'Clueless' Liverpool owners 'only care about players being sex symbols', blasts boss who used to work under Henry
12:38 GMT, 16 January 2013
15:13 GMT, 16 January 2013
Liverpool's American owners John W Henry and Tom Werner have been criticised by an ex-employee for 'not having a clue about sport'.
Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona has revealed that the pair were more concerned with having 'good-looking stars' and producing players who are 'sex symbols' than caring how the team actually did.
Francona said: 'They (the consultants) told us we didn’t have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle. We need some sexy guys.
'Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We'd become too big. It was the farthest thing removed from what we set out to be.'
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Fenway Sports Group, the company co-owned by Henry and Werner, bought Liverpool in 2010 even though they had to admit their knowledge of football was small.
This latest revelations shows that their desire to turn the club into a marketable product around the world is at the fore of their thinking.
Werner, an American television producer, is known to worry about increasing or declining TV ratings and told the managers at the Red Sox that they had to make a 'sexier team' from 2011 onwards.
The duo even admitted that before they signed the deal to buy the club they had to have a stiff drink.
In good shape: John Henry (left) and Tom Werner see sports teams primely as marketable assets
Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the owners of Liverpool before Henry and Werner, only recently backed down in a dispute on how the club was bought by Fenway Sports Group.
On the back of this, Francona's suggestions about how Henry and Werner approached the Red Sox make for interesting reading.
'They come in with all these ideas about
baseball but I don’t think they love baseball,' he said.
'I think they
like baseball. It’s revenue, and I know that’s their right and their
interest because they’re owners … and they’re good owners. But they
don’t love the game. It’s still more of a toy or a hobby for them. It’s
not their blood.'
If this is how they thought of in one of their own national sports, then their relationship with football may not be any more appealing to Liverpool fans.
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