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Honigstein: Schmidt's Bayer future in doubt?

By ESPN Staff

Kraft still keen on buying Liverpool

American businessman Robert Kraft has admitted he is still interested in buying Liverpool. The 68-year-old tried to purchase the Anfield club in 2005 but lost out to fellow Americans George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who have since endured a troubled tenure.

Kraft, who owns the NFL franchise the New England Patriots, tempered any notion he could be tempted into taking the club off their hands, however, admitting he harbours reservations about the lack of a salary cap in the Premier League.

Asked if he was still interested in buying the Reds, Kraft said: "Yeah, in the right situation. I love the game.

"I've said this before - I love competing with fair management - how well I can manage against you. [But] I don't like losing and at some point it's not economic, people just throwing money at it.

"I wanted to do the deal up there but in the end we only go into business ventures where we think we can compete at a high level. Because we like winning, and we like to win consistently."

Kraft has enjoyed success since buying the Patriots in the mid-1990s, following which they have claimed their three Super Bowl successes in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

He is due to arrive in London on Friday night ahead of their match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley this weekend - the third time the NFL has played a regular season game in the United Kingdom.

And Kraft believes the idea of a Premier League's 39th game would be successful in his homeland.

"We draw 50-60,000 people when we have teams playing an exhibition game," he added. "That would be smart. That's the sport of the world. And this is the best media market in the world."

Kraft said he did not blame the top Premier League players for trying to earn as much as possible but that it could create problems with fans, and he dislikes clubs having to sell off their young stars to bigger sides.

"We are involved in the NFL and in Major League Soccer and we are happy to compete where it's a level playing field," he added.

"We don't want to be a business where the wallet determines what kind of player you have.

"The ideal model is to develop young players and have them come into your system but to then sell them off goes against my grain.

"Fans don't want to hear about the money, if you win and do a professional job you will make money.

"But if the money starts taking over and you are paying players fantastic sums sometimes the incentive isn't there to play hard every day.

"I don't blame a player for wanting to get paid as much as they can but in the end the greatest rewards in team sports come when great players subjugate their egos to the team."


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