Liverpool Football Club’s most recent victory, a 1-0 triumph at the home of Bolton Wanderers, gives evidence that the club is gaining the confidence necessary to perform at an elite level once again. After the club’s worst start in more than 50 years, Liverpool’s ownership recently changed hands from one highly disregarded American ownership group to a group of fellow American owners who have brought a sense of optimism to Liverpool’s fans across the globe.
The previous ownership group was led by Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Hicks is the former owner of MLB’s Texas Rangers and he currently owns the Dallas Stars of the NHL. Gillett, who made most of his millions as a ski resort mogul, formerly owned the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. Whatever controversies Hicks and Gillett faced as NHL owners paled in comparison to the worldwide, much maligned attention they received as owners of Liverpool FC. Fans held huge signs at the stadium which read “Built by Shanks, Destroyed by Yanks” in reference to the club’s poor start blamed on ownership. However, now that the club is under new ownership, Liverpool fans and players can suddenly have a legitimate hope that the club will begin its climb up the English Premier League’s table.
Fans and players felt initial relief at the reality of new owners taking over the club, but that relief did not create much optimism based on the club’s poor result versus arch-rival Everton. Liverpool lost 2-0 at Goodison Park in the presence of new owner John W. Henry, who is CEO of new ownership group New England Sports Ventures (NESV). NESV is also the current owners of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, and many Liverpool fans quickly did some research to learn about how successful the Red Sox became after Henry’s group bought the baseball club in 2001.
When Argentine international Maxi Rodriguez fired home the winning goal late in the game, after a clever back-heel flick from Fernando Torres, the Liverpool supporters behind the goal and the players on the pitch erupted into a jubilant celebration that showed the spark that had previously eluded the club so far this season. With a renewed confidence based on new owners and winning results, Liverpool FC can have the confidence to put the effort required in every game to earn and retain the status of one of the world’s elite teams.