Forums / The Stands: Intelligent Footy Debate
Order: Newest / Oldest
Would You Buy Liverpool Or A Big English Club If You Had The Money?
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
Would you buy Liverpool if you were businessmen?

I see the abuse directed at the "Yanks" and while probably deserved it is also possible that it makes potential investors think thrice about it. Would they be able to make intelligent decisions with thousands of active fans full of expectations are looking over their backs? Will they be allowed to run the club wisely without falling into a conflicting situation with the fans?

The only owners that are respected by the fans seem to be City's Arabs and Chelsea's Russian. Unless you spend shameless amounts of money, the fans sooner or later will turn against you.

The owners' only hope is to use the managers as a shield against the fans' unavoidable eventual frustration. Some managers have successfully turned the tables by exposing the owners to the fans.

Some examples: in Kevin with Ashley at Newcastle (Ashley's dirty tricks made the fans immediately forget any generous investment he had done initially), to some extent also Benitez played well with the fans' frustration by moving it in the direction of the owners. SAF is equally loved by both the fans and the Glazers and has played masterfully some kind of a mediator role.

So would you buy a club? If yes what are the "do-s" and the "don't-s" of keeping the fans happy, the business profitable and the club successful? Is it possible?
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 4 years ago
What a thankless job-professional sports team owner. "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" comes to mind. Being a New York Yankees (George Steinbrenner) and Dallas Cowboys (Jerry Jones) fan, I've felt "owner hatred" many times. I am also familiar with the exploits of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, having lived in Maryland for a while.

I'm a new follower of European football , so I'm mostly familiar with American sports team owners, but I know ego figures into the equation in many cases, regardless of the sport or location. Reasons for ownership can range from purely business to inheritance to being a fan of the team or having ties to the city/region or some combination of the aforementioned. It seems that no matter the reason, with the salaries of today's professional athletes being what they are, the pressure to assemble a winner is stronger than it has ever been. The fans want to see results when they have to pay exorbitant prices for food, drinks, merchandise and parking- never mind the tickets.

So, would I buy a club? Despite my opening statements, I think it would be an amazing opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. Foremost, a love of the team AND its city or region coupled with a burning, never-ending desire for victory should be the primary reason for ownership. There needs to be a genuine desire to bring credit and accomplishment to the team which in turn will reflect positively on the fans and surrounding area. Now, that can also be a recipe for a maniacal, strong-armed, meddling principal who destroys an organization because of TOO much involvement. Deciding on everything from toilet paper to what type of bushes to plant around the stadium and not letting those in the organization do their jobs will destroy the fabric of the very thing they are trying to make succeed; the ability to detach oneself from needing to be involved in every facet of operations is crucial. Keeping the ego in check is important too, as is not making an ass of yourself so as to bring discredit to the team and ultimately, be an embarrassment to the fans.

There are many more facets to club ownership but I feel these are a few key items that if mastered can allow an owner to head in the right direction. Included is a link to a scathing article about an American baseball owner which details the frustrations of a local reporter regarding all that is wrong with the owner.


Link: sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=whitlock/...





Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
Thanks KTown,

You are right. Different sports but similar situations and sentiments.

Knowing your place as an owner helps you avoid embarrassing situations. But it is hard to know where to draw the line. Many in the club administration also, want your money but hate your face. It seems sometimes as if you cannot win.

If you join for business purposes, maybe it is easier, because you may manage to keep a healthy distance. If you join as a fan, the risks are high. It may be a traumatic situation if you fall in the receiving end of the abuse
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 4 years ago
Marcinny,

I agree that owning the team as a portfolio asset would be much easier as most executives in that position don't get emotionally involved in the businesses they own. Any attachment to an asset, regardless of what it is, could cloud the person's decision making ability, and ultimately, the bottom line.

I also believe that very detachment from the team is a mistake as well. There is a coldness that comes with a lack of emotions and any professional sports team is really about the fans and to an extent, the city/region as well. Sure, it provides a livelihood for the athletes and others in an organization, but in any top level sport, the fans far outnumber the players; they are the reason the team exists. Without a loyal following, there would be no team in the first place. I couldn't imagine owning a team without being a fan and having a love for it-there would have to be a total emotional attachment for me
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
Exactly KTown,

Fans buy tickets and all the kind of club's paraphernalia, symbols, shirts etc. A filled stadium can lead to other revenues related to advertising.

Ignore them at your own peril.

However, because they also have expectations and try to impose on the way you run the club, it is bound to be a complex relationship. Unless you love football, or have some idea of how to balance the situation, your money are better invested elsewhere,
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
And success of the club does not necessarily mends the relations. Manchester United is one of the top clubs in the world, however, the Glazers will continue to be hated.

Nor is spending money to buy players. The hated owners of Liverpool in four years have spent almost as much as the beloved owners of Manchester City have done in two years. But they will never buy the heart of their club's fans.

A couple of stupid moves and the fact that you just spent 100 million of your personal money to ease the debts of the club won't matter. Just look at the Newcastle Ashley's. I don't like the guy, but he did what he could to be one of the fans and screwed it up for messing too much with the club. Maybe bad advisors, but who cares. He is at least 100 million short and hated by the very people he thought he was helping
Juno (AC Milan) 4 years ago
If I have the money, I would rather spend it, invest it than buy a club. Can't really sees the long term earnings to be sustainable especially when income and status needs to come from European stage. That, to me would means a big drop in incomes whenever the club fails in securing European football. Too turbulent for a investment.

Btw, fans and merchandises still depends on domestic and European success
4 years ago
I would buy Liverpool, run it into the ground and then have a party
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 4 years ago
Netnerd,    I would do the same with the Boston Red Sox! And the party would be hhhuuuge!
4 years ago
*High Fives KTown*  
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
Ha. You guys are hilarious
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 4 years ago
You guys are a menace haha....    Or.... Are you co-operative American business owners?
Azeal (Liverpool) 3 years ago
Thankfully, Leeds didn't need anyone to do that to them. The party was free on my side, did you come?
3 years ago
Leeds did need someone to do that to them. They were called Peter Ridsdale and David O'Leary
Adrianatorfire (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Buying a big English Football club such as Liverpool is never easy, however as KTown has successfully answered, there are pros and cons in to this sort of thing; making the decision arguable and dependent on your own situation and thoughts.
The first thing to consider is how much desire, ambition and contribution are you willing to put in to the football club - unfortunately, many owners do not think nor properly sync this through. As this is a football social networking site, I believe it is safe to assume that if any of us were to buy a club, we wouldn't be doing it just for the money but as we have all seen, the owners for clubs such as Liverpool in theory, will only buy the club for financial gain which is ofcourse a major problem.

Secondly, it's important to realise that there are other business prospects out there to explore and make money out of which pose less threat in profit loss as there is less gamble e. G. Your team doesn't make it to europa league because in one game the opposition scored a hand of god winner therefore you're required to invest more money then hope for results as Juno more or less explains.

Personally, I'd love to buy a big club that I actually admire and keep up with football but with the risk of financial loss and risk of fan's hatred for you, it's something I'd rather not invest in
Jeroen (Barcelona) 4 years ago
Well said. Being proprietor of a club is easy as long as you have the money, but being a good caretaker of it is something else. It requires football knowledge and avid support for the club as you said, something a bunch of these new owners lack. They are either in it for the money (Liverpool, United, countless smaller clubs throughout Europe), or for the fame (City, Chelsea, Real Madrid).

If I had ample money, I would most likely consider buying Club Brugge, the club I've been a fan of since I was a 9 year old kid. But more likely I would consider just donating amounts of money in exchange of a say in some of the decisions that are made. For example: me, in the assumption I would be a multi-millionaire or a billionaire, I'd donate 5m to the club on the condition they use it to buy a certain promising young player with it. A short term-decision. Or I'd donate 20m on the condition they use it to completely improve the training facilities, the stadium, the parking etc. A long-term investment and probably more valuable than getting a 20m player.

The advantage of donations is that you're not considered a prick who wants to profit from the club, but a hero and a real fan. Besides, if you have several millions to spend, the few millions of profit you may make as an owner do not compensate being hated by many thousands, right?
Adrianatorfire (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Exactly what I was thinking. Being a big time millionaire, a few millions of profit would not compensate thousands of fans hatred for you. However, I didn't consider the possibility of donating money in to a club, and in return perhaps word of mouth on some of things that go on in the club. Brilliant idea, the only disadvantage is that you wouldn't really make any profit but being a big time millionaire; keeping up with a club you love and being adored by thousands of fans is certainly something I'd consider buying in to
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
"The advantage of donations is that you're not considered a prick who wants to profit from the club, but a hero and a real fan. "
Ha. Thanks Jeroen. I loved this
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 4 years ago
He-he....    
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
Hahahahaha, ScooterHayes, exactly
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 4 years ago
(I swear by Studs-up; Toy's got something for everything now)

I think the oil-rich the world-over are ignoring Pompey as it is about as well off as the real Pompey was (killed by Caesar.... But he had 5 wives. Hmm. Maybe an oil-rich fellow will spare a pittance for Portsmouth after all lol....)
Tony (footytube staff) 4 years ago
I would buy portsmouth, keep them for a day, then sell them and make a small killing, its been done before.... Lol, loads of times, that's why pompeys in the state they are at present
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
I wonder what the current owners think when someone like the City's owner comes by and does what he does. The bar is raised. The prices are raised. The expectations are raised. I am sure they would love to see this club fall in pieces.

Recent experience with Ashley's failure to sell Newcastle and with Liverpool still in the market, would make one think also that getting rid of a club is not easy either. If you get in, it may not be so easy to get out. One more thing to keep in mind when buying a club
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 4 years ago
Marcinny,

You can add West Ham to the list of clubs up for sale that might be difficult to get rid of. I just read a story about their co-owners trying to sell their interest in the team and how much harder it will be while they're at the bottom right now.

Link: www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-07/west-ham-owner-g...

I too wonder what some owners think when others drop large sums of cash left and right for players, in effect fielding the best team money can buy. For clubs that have individual owners, I think it would be more personal for them to feel the challenge of competing with that kind of spending as opposed to a corporation, conglomerate or some other type of group that is in ownership solely as an investment. As I mentioned in previous posts, I believe in personal reasons for buying a team and wonder how the big, impersonal investors look at this. With no feelings and emotions tied to the organization, is it harder to really get a feel for the pulse of the team and its fans? If the investors have no understanding of the game or history of the club, can they still make a difference in the standings? Or, as in the case of Abu Dhabi United Group, will simply throwing money about to buy big name players equal winning championships?
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
Great example KTown,

I would never buy shares in a business run by these two that's for sure.

The way they dealt with the club is excellent case in point for this thread. One of them called publicly the players of the club "fat, lazy and overpaid". They were hated by the team from the start, for messing with things that should be left to the managers or at least kept private.

They fired Zola and were forced to dismember the core of the team. Grant was told to start from the scratch. A few buys but there is no team spirit yet. They seem doomed. I want to know who gave them the 5 million pounds.
Mixtaplix (Arsenal) 4 years ago
I'd never pass the Fit & Proper Persons test
Juno (AC Milan) 4 years ago
You mean like this?    
4 years ago
Would You Buy Liverpool Or A Big English Club If You Had The Money?    Hmm.... I'll go for the Big English Club, please
Azeal (Liverpool) 3 years ago
Yup, cos the club you are supporting would never taste that in decades to come. Gotta' feel it before you die, don't you?
3 years ago
Leeds last won the title in 92. Liverpool in 90.    I went to every home game and most away games. Were you there in '90?
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 3 years ago
Ouch ouch Liam, stinging response
Ant (Liverpool) 3 years ago
Who or what is a leeds
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 4 years ago
There are a few scenarios. But for the most part, it takes something to prove that a football club is a worth-while investment.... And the best clubs to buy are not always the best to buy.... Which, makes it more confusing.

A football club is just like most business's, just a little bit more streamlined in how their success works: if you succeed in the real world (out on the field) you will succeed financially. It's the formula that has made the teams with the best team and business offices the best in Europe. I'm sure working for United is akin to the joining the papacy for faithful red-devil fans, even if it's not in a corner office. Whereas you have to fall quite a ways from grace to wind up at Portsmouth.... Or take your pick of Championship sides that are flailing as they go down.

The best example of a audience-conscious company now is Madrid; success's in the past have built their fan-base to the point where they have a huge safety net against bad on-field performance. They just turned record profits after their summer of spending. That borders on insanity for any other side except Madrid, because they have the business side of their club down to the letter. Madrid is set up to profit, and hence, make the tame better, even if they are playing bad.

Would I personally buy a club? Well, if it were a Portsmouth, no. But if I had the means to buy a Liverpool, I may. The fan-base is there. The team can perform. They have a history of winning. It is a good investment if I choose to back them. But, that's another matter entirely.... Bwahahahahahaha >

Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 4 years ago
One of the good souls of footytube had posted this in another thread.

A funny video but with some clear hints on the complex relationship between club's owner and manager.

I am sure most of you have heard it already, since it has been in this site for three months now. Still worth a revisit. It is mighty funny.


Lyndon (Panathinaikos Athens) 4 years ago
Here is my personal reality. Do I have just enough money to buy Liverpool or any big English Club? OR Do I have enough money to buy the club and make infrastructure changes and BUY not trade a few players too?

I would buy Newcastle United, then improve on their financial situation to take down the big goons
Azeal (Liverpool) 3 years ago
The good thing about Newcastle is that they already have the infrastructure, the fan base, and the history all the new owner will have to do is to get the club back to the top level. Sounds easy but should be pretty challenging.... With clubs like Chelsea and City struggling to make profits...
Adrianatorfire (Manchester United) 3 years ago
Newcastle United are my favourite team after the team I support - Manchester United of course. Simply for a combination of the way they play, their history, fan base and the third biggest stadium in the EPL - not bad for a former championship team I guess
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 3 years ago
Especially when they go and eliminate a team like Chelsea, than you say expenses be damned. Haha
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 3 years ago
More shots fired in Anfield; more owner issues to add to this post:


Link: soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=825435&sec=eur...

Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 3 years ago
It is my impression that Benitez milked a little bit the conflict between the owners and the fans to relieve himself of the responsibility for the shortcomings of Liverpool



   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football