Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Liverpool FC Fans Invited to Enjoy a Pint with Citizen of Red Sox Nation at SES London 2011


I read in The Boston Globe this morning that Boston Red Sox owner John Henry has “stretched his sports empire across the Atlantic” by “completing what amounted to a hostile takeover of Liverpool FC, one of the cornerstone teams of the English Premier League.” Bollocks.

This lead me to read the accounts of the same story from the other side of the pond that are indexed by Google News.

According to Click Liverpool, “Liverpool fans are hopeful that New England Sports Ventures will be ‘honest’ after their takeover of (Liverpool FC) ended the ‘nightmare’ ownership of George Gillett and Tom Hicks.”

This is one of the benefits of Google News: It offers “a wider variety of perspectives from which to choose.”

Now, I can certainly understand the feelings of the Liverpool FC fans who told LiverpoolEchoTV, “We want the Americans out….We don’t want any more Americans here.”

Liverpool FC fans outside the High Court in London

As Rory Smith of Telegraph.co.uk says, “Liverpool have waited restlessly for the day on which the ruinous regime of Tom Hicks and George Gillett fell, but there was no outpouring of joy from the club’s players, fans and alumni alike as New England Sports Ventures’ takeover was announced. Once bitten, twice shy.”

But Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow told The Press Association that the way that New England Sports Ventures conducted their takeover of the club shows they will be good owners. He said, “They’ve done so in a way which leads me to believe that they will learn the lessons of the past and approach the challenge of owning Liverpool Football Club in a way which I think our fans will judge over time and which I’m optimistic will prove to be a very positive improvement on what we’ve been through recently.”

The Liverpool FC fan interviewed by LiverpoolEchoTV said, “It’s not just a part of life. It’s life.” And he’d find Boston Red Sox fans share that sentiment.

Yes, yes, I know that American baseball is totally different than British football. But the Boston Red Sox have been called “the Liverpool of baseball.”

Liverpool FC Boston.png And there is a Liverpool FC Supporters Club in Boston. If you go to their website, you’ll read:

“As the official supporters club of Liverpool Football Club here in Boston, we are excited by the prospect of new ownership for our beloved Reds. We hope John Henry and the New England Sports Ventures (NESV) will bring a long term vision to Liverpool FC, as well as notable investment not only to the club and personnel but also to our grounds and the city of Liverpool. A very much welcomed return to the ‘Liverpool way.’

“To see the end of the George Gillette and Tom Hicks era is a day we have all longed for. We understand the hesitancy of yet another American owner by some Liverpool supporters but most of us in Boston ask you to look at his track record and what he’s done with the Boston Red Sox, from building a championship team but also renovating the historic home of the Red Sox, Fenway Park. We can only hope the same follows suit for Liverpool FC.

“We’d like to wish John Henry and NESV all the best and extend an invitation to come down to the Phoenix Landing for an upcoming match to experience first-hand the passion and loyalty that is Liverpool FC.”

Oh, and if you want a second opinion, my Twitter profile lists me as a citizen of Red Sox Nation. But I get over to the U.K. at least once a year to speak at SES London. The next one will be held 22-25 Feb. 2011 at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London.

If you attend, just introduce yourself as a Reds fan — and we can enjoy a few pints while discussing our teams.

You see, we have this rival called The New York Yankees. They’re the Manchester United of baseball.

Oh, and if you read sports stories from The Boston Globe in Google News U.K., remember this: It was purchased by The New York Times Company in 1993. And The New York Times Company owns about a 16.6 percent share of NESV.

So, sometimes our sports columnists and reporters are much tougher on John Henry than he deserves — just to demonstrate their journalistic independence.

But as John Lennon once said, “You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”

And based on my experience on this side of the pond, John Henry and his partner Tom Werner are who they are — and they “are going to do a lot of listening and hope our actions speak for us.” And that’s good news for Liverpool FC fans.

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