Show Me The Money: Liverpool sale to put pressure on Arsenal, United and Chelsea

Show Me The Money: Liverpool sale to put pressure on Arsenal, United and Chelsea

AFCB’s resident football economist Aaron Gordon casts his eye on the prospective sale of Liverpool to new American owners…

As some of you may know, there is big financial news in the EPL this week, with the prospective sale of Liverpool to the New England Sports Ventures (NESV) group. To provide some background, NESV is a group of businessmen led by John Henry who have purchased numerous sports teams in the New England area of the United States, and have a tremendous track record of turning them into victorious, profitable franchises, most notably the Boston Red Sox.

While this deal is far from assured, as many potential sales involving the Hicks group have fallen through, mainly to businessmen from China, Syria and Dubai, this sale seems more promising, since matters are more urgent at this juncture. Although Hicks is set to fight the sale, there is limited wiggle room for his group at this point. Hicks and his cohorts have a week to settle 280 million pounds of debts and fees to the Bank of Scotland, or face administration, which would result in a loss of points. Considering Liverpool is already facing relegation, a loss of points would be potentially catastrophic.

From a personal standpoint, I was born and raised (and am currently writing from) New England. My father has been a Red Sox fan since birth, growing up outside of Boston. It is impossible to overstate the transformation of the Red Sox over the last 15 years under John Henry and NESV. The Red Sox, for 86 years, failed to win a championship, with a stigma of failure looming over their every move. Supporters of the team considered losing a matter of when, not if. The lore of Red Sox history from 1918 to 2003 was ridden with disastrous, soul-crushing outcomes.

John Henry has transformed the Boston Red Sox

Then Henry and NESV came along, and purchased a team with an ancient stadium (barely renovated since the early 1900’s) and a maligned team. They invested in players intelligently, refusing to overpay in the transfer market for questionable stars, but instead opting to develop their own. This pattern of wise investment culminated in the ultimate turn of fate, when the Red Sox defeated their rivals, the Yankees, in the most improbable comeback in American sports history, and went on to win the championship in 2004, and again in 2008. (Note: the American version of Fever Pitch, which should be known to any Arsenal supporter, was adapted for the 2004 Red Sox season. It was an awful, awful movie. Do not watch it.)

Aside from the obvious on-field success, Henry and his group of investors transformed the ancient and outdated Fenway Park into a sports destination in the United States. Instead of building a brand-new, expensive stadium, they invested $100 million (a relatively small amount compared to the $1.2 billion invested in the New Yankee Stadium) into renovating, regenerating, and remaking Fenway Park into an ideal ballpark. It is intimate but charming with a contagious game-day atmosphere. As Joe Sullivan, a local Boston sportswriter said, “They saved Fenway Park. We thought we were going to lose this historic ball park and it would be replaced by some modern facility. They have very intelligently refurbished it step by step. They have an even better ball park than it was. It is a gift to the people of Boston.”

If you think I’m just a biased Red Sox fan, think again. I’ve been a Yankees fan my entire life, their ultimate rival.

As a fan of a rival team who has watched this before, let me declare clearly and fervently; if this sale goes through, it is bad news for fans of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, and every other EPL team with serious championship aspirations. As the Premier League is currently operating, and as I have made clear in previous posts, fiscal responsibility will be paramount to success over the next decade, at least. This is an area where Henry thrives. He is an expert at determining what types of players are central to on-field success, but undervalued by the market, acquiring them, and building a championship pedigree. He is also gifted at rejuvenating profit schemes for depleted franchises. These are two areas Liverpool FC is in dire need of assistance, and Henry is the perfect businessman to have Liverpool matriculate upwards in the standings while erasing debt. This is great news for Liverpool, but ominous for Arsenal and other top clubs.

It is often said that Manchester United is the New York Yankees of international soccer. Well, it seems Liverpool will be the Red Sox. Let’s just hope Arsenal doesn’t get lost in the fray.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Aaron’s article by leaving a comment.

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40 Responses to “Show Me The Money: Liverpool sale to put pressure on Arsenal, United and Chelsea”

  1. kieran
    October 9, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    lets just hope arsenal dont get lost in the fray…..are u a arsenal fan or wat?i mean arsenal have been at this for the last 10 years…improving our ground and maintaining our football values….how dare u think that arsenal will be lost in the fray as arsenal are the greatest run sports franchise on the planet certainly in a football aspect……so pull those ears back and stop talkin shit about the scouse cos there is a long long long way to go before this club will challenge for titles let alone the top 4 ……..sit back and have a look at the way a real club manages itself.

  2. Chris
    October 9, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……you sure your an Arsenal fan?Actually you sure you follow the Premier League at all? The fact that Arsenal have been doing this for the last 10 years or so seems to have passed you by…in all seriousness I would give up writing about a subject that you have absolutely no idea about…perhaps turn your hand at blogging about the Yankee’s and leave the “thoughtful” and “analytical” for knowledgable fans…

  3. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Well. We can’t do anything against it. The team should work hard and we need to support it. I obviously do not like our rivals, but I don’t hate them either. Without rivalry there are no derbys and real joy. When we win against them it’s double the joy. So therefore I don’t want Liverpool to either go bankrupt or be relegated. Maybe if it were Chelsea I would change my mind. Hehe. I was joking, as I want us to beat them in the pitch next time. Anyway practically this is Wenger’s policy as well apart from the academy (buying undervalued and talented players or future stars for cheap), so we are one step ahead. Let’s be optimistic and not get bothered this time. Apart from the topic. How did you become an Arsenal fan? I’m always surprised to see American supporters, apart from immigrants’ children. In their case it’s more understandable as they might have taught them the love of the game. I wish Americans loved European football a bit more.

  4. Naylyn
    October 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    I agree that the new owners are likely to be good for Liverpool, however it sounds to me like you are a Yankies fan who’s judgement has been clouded by fear because of what happened to your team during the resurgence of the Red Sox. All of the things that the potential new buyers are likely to do with Liverpool are things that Arsenal have been doing for years. Our stadium, scouting network and youth development system are among the best in the world and I don’t think we should be afraid because Liverpool are likely to start emulating us.

  5. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    By the time I posted my comment I saw that Kieran and Chris came before me. Guys you don’t need to be rude to Andy. As I said I’m not bovvered about Liverpool, but quite to the contrary, so I don’t understand why we should panic. Andy wrote a couple of good articles I already read. From these I can tell you: a.) yes, he seems to be a fan b.) he’s following what’s happening with the team. Apart from this I agree with you. We should not care much about Pool, as we don’t care about Man City and I also think you were right about the questionable sentences. Sorry to say Andy, but this is not your best article.

  6. John
    October 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    What an odd post, I don’t see the logic of a healthy Liverpool being bad for Arsenal. You seem to forget that what Henry, possibly maybe, might do at Liverpool has been done for 10 years by Wenger at Arsenal.

  7. Stu
    October 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    What a bizarre article… Apart from the fact that Arsenal have been doing for 10 years what you claim Henry will do at Liverpool, you miss the key point.

    Arsene Wenger knew football. John Henry does not know football. John Henry will not choose players, John Henry has no knowledge of players or their values. John Henry will have to put his faith in his manager. If anything, John Henry will only help the gap grow between the top four and Liverpool, because if he tries to interfere with team selection and player purchases, it will only make things even worse at Liverpool.

    I’m sorry, but it will take Liverpool at least 3 years to even come close to challenging for the Top 4.

  8. MTY
    October 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Andy, did u lose your footballing soul?! What’s all this stuff about boring baseball?

    As said above me, AW has been doing it for 14 yrs what Henry dreams for Pool.
    So, don’t panic. It’ll take them a minimum of 3 years to start fighting for the top 4.
    If we continue in this direction without any unforeseen financial trouble on our way, I can confidently say that Arsenal are going to be the top team in the EPL in 2 years time…on-field & off the field.
    AW needs to make sure that he doesn’t lose any of the current crop of players & he has to remain in control of what happens at the club (financially).

  9. G23
    October 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    These teams you’re talking about, do they play rounders or that one with 9 sumo wrestlers, a sprinter and a prima donna?

    This is the rest of the world, mate. We have teams formed by the working classes in the C19th for the enjoyment of playing, not by businessmen trying to create an industry. Hence no franchises or drafts.

    This guy isn’t on some vanity trip like Chav$ki or Man Shitty. Therefore, he’ll want a return on his investment. And the new UEFA financial doping regulations will mean that he can’t just throw money at the team.

    A second season without the Champions League goldmine will hit hard, and will make it harder to keep and attract the top players. Personally, I think Hick and Gillett are sick. They borrow money to buy a perennial top 4 club that’s just won the CL, take them into the relegation zone and still think they should make a vast profit. How does that work?

    I think the Chavs and Shitty are disgusting. Liv in the 70s/80s, Everton 85/87, Arse 89/91 and ManU 90s/00s all won their titles fair and square. Good manager, good crop of young players, a few good (but not extravagant) buys. That they could do it meant that any team could dream of that.

    Were it not for Abramovich cheating, both Everton and the Spuds could have pushed into the top 4 permanently and had a chance of building up to a title challenging side. But those dreams, of life-long multiple generational supporters, are dashed by a gangster playing football manager with stolen mineral resources.

    Now Shitty too. Fucked up arabs using a play thing to ruin the hopes and aspirations of many honest fans. If they manage to pump enough money in before the UEFA regulations take full effect they’ll have bought themselves permanent big club status.

    ManU deserve it, they were just lucky that a combination of factors coincided. That a great manager and great crop of players came at the same time as the EPL and the CL started. Had it happened 10 years earlier it would have been Liverpool. In the 30s, Arsenal.

    That and the fact that they could expand OT, whereas Liverpool, like Arsenal have and the spuds want to, will have to pay 100s of millions to build a new stadium. And even then, OT is 25% bigger than any new stadium will be allowed. So they’ll always be up there. Like Real or Barca.

    So Liverpool will have to buy their way back into the top 4 pdq. And Wenger will spend money in the winter if the top 4 place is at threat (witness AA23, or before that Adecuntwhore and Diaby).

    It’s sad, but it’s combination of factors again. One of the greatest clubs in football history could be ruined by a couple of money grabbing Yanks thinking they could make shit-loads out of the Liverpool ‘Brand’ unaware that the CL isn’t a closed franchise. At the same time, a semi-feudal monarchy and a thieving Russian gangster use their mineral wealth for vanity projects.

    Personally, I think it’s sick. I feel sorry for the scousers. We all know that the Chavs and Shity’s victories don’t really count (it’s like getting a high-score on space invaders with infinite lives). But I feel really sorry for the smaller clubs. They used to dream of getting a good manager, a few new signings and some great youngsters coming through. That was the hope. Now all they can dream of is getting bought by a billionaire.

    That’s not football.

  10. Andrew Weber
    October 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    I have to say I find some of the responses to this article quite surprising. As such, I’d like to make a couple of comments of my own.

    First things first, this is not an article written by me but (as it says in the byline) by AFCB’s economics writer Aaron. As someone who is a qualified economist and a Boston Red Sox fan and has seen John Henry’s impact first-hand he is a terrific and knowledgeable person to write about this topic. Regular readers will know his role on this blog is to write about football economics that influence Arsenal in an unbiased and objective manner, to provide a fresh angle for people that are interested in this area, and the sale of Liverpool is something that will do that.

    My personal opinion is that despite the fact that Liverpool’s situation will improve them, we have nothing much to worry about and therefore Aaron’s conclusions are a little strong. Despite the likelihood that Liverpool will once again challenge at the top I think our superior resources will prevent us from being ‘lost in the fray’.

    On the positive side it’s great that so many people recognise the good work that Wenger and the board have done at the club. It shows a terrific understanding by the fans of the intentions of the club to remain fiscally responsible (something Aaron wrote about a few weeks ago) and it’s great to see so many people recognise that.

  11. Ib
    October 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    I’m sorry somethings got messy and my activities on this blog stopped,but it’s ok now, i’m back! how about my dear friends spanish fry and ponder bear?……talking about today’s post,it’s anti arsenal.i look forward to reading a better post tomorrow

  12. Bissy Gunner
    October 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    I am less concern with LVPOOL crisis.though i love them,but my main focus is for Arsenal to beat Man u and Chelsea by Dec.I pray we have our players back fit and strong.

  13. John
    October 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    I have a sense of deja vu, having read almost the same words in The Daily Telegraph just a day or so ago.

    This takeover has to go through by next Friday or RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) will be forced to call in loans, to Liverpool, which will cause the club to go into administration and lose nine points.

    The fact that Hicks and Gillet are refusing to sell means that the Chairman and Chief Executive are going to the High Court next week to get a ruling that the sale can go ahead without the consent of the owners.

    If the legal action fails or if the owners appeal then the club could well be bottom of the Premier League on minus three points by next Saturday.

    Surely this must serve as a warning to football clubs everywhere to live within their means.

  14. G
    October 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Well for a start he has managed to chose some
    good signings for the red socks because he probably knows the sport where as I doubt if he knows football as well. So this means it is still left up to the staff Liverpool have to find these signings that are undervalued and can make a difference. Liverpool’s best signing over the past 5 years was Fernando torres who cost 24m and everyone already knew about him so it wasn’t as if they uncovered a gem

  15. Aaron Gordon
    October 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Thank you for the feedback, everyone. I mentioned my roots and baseball loyalties to make my perspective clear, but I tried to write as balanced an article as possible considering the circumstances. The point I was trying to make is: this situation is perfectly analogous to when Henry took over for the Red Sox. ‘Pool is in virtually just as dire a state, both financially and in the standings. No one could have possibly imagined the turnaround the Sox have had. As a Yankee fan, we used to consider the Sox like a little brother we got to beat up on. He might get in a punch or two, but in the end we would always win. Now, they are a legitimately feared opponent who have the most storied upset in American sports history to hang over our head. Even in Liverpool’s dire situation, I still see NESV as a very savvy, intelligent and responsible ownership group. If they consider the team worthy of an investment, there is little doubt in my mind they will be champions within the decade.

    I am absolutely still an Arsenal supporter. Just because I think new ownership for an opponent will have a negative effect on us doesn’t mean otherwise. I demonstrated in my past 2 articles my awareness and deep admiration for Arsenal’s fiscal responsibility. But, just because you have fiscal responsibility doesn’t mean you’re obtaining the right players, as perhaps a silverware drought might demonstrate. Henry and his group SPECIALIZE in finding the right players.

    As far as stadium renovations, Arsenal will be paying off the Emirates debt for another 25 years (at a very manageable rate, I will fairly add) whereas Henry has been able to renovate existing stadiums at a fraction of the cost, but with all of the revenue impact. That means he doesn’t have to pay off hundred of millions of pounds of debt over the next few decades. This is the kind of fiscal responsibility he brings to the table.

    Perhaps “lost in the fray” was a bit too strong of a note to end on, I admit. But, this IS something to be concerned about. ‘Pool will become a very strong competitor on and off the field in time. I do not mean to suggest they should be dominating next season; far from it. But, five-to-ten years down the road, I fully expect ‘Pool to be one of the fiscally admired clubs in the EPL, right up there with Arsenal. I was not operating under the premise that this should be contrasted with Arsenal. But any time a direct competitor gets stronger and richer, it means you must do so as well.

  16. Aaron Gordon
    October 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    @Carlos: I was specifically drawn to Arsenal because of their financial responsibility. The reason why I write about soccer finances is because I have been following sports economics since I was quite young, 14 or so. There are lots of American supporters, most likely because Arsenal operates most like an American sports club than any other EPL team. Fiscal responsibility is paramount in the US, and Arsenal subscribes to this business practice. Also, Emirates is the type of modern stadium in line with the stadium boom that occurred in the US since 1992. They are an admirable club.

  17. navin
    October 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    you could be talking about Mr.A.Wenger!!!!

  18. Suzagooner
    October 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    In the very recent past,Liverpool have spent millions more on players than Arsenal have.They have very few really top class players in their team,so,spending vast amounts of dosh isn`t always the answer.AFC`s finances are on the way so, soon there will be more money in their well managed kitty.Also,we have a manager who makes very few mistakes with the players that he brings in.Why all the fuss about Liverpool? We have our own billionaires in the club.

  19. Aaron Gordon
    October 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    I am getting a real “Why make a big deal about Liverpool?” vibe from a lot of commenters. When a club with lots of financial resources gets a new ownership group which will take them out of debt and has a track record of success with this very kind of club, I think that warrants our attention. Not our panic, but nor our indifference. Ownership changes are perhaps the most important and impactful personnel changes in sports. They should never be dismissed as insignificant.

  20. Michael McCarthy
    October 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    The difference is that baseball do not buy players, they trade and have drafts. Worst case scenario Liverpool go into administration and get deducted 9 points, this puts them in relegation battle. Liverpool cannot do a Chelsea or Man City but rather an Arsenal and they want a new stadium then they will have to make cuts, Spurs are a bigger threat right now.

  21. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Yes Aaron I understand you. Nobody should underestimate anybody, but I think we are on the right way financially, well ahead of Pool at the moment. I’m more worried about a post-Wenger era, which can cause a lack of stability. Fortunately we still have time. I hail the 25 players rule per team as the money clubs are restricted a bit and it’s much fairer. Leeds, Liverpool and ManU are a good example of irresponsibility or corruption of certain people who let these transactions to happen. I would force the bloody Glazers out as well. The rich fans wanted to buy ManU and they didn’t let them do it. Why? And the (ir)responsible persons should be in prison by now!!!!!!!!

  22. Aaron Gordon
    October 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    @ Carlos:
    I absolutely agree with you, we are on the right way financially as well, and ahead. But Pool can catch up. The 25 players rule is another North American-style sport rule, as rosters have long been limited in baseball and American football. NESV knows how to manage roster limitations successfully. Perhaps this is an area they can have a slight advantage. Also, I couldn’t agree more about the Glazers. They have mismanaged their US ventures as well, although not to the degree of Man U. Along the same lines, a report just came out today that Man U had record profits last year, but still lost almost 84 million. There is serious trouble ahead of Man U.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/manchester-united-in-debt-nightmare-in-worse-shape-than-greece-2010-10

  23. james
    October 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    i know what your trying to say but i don’t believe arsenal want to keep the stadium debt, 190 million i think. with all other debts cleared i would keep the current crop of players possibly add a new face or 2 each season until the debt is cleared and replace any players (Cesc) who are sold with world class ones if possible. concentrate on getting the club debt free, think what the club would be like if we had 100-150 million pretax profits, it would make us the biggest club in the world, that is what we should aim for in the next 2-3 years and nothing else.

    by doing this we could buy who we want develop what we want (stadium to 100 thousand 😉 maybe) without taking any loans to do so wouldnt that be great to be untouchable in every way the right way.

  24. Onabolu Abiola
    October 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Thank you, I decided against writing you yesterday since I had not heard from you for about a week, but then, I got to realize that it must have been attributed to the fact that there was no competetion or major news comming in or going out of the club for now. But, from what you have just written, the response from the fans, your defence and re-affermation as a fan, Henry and company still have a lot to learn from AW. Once more, I say a very big thank you for making us say something. NO WA HA LA !

  25. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    That’s much worse than I expected. In my previous comment I wrote this: “A team that can KO the best portuguese teams is a really good team!!! Don’t underestimate Porto and Braga. It’s like beating Everton, Aston Villa and Tottenham by 5-6 goals. Also everybody admits that we play a beautiful football. …. As I said we just need those 3-4 extra good players to make sure we have an experienced full back and a playmaker in the pitch at all time and a good striker with a good goalkeeper if possible… Is it really so much to ask? If we sell/let go some of the less useful players, it’s not necessarily a huge loss and in the long run would not affect our treasury so badly (even a one off 30-40 million minus selling 3-4 players for much less is not a catastrophy and next year we don’t make 56 million profit just 50 million, so what; plus we receive more monetary bonus for the better performance). We don’t need Cristiano Ronaldo calibre players and Wenger can discover new Mesut Ozils as well (CONSISTENT, young talented and relatively cheap players). This with a minimum tactical variation and we can win big titles with an amazing chance.” I think what I said is reasonable and partly suits what you said. I still maintain it’s worth to buy those 3-4 backup players to have a formidable chance to win the PL and Champions League. It also brings plus money for us. Even if we lose some money initially we can get compensation elsewhere. So being over-cautious with spending can also backfire, though you can see I basically support Arsene’s way. See that even Barcelona are in trouble now. With a good businss strategy we can break into other markets like Asia. Barcelona failed in Korea, but we can make it. Our style is nice and many people love it. This style and the talented youth policy made me an Arsenal fan and I don’t want to basically change it!!! With selling more shirts, souvenirs, Arsenal tv, etc. we could make much more money.

  26. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I wrote my comment above to Aaron, as I’m interested in his answer.

  27. Henry Phillips
    October 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    @Chris Are you an arsenal fan? We’re family bro

  28. Aaron Gordon
    October 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Carlos,
    I think what you describe basically is Arsenal’s strategy. They have shown they are willing to spend when the situation is right. They paid 24 million for Arshavin not long ago, for example. Its just a matter of finding the right player for the right price, which is more difficult than it sounds. Teams expanding into the Asian and Middle Eastern markets is becoming the next wave of additional revenue seeking, and I think this will be key to many club’s futures, but more so for teams in significant debt, which Arsenal is not.

  29. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Thanks for the answer.

    “Henry Phillips October 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm
    @Chris Are you an arsenal fan? We’re family bro”

    I like that.

  30. Uncle Mike
    October 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Anything that makes it harder for ManUre and Chelski to win the League, I’m in favor of it. If it makes it harder for us to win, so what? We Are The Arsenal (TM). We can handle it.

    The original U.K. version of “Fever Pitch” was a better movie. But Drew Barrymore is far cuter than Ruth Gemmell, and there were a lot of great sweeping shots of Fenway Park, whereas the original barely even showed Highbury, except for external shots that didn’t really allow the place to become a “character” in the movie the way Fenway did.

    But then, as a Yankee Fan, I consider the U.S. version of “Fever Pitch” to be a horror movie. At least no one can prove that Michael Thomas, unlike Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, used steroids!

  31. Carlos
    October 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    To be nasty a little bit. I have to mention, that as for goalkeeper we have so many options, that the right price theory is not suitable. Don’t forget it’s a key player and a higher price around 10 million is not much, especially if he’s young and can play for 10-15 years!!! I highly doubt that those few rich clubs would buy all these players!!!! Just a few names: Hugo Lloris (23 years old, 14.850.000 £), Shay Given (34 years old, 9.000.000 £), Eduardo dos Reis Carvalho (28 years old, 9.000.000 £), Fernando Muslera (24 years old, 7.650.000 £), Gorka Iraizoz (29 years old, 4.500.000 £), Costel Pantilimon (23 years old, 2.430.000 £), Vincent Enyeama (28 years old, 1.980.000 £). I saw them play (and I read about Iraizoz, who was connected to Arsenal in the news) and nobody can convince me that they are not worth the money!!!! You can also check their matches on the internet. I know that it’s difficult to sell Almunia or Fabianski, but you can send one of them on loan. If he plays better there you can sell him for better price. If not let him go. It’s not worth keeping anybody, who’s not a good/useful player. I know it’s some loss, but other clubs would not risk this situation. (Source for market prices: http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/hugo-lloris/profil/spieler_17965.html)

  32. ilya aka UkraineGun
    October 10, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    yea arsenal really need to worry about liverpool’s new “potential” owner because he cares about fiscal responsibility? is that seriously the main point of that article? cause if it is then thats a load of complete non-sense. First, Arsenal is renowned as one of the most financially prudent institutions in modern football. Why would they worry about an owner thats adopted that model? its not like they’re suddenly gonna start competing with us for young French bargains. If the author is saying that ‘pool will suddenly have more money to spend then everyone else, i’d have to say whaaaaaat? if thats the point then i’m not even dignifying that ignorance with a comment. Lastly, baseball and football ownership is uncomparable. The international football player market is way more varying and competitive, there is a much larger variety of specialized players therefore adjusting prices accordingly, MLB has a much smaller player demographic. Top Football player salaries are astronomically higher as well as the revenue generation from both domestic and international games. Basically the scale is much larger and the market is not even in the same bracket. The article is not well thought out and being a US resident, I’m genuinely dissapointed at the quality of editing for the article. I don’t get the opportunity to write a subjective piece on one of my favorite forums (this blog!!!!) while this guy does and the result is a generic biography of the boston red sox (thats what wikipedia is for) with a one paragraph tie-in to how this potential move could potentialy effect us maybe……without giving any actual basis or merit for the final thesis. sorry for the long post, I had to get that off my chest.

  33. Aaron Gordon
    October 10, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    ilya aka UkraineGun:
    Your points are well taken, and I appreciate your thoughts. Based on the confusion of what point I was in fact trying to make, I take full responsibility for not being as clear as possible. I vow any future posts will be more focused and less biographic.

    To clarify once more, the point of this article was to simply say this is something Arsenal fans should pay close attention to for years to come. These are extremely competent owners. The Hicks and Glazers are not. When your competition gets tougher, it makes any potential silverware droughts even more difficult to get out of. I think they will start competing with us for young talent. I don’t think they will suddenly have more money than us, but I believe in 5-10 years they will be in a relatively similar financial position as Arsenal currently is, which is a position not only able to compete, but prime to do so.

    I also believe baseball ownership is most similar to soccer than any North American sport. Both have few restrictions on player acquisition and salaries. Yes, there are intricacies, and I would certainly not make the argument they are identical, but I also think Henry and his group are smart enough to recognize those differences and acquire bright soccer minds to seek out the best players. The larger market serves to only benefit them, since they can identify players who might not be in as significant a demand in the market, just like what they did with the Red Sox and a very specific statistic called VORP. They identified an inefficiency in a hyper-specific market, exploited it, and it resulted in championships. Their ability to do so in soccer is only heightened because of the very factors you mentioned.

    As you are no doubt aware, the quality of writing from the other writers on this site is top-notch, and I ask you hold any animosity you harbor against me and me alone, not the blog as a whole, as I’m sure a rational individual such as yourself will do. Go Gunners.

  34. Aaron Gordon
    October 10, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    As a follow up, BBC sport is reporting that if Liverpool goes into administration and is docked 9 points, it would be a deal breaker for NESV. So this whole debate might be a moot point anyways. Like everything related to this debate, only time will tell.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/9077048.stm

  35. Gruggy
    October 10, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    You know it’s an International break when we’re discussing baseball and Liverpool.

  36. Shard
    October 10, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    What I’d like to know is if Henry and NESV actually spent their own money on refurbishing Fenway park? According to what I read elsewhere (and generally how US sports work) is that it was the City of Boston that actually paid for it..

  37. Carlos
    October 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Aaron wrote this Ilya: “As you are no doubt aware, the quality of writing from the other writers on this site is top-notch, and I ask you hold any animosity you harbor against me and me alone, not the blog as a whole, as I’m sure a rational individual such as yourself will do. Go Gunners.” Nobody should hate you mate, as you’re not an enemy, even if our views are a bit different. That’s why life is beautiful. Can U imagine 200 zombies on this site writing and thinking exactly the same. That would be really boring. Haha.

  38. Aaron Gordon
    October 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    @Shard:
    You’re right, that generally is how American sports work, that is what makes the Fenway case rather unique. They did invest their own money into refurbishing Fenway, perhaps with some small subsidies from the city for infrastructure improvements. However, The vast majority of the $100 million was privately invested.

    @Carlos:
    I couldn’t agree more, but I just wanted to be clear. The internet is a fantastic forum for disagreement, as long as everyone is civil, which they absolutely have been, and always are, on this blog.

  39. gbenga
    October 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    its good to see that liverpool are showing signs of moving in the right direction but thats as far as it gets, arsenal are not in any way threatened. we’v been prudent to a fault with our resources for up to a decade now and countless gifted stars have come through the ranks and we’r still counting…. we r the best n will always remain so… at least in my eyes….

  40. VCCC
    October 12, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Rubbish article no doubting the author is an intelligent person but has no understanding of the EPL. Liverpool are effectively finished as a premiership major player. The new owners may bring the club stability they need but they are now light years away from challenging for the title.

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