RedBird Capital Partners founder Gerry Cardinale has refused to rule out future ownership of Liverpool.
Cardinale’s private equity firm took an 11 per cent stake in Fenway Sports Group back in March in a $750m deal that saw basketball star LeBron James also become a partner in FSG along with his business partner Maverick Carter.
The investment from RedBird came after the potential deal with Cardinale’s special purpose acquisition company, RedBall, fell away at the start of the year. The capital injection was to allow for business growth across FSG’s operations, which also include the Boston Red Sox baseball team, Fenway Sports Management and NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing, among others.
Cardinale, who also has a majority stake in French second division side Toulouse through his RedBird FC business, has grown his interest in European football in recent years and his tie in with FSG and Liverpool has lead to some suggestion that he could well have a far greater say when it comes to the Reds in the future.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Sport US Summit in New York, when asked whether he saw himself as Liverpool owner in the future, Cardinale said: “We did not underwrite that with that as the goal.
“No (I don’t rule it out), I definitely would not exclude it as it would be a privilege but I think that Liverpool is in fantastic hands with the current group.
“We are there to support and play a supporting role where we can but that is a phenomenal team from ownership and management all the way down.”
RedBird’s tie in with FSG and Liverpool grew even further on Thursday after it was confirmed that both firms, along with Liverpool kit supplier Nike and Epic Games, the makers of the hugely popular Fortnite game, took a stake in James and Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment Company.
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One of the key objectives from the deal will see SpringHill collaborate with FSG on “original content in and around the sports, teams, and venues associated with FSG.”
“What I really like is that we are backing two people, who, individually and collectively, are pretty unique in the crossroads of sports and culture and their ability to be catalysts for advancement, empowerment and diversity,” RedBird founder and managing partner Cardinale told Sportico.
“If you look at what’s been going on in society, and you look at the potential of sports to impact that in a positive way, I’d be hard-pressed to find a company and two individuals who are in a position to really advance that. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
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