American businessman Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men, rejected the chance to purchase Liverpool in 2010, with the Microsoft co-founder failing to even respond to the email. With Gates worth an estimated £70 billion, the proposition has been revealed following the ongoing legal battle between Mill Financial, former co-owner George Gillett and the Royal Bank of Scotland. It is believed that two separate approaches were also made to Robert Kraft, owner of recent Super Bowl winners the New England Patriots, both of which were rebuffed.
Gillett and co-owner Tom Hicks took over at Anfield back in 2007, only to agree to sell their stake in the club after just three years. After appointing Barclays Capital in order to find prospective buyers, Sir Martin Broughton, Liverpool Chairman at the time, has confirmed that approaches were put forward to both Gates and Kraft. Kraft twice rejected the chance to invest heavily in Liverpool in both 2005 and 2010, with Fenway Sports Group eventually purchasing the Reds at the turn of the century.
Elsewhere, Liverpool’s chief executive Ian Ayre is on the verge of departing Anfield four months ahead of schedule. Ayre was granted permission to take the managing director role at German 2. Bundesliga side 1860 Munich, with current chief commercial officer Billy Hogan set to take over as his replacement. Despite heavy investment in both the stadium and in the transfer market, Liverpool are still yet to win their first Premier League title, with Betser betting offering Jurgen Klopp’s side as major underdogs given their shocking start to 2017.
Owner John W Henry may well have to put his hand into his pocket once again in the summer, with Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the latest name to be linked with a move to Anfield. With Daniel Sturridge looking set to end his disappointing spell with Liverpool at the end of the season, with the former Manchester City and Chelsea man having fallen out of favour with manager Klopp, the German could well raid his old club for the Gabonese star. Sadio Mane is Liverpool’s leading scorer in the Premier League so far with nine goals, just one of the reasons why the club are potentially in for a new frontman.
With Klopp having decided to not add to his ranks in the January transfer window, Liverpool are now in danger of missing out on a place in the top four come the end of the season, having at one stage looked likely to challenge for the title. Former Anfield great John Barnes is just one former player calling for investment, with Liverpool’s current squad certainly not on a par with the rest of English football’s elite.