By Kevin Koczwara
Liverpool Football Club’s sale could finalized as early as Friday, if court room battles and back room politics are settled. American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks feel the sale of Liverpool was pushed through, and the price John Henry and New England Sports Ventures paid for the club is far from the total worth. But do Gillett and Hicks really want to lose out to the Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday when they default on their loans? Or do they want to get some money back? I would think they would want some money back before the banks takes the club from their hands.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the sale:
- I am a Red Sox fan, and I am a fan of what Tom Henry and his crew have done with the Sox since taking over. They invest wisely, rather than splashing cash for big names all the time. They figure out what wins in baseball, pitching, and then work around that by filling in the holes with players who do their job.
- The hiring of Theo Epstein marked a turning point for the Sox. The team started focusing more resources on youth and the minors. Liverpool needs to start looking globally at younger talent and developing it. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have done it. Lyon has mastered the transfer market by going after young talent, building it up and sticking to the tough transfer policies the team holds all the while becoming the dominant team in France and advancing in European competition. Can Henry and company follow the same models at Liverpool? I hope so. It only makes sense.
- Message to Johny Henry: Do not alienate the fan base. Hicks and Gillett learned how ugly it can get when you alienate one of the world’s largest fan bases. Don’t lie or mislead the Liverpool supporters, they will get after you. Henry should relish being apart of another fan base like the Red Sox. Liverpool has tradition, and the fans love their club, so be one of them.
- Henry has shown his support for the Red Sox by going to as many games as he can, tweeting about them, and speaking openly about the team. He should do the same for Liverpool. The model he uses in Boston will suit him well at Anfield.
- Henry has done a great job with Fenway Park. He has got every penny he can from the oldest Major League Baseball stadium. He will have to do the same until he can build a new stadium or overhaul Anfield. I can see it happening and it working, much like it does here in New England. But he will need to act quickly.
- The players should be happy, a new owner will take the pressure off their shoulders. Fans will be focused on their play now and the support should start ringing out from the Kop.
- Americans aren’t all the same. Liverpool fans should give Henry a chance.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.