John W. Henry, Ex-Owner of Marlins, Buys Sixth Biggest Soccer Club in the World Liverpool
|Can former Marlins owner John W. Henry lead Liverpool back to glory?|
Around England, the news comes as a shock and a relief. Valued at $822 million dollars but saddled with debt from current American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, Liverpool currently languishes at the bottom of the English Premier League. Fans and board members both say they hope the sale will help reinvigorate the club.
But if Henry's English adventure is anything like his brief stint in South Florida, Liverpool fans are in for a rude awakening.
Henry bought the Marlins from Wayne Huizenga in January of 1999, but sold the team only three years later to current owner Jeff Loria for $158.5 million. Henry used the money to buy the Boston Red Sox, a team he helped transform into a powerhouse before it recently returned to sucking.
So, should Scousers (as Liverpool fans are known) be happy about the deal? Probably. Even if Henry bails on them, he can't leave the club in any much worse shape than its present state. On Saturday, Liverpool lost to newly promoted Blackpool 2-1. To put it in American terms, that's like if the New England Patriots lost to the Miami Central Rockets.
Only the Rockets can actually score.
Here's a bit of what Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton told British newspaper The Guardian about Henry and his New England Sports Ventures holding company:
New England have a lot of experience in developing, investing in and taking Boston Red Sox - as the closest parallel - from being a club with a wonderful history, a wonderful tradition that had lost the winning way, and bringing it back to being a winner. Their commitment to winning is what it's all about there and they've extended it from Boston Red Sox to Nascar and other things, but Red Sox is the main one.Liverpool fans will expect Henry to come through where Hicks and Gillett did not: delivering a new stadium. But that's precisely where Henry balked in South Florida baseball, selling the Marlins when he wasn't offered the type of "support" that Loria later received.
I have been meeting them now for several weeks in Boston, in Liverpool, in London, and I feel they are totally committed to supporting and getting the winning mentality back into the team.
Either way, selling the club could take a week, while money for new players wouldn't be available until January at the soonest.
Like other football fans, Liverpudlians are famous for bar fights, urinating in public, and frequenting brothels - just like their players.
So the real question is, how are such a bunch of hooligans already pissed at their American owners going to react to another damn Yank overlord?