Failings of previous owners continue to hurt Liverpool reveals owner John Henry

 

Owner John Henry says Liverpool face a huge financial challenge to compete with the very best as the Premier League side continues to pay the price for the failings of the previous regime.

Henry told British media that the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) were committed to restoring the Reds to the top of the English game but warned not to expect a change of fortunes as rapid as the one achieved with the Boston Red Sox.

FSG acquired the Major League Baseball team in 2002 and within two years, they ended an 86-year wait to win the World Series.

They completed their Anfield takeover in October 2010, bringing to an end the acrimonious reign of fellow Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

"The best analogy is that you can't turn an ocean liner around like you can turn a speedboat," said Henry, whose consortium paid £300m for the club when they were on the brink of administration.

"When you look at the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United, Liverpool isn't holding up its side of the rivalry.

"That is the way it was with the Red Sox and the (New York) Yankees," he added. "The Yankees were just completely dominant when we arrived.

"We knew we could never be on an equal footing financially with the Yankees. But we had to do everything in our power to get on a level footing with them on the playing field.

"That was a tremendous challenge. You could say Liverpool is an even bigger challenge than the Red Sox."

Liverpool, who won the last of their 18 English titles in 1990, have finished sixth and eighth in the Premier League over the past two seasons.

Principal Owner Henry and Chairman Tom Werner said transforming the club's fortunes would take time, with a squad in need of strengthening and an inflated wage bill to reduce.

"We looked at how the situation was financially, with the player contracts and the youth system," Henry said. "The further we went into it, the more sobered we were.

"Looking back at the day we bought Liverpool, I was trying to make a point then about how much of a challenge it was going to be because of the issues we inherited.

"We had a lack of depth in the squad and some really high payrolls. We also had issues with the age of the players and so forth. We knew it was going to be very difficult.

Werner promised FSG were serious about building for the future.

"We feel that we have work to do," he said. "We feel that we are behind - but we are on it. Do we feel that it is possible to get on a level with (the top European) clubs? Absolutely.

"We can close that gap and compete at the very highest level. Absolutely."

Reuters

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works