Bill Gates ignored opportunity to buy Liverpool ahead of 2010 FSG takeover

Joe Hall
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Bill Gates speaking at a charity dinner
Pass and move on! Gates never responded to the overture (Source: Getty)

World's richest man, tech pioneer, club owner?

Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world's wealthiest people, passed up on the opportunity to add the latter title to his resume after being offered Liverpool Football Club in 2010.

Intermediaries trying to find a buyer for the Premier League club from the controversial ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett approached Gates and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots who last weekend won a fifth NFL Super Bowl under his stewardship, but did not receive take-up from either.

Read more: Liverpool came "very close" to takeover from billionaire New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

The offers were revealed in court documents lodged with the New York Supreme Court relating to an ongoing legal battle between Mill Financial, who tried and failed to buy Liverpool, and Gillett and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In a deposition brought by Sir Martin Broughton, the Liverpool chairman at the time is asked if he understood "there was at least an attempt to contact Bill Gates and Bob Kraft in the US?" by Barclays Capital (Barcap) who had been hired to sell the club.

Sir Martin affirms that there was and adds that the search "covered every continent and they were making contacts with people around the world".

Liverpool received offers for the club from both Mill Financial and Meriton, the company belonging to now-Valencia owner Peter Lim, but had at that point already negotiated a deal with current owners New England Sports Ventures (now Fenway Sports Group) that valued the club up to £300m.