Connect to share and comment
There is every reason to expect that the hallmarks of Red Sox ownership will be repeated in Liverpool — and result in a revitalized team.
A spokesman for Henry told reporters that the new ownership wants “to help bring back the culture of winning to Liverpool FC. We have a proven track record, shown clearly with the Boston Red Sox. We will bring the same kind of openness, passion, dedication and professionalism to Liverpool FC.”
There is every reason to expect that the hallmarks of Sox ownership will be repeated in Liverpool. It has spent liberally on talent and will almost certainly replenish the depleted ranks of Liverpool, stripped of much front-line talent during the recent financial crisis. Liverpool will also become a cutting-edge team in use of statistical analysis, a management tool that is just emerging in soccer, long after it became fashionable in baseball.
Sentiment, however, will remain the currency of the fans rather than ownership. The new bosses will market sentiment, but prove more than willing to make tough decisions on players, even those with a lengthY Liverpool pedigree. If the Red Sox could dump the beloved Nomar Garciaparra, then not even Stephen Gerrard is safe in Liverpool if his play ever appears in decline or his attitude is viewed as lacking.
Fans in Liverpool may be hoping for a new stadium to replace the state-of-the-19th century Anfield. But if the economy proves a hindrance to such an initiative, as it did in Boston, Red Sox ownership has worked miracles in transforming the decrepit Fenway into a reasonable approximation of a modern ballpark. And with a shrewd eye for a balance between the buck and the historic, Fenway has become not just a local monument, but also a national sports shrine and a Boston civic attraction to rival the Freedom Trail.
It may be too late to salvage Liverpool’s 2009-2010 season, but the team should at least be stabilized and likely revitalized — enough to keep it in the Premier League. And resurrection as an English contender and European giant should eventually follow. At the very least, Liverpool fans will find reason to believe that they no longer walk alone.