We’ve made mistakes as Liverpool owners, admits John Henry

Liverpool's principal owner John Henry admits Fenway Sports Group have made mistakes in their first two years at Liverpool

john henry
John Henry took over Liverpool in October 2010 Photo: Webjedi, via Wikimedia

john henry

John Henry has admitted Fenway Sports Group have “made mistakes” in the first two years of their Liverpool ownership in an open letter to the club’s supporters.

FSG have come under increasing pressure this week after the Reds failed to bring in attacking reinforcements following Andy Carroll’s season-long loan to West Ham United.

Liverpool were believed to have been close to signing Clint Dempsey but the Merseyside outfit were unwilling to meet Fulham’s asking price, with the American joining Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day.

But Liverpool’s principal owner Henry insisted FSG, who acquired the Reds in October 2010, would not sanction transfers which were merely “short-term fixes”, adding that the club are already preparing for the January window.

“I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window, but that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved,” said Henry.

“But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future – Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi – could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future.

“Nor should anyone minimise the importance of keeping our best players during this window. We successfully retained Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Luis Suarez. We greatly appreciate their faith and belief in the club. And we successfully negotiated new, long-term contracts with Luis and with Martin.”

Henry added: “We are still in the process of reversing the errors of previous regimes. It will not happen overnight.

“It has been compounded by our own mistakes in a difficult first two years of ownership. It has been a harsh education, but make no mistake, the club is healthier today than when we took over.

“Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years.

“Our emphasis will be on developing our own players using the skills of an increasingly impressive coaching team. Much thought and investment already have gone into developing a self-sustaining pool of youngsters imbued in the club’s traditions.

“That ethos is to win. We will invest to succeed. But we will not mortgage the future with risky spending.”

The 62-year-old also emphatically dismissed any suggestion FSG were involved in the 18-time English champions to make a financial windfall, insisting the owners were doing everything possible to restore Liverpool to its former glory.

“Finally, I can say with authority that our ownership is not about profit. Contrary to popular opinion, owners rarely get involved in sports in order to generate cash,” said Henry.

“They generally get involved with a club in order to compete and work for the benefit of their club. It’s often difficult. In our case we work every day in order to generate revenues to improve the club.

“We have only one driving ambition at Liverpool and that is the quest to win the Premier League playing the kind of football our supporters want to see.”

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