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The 12 moments that defined FSG’s Liverpool 12 year ownership

There have been plenty of ups and downs in their 12 years in charge

Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG) ownership of Liverpool could be coming to an end, with the club now reportedly up for sale 12 years and a month after they took charge at Anfield.

Often considered unpopular by the Liverpool faithful, the owners have nonetheless ushered in one of the golden eras of Liverpool’s history since buying the club for just £300m, with eight trophies coming under their stewardship, meaning that they will undoubtedly be leaving with a mixed legacy on Merseyside.

101 takes a look at the key dates in their ownership, that have taken Liverpool to were they are now.

October 15th 2010 – FSG take control of Liverpool

After six months of the club being on the market, FESV agreed to buy the club off former unpopular owners Hicks and Gillett for a fee of around £300m.

The club, then under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson, sat in the relegation zone after seven games, with just six points to their name.

“We’re going to do a lot of listening, we have a lot to learn, and we’ll walk this path together [with the fans]”, new owner John Henry told the media.

“We are committed first and foremost to winning. We have a history of winning, and we want Liverpool supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great club.”

They began their tenure in the worst possible way, losing 2-0 in the Merseyside derby two days after taking over to leave them in 19th, and Roy Hodgson departed not long after.

February 26th 2012 – Liverpool win their first trophy under their new owners

Under the leadership of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool won their first trophy under their new owners, defeating Cardiff in penalties in the League Cup final. Steven Gerrard’s cousin Anthony missed the decisive kick for the Bluebirds after the game had finished 2-2 after 120 minutes.

It was Liverpool’s first final since 2006, when they had won the FA Cup, and their first silverware since too.

October 2015 – Brendan Rodgers is sacked and Jurgen Klopp is appointed new boss at Liverpool

After coming a Steven Gerrard slip away from winning the Premier League in 2013/14, Liverpool parted ways with boss Brendan Rodgers after a tame 1-1 draw with Everton, which left the Reds 10th in the Premier League.

The club managed to secure their first choice replacement, former Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, who was appointed four days later on October 8th.

He led them to a Europa League final and a League cup final in his first season, but finished 8th in the Premier League and came away from both empty handed, leaving Liverpool with no European football.

4th November 2016 – Liverpool appoint Michael Edwards as Sporting director

Having been at the club since 2011, Michael Edwards became an increasingly influential figure behind the scenes and in 2016 was promoted to Sporting Director.

He has overseen the transfer business ever since, with the former Tottenham man responsible for the additions of Fabinho, Alisson, Andy Robertson and plenty more, and is one of the key building blocks to the club’s recent success.

23rd June 2017- Mohamed Salah arrives

On the topic of transfers, the arrival of Mohamed Salah was perhaps the most pivotal moment in the club’s recent transfer history. Both Virgil van Dijk and Alisson were undoubtedly major additions, but Salah’s arrival has been transformative.

The Egyptian, who joined from Roma in a deal worth £34m, scored on his debut against Watford, and went on to finish the Premier League top scorer with an astounding 32 goals, a record that he has continued with two further golden boots.

He has since become Liverpool’s talisman, and his form and that of Klopp’s side tend to go hand-in-hand.

8th Jan 2018- Philippe Coutinho is sold to Barcelona for £147m

Salah was good, but the sale of Philippe Coutinho was key to Liverpool’s squad building, with the record sale of their Brazilian maestro allowing them to buy both Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk over the following 6 months with change to spare.

Both have since become integral parts of Liverpool’s side, and given the self-sufficient nature of the Reds, it is almost impossible that both would have arrived without such a major departure.

Saturday 26th May 2018- Liverpool lose their first Champions League final, falling 3-1 to Real Madrid

After the departure of Coutinho, Liverpool continued their fine form in Europe, reaching the Champions League final for the first time since Istanbul in 2005, where they would face Real Madrid.

However, an injury to Mohamed Salah early on disrupted any sort of rhythm in Jurgen Klopp’s side, and a disastrous performance from Lloris Karius saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat to the Spanish giants, meaning that Jurgen Klopp’s wait for a trophy with the Reds continued.

1st June 2019- Liverpool lift the Champions League at the second time of asking under Jurgen Klopp, beating Tottenham 2-0 in the final.

After suffering heartbreak 12 months previous, Klopp and Liverpool win their first trophy together as they comprehensively beat Tottenham 2-0 in the 2019 Champions League final courtesy of goals from Salah and Divock Origi.

They also finish the season on 97 points, losing just once, but fall agonisingly short against Manchester City, who manage 98 points.

26th September 2019- Liverpool FC fail in bid to trademark ‘Liverpool’

The decision by the Intellectual Property Office to throw out FSG’s attempt to trademark the word ‘Liverpool’ due to “the geographical significance” of the City was met with widespread relief by fans, who were furious when knowledge of the application came to light.

It forced a bashful statement from the club, with Liverpool’s CEO Peter Moore writing:

“It should be stressed that our application was put forward in good faith and with the sole aim of protecting and furthering the best interests of the club and its supporters. Nevertheless, we accept the decision and the spirit in which it has been made”.

25th June 2020- Liverpool are confirmed as Premier League Champions for the first time in their history

The Premier League title was all but wrapped up by the time the Coronavirus pandemic struck, with Jurgen Klopp’s side having brushed off their 97 point disappointment to set a blazing path to success. A 3-1 win over Manchester City in November opened up an eight point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side before COVID-19 grounded football for months.

Upon the restart, Liverpool raced to a 23-point lead and needed just three more points, only to be crowned Champions as Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 to ensure that they could not be caught, and hand them their first-ever Premier League title.

“I have no words, it’s unbelievable”, Klopp told Sky Sports.

“It’s much more than I ever thought would be possible. Becoming champion with this club is absolutely incredible.

“I haven’t waited 30 years – I have been here for four and a half years – but it is quite an achievement, especially with the three-month break because nobody knew if we could go on.

“I know it is difficult for people in this moment but we could not hold back. We will enjoy this with our supporters when we can.”

19th-21st April 2021 – FSG enter European SuperLeague, before making a drastic U-Turn

On April 19th 2021, Liverpool joined their fellow ‘big six’ sides in announcing that they intended to join a European Super League, which threw football into chaos.

It was met with widespread condemnation across English football, with fans of all six clubs taking to the streets to protest the decision, and the backlash prompted a series of embarrassing climb-downs as one by one the English sides withdrew from the idea, less than 48 hours after it had first been mentioned publicly.

“I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours,” Henry said in an apology video.

“It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans.”

“No-one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.”

“And I want to apologise to Jürgen, to Billy, to the players and to everyone who works so hard at LFC to make our fans proud. They have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption. They were the most disrupted and unfairly so.”

28th April 2022- Jurgen Klopp extends his contract until 2026

Even as the ownership changes, the manager is unlikely to thanks to Klopp’s new contract. The German boss penned a deal to keep him at Anfield until 2026, in what could be an even more important decision than first thought should there be turbulence at the top level.

It capped a bittersweet season for the Reds, as they lost another Champions League final and were pipped to the Premier League title on the final day by Manchester City once more.

However, they still came away with a domestic double, and continued their trophy-winning record under FSG.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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