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Liverpool's owners FSG are reportedly closing in on a £6billion investment deal that would help them build a worldwide football dynasty.
John W Henry and Co are in advanced talks with investment company RedBall Acquisition, set up by legendary baseball visionary Billy Beane and American billionaire Gerry Cardinale.
The deal would see Fenway Sports Group and RedBall merge, with the latter taking a stake of just less than 25 per cent in the new company, which would be publicly listed on the stock market, and valued at more than £6bn.
Beane, the executive vice-president of Major League Baseball franchise Oakland Athletics, is famed for his Moneyball strategy which revolutionised the sport in the US.
Cardinale recently bought French Ligue 2 football team Toulouse through his multi-billion dollar investment company in the United States, and was in negotiations to buy AS Roma until talks fell through.
His involvement in the plans opens up the prospect of Liverpool being part of a group of clubs similar to the Red Bull football franchise, which owns RB Leipzig and Salzburg as well as clubs in Brazil and the US.
Liverpool could then benefit from being able to develop players using smaller clubs in such a franchise – as happened with Naby Keita, who went from Salzburg to Leipzig before being snapped up by Jurgen Klopp's side.
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed reports from business insiders in the US, which suggest Beane would resign his role with Oakland to concentrate on the new venture.
Man Utd and Liverpool told their 'Project Big Picture' will kill lower league teams
MLB rules state he can not have an interest in two baseball franchises, and FSG also own the Boston Red Sox.
Sources close to the deal have said Beane would not work for the Red Sox, but would instead concentrate on building up the new company’s football sports ventures in Europe, which would include buying new clubs.
RedBall’s company website also lists the former Premier League chief Richard Scudamore on its board of directors, and he would be likely to take a role in the new European venture.
Cardinale is also a major stakeholder in America’s biggest regional sports TV network the YES group, which broadcasts the live games of the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New York City Football Club.
Liverpool, along with Manchester United, are understood to be leading the controversial Project Big Picture plans which 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.
- Jurgen Klopp
- Premier League
- Liverpool FC
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