NESV Closing in on Liverpool F.C. Sale

John W. Henry is the head of NESV and the owner of the Boston Red Sox

Rumors have surfaced over the past 24 hours that bidders were named and one accepted in the sale of Liverpool F.C. We now have an official statement by New England Sports Ventures, the owners of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox.

In the statement, NESV confirms their bid and also does a bit of a public relations hoop-jumping. Knowing the Red Sox, the PR Department is damn good, so they know what to say, when to say it and who to say it to.

“NESV wants to create a long-term financially solid foundation for Liverpool FC and is dedicated to ensuring that the Club has the resources to build for the future, including the removal of all acquisition debt. Our objective is to stabilize the Club and ultimately return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies.”

This is something that I can get behind. But one has to get through the public relations muck and see this for what it really is.

If this sale goes through (like it seems) it will do a few things:

1. The club’s “major” debt will be eliminated.

2. Hicks and Gillett will be out of the club.

3. The club will have Hicks and Gillett replaced with John W. Henry, head of NESV and owner of the Boston Red Sox.

4. There is no guarantee of money being poured into the club.

According to the Guardian, the sale will go through for £ 300 million. This does not include the debt, which NESV plans to take care of themselves. The article also says that the debt remaining would be £37 million, which is pretty good, being the second lowest in the Premiership.

With all of this being said, I don’t know if this is a great idea. Henry is a great businessman. He has a great financial track record. But, he wouldn’t be much different in the eyes of Scousers, than H&G.

Liverpool protest group "Spirit of Shankly" added pressure to remove Hicks and Gillett

He is still American. He is an owner of a baseball team (albeit a much more successful and prosperous one than the Texas Rangers). He knows next to nothing about soccer (besides the Celtic-Sporting match in Fenway Park this summer). Henry also isn’t guaranteed to pour money into the club. The Red Sox are his most important asset, and Liverpool won’t jump up in importance.  I just don’t see him really taking an active role in trying to make the team better.

Also, are the Scousers going to really welcome Henry? There were so many protests from Liverpudlians about how they DIDN’T want Americans at the helm. Little do they know, that there weren’t any Brits that could have bought, or even wanted to buy. Also, you don’t want an American, well what makes them different from an Asian, or anyone else?

The thing is, the club probably could have gotten a big oil tycoon if they had been more patient. Rushing out H&G might have put the club into a vicious circle of debt and no success-to paying off debt-to debt and no success.

It is very early, yes. But don’t be surprised with more debt, players still not coming to the club because the club doesn’t have the funds, and lackluster play on the pitch. It’s easy to pretend to be optimistic, but I don’t know that we really are improving. It is great to remove Hicks and Gillett, but we will see at what cost their removal really was.


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