It’s fair to say that, in some quarters of Anfield, the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) aren’t the most popular of characters.
The majority owners of Liverpool FC have come under scrutiny for their business dealings over the years, with accusations that they haven’t supported the club enough with transfer funds at a time when money talks – their inability to finance a move for a defensive midfielder in the summer window left Klopp having to opt for Plan B signings in Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.
There were rumours in 2022 that FSG were planning to sell up – news met with glee from a large proportion of Reds supporters. However, that turned out to be a false flag: instead, John W. Henry and co were in fact seeking external investment….while retaining their majority shareholding.
That search came to fruition in September with news that an American private capital firm, Dynasty Equity, had agreed to pump extra money into the club – although news reports vary wildly from £82 million to £164 million, depending on who you trust.
So does this new investment strengthen FSG’s resolve, or does it weaken their position as the ownership group of Liverpool?
Who are Dynasty Equity?
Dynasty Equity is an investment firm that pumps money into sports clubs and entertainment brands, mostly.
They basically go out to large wealth individuals and ask if they want to be involved in their projects, while the company founders – Jonathan Nelson and K. Don Cornwell – are not short of a few bob themselves.
Otherwise, there’s not a great deal of information about their investments and interests in the public domain. But it’s thought they have splashed the cash on deals with American sports leagues and franchises, while the owners retain a close friendship with figures involved in FSG’s takeover of the Boston Red Sox.
Cornwell played a nice straight bat as part of the funding reveal. “Liverpool is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world with a passionate fanbase and significant global reach,” he said. “Dynasty is privileged to support the club and work alongside FSG to execute on the tremendous growth opportunities ahead.”
Will Liverpool Have Money to Spend in the Next Transfer Window?
Liverpool fans frustrated by the club being left behind in the transfer market by the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea might be rejoicing at the prospect of outside investment.
But the bad news is that it’s unlikely that any of Dynasty’s new funding will be handed to Jurgen Klopp to enable him to strengthen his squad in the next transfer window.
Instead, the finance will be used to pay off the myriad debts that FSG have accrued over the years. That largely came during the health emergency, when clubs weren’t making any money, but also to help fund the payment of other large-scale expenditures – the new training ground being one, with the purchases of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis MacAllister another.
Factor in the re-acquisition of the Melwood facility and the total debt incurred by the club in the summer of 2023 was in the region of £150 million – approximately the same amount thought to have been pumped into the coffers by Dynasty Equity.
Will FSG Sell Liverpool Soon?
November 2022 looked like it might be a halcyon moment for Liverpool supporters, with some media outlets reporting that Fenway were looking to sell their majority share in the club.
The rumour mill reached overdrive when it was claimed that potential buyers, with the Qatar Investment Authority named as one possible interested party, had approached Henry and his associates.
Sadly, that simply turned out to be a wild goose chase – FSG’s appeal for new investment was exactly that, rather than an attempt to offload their stake in the Reds.
The deal with Dynasty Equity is confirmation as such: they really did want some extra money, rather than trying to drum up interest over a potential sale, with Dynasty’s involvement described as ‘small and passive’.
With £150 of debt wiped out, FSG are understandably cock-a-hoop with the new partnership – unfortunately for Liverpool supporters, it probably prolongs the agony of Fenway as the ruling force of the club.
The president of FSG, Mike Gordon, has said: “Our long-term commitment to Liverpool remains as strong as ever. We have always said that if there is an investment partner that is right for Liverpool, then we would pursue the opportunity to help ensure the club’s long-term financial resiliency and future growth.”