Manchester United has more potential for profitability than Liverpool, which may have peaked as an investment.
That, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire, after both owners of the two Premier League giants recently confirmed they are looking for new investments or possibly a full sale, and there are plenty of rumors about who could potentially take the reins at Old Trafford and Anfield.
The Glazer family have been in charge of United since 2005, while the Americans from Fenway Sports Group have owned Liverpool since 2010.
Speaking to Stats Perform, Maguire explained how United and Liverpool could be viewed as potential buyers.
“I think Manchester United is a bigger ship that needs to be deployed,” he said. “It will be more expensive, but probably has more potential in terms of profitability.
Liverpool are a little better prepared to work in the oven in the sense that the expansion at Anfield has happened and FSG [Fenway Sports Group] invested heavily in [the training complex] concerned.
“I think Manchester United will be more expensive because they bring in a higher income, they have a bigger stadium, they have more fans and their service will be more expensive. If you get it right, you can get a very significant return on your investment.
“Liverpool, I think, is a big test. Because there is an argument that Liverpool are already at their peak and where should they go next? In terms of being a global brand that is definitely in the top 10 in the world, there is no doubt about it. But I think FSG has done a very good job so far and it’s worth it.”
Club statement on the process of exploring strategic options for Manchester United.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2022
United is valued at $4.6bn (£3.8bn) by Forbes and Liverpool is valued at $4.45bn (£3.68bn) and Maguire believes interested parties are likely to show up from the United States, the Middle East and possibly India.
“I think we’re in an interesting position at the moment, trying to figure out where the demand for investment is coming from,” he added. “China is definitely out of the market. It has become a dictate of the Chinese government, they do not feel comfortable in conspicuous consumption, the development of the Chinese game has not accelerated to the extent that they hoped. That’s why I think they leave football aside.
“Private capital is very interested in football, we saw what happened in Milan. We have seen Chelsea and so I think we have a new potential tranche of owners.
“And you combine that with a heightened interest in the Middle East. I think the comments of one of the Saudi dignitaries [Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal] that they would not object to Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle being owned by the citizens of the country.
“And I spoke to Forbes in India this morning and they seem to think that the acquisition of India cannot be ruled out given the size of the country.”