Liverpool Football Club: Valuing A Sports Team

By George Foster, Susan Mackenzie
2002 | Case No. SPM2
On November 4, 2002, Redsfans Capital (a fictitious investor group) met in their Liverpool offices to discuss a potential investment. Die-hard fans of Liverpool Football Club, the investors wanted to purchase a majority interest in the club, and needed to perform a valuation analysis. However, there were few comparable valuations for Liverpool. There had been few investments in the past year, and the market values of publicly traded clubs had fallen dramatically since their peak in early 2000. Many clubs were experiencing financial difficulties. Even some of the top teams struggled, as economic disparity continued to increase within the Premiership. Liverpool, still the most successful team in English football history, returned to profitability in 2001 after two years of operating losses and a decade of under-performance on the field. Had Liverpool indeed returned to glory on the pitch, or would the team’s recent success prove to be an anomaly? What impact would the club’s strategic initiatives—such as higher player spending, brand equity development, and a new stadium—have on income? How should Redsfans Capital estimate the fair market value of Liverpool Football Club?
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