The world’s most elite clubs will regularly schedule their pre-season friendlies for the following season 6-12 months in advance. A return to the United States was a massive possibility for Liverpool FC during the summer discussions surrounding their 2023 pre-season tour.
Billy Hogan, the current chief executive for Liverpool, described the process for the 2023 pre-season tour, and a return to the US was naturally a front-runner as the club is owned by the Fenway Sports Group.
Since FSG purchased Liverpool in 2010, tours in North America were expected, as the new owners are based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Reds have visited the United States for pre-season friendlies on three separate occasions since 2015.
Liverpool pre-season schedule (2015-2022):
2015 – Thailand, Australia, Malaysia
2016 – USA
2017 – Hong Kong
2018 – USA
2019 – USA
2020 – Cancelled
2021 – Cancelled
2022 – Thailand, Singapore
Is Liverpool returning to America in 2023?
Following consecutive cancellations due to the pandemic, Liverpool resumed their pre-season tour in 2022 when visiting the Far East. They arrived in Singapore after a 4-0 loss to Manchester United in Bangkok.
It’s no surprise that three of Liverpool’s previous six tours have been in the States, as the club has received colossal support Stateside because of the Fenway Sports Group.
With a three-year absence from competing in North America, many insiders believe that the US is a favourite destination for their 2023 tour.
Hogan, who’s been the chief executive for the Reds since 2020 – revealed that plans for next year are already underway and highlighted America as a significant possibility.
“We are already starting to look at where we could go next year,” he said.
“Asia has always had a massive Liverpool supporter base, and it’s a big place, so there are lots of places to go.
“We’ve looked at several different markets. North America is another one, and the US is a partner that continues to grow.”
Liverpool’s tour in 2019 saw them compete on the east coast of America. Notre Dame, Boston, and New York City hosted the Reds, who competed against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, and Sporting CP. And although next year’s potential US visit would see them arrive on the west coast, a return to Boston and New York, where Liverpool evidently possesses a strong fan base, would be an excellent choice.
As the legalisation of sports betting arrived in the Empire State earlier this year, Caesars New York sportsbook would be one of the primary sports betting providers for a fixture that could take place in the Big Apple.
Sports wagering and soccer go hand-in-hand; as the world’s most popular sport, it’s naturally a considerable attraction for bettors across the planet.
“Touring is never about short-term financial gain,” Hogan added.
“In fact, we try not to make short-term financial decisions because that can leave you in difficult places.
“It’s about the overall impact of bringing the club out to these markets. It takes more than a year for a tour to come together.
“We look at which markets are important for the club, our supporters and partners, and we try to put all that together.”
Is Liverpool up for sale?
If the recent rumours that Fenway Sports Group intends to sell Liverpool, there’s a chance this could prevent a 2023 return to the United States.
A report from Monday, 7th November, claims that FSG, run by John W.Henry, has “put Liverpool up for sale”, just 12 years since they purchased the club.
FSG released a statement following the announcement: “There have been many recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at EPL clubs, and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool.
“FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool. FSG has said before that under the correct terms and conditions, we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club.
“FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch.”
Despite the positivity of this statement, FSG has been heavily criticised for lack of spending. Particularly during this summer’s transfer window, where the total net spend didn’t exceed £10 million. Considering the Red’s impressive 2021/22 season, where they reached the Champions League final, placed second in the Premier League below Man City by one point, and won both domestic cups, this small spending was seen as an insult to fans of the squad that deserved some minor revamps.
Whether FSG sells Liverpool or not, it’s doubtful this would affect a potential return to the USA for a 2023 tour. Likely, plans are already in place, and a pre-season location was decided without the information leaking to the media.
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