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Liverpool FC chairman admits he is “determined” to play Premier League abroad




Liverpool’s chairman, Tom Werner, has admitted that he is “determined” to play Premier League games abroad, but principal owner John Henry doesn’t feel the same way.

Werner, who is the chairman of Liverpool and owners FSG, has admitted his determination to play Premier League games outside of England and Wales.

He told the Financial Times: “I’m determined one day to have a Premier League Game be played in New York City.

“I even have the sort of crazy idea that there would be a day where we play one game in Tokyo, one game a few hours later in Los Angeles, one game a few hours later in Rio, one game a few hours later in Riyadh and make it sort of a day where football, where the Premier League is celebrated.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: Liverpool's co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner during the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One of the multitude of problems with this would be that loyal local supporters wouldn’t be able to attend.

He responded by telling journalist Sara Germano: “Let’s figure out a way to offer them very cheap travel [and] accommodations so that if Liverpool is playing Nottingham Forest, we will support fans coming to New York.

“[Let’s] make this an attractive thing for the fans as well.”

FSG’s principal owner, John Henry, wasn’t on the same page, saying: “It is not something that I advocate or am particularly interested in.”

While Liverpool supporters know that owners FSG are capable of complete disregard for supporters, it is still quite shocking to hear the club chairman’s thoughts laid out so clearly.

Werner tried to justify his ambitions to some extent, adding: “It’s a very comPetitive Business.

“I think 20 years ago there was a lot more low-hanging fruit, where a Theo Epstein could find success in an avenue that other people weren’t looking at. But sports is now big business, right?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, October 9, 2015: Liverpool's co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner [L], Managing Director Ian Ayre [R] and new manager Jürgen Klopp during a photo-call at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Teams even in the NBA are going for over £3 billion. I don’t think we have any secret sauce, is what I’m trying to say.”

FSG bought Liverpool in 2010 for around £300 million. The club is now worth over over 14 times that – £4.2 billion according to Forbes.

There have been plenty of positives and plenty of negatives scattered across the current owners’ reign. Recently, they have kept out of the news and were carrying favour with some supporters.

However, these latest comments from Liverpool’s chairman, Werner, can only damage the relationship between owners and supporters.

Bill Shankly once said: “At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters.

“Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.”

Werner would do well to remember that.