MLS chief Garber backs NESV to succeed at Liverpool
Liverpool would be in good hands if Boston Red Sox owner John W Henry succeeds in his takeover bid, according to Major League Soccer commission Don Garber.
Henry, principal owner of New England Sports Ventures (NESV), has had an offer of around £300 million accepted by the Liverpool board, although current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have launched legal action to try to block the takeover.
Reds fans may fear swapping one set of American owners for another but Garber said: "They (NESV) have a tremendously robust understanding of the sports business and how to protect and enhance the legacy of the historic brand.
"That's in essence what they have done with the ownership of the Red Sox. There is something called the Red Sox Nation, a brand supported by fans going back generations, similar to Liverpool supporters.
"The ownership has not only graced that but enhanced it, they have enhanced and renovated the stadium, they have brought modern technology to improve the fans experience. They have put championship teams on the field and managed their enterprise with an eye to profitability, so they are tremendous pro-sports team owners.''
Hicks and Gillett also own or have owned baseball and ice hockey franchises in the USA but Garber said they could not be compared with Henry.
"I can't speak for the difference between Gillett and Hicks and John Henry and his partners," Garber said. "But if you are a sports fan in the USA, pick two or three of the most revered and successful clubs in our nation's sporting history and the Red Sox are one of them. I don't know if you could say the same about the teams owned by Mr Gillett and Mr Hicks.''