Our long wait is finally looking to be over. Hicks & Gillett’s time appears to running out and the takeover by the NESV group looks to be firmly in motion. Liverpool supporters around the world never deserved to be put through the agony, misery and humiliation at the hands of Hicks & Gillett.
Once John Henry takes over they’ll quickly understand that he is a different sort of “Yank.” He is a sensible owner whose vision helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years and put the club in position to compete with the vastly wealthier New York Yankees for both division and World Series titles.
As a passionate follower of Major League Baseball, I can tell you that Henry is the sort of man who I deeply wished could have took over the club back when David Moores sold my beloved Liverpool in 2007. I’m delighted by the turn of events as I couldn’t envision a better man gaining control of Liverpool Football Club.
Henry isn’t the sort of stereotypical American owner like former Yankee chief George Steinbrenner or Cowboys magnate Jerry Jones who would come out with bold statements and play the media game. Until the arrival of Hicks & Gillett, Liverpool were always seen as a dignified club but the duo soon teared down the club’s proud reputation shortly into their reign. Liverpool supporters worldwide will be pleased to find out that Henry is a dignified man who runs his franchises with grace and with respect to traditions.
As a Yankee fan myself, I’ve always admired the way Henry sits back and allows his “baseball people” to handle matters on the field of play. He doesn’t interfere like so many American owners tend to. For many years I watched George Steinbrenner make embarrassing statements to the New York media and drag fights in the boardroom into the public eye.
Even the current group of Yankee owners, Hal & Hank Steinbrenner tend to operate in some similarity to their hot-headed father. Hal follows in his father’s legendary footsteps by opening his checkbook and writing to large sum to the best free agents for a quick fix. Hank tends to emulate his father by copying his outbursts to the media. John Henry meanwhile is a calm man who doesn’t make rash decisions on acquiring talent or brash exclamations to the press. He’s the sort of owner that Liverpool supporters could relate to as they prefer the sort of “don’t tell me, show me” kind of personality.
Hicks & Gillett put on a big front telling us about all these great plans (lies) they had for our club and never delivered on anything they promised. Henry won’t come into Anfield shouting but will rather outline a long-term plan for Liverpool. While the Yankees got carried away spending money like drunken sailors during the majority of the last decade, Henry and braintrust in Boston quietly went about their business and were able to shape the Red Sox into a team that went on to win two World Series titles during the 2000’s. Only recently did the Yankees return to their dominant ways by investing in the right talent but looking at the two teams on paper would tell you that the Red Sox are better equipped for the future as they believe heavily in developing a team around the young players that come through their farm system.
It took the Red Sox 86 years to erase their miserable title drought and “The Curse of the Bambino” but to Liverpool supporters it feels like it’s been 86 years since the club last won an English top-flight division title in 1990. Liverpool and their supporters are accustomed to winning things and while it will not be a quick turnaround, Henry offers a long-term vision that the supporters can believe in. I’m confident that he’s the right man to usher in future success for Liverpool Football Club.