RedBird Capital Partners, the private equity firm that owns 11% of Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, is not looking to take control of Chelsea.
New York-based RedBird, owner of French second division side Toulouse, was linked as a potential buyer for Chelsea following Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell the club he had owned since 2003 due to the threat of sanctions hanging over him because of the military invasion of Ukraine. by Russia and its historic ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
US billionaire Todd Boehly and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss have both been linked, with Abramovich seeking £3bn for Chelsea, with a number of potential suitors swirling around.
But RedBird sources have told ECHO they are definitely not among those looking to buy Chelsea.
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RedBird, which is led by founder and managing partner Gerry Cardinale, owns 11% of FSG following the deal struck in March last year for $750 million.
This deal gives them part ownership of all FSG businesses, including Liverpool, Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Penguins. They would not be allowed to take ownership of another team without divesting their interests in FSG, which ECHO was told they had no interest in doing.
Cardinale has previously spoken of his desire to be in it for the long haul with FSG, and LeBron James’ investment in SpringHill Entertainment with FSG and Nike shows the relationship is solid.
RedBird’s stake in FSG is approximately $1 billion and the company’s growth is expected to continue as more sports properties are expected to be acquired over the next 18 months.
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Cardinale has previously spoken about the prospect of owning Liverpool in the future, saying that was not the reason for the investment but not ruling it out.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Sport US summit in New York in October, when asked if he sees himself owning Liverpool in the future, Cardinale said: “We did not underwrite to this with this objective.
“No (I’m not ruling it out), I certainly wouldn’t rule it out as it would be a privilege but I think Liverpool are in good hands with the current squad.
“We’re here to support and play a supporting role where we can, but it’s a phenomenal team from ownership and management through to the end.”