As Liverpool prepares for an increase in transfer spending, FSG quotes resurface.
John W Henry, Liverpool’s majority shareholder, has long been fascinated by English football and its peculiarities.
He was so fascinated with Stefan Szymanski and Simon Kuper’s acclaimed book “Soccernomics” that he sought out Szymanski to talk about it and even submitted a written recommendation for Szymanski’s follow-up book, “Money and Football.”
Prior to the failure of the European Super League, in which Liverpool and Henry played a key role, the Fenway Sports Group CEO had been pursuing reform in partnership with Manchester United through Project Big Picture, another unsuccessful venture.
One of Henry’s pet peeves, the income disparity among Premier League clubs, which was fueled by the success of three or four of the greatest clubs, would have been addressed by a redistribution of broadcast earnings under that plan.
One of the important components that helped it gain traction was the promise of a higher revenue split along the English football pyramid, with those at the top getting a larger portion of the worldwide media rights that clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea drive.
“Everyone in the league knows what the large clubs bring to the value of international rights,” Henry told the Associated Press in 2018, “but the large clubs do not have the votes to modify something that should have changed as media rights changed over the past 25 years.”
“You can’t keep using the same media strategy indefinitely, any more than you can keep using the same football tactics indefinitely.”
“The top three clubs in the Premier League receive fewer overall TV funds each year than the bottom three clubs when you include parachute payments because of this structure (the distribution of foreign revenue) and due to parachute payments to relegated clubs,” Henry explained.
“It’s difficult to picture this going on for much longer.” You can argue for these types of arrangements in America, where we have closed leagues, but it’s much more difficult in Europe, where we have relegation, to ask independent clubs to subsidise their competitors beyond a certain point, especially with the way media is rapidly changing and being consumed today.” “Summary comes to an end.”