Liverpool: Wijnaldum leaving 'will be a blow'
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An investment worth £538million back in March has helped Liverpool’s owners push on with a number of plans. It was announced two months ago that American company RedBird Capital Partners had acquired an eleven per cent stake in Fenway Sports Group (FSG) as the Reds’ owners welcomed outside support to combat the financial fallout of the pandemic.
The investment has helped the club continue with its proposed plans for developing the Anfield Road stand as well as adding to the squad at pre-pandemic levels.
Liverpool will be aiming to challenge for the Premier League title once again next season, but will recognise the need to strengthen the team.
Georginio Wijnaldum will be among those to leave the club next month but the Reds’ finishing league position may have put the club in a better place to attract elite talent this summer.
The Reds will receive £34m for finishing third as well as a further £58m for earning their place in Europe’s elite competition, boosting the club’s finances for recruitment.
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Aside from player transfers and expanding Anfield, it’s also understood that this investment could lead to other avenues being explored by Liverpool’s owners as they prepare to call upon the expertise of RedBird, the Liverpool Echo have claimed.
RedBird founder Gerry Cardinale owns French side Toulouse through his RedBird FC business and recently acquired a stake in Malaga. Owning more European clubs could well be considered by FSG in the years to come, in addition to mirroring the success of RedBird in the media and entertainment sector.
The plans proposed in Project Big Picture and the European Super League made clear that clubs are now trying to gain more control over the lucrative area of broadcasting rights, with top clubs leaning towards the idea of in-house streaming of games.
Speaking on the Liverpool Echo’s Blood Red Bottom Line podcast, sports lawyer and author of the book ‘Done Deal’, Daniel Geey, provided his assessment of what this investment is likely to lead to further down the line.
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“There is probably a slightly wider play. They have the Red Sox but they also have a number of other media interests as well. LeBron James and others are now shareholders in the wider group, as well as the new minority shareholders who have come in, which frees up capital in lots of different directions,” he said.
“It is fair to say it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to be looking for other football clubs, it might well be that they are looking at other sports properties in the more general sense.
“That could be looking at other sporting entities from across the world from a sporting perspective, but also from an entertainment perspective.The links between football, sports, entertainment, streaming, premium content, music and film all overlap in so many different and diverse ways.”
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