John Henry Says Anfield Naming Rights Could Occur
TOMKINSTIMES.com was invited to ask Liverpool FC Owner John Henry questions "as part of a new era of open communications." The questions were "devised by contributors" to the site.
Q: As part of Fenway Sports Group's wider self-sustainability drive for LFC and in line with the FFP regulations, do such aims mean that in the coming transfer windows starting with this one, all wage and transfer expenditure needs to be self-generated?
A: The mandate of financial fair play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means. Recently I was told that half of the clubs in the top divisions within Europe are losing money and 20% are in straits of varying degrees. It’s up to LFC to invest properly in players going forward so that the club cannot only be sustainable but a powerhouse. This club should be able to significantly increase its revenues.
Q: Does staying at Anfield impede a stadium rights naming deal? If costs can be offset with such a deal, this could give the club a clear Financial Fair Play advantage too?
A: A naming-rights deal at Anfield could occur, I suppose, if the partner were right. We haven’t pursued it.
Q: In an ideal world, success would be possible in at least both competitions, but just as the Carling Cup and to an extent the FA Cup has been somewhat demoted in importance by the financial gains on offer in the Premier League and Champions League, is there a case for diverting finite resources (players’ playing time) to the competitions that can guarantee the greatest returns?
A: No. You don’t compete for money; you compete to win. Winning the Carling Cup last year was huge for the club just as making it to the final of the FA Cup was huge. Supporters are the backbone of Liverpool Football Club and they’ve been through a lot over the last few years. Our players knew what those cups meant to the supporters last year. In some ways they were the only thing we were playing for last year because the league performance was so disappointing (TOMKINSTIMES.com, 8/9).