THE ANFIELD NOISE

If LFC goes majority fan ownership

Following the aftermath of the dead-before-arrival ESL, I have seen suggestions that premiership clubs go majority fan owned, possibly roughly modelling the German 50% + 1 share rule.
Without going into the Bundesliga’s intricacies of the system, lets hear what LFC fan ownership could turn out should it see the light of day, whether by legislation (not simple) or more “voluntary” (fat hope) means.
Looking around the web, I’ve seen the value of LFC put at between 1 to 3 billion GBP. Just for a elementary discussion, lets have it at £2B.
My question is how much could a potential average fan expect to cough up to be a shareholder. Assuming one million investors, that’s £1,000 each (of course some fans could invest in many multiples of that), from the 50+1’s £1B.
This is all very simplistic and speculative but if the £1K is taken as ballpark, would you consider being a fan-owner of LFC?
For me, that’s a maybe at the moment, with half that amount more probable from my pocket.

Perhaps some knowledgeable forummer could redo my almost “picked from the air” figures?

It would be great, but getting a million people to cough up 1,000 quid would be difficult. If it was 500 it could work. If it’s the result of legislation presumably it would be the same for all clubs which would affect the market. You might need some government subsidies to get the project rolling.

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It’s not just ownership the fans would need to find money for. They would also be expected to provide any additional funds the club needs which ownership provide.

The club would borrow against its assets just as it does now wouldn’t it?

How many season ticket holders are there?
How many are in the waiting list?

For context, Barcelona allegedly has ~140k socios, Real ~90k.

But it will never happen unless we have to come back as a phoenix club at some point. As has been mentioned before, the German clubs transitioned from being 100% member owned to 50+1. I don’t think it’s feasible to move in the opposite direction, at least at the top level.

If it’s something English football fans decide they want, it would have to be built from the ground up. But I don’t think the appetite exists to start from square 0.

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I would love the 50+1 rule in the EPL. Also, I would like to have mandatory official fan representation at board level at all clubs.

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I’d like that. Even if we cannot change to 50+1 ownership. If all clubs had to have atleast two fan representatives in the board would be nice.

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its faffing around the edges though for the situation just gone.

AFAIK the board werent involved in the discussion, thats why whatshisname got the apology.

dunno about token membership on the board. best thing we can bumble into is having a person who is suitably qualified and happens to be a fan becoming a board member as per Moores.

if we put aside the ESL debacle, im not sure what a fan representative would bring to a board meeting.

obviously this is not against fan representation within the club, but at the top table, with no other qualification apart from misty eyed stories of being a kid on the Kop (as awesome as that is)- nah…thanks, no thanks.

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According to the Echo, FSG have just turned down an offer of £3 Billion for the club.

So perhaps we should work on the basis that £3 billion is the minimum starting point for negotiations.

Fans would have to stump up something north of £1.5 billion between them to acquire their 50% +1 share of the club.

These fans would have to accept that their “investment” would be more by way of a charitable donation as they could expect zero return on any money they put into the club. So unless some sort of a market was set up to buy and sell shares, the “fan investors” money would be locked away in perpetuity.

The question then arises as to where moneys for ongoing investment might come from, as the £1.5+ million raised from the purchase would go to FSG’s partners, and not into the club.

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What if that fan investment comes as additional equity? What if the fans invests £2b to have a majority share in a £4b equity? That additional equity/cash then can be used to acquire assets.

I’m just throwing in my layman’s view.

Honestly, if i could afford to buy 1 share as a fan, i would, in order that the fans can have say about their club.

I also wondering, where does all the sponsorship companies and Nike money go, apart from the buying of merchandise?

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oh no sigh GIF by BBC

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What’s in it for FSG?

I’m not sure I understand your point.

Perhaps if I set out a possible scenario you could explain what you mean.

FSG currently holds all 34,825 authorised and issued shares in Liverpool FC. The government (through some as yet undefined mechanism) obliges FSG to reduce its shareholding to 50% -1 shares.

Let’s say the government sets the club’s value at 10 times EBITDA. Based upon the 2019 accounts that would mean Liverpool would be valued at about £1.36 billion

FSG puts up half its shareholding + 1 share for sale i.e.17,413 shares at £39,000 per share.

If all these shares were sold, FSG would receive just over £680 million.

All of this money would go to FSG; none would go into the club’s coffers.

The fan-shareholders own 50%+1 of a £1.36 billion asset.

Where is the money for future investment?

This is true irrespective of the value set on the club. If it’s £4 billion then the fans have to raise a tad over £2 billion for their 50% +1 stake. All of this money would go to FSG, none would go into the club’s account.

The sale would raise nothing for the club.

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Thank you the good explanation through an example @Lowton_Red. I don’t understand financial running of football clubs
Does this mean 50+1 rule will difficult to implement and work in EPL?

There is no mechanism to force owners to sell their stake in football clubs (it would almost certainly be illegal).

There is no plausible way for fans to raise the amount of capital necessary to purchase 50%+ of top clubs.

There is, frankly, no compelling reason for owners to voluntarily reduce their ownership below a controlling threshold.

It will not happen short of the total catastrophic collapse of individual clubs/the league.

…so maybe in 15 years.

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Oh thanks @Prolix . It has worked well in the Bundesliga, but I suppose they have had this rule since the beginning of their league.

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Thanks Prolix. Very informative.