Liverpool Sold After Years of Uncertainty To Boston Red Sox Owner John Henry

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IOctober 6, 2010

The new owner of Liverpool: John Henry
The new owner of Liverpool: John HenryJunko Kimura/Getty Images

Throughout the last two years, Liverpool have found themselves constantly in the news due to a variety of different reasons, following a second place finish in the Premier League in the 2008-2009 season.

However, most of that news has never been good news due to the dysfunctional owners at Anfield, which have caused financial ruin and have caused the club to nearly go bankrupt.

From barely being able to repay any of the money off their debt to not being able to buy any real impact players, Liverpool have become a shell of their former selves.

But today, Liverpool have finally taken a step in the right direction with the appointment of new ownership by Liverpool's board by a 3-2 vote to implement New England Sports Ventures (NESV) to now own the club.

This successful bid is led by financial trader John Henry, who is the owner of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox.

Boston's offer was accepted by the non-owner board members: Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton, who was hired by Liverpool's co-owners in April to sell the club, managing director Christian Purslow, and commercial director Ian Ayre.

The bid that was submitted for Liverpool was about £300 million ($477 million), taking on 44.8 million pounds of liabilities.

Currently, Liverpool has a £285 million debt ($453 million) that must be repaid by October 15.

Of course, Liverpool's co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are not being easy on this situation, and they have already said they would resist the bid because it "dramatically undervalue'' the 18-time English champions.

Hicks wants to sell for about £600 million, a figure that has forced several investors to end their interest in the famous English club.

Before the vote over ownership was taken, Hicks and Gillett unsuccessfully tried to remove Purslow and Ayre from the board and install one of Hicks' sons and a financial controller from his company.

Henry made his fortune in hedge funds and the global futures market, and is chairman of John W. Henry & Company, Inc., with a reported wealth of $860 million (£540 million) in 2006 before the credit crunch.

However, he has helped make the Boston Red Sox into the second most successful financial franchise in baseball, only trailing their arch rival, the New York Yankees, in that department.

Henry also helped to end the Red Sox's 86-year string of not winning the World Series in his third year in charge of the club (2004), and has since won another World Series in 2007 over the Colorado Rockies.

For Liverpool fans, along with increasing the likelihood that Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres now will be more likely to stay with the club, Henry will also look to increase Anfield's capacity in anyway possible before thinking about moving the club out of the historic stadium to Stanley Park.

Henry did this with Fenway Park after he bought the Red Sox, and was able to increase Fenway Park's capacity to around 37,000 due to renovations he has done to the ballpark in his seven years in charge of the club.

This summer, Henry and NESV got the first football match in Fenway Park since Pele played there in July of 1968, when Celtic and Sporting Libson played in the 98-year-old ballpark.

Henry will also now look to increase revenue more in the United States than Hicks and Gillett ever did, and he will certainly work to return the club back to its former self.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.