In 2010, John W Henry and FSG decided to buy Liverpool from fellow Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett. I must say that the Hicks and Gillett era at Liverpool was one of the worst in Liverpool’s history and thankfully John Henry stepped in to buy the club before we embarrassingly went bankrupt.
Up until today, I thank John Henry for bailing Liverpool out and it is interesting to hear from him now as to why he bought our club. In a speech to the Boston Chamber of Commerce, Henry, who also owns the Boston Red Sox, praised the ‘toughness, intelligence, creativity’ of the city of Liverpool.
He said in his speech: ‘The larger part of the story that struck us when we were considering buying Liverpool out of a bankruptcy situation created by Americans was the similarities of the two cities, the two teams, the two histories, the two stadia.
‘Liverpool has a large Irish Catholic population, it’s a seaport on a famous river, both cities are about 45 square miles in size, both have around 600,000 people, both are college towns.
‘Boston had the first public library, Liverpool had the first lending library. Both cities have pioneered medical advancements during the decades and both have the largest economic powers in the world exactly 213 miles to the south by car.
‘Both cities will excoriate me for comparing them, but like it or not they are kindred spirits.
‘They play in the most historical cathedrals of sport. Anfield has 7,000 more seats than Fenway [the Red Sox’s stadium] but actually you might say its a bit cosier than Fenway.
‘It’s no coincidence that The Beatles came out of that small town 50 years ago, and that the soccer club there is one of the most successful and biggest sports teams in history despite local economic climate.
‘There is a culture of toughness, intelligence, creativity that reminds me of New England. So I am sure I have answered your questions on, “why Liverpool?”.’
So far Henry has done a decent job for the club. One can not really blame him for the bad signings made by Kenny Dalglish – Henry gave them the money and they just used it badly. It would be great for Henry to give Brendan Rodgers another huge transfer kitty but I am sure he has learnt his lesson from the past and will use the transfer funds better this time round.
The results on the pitch are improving as we look set to fight for a top four finish this year. A return to the Champions League would be a huge boost for the Reds as that is where we should be from a football point of view and financially.