Liverpool fans sceptical of proposed new owners

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The Independent Football

ShareLiverpoolFC today expressed scepticism at the prospect of John W Henry succeeding George Gillett and Tom Hicks as owner of Liverpool.

The group which is campaigning to see the club run by supporters have made a bid to secure a shareholding as part of any takeover by Henry, who is trying to buy the Reds for £300million deal through his New England Sports Ventures (NESV) investment vehicle.

ShareLiverpoolFC board member Rogan Taylor said of the bid by Henry, who transformed the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox: "I don't feel any great excitement about the prospect, I must admit.

"Although there's an impressive story, particularly behind the Red Sox, one that actually might be quite surprising to some Liverpool fans.

"He took over a baseball club that was on its uppers, in an old stadium, only had 30-odd thousand in it.

"Every other bidder for the club was talking about how they'd build a huge new stadium

"But John Henry simply refurbished the existing one, spent about £100million on it, but has made a business that is second only, I think, to the New York outfit.

"They're the second biggest earners in that league.

"John Henry's got a lot of respect in the sports world over in the States.

"Our problem is, will they understand anything about the way it actually works here and the kind of culture on which this stuff grows?

"I think that'll remain a concern for a very long time, even if he does take over the club."

Liverpool face a race against against time to find a new owner, with a deadline of next week to repay or refinance £282million of loans - owed principally to the Royal Bank of Scotland.

But, whatever happens, Taylor is confident the club are in no danger of folding like high-street chain Woolworths.

"There are only eight big badges in the world; there are only eight clubs on the global bus," he told Radio Five Live.

"There's two in Spain, three in Italy, one in Germany, two in England.

"The reality is Manchester United go 25 years without a pot worth peeing in; Madrid don't win anything in Europe for 20 years.

"They never stop being Real Madrid, they never stop being Manchester United.

"And Liverpool will never stop being Liverpool FC.

"The global reach of these badges is tremendous.

"And hard times is nothing new for football fans; we're built for this stuff."

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