Liverpool and FSG vote for Premier League rule change as Man City ‘considers legal action’
Liverpool owners FSG have always been in favor of sustainable growth. It has been reported that they voted for a Premier League rule change Man City is against.
As Fenway Sports Group (FSG) took the reins at Liverpool, their commitment to fostering sustainable growth within the Premier League’s regulatory framework was unequivocal. FSG’s head honcho, John W. Henry, has been a vocal proponent of stringent financial controls in English football’s elite echelon. The Liverpool proprietors had initially anticipated that the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) and UEFA’s now revised Financial Fair Play regulations would curtail clubs from circumventing the rules to inflate their spending.
Despite recent successes both on and off the pitch, Liverpool has witnessed an expanding financial divide with Manchester City, who have adeptly capitalized on their on-field victories. Speaking exclusively to the ECHO last year, Henry expressed his concerns over the escalating financial challenges in the Premier League. He emphasized the need for spending limits to prevent a monopoly by one or two clubs each season, thus preserving the competitive spirit of the league.
Manchester City found themselves embroiled in controversy a year ago when they were accused by the Premier League of 115 alleged PSR violations, largely concerning inflated sponsorship deals. Coinciding with this anniversary, several media outlets including The Telegraph named City as the club planning a legal counterstrike against the Premier League following approval of amendments to associated party transaction (APT) rules by a majority of clubs.
These changes have reportedly led City to seek arbitration in an attempt to block the adoption of these new regulations, alleging that they breach competition law. The ECHO has reported that Liverpool voted in favor of these stricter APT controls.
The spotlight has recently been cast on issues surrounding APT due to the City case and ownership changes at Newcastle United and Chelsea. These developments have prompted further scrutiny of congenial business relationships to ensure compliance with the Premier League’s definition of fair market value.
APT rules are designed to prevent clubs from exploiting their interests in companies by bringing them on as sponsors at inflated prices. This strategy enables clubs to alleviate their PSR worries and invest more in player acquisitions, thereby enhancing their prospects of on-field success.
Liverpool’s enviable array of commercial partnerships with globally recognized brands is a testament to the club’s strength and global appeal. Their diverse portfolio includes non-related companies from various sectors, such as Standard Chartered, Expedia, Google Pixel, Coca-Cola, UPS, SC Johnson, Peloton, EA Sports and many others.
Liverpool’s commercial director Ben Latty attributed the club’s success to its strong values, responsible ownership group, robust football leadership team, commitment to women’s football, award-winning sustainability strategy and a proficient sales team. He also highlighted their unrivaled reach through digital channels and TV audiences.
Unlike some of their competitors, Liverpool has steered clear of deals with relatively obscure companies in emerging yet sometimes unregulated industries. The club has seen a steady rise in revenues while remaining compliant with regulations. However, keeping up with Manchester City’s financial prowess has been a formidable challenge for Liverpool and FSG. With City’s commercial earnings for 2022/23 standing at £341.4m ($431.2m) — £95m ($120m) more than Liverpool’s 2021/22 figure of £246.7m ($311.6m) — the task is becoming increasingly daunting.
MAX-NEWS SAYS: The outcome of the Premier League’s ongoing dispute with Manchester City over the 115 charges and potential clashes over APT could significantly influence the future trajectory of these figures. But Liverpool will continue to run itself in the way that it currently is.