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Andy @ Allerton

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http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/New-Liverpool-owner-John-W-Henry-reveals-his-blueprint-and-vision-for-the-future-of-the-Kop-Exclusive-article622439.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

 

The message from the new masters of the Anfield universe was simple and to the point.

 

Not a promise to the Liverpool fans, just a vow of intent. And an unmistakable call for Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina to show they have the same love for the club that Steven Gerrard, Jamie Caragher and The Kop do.

 

John W Henry, the new “Principal Owner”, laid it on the line. “We really don’t want a player in the club who doesn’t want to be in the club,” he said.

 

“Of course, the system in football is completely different to what we’re used to. In the main, players in the US fulfil their contracts. Over here players have much more say over where they are.

 

But I have spoken to a number of the top players and was really heartened by the response and the intelligence of those players. They really understand what Liverpool is about, perhaps more than we do.

 

“I’m not going to discuss what we talked about but it was a good discussion. We reassured them of our ambitions, absolutely.

 

“Now it’s up to us to provide the leadership to make sure we have the right people on and off the field so that every player at LIverpool Football Club or is potentially coming to the club wants to be there.”

 

Henry and his close colleague, showbiz magnate Tom Werner who is the new Liverpool chairman, understand they have taken on more than just a club, but an institution, dear to the hearts of thousands, that has fallen on hard times.

 

But having turned the Boston Red Sox from serial under-achievers into the best team in baseball, the vision is the same.

 

The days of frustration, of living in Manchester United’s shadow, are numbered. What they did in New England, the pair insisted last night, they WILL do on Merseyside.

 

“When we arrived in Boston they had not won in 80 years or more and we knew that was our job, to win the World Series, and more than once,” recalled Henry.

 

“We know coming in here that since the Premier League was created over the last 20 years we haven’t won the title and that’s what our challenge is, first and foremost. If Manchester United do win the league and go ahead of us, then we will work hard to win two.”

 

Both men had another close-hand experience of the fervour at Anfield in the win over Napoli and will be back in directors box harness against Chelsea tomorrow.

 

Werner said: “The passion of the fans at Liverpool is so palpable, not just at Anfield but round the world.

 

“Part of the reason we took on this challenge was we wanted to reward those fans for the loyalty they have shown to one of the great clubs in sport.

 

“We understand the impatience of fans. Our intention is to build a great club from the foundations up, to find the very best people in football and on the revenue side.

 

“It would be crazy to promise too much, too soon. But I hope our track record is a guide that we are successful operators and we will deliver. We went to the Anfield Museum and our intention is to increase the amount of silverware there.”

 

Doing that is not as easy as waving a wand.

 

There are a number of hurdles to overcome and the admission that Damien Comolli was recruited as Director of Football Strategy on the recommendation of baseball executive Billy Bean, currently being played by Brad Pitt in a Hollywood bio-pic about how the small-town, small budget Oakland Athletics punched above their weight, hinted at potentials problems for Roy Hodgson.

 

What was clear last night, though, is that Henry and Werner blame Tom Hicks, George Gillett and Rafa Benitez of the condition of Liverpool, rather than Hodgson.

 

“There were a number of unpleasant surprises for us,” admitted Henry. “The wage bill was high, it’s going to be high in the next years and we’re not a young team. That was disappointing.

 

Roy was unfairly criticised. He didn’t build this team and it takes time for a new manager and a club to click. If you look at the history of Liverpool, new managers have not generally clicked straightaway. Stability is very important to the organisation.”

 

Stability maybe key but change is essential, especially with Henry and Werner aware the gap between Liverpool and their major rivals is even bigger off the pitch than it is on it.

 

A groundshare with Everton seems off the agenda and while Liverpool council chiefs would like to see the proposed new 60,000-stadium at Stanley Park built, renovating Anfield may be the preferred option.

 

What is promised, though, is a very different commercial operation, with Liverpool’s historic Asian fan-base the key to increasing the size of the club, rather than widescale price increases at Anfield.

 

There is only so much revenue we can derive out of the city of Liverpool,” said Henry. “We don’t have 12 million people in Liverpool and don’t have the wealth of London.

 

“If we were Chelsea or Arsenal we would concentrate on London but we can’t concentrate on Liverpool when it comes to growing revenue.

 

“I don’t think you get into sport to make a profit. You can hope to be wildly profitable and we’ve been at it for nine years and been profitable. But every dollar we’ve generated has gone into improving the team or the facilities.

 

“We hope some day that Liverpool will be much more valuable than it is today. I like the term ‘sustainable’ and that’s what’s great about the Arsenal model.

 

“You must not confuse stadium debt with structural debt. How did Arsenal build the Emirates? I never heard of a privately-funded stadium of any magnitude not funded by debt. It’s not possible to do that.

 

The New York Yankees are $3.5billion in debt but I never heard a Yankees fan complain because they spent $1.5bn on the new stadium. I don’t think Arsenal fans complained because they borrowed money to build the Emirates. It’s a separate issue and the fans will understand that.”

 

They will, although only if the team deliver on the pitch. Werner added: “In five years we want to be able to be able to show you a consistent, successful, winning club.

 

“Liverpool has untapped potential globally and we’re focused on increasing revenue so that we can compete with Manchester United and Chelsea.

 

“We don’t want to come in and say ‘we will win the Premier League by X’ but we want to show both immediate progress and to build a foundation. That is what we will do.”

 

[AlarmBells]f***ing Hell[/AlarmBells]

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[AlarmBells]f***ing Hell[/AlarmBells]

 

[Over-reaction] How about we wait and see? [Over-reaction]

 

Absolutely no point picking over every last thing they say.

 

Plenty of people though the previous two cowboys were word perfect when they took over and told us exactly what we wanted to hear, and look how that turned out.

 

That isn't to say that I'm actually hopeful yet as to what the new owners will deliver - it is more still just relief that the old ones have gone - but I'm certainly not going to start comparing the two regimes when there are already signs of difference.

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[Over-reaction] How about we wait and see? [Over-reaction]

 

Absolutely no point picking over every last thing they say.

 

Plenty of people though the previous two cowboys were word perfect when they took over and told us exactly what we wanted to hear, and look how that turned out.

 

That isn't to say that I'm actually hopeful yet as to what the new owners will deliver - it is more still just relief that the old ones have gone - but I'm certainly not going to start comparing the two regimes when there are already signs of difference.

 

 

You can't see anything to worry about when the Owners say "We're not a young team - we're disappointed in that.." when Hodgson is raising the average age by buying talentless, old s**** and letting decent young players go?

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I think the biggest thing in their favour is that the Red Sox fans are ecstatic with their owners, while (Hicks especially) the others fans were not. No one picked up on it at the time, but everyone is a bit more wary this time around.

 

And like he said, no point panicking yet..

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Hodgson bought four old players and Carra got a two year deal.

Bit odd the comments..

 

Rafa left a support squad of Ayala, Kelly, Insua and Pacheco plus Ngog and Lucas in the first eighteen.

 

I hope the right football people are briefing our new owners.

Edited by Benzo-13
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I think their initial comments are political. These are the first in depth interviews they've done with the British media, so I don't think they are going to come in shouting their mouths off, and they will have looked at what H&G said when they first took over.

 

Slightly concerned about what Henry has had to say about Hodgson, but again I think he needs to be seen as supporting the manager, particularly as he is on a 4 game (!!) unbeaten run. He will have noticed the average age of the players Hodgson has bought to date and how that doesn't fit the future buying policy, but I do think we are stuck with Hodgson until at least Christmas.

 

One ray of light in the interviews I have seen, Henry said they have a track record of sticking with their managers and supporting them. This is good but didn't they sack the current manager when they took over the Red Sox within the first few months?

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You can't see anything to worry about when the Owners say "We're not a young team - we're disappointed in that.." when Hodgson is raising the average age by buying talentless, old s**** and letting decent young players go?

 

These owners weren't here when Roy added those players, and I'm quite sure that if they don't already know who bought them, Comolli certainly will.

 

http://www.mirrorfoo..._medium=twitter

 

 

 

 

"But I have spoken to a number of the top players and was really heartened by the response and the intelligence of those players. They really understand what Liverpool is about, perhaps more than we do.

 

"I'm not going to discuss what we talked about but it was a good discussion. We reassured them of our ambitions, absolutely.

 

"Now it's up to us to provide the leadership to make sure we have the right people on and off the field so that every player at LIverpool Football Club or is potentially coming to the club wants to be there."

 

 

 

This could easily be interpreted as an indication they are seriously looking at Roy's position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You can't see anything to worry about when the Owners say "We're not a young team - we're disappointed in that.." when Hodgson is raising the average age by buying talentless, old s**** and letting decent young players go?

 

Not enough to get worked upover at this stage, no.

 

In fact it could actually be seen as a positive - a subtle rebuke of what Hodgson has been doing rather than a criticim of the previous manager for example.

 

Read that way, it sounds as if they have the same exact concerns that we've all had about s**** like Poulsen and Konchesky coming in, which can only be a good thing really, so I'm not sure why you're getting so worked up EDIT - until I checked you display name history. It all makes sense now. Carry on.

Edited by kop205
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i've seen a clip of the interview - maybe not this exact one - but where Henry said the same thing at least.. when you see how he said these things you'll maybe have a different view to how you read them yourself in print.. he was being asked about Hodgson's position and was pretty diplomatic - he didn't want to come out and say anything that could be used against him with regards to the managers position and the line used about 'Hodgson didnt build this squad' seemed more like a show of support for him considering he also said he couldn't guarantee his job in the future.. essentially it was like he was covering both bases - didn't want to have the press on his case about being non-commital to the manager and didn't want to look like he wasn't supporting him.. as i said, diplomatic.. not too worried about this..

 

i am worried about the debt - not for the reason people may think though.. these guys are talking a good game but they seem to be scared of mentioning debt - Henry in particular (when you see the interview) looks almost sheepish when mentioning it.. so what - if it needs debt to build a stadium fair enough - no problem with that.. i've got a problem with debt being used to pay off debt of your own making that you used to buy the club.. debt that goes anywhere but in improving Liverpool FC in some way or the other.. don't get hung up about it - just come out and tell the fans "we need to build X but to do it we need to borrow Y and it won't impact on buying players etc because we're looking at spending Z every year".. be open, be honest and fans won't really have a problem..do it behind closed doors and let the media put it out there you're doing another G&H and there's my worry come true..

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I'm not sure I see the problem with some of what you emboldened, RHPM.

 

"But I have spoken to a number of the top players and was really heartened by the response and the intelligence of those players. They really understand what Liverpool is about, perhaps more than we do"

 

What's wrong with that, for example?

 

"There is only so much revenue we can derive out of the city of Liverpool,” said Henry. “We don’t have 12 million people in Liverpool and don’t have the wealth of London. If we were Chelsea or Arsenal we would concentrate on London but we can’t concentrate on Liverpool when it comes to growing revenue."

 

That, too seems reasonable to me. At least, I read it in the context of the previous comment that increasing revenues from Asia is seen as the way forward, rather than raising ticket prices at Anfield for example. I don't think it means they're not looking at inproving facilities in Liverpool (i.e. building a new stadium), but it's fair to say that local fans don't have huge amounts to spend on supporting the club, isn't it?

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Hodgsons time will come, just not as soon as a lot of people would like. They will be ruthless when it comes to it but they won't do it before they have identified the man they want and he has agreed to come.

 

The bad news is, unless we go on another disasterous run, that might not be until next summer.

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You can't see anything to worry about when the Owners say "We're not a young team - we're disappointed in that.." when Hodgson is raising the average age by buying talentless, old s**** and letting decent young players go?

 

He bought those and let the kids go before NESV took over. It's the opposite of worrying if they're saying they don't want more of that.

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If we learned anything from our experience with the last 2 owners, it's surely that we should judge this lot on actions, not words. They have no track record in OUR game and there's no guarantee their baseball ethos will work in football.

 

I'm really not interested in their PR. They've done nothing yet to earn our trust, and it won't be forthcoming from me until they've given us something more tangible than conciliatory words.

 

They've still got it all to prove.

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What are your issues A@A?

 

 

I cant see an issue with anything he's said here. What are you expecting from him, some tub thumping rhetoric and a pledge that Hodgson is under constant review?

 

 

He's completely correct that we are not delivering the sum of our parts and pay, and we have a mature squad that needs to be churned. This summer had made it worse, but in case you missed it, that's not down to them.

 

Also I thought you wanted to stay at Anfield, sounds like moving is no certainty.

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If we learned anything from our experience with the last 2 owners, it's surely that we should judge this lot on actions, not words. They have no track record in OUR game and there's no guarantee their baseball ethos will work in football.

 

I'm really not interested in their PR. They've done nothing yet to earn our trust, and it won't be forthcoming from me until they've given us something more tangible than conciliatory words.

 

They've still got it all to prove.

 

Absolutely.

 

Cuts both ways though.

 

I'm not going to start panicking on the basis of what they do/don't say any more than I'd be taken in by it.

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If we learned anything from our experience with the last 2 owners, it's surely that we should judge this lot on actions, not words. They have no track record in OUR game and there's no guarantee their baseball ethos will work in football.

 

I'm really not interested in their PR. They've done nothing yet to earn our trust, and it won't be forthcoming from me until they've given us something more tangible than conciliatory words.

 

They've still got it all to prove.

 

The one thing that caught my eye in all that is the mention of some baseball guy recommending Comolli. I'm hoping they're not that stupid.

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I dont agree with the view they have of hodgson but they are hardly going to come out in the press and say you know what we think he's s*** as well. On everything else I think they are being realistic. Liverpool isnt a wealthy city. Funding has to come from somewhere for the stadium and we know they arent sugar daddy's. At least there is a gaureented revenue income for a stadium whereas the accquisition debt we had was like having a hole in your pocket.

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The wealth and size of the city is a bit of a red herring.

With most clubs it would have more importance, with Sunderland its all about the local fans, but we have grown beyond that to an extent.

The fans can come from all over the country. Its the demand for tickets that needs to be examined carefully, not the population and Gross Product of the Merseyside area.

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