Liverpool potentially worth £2 billion, over six times what FSG paid for the club
Liverpool are believed to be worth £2 billion, following a successful upturn in fortunes since Fenway Sports Group purchased the club almost 10 years ago.
Sir Martin Broughton was brought into Anfield in 2010 to expedite the sale of the club and bring an end to a disastrous reign by then-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. FSG, led by John W. Henry and Tom Werner, eventually secured a deal six months later, acquiring Liverpool FC for a fee of £300 million. In an interview with the Telegraph this week, Broughton estimates that the club is now “certainly worth £1 billion,” adding: “At least that. Possibly £2 billion.”
This is a lofty valuation, but a credible one, with Forbes listing Liverpool as worth £1.7 million back in May—a 12 percent increase on the previous year, and the eighth-most in world football. The Reds’ revenue in 2018/19 was, according to Deloitte, £533 million, which was a 17 percent rise from the previous campaign, with only six clubs ahead of them. Liverpool are likely to post results of around that when they announce their annual finances later this month, which is a testament to their growth under FSG. Broughton describes the club has being “holistically dysfunctional” under Hicks and Gillett, adding that “it was an unbelievable scene of people in warfare, pushing their agenda against each other.” He continues to address how Hicks and Gillett “lost credibility” which affected his ability to sell, and reveals “we only ever received two formal bids,” which “tells you the club was sold for its market price.” After a “disappointing offer” from FSG initially, Broughton was relieved they matched Peter Lim’s £300 million bid to allow the “obsessive” Henry to take over.
That obsession indicates that Liverpool’s current owners are unlikely to sell any time soon, particularly with a £50 million redevelopment of Kirkby nearing completion and a £60 million expansion of the Anfield Road end on the way. One of the most interesting aspects of Broughton’s interview comes with the recollection of an early visit he and Henry made to the Emirates Stadium. “They could instantly see why would you throw away ‘This is Anfield’?” he says. “The Emirates in Stanley Park just did not feel right. If he had had to build another stadium he would have, but his determination was to do everything to stay at Anfield which was important.” With Liverpool on the cusp of a first-ever Premier League title and having won the European Cup for the sixth time in June, Broughton is well-placed to describe the owners as having “turned out to be the people I thought they were.” “They have delivered everything they promised,” he concludes. And while a £2 billion valuation should matter less to fans than trophies and performances on the pitch, it certainly puts the Reds in a strong position to sustain that in the future.
This is Anfield