An open chequebook policy hasn’t been the Fenway Sports Group way at Liverpool.
Since their arrival at Anfield back in 2010, a closer attention to detail when it came to data analysis and a strategic plan when it came to player trading has seen FSG lauded by some and criticised by others.
For some the model, which sees Liverpool’s net spend considerably less than that of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea over the past decade at £293m, is one to be applauded. Trading players for their high value watermark allows for investment in to the playing squad, as was the case with the Philippe Coutinho sale and subsequent deals for Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, has still delivered a Champions League and Premier League trophy.
But for others it is a model that cannot be sustained year on year and leads to decline, just as it lead to a rise. It limits what Jurgen Klopp can do in the transfer market and the targets he can pursue, the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland seeming a bridge too far despite the Reds being a big enough draw to be part of the equation when it comes to those kind of players choosing a new destination.
Financial power has guided football in the modern era, with Manchester City owners City Football Group, led by Sheikh Mansour, changing the face of English football through their heavy investment. Before that it was Roman Abramovich at Chelsea. For the likes of Liverpool, competing with the the likes of City and Chelsea has never been more difficult.
Much is made of the seemingly bottomless wealth of Sheikh Mansour and Abramovich, but how does FSG and John W. Henry stack up against them and the rest of Europe?
In terms of personal wealth, FSG chief and Liverpool principal owner Henry, who made his fortune in the 1980s from commodities trading, is worth £2.14bn. That figure places him at 946th in the Forbes magazines list of global billionaires.
Research from OLBG.com has focused on compiling a list of the richest owners of sports teams in the world.
Henry’s fortune makes him 69th, with wealth almost identical to that of West Bromwich Albion owner Guochuan Lai in 70th. Henry places nine positions higher in the list that Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, whose wealth stands at £1.9bn, according to the research.
In terms of how Henry’s wealth stacks up against Premier League rivals it is a little way down the list.
In terms of the list of billionaire owners of English football clubs, Henry ranks in 15th position.
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Ahead of him is Southampton owner Gao Jisheng (£2.37bn), Mike Ashley at Newcastle United (£2.52bn), Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha at Leicester City (£2.98bn), Joshua Harris at Crystal Palace (£3.36bn), John Coates at Stoke City (£3.44bn), the Glazer family at Manchester United (£3.59bn), Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis (£3.67bn), Wolverhampton Wanderers owner Guo Guangchang (£4.5bn), Aston Villa’s Nassef Sawiris (£5.35bn) and QPR owner Lakshmi Mittal (£8.11bn).
Sitting above that list is Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and Fulham owner Shahid Khan, who boast £6.35bn and £6.58bn fortunes, respectively. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich ,with a fortune of £9.64bn is 12th on the overall list, while the wealthiest by some distance is Sheikh Mansour, whose £22.95bn fortune is enough to place him in the top 10.
So it is Manchester City who have by far the wealthiest owners in English football, but what about elsewhere?
While the likes of Andrea Agnelli at Juventus (£10.32bn), Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz at RB Leipzig (£20.7bn) and Paris Saint-Germain chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi (£6.12bn) score highly, the richest owners of European clubs may not be expected.
The European club owned by the wealthiest individual is French side Rennes. Owned by the Artemis Group, whose principal owners is French billionaire Francois Pinault, the Ligue 1 side’s owner is worth a staggering £31.5bn.
The wealthiest team owner on the list in all sports is Mukesh Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians cricket team, who is worth £54.7bn.