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Will new Liverpool owners turn around the club’s fortunes?

Some day soon I will write a blog post that doesn’t involve Liverpool. But it’s hard when every day seems to bring a new crisis. But today Liverpool fans are beginning to believe in the future of the club again.

Henry has brought glory back to the Red Sox. Can he do it at Liverpool?

A proposed takeover by New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball club, was confirmed this morning on Liverpool’s website after the news broke late last night that two investors had bids accepted. But the bid has been delayed by a legal challenge by the ever-classy Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

So now that a deal is finally on the horizon, what are the main questions Liverpool fans should be asking of the new owners?

  • Will spending money be made available to put Liverpool back among the European elite?

Too early to say obviously, but here are the main answers from the main men today.
Martin Broughton, Liverpool FC Chairman: Yes. They don’t want any hostages to fortune, very sensibly, so they’re not going to make any comments about how much or anything like that. But this goes back to the winning mentality. I think the demonstration is: let’s look at what they have done at Boston, what they said in Boston, what they have done in terms of investing in players – and I think you get a high degree of confidence of their willingness to do that.”

NESV statement: “NESV wants to create a long-term, financially solid foundation for Liverpool FC and is dedicated to ensuring that the club has the resources to build for the future, including the removal of all acquisition debt. Our objective is to stabilise the Club and ultimately return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies.

The video made to protest against Tom Hick’s continued messing around with Liverpool Football Club, by Mike Jefferies:

The question now will be whether or not the owners will invest money in the staff and playing facilities and genuinely attempt to win with Liverpool on and off the field.

There is no doubt businessmen only make investments to make money. Owner of the Boston Red Sox, John Henry would have to be a massive Liverpool fan, a die-hard, to invest simply for the sake of restoring glory to the club. He is not.

However Liverpool fans can be reassured that there is money to be made in the club, without Henry pulling a Hicks number and attempting to sell on the club a few years after buying them and saddling them with greater debt. Liverpool are a club supported far and wide but have not capitalised on this since the glory days of the 80s. Manchester United had the right businessmen involved and capitalised to a far greater extent. But there is room for improvement and the new owners can look to the far east where there is still money and make Liverpool rival Man Utd in a commercial sense.

Plus the costs involved in making Liverpool a force again aren’t enormous. The club need five or six very good players, but despite the woes of the last few years, have retained a nucleus of very good players with good players coming through too. Reina, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Gerrard, Meireles, Shelvey, Pacheco, Torres can all take the club forward, while the likes of Kelly, Ngog (still only 21 remember!), Amoo, Ince, Suso and Ngoo have exciting futures ahead of them.

Will there be a new stadium, finally?

This is the interesting question with Broughton already hinting that the new owners could look to redevelop Anfield, as they did with the famous Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.

Whether that is possible remains to be seen. Of greater interest is the rumour that the new owner will look at groundsharing with Everton as a better alternative. Liverpool fans may come around to the idea if it means a much bigger stadium, better facilities and a greater chance of securing tickets for fans.

It will be a big sell though. But then again, so will the new owners.

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