Hang on a minute, we thought it was Everton who were in crisis, with £50m of debt, an old stadium, owners who aren’t billionaires and recently knocked out of the FA Cup by their well-heeled neighbours. Liverpool, with their savvy American proprietors with oodles of cash and vast experience in running the huge sports franchise that is the Boston Red Sox, were home and dry. But maybe FSG have bitten off a tad more than they expected. John W Henry may have pleased his statuesque young wife by acquiring the Reds, but the tab is starting to mount. An eye-watering £110m in summer spending bought them eighth spot in the league and left only the legacy of a huge wage bill with no Champions League football to support it, while the cost of the stalled stadium has spiralled through £500m (that’s half a billion folks) – that’s quid not greenbacks – and Dalglish was back in Boston asking for more.
And now they fire their third manager in a couple of seasons. John W Henry is showing that he has that deadly, University of California acquired, combination of management skills – he is incompetent AND ruthless.
This all puts Everton’s search for new owners or substantial equity investment in perspective and confirms what many are saying: Be very, very, careful what you wish for; to the list of inept football club owners which currently includes Randy Lerner, Venky’s, the Glazers, Hicks & Gillette, David Murray, Craig White and Sacha Gaydamak can now be added Fenway Sports Group and their principal John W Henry II.