The new owners – John W. Henry and New England Sports Ventures – also own the Boston Red Sox. So – an American businessman has sold the club to an American businessman. The difference is that the new guys seem to have success ingrained into their psyche – after all, the Red Sox are far from a failing organization! However, in this writer’s honest opinion I don’t see the glory days returning to the mighty red half of Merseyside under the new regime.
Fine – looking at their record and business acumen, the Reds have been saved from a potential disaster on a similar scale to Portsmouth with this takeover. It is worth noting that the problems on the south coast essentially began with an ill-fated ownership change too, though this scenario surely won’t befall the graceful Kop.
My problem with the takeover is that until the club gets in a chairman who genuinely cares for the club – who bleeds, breathes, eats and sleeps Liverpool – any glory on the pitch will feel hollow and worthless.
The club may well win trophies, and the connection between fans and players will (or at the very least should) remain unaffected. But will success on the pitch under a businessman be as special as winning the big one under someone whose affection for the club he owns is clear for all to see?
Speaking with a Liverpool supporting friend this morning, he said the same thing – he would prefer a couple of years of mid-table mediocrity with some building for the future, and seeing these long-term efforts eventually come to fruition as opposed to someone who may throw money at the club in the hopes of a quick fix and a quick profit, essentially rendering any glory on the field incidental and second hand. The fans deserve more.
Needless to say, this is great news for the club nevertheless because it demonstrates to the outside world that the fans still have their say in the north west, and memories of last weekend’s protest still rest vividly in the mind. It also ensures the club is rid of the rot which even seemed to drive Rafa Benitez to the brink of insanity.
But whether the new owners are as good news for the club remains to be seen, and while I hope I am wrong I would advise Pool fans to greet the news with their typical faith, but also with extreme caution.