|Liverpool FC owner John Henry has decided sell up. AFP Photo
Arliss Howard isn’t exactly a Hollywood A-list actor. Although I’m sure he’s had a pretty decent career, he’s not someone you put in the same category as say a Tom Cruise or a Brad Pitt.
That said, he did famously appear opposite Pitt in the 2011 movie Moneyball.
Arliss played John Henry, the real-life owner of the Boston Red Sox, who tried to poach Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane, played by Pitt, for his own baseball team.
Although this was obviously fictional, it did give me and I’m sure others a glimpse into how John Henry does business.
You see this American billionaire is a pretty private person in real life, and rarely gives interviews or discusses the goings on at his vast sporting empire.
This week, Henry decided to put Liverpool FC up for sale, the club his company, Fenway Sports Group (FSG) purchased in 2010.
FSG reportedly paid around US$300m to take control of Liverpool. Now, a little over a decade later, they are asking somewhere in the region of $4 billion.
If they get their price, which is highly likely, that sure is a tidy profit.
But it begs the question, what next for Liverpool? Who will be able to afford to buy them at such a steep price, and more importantly, what impact will it have on the team?
Since FSG took over, Liverpool have gone from a badly run club with average success, to one of the best, and most profitable, teams in Europe.
Their stadium has been upgraded, and work is continuing, to make it one of the best in England, and on the pitch, Liverpool have been incredibly successful.
In the past 10 years, they’ve won just about every competition they could.
Some fans might argue that FSG didn’t spend enough, particularly before this season started, but if you look at some of their transfers over the last decade, you can hardly call them cheapskates.
FSG have been excellent for Liverpool. They leave the club in a much, much better state than it was when they bought in.
There are not that many people out there who can easily cough up the asking price to buy Liverpool outright.
Other than an oil-rich Middle Eastern royal family, it’s more likely that a consortium will be brought together to take over at Anfield.
What exactly do Liverpool supporters want? Many have mocked the likes of Manchester City for ‘buying success’ but can any Liverpool fan honestly put their hands on their hearts and say they don’t want a mega-rich wealthy owner with bottomless pockets? I don’t think so.
There are interesting times ahead at Liverpool. And it will be interesting to see who eventually takes over. One thing’s for sure, if they are on a par with FSG, then Liverpool will be in safe hands. VNS