When Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool from George Gillett and Tom Hicks, there was cautious optimism that they would turn things around for the club after the stormy reign of their predecessors. Now, in a court case relating to the 2010 sale of the club, it has been revealed that FSG didn’t really know what they were getting into after all.
Said Edward Weiss, FSG’s former general counsel (via the Liverpool Echo):
“I think we underestimated how poor the playing quality of the squad was, and frankly, we underestimated how difficult it was going to be to stabilize the asset. We were overconfident in assuming that many of the things that we had done in Boston at Fenway would translate naturally to the Premier League and they just didn’t all translate.”
The hubris to think that practices from Major League Baseball could translate to the Premier League is astonishing enough, but if you’re wondering how they could have thought the squad was better than it was (remember, this is Fabio Aurelio/Jay Spearing/Andy Carroll/David Ngog era Liverpool), it’s because THEY ONLY WATCHED ONE MATCH BEFORE SPENDING £295 MILLION TO BUY THE CLUB.
In due diligence we attended one match.
You know, most of us had never been to a Premier League match, so it was going to be hard to recommend to our investor group that we buy a football club without ever having been to one, so…
The one we saw was less than thrilling. It was a near no match.
So they watched one crappy match and somehow thought they had a quality team on their hands. Incredible.
This should be required reading for any American investors looking to buy a European football club.