major League Baseball team the Atlanta Braves since 2007 – with the Georgia-based outfit winning the World Series in 2021.
However, it is the transformation of Formula 1 that the group are most renowned for. Since completing an $8 billion takeover from Bernie Eccleston in January 2017, the popularity of sport – particularly Stateside – has grown significantly. A big reason behind that is down to the Netflix docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive and three races per year now take place in America.
Speaking on the Walker Webcast, Maffei said: “I would dispute buying on the cheap. We like to buy for a fair price then hopefully build value.
“So look, a couple of thoughts. Credit to the teams at Formula 1 and the Braves because I believe we have the best management team in baseball creating both a great on-field product – Alex Anthopoulos, our general manager – at a reasonable price with a long-term future and young players who are well set-up on contracts. But also the [front house] team there – Derek Schiller, Mike Plant and Terry McGuirk the CEO have done a great job on the business side and built Truist Park and around that.
“The demonstrated success of Formula One, we now have – credit them – a reputation sports and others we have talked to, we can replicate that. You mention the Premier League teams; there isn’t an asset we haven’t looked at.
“That doesn’t mean we’ve been ready to buy them all but we look at everything because we do think sports in general is attractive, we do think there are upsides and do think those things that management teams have taught up can help apply perhaps in other sports situations.”