Liverpool: Gomez return to the pitch
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Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group could explore the possibility of emulating Manchester City and the Red Bull model in their bid to sign the biggest stars in world football. Indeed, having feeder clubs could allow them to develop talents looking to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.
It emerged on Tuesday that FSG have approved a new £540million private investment deal involving NBA superstar LeBron James.
The Boston Globe – the newspaper owned by FSG co-founder John W Henry – reported that the club’s owners have approved investment from RedBird Capital Partners, which will see minority Liverpool shareholder James become a partner of the company.
It is understood the possible investment will involve a 10 per cent stake in FSG, who also own the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
And the exciting news could see Liverpool explore the possibility of expanding into other football clubs around the world, similar to the model adopted by City.
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Man City’s City Football Group now have a mammoth global network of eight football clubs across the UK, US, Australia, Spain, Japan, Uruguay and most recently China and India, and were recently valued at $4.8billion
The Red Bull model will also provide Liverpool with inspiration, having made an impression with their Leipzig and Salzburg teams.
Along with those clubs in Germany and Austria, the group also own teams in the US, Brazil and Ghana, as well as Formula 1, ice hockey and eSports teams.
Liverpool have a good rapport with Red Bull, having signed Naby Keita from RB Leipzig and Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg.
Having feeder clubs would, essentially, allow Liverpool to give young talent the chance to progress through the ranks, while still having them on their books.
For example, Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland made a huge impact with Red Bull Salzburg before sealing his big-money move to Germany last year.
Jadon Sancho is another example, with the English youngster leaving Manchester City after growing frustrated with his lack of first-team football.
It was at Dortmund where he was given the chance to impress, and fellow English talent Jude Bellingham is now following his path.
Indeed, this structure would allow Liverpool to handpick the biggest talents who are not yet ready to shine for the Premier LEague giants; but have the potential to do so.
Dave Powell, the Liverpool Echo’s Business of football writer, explained the situation on a Red Bull x Liverpool podcast special from Blood Red.
He said: “[Because of Brexit], signing players now is going to require certain criteria.
“I think it’s 15 points to qualify, based on international caps, the status of the club you are signing from, and the league.
“That won’t be a problem for most of the players Liverpool want to sign, but the issue is when players are younger and the criteria are far more strict.
“This may be a way – certainly, if you are looking at 17, 18-year-olds like Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham – to keep them in your system.
“Those are two English examples but it would be easy if they were foreign players to send them to your feeder club and let them build up their points there to the point where they are able to be transferred to Liverpool.”
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