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LeBron James’ passion for Liverpool is not rooted in childhood fanhood but rather his stake in the English club, which he recently increased.

The Los Angeles Lakers star received 2% of Liverpool Football Club in 2011 for 4.7 million pounds (roughly $6.5M) and it has paid off. Since then, the Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League and James’ stake is estimated to now be valued at almost $44M.

Liverpool Football Club has an estimated value of $2.13 billion, according to Forbes.

Although the team has hit a rocky patch compared to the last two years — Liverpool are seventh in the Premier League, five points below the Champions League spots — James has looked to boost his holding.

This time, however, he did not approach the club directly but rather took a minority share in Boston Red Sox owners Fenway Sports Group, which bought Liverpool in 2010.

The four-time NBA champion thus became one of the first black business partners at Fenway, along with his associate Maverick Carter.

“I think for me and for my partner, Maverick, to be the first two Black men to be a part of that ownership group in the history of that franchise, I think it’s pretty damn cool”, he told ESPN at the time. “It gives me and people that look like me hope and inspiration that they can be in a position like that as well, that it can be done.”

The amount James invested in Fenway has not been made public but Forbes estimates the company’s worth to be around $6B. James himself has a net value of around $500M.

James has openly spoken about his desire to own an NBA team, something that he can’t do until he has officially retired as a player.

For now, with his Fenway portfolio boosted and his stake in Liverpool healthy, he’ll have to content himself watching the Reds upcoming Champions League clash with Real Madrid in the knowledge that his share in the club can fluctuate depending on how they perform. EFE

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