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Five major issues have emerged for FSG’s Liverpool takeover in 2023

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Five major issues have emerged for FSG’s Liverpool takeover in 2023

Since Fenway Sports Group completed their £300million takeover in 2010, Liverpool has enjoyed stability seemingly ever since.

There have been fluctuations on the footballing side of things in that time, but overall life at Anfield has been relatively secure in every department.

But arguably for the first time in 12 years, there is a great deal of precariousness around the club that is not likely to go away anytime soon.

And rather worryingly, none seem to be quick fixes or have obvious solutions.

With the year nearing a close and 2023 upon us soon enough, here are some of the things that the American group must address in the New Year to bring stability back to Liverpool.

Finish Anfield Road stand redevelopment

One of the positives around Liverpool at the moment is the redevelopment of the Anfield Road stand. Completion is scheduled to be in time for the start of next season, with a further 9,000 seats to take over overall capacity of the stadium up to 61,000.

FSG invested £80m in the project, which is a sizable commitment especially when you consider they are open to selling the club before the redevelopment is even completed.

Once this project gets across the finish line, FSG would certainly be leaving Liverpool in a much stronger place then when they found it in 2010, should they decide to sell the club in 2023.

Invest in the team

On the pitch, it’s clear that there is going to be plenty of change in the squad over the next few months. And whether FSG like it or not, that is going to cost money in the transfer market.

James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino are all out of contract at the end of the season. There have been rumours the latter may be interested in an extension, but the others are looking increasingly likely to depart for free.

The worrying part of this is Milner, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all midfielders, and still play key roles in Klopp’s squad. With them gone, Liverpool will need three new additions to the midfield to freshen up his options.

And with a World Cup happening, the best players available are only going to go up in value. The likes of Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Mason Mount have all been linked in recent weeks, along with a host of others.

Given that Klopp has always been a ‘quality rather than quantity’ kind of manager, getting players in that improve the team in midfield will not be easy, and not come cheap. Factor in that at least three are needed, and that makes the task ahead much tougher.

But FSG would have known this at the start of the season. And it’s a situation that the group must address before they think about calling time as owners of the club.

Find potential buyers or new investors

Liverpool’s world was rocked earlier this month when FSG issued a statement confirming they were seeking new investment into the club. While not expressly saying so, it’s understood they are also open to an outright sale for the right price and to the right owners.

It’s the first time that Liverpool have been in this position in 12 years. While it’s far from as desperate a situation as it was in 2010, the longer talk of a potential change in ownership drags on the more it will hinder the club.

FSG will not want to part with the club lightly, and as a result will only do so if it’s to a person/group who share the same values they do in making sure Liverpool is run in the right way. This may narrow down the list of possible buyers, but will ensure that only the right owners are eligible.

Mike Gordon and co will be busy making sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible. And it must be said at this point that no clear front runner has emerged to either invest further or complete a full takeover.

Arguably the biggest priority of 2023 for FSG will be to find an appropriate buyer, or state the continued commitment to Liverpool as soon as possible. Completing a potential £3bn-plus takeover does not happen overnight, but the owners will be mindful that for the benefit of the club the whole process must go through as swiftly as possible.

Find a Julian Ward replacement

As if Liverpool didn’t have enough issues to be sorted out, they were handed another one last week. Sporting director Julian Ward signalled his decision to step down from his role at the end of the season, after what will be just a year in the job.

Liverpool had been blessed with the stability of the Michael Edwards reign up until 2021, but will soon find themselves looking for a new chief to run their transfer operations. And given how meticulous the club likes to conduct themselves in the market, it’s imperative that FSG get their next appointment right.

Add Dr Ian Graham’s departure into the mix and a major overhaul of Liverpool’s transfer department is on the agenda.

One problem they find themselves in will be pitching the job to potential candidates. At this moment it’s not clear who the owners of the club will be for the start of next season, so that right away is a difficult sales pitch to people wanting the job.

Show fans they’re still committed to the club

This final task is more of an attitude rather than a box ticking exercise.

No one should doubt FSG’s commitment to Liverpool during their tenure as owners so far. They haven’t always got every decision right, but they have shown to be quick learners and want the best for the club.

The next few months could potentially change the whole direction of the club for the next decade or more. Should finding a new owner be the way forward, then FSG will still have a task to make sure they show how committed they are while they still hold the keys to Anfield.

This will come in different forms for every supporter. For some it will be dipping their hand in their pockets to sign new players, for others it will be continuing they way they have done for the last 12 years and supporting Klopp and his backroom staff.

As long as there is no noise of a new owner or even new investors, then it should really be business as usual from FSG’s point of view, They are still the owners of the club and have a duty to ensure it’s run in the correct and appropriate way until it’s no longer their responsibility.

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