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SBD Global/July 25, 2012/Franchises

Liverpool Owner Henry Says FSG Knows What's Needed To Get Club To Next Level

Fenway Sports Group Chair John Henry, whose group has a controlling interest in EPL club Liverpool, believes that FSG is "now in a much better position to know exactly what's required to take the club forward," according to James Pearce of the LIVERPOOL ECHO. Henry said, “We know more now than we did when we bought the club. We didn't know a lot at the start. We have had something like 20 months to study and learn and this is really the direction we want to go in. We are working on a long term programme and we are fully committed to this programme. It will be the kind of football we want to play” (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 7/21).

DIFFERENT RULES: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Roger Bennett noted Henry and FSG Chair Tom Werner took control of Liverpool in October '10 for "a cut-rate price" after paying off about $300M worth of the club's debt. Werner was "attracted to the fact that the Premier League operates without the salary restrictions, player drafts and revenue sharing of U.S. sports leagues." He said, "In baseball, when you acquire a franchise, you are one-thirtieth of an industry. If we sell a Liverpool jersey to a supporter in Jakarta, we keep 100% of that." Bennett wrote results have been "mixed so far." Werner: "No supporter will take pleasure where we are right now." Henry said that the past 18 months "have been humbling." Henry: "Our first year and a half was spent learning as much as we could .We’re just now really beginning to understand what we have to do differently" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/19).
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