Breaking News from England: John Henry to Sell Liverpool Reds
Red Sox Owner Plans to Unload Liverpool Football Club
and Get Back to Baseball in Boston
April 1, 2011, 8:57 a.m. E.D.T.: With the start of the Red Sox season just hours away, Liverpool Football Club (LFC) and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is putting the Liverpool Reds up for sale immediately. Henry, who purchased LFC for $476 million in October, is "looking for upwards of $1 billion" for the venerable 118-year-old English Premier League franchise.
"I'm done with this," Henry wrote in an e-mail to Boston Dirt Dogs earlier this morning from his estate in London. "Between the godawful weather over here, all the time... you thought I looked pale in Boston? You should see me now, but I digress... the always terrible food, Linda [Pizzuti] running up credit cards at Christie's, Bonhams, and Sotheby's on a daily basis... Tom [Werner] wandering around the streets of London all day, no idea what to do... this antiquated Anfield dump we have to watch these matches in... you thought Fenway Park was old? This place makes Fenway look like Cowboys Stadium..."
But Henry insisted that the overriding reason he is selling the soccer team is that he misses baseball and living in Boston.
"They flew me back for the Adrian Gonzalez press conference, and I didn't even know where I was," Henry said. "I was spending every waking moment worrying about this freakin' soccer team... a team that's scored just one goal in its last three matches!... So I started to realize then just how out of touch I was with America, the Red Sox, and all that was happening back in Boston.
"When we bought the team in 2001, I said at the time that the Boston Red Sox are a special franchise that deserved special attention and stewardship. Well somewhere along the way, while we were building Fenway Sports Ventures or whatever it is we're calling it, I lost my way. At the end of the day, I'm a baseball guy, not a soccer guy. It's the most boring game on earth... I learned the hard way. Did you know they don't use their hands, at all?!?"
Henry also said that others in the Red Sox organization pushed him into the Liverpool purchase when Tom Hicks and George Gillett were forced to sell to repay 200 million pounds of the club’s 351 million pounds of debt.
"Tom [Werner], but I think this was [former NESN chief] Joel Feld talking, said this soccer thing was going to be big on NESN, that we would 'knock Comcast out of the ring'... was what I think he said at the time. Well guess what? You can take soccer, the NASCAR nonsense, Dirty Water TV, Pocket Change, NESN Daily, all our award-winning programming... and the numbers are still smaller than the number of goals the Reds score on a weekly basis... Baseball is the only thing that gets us ratings on NESN.
"So my plan is to get the 'For Sale' signs up everwhere, gas up my plane, and land back in Boston in time to see Lester throw his first pitch in Texas. I'm back baby!"