Liverpool Owner John W. Henry Says He’s at Fault for Super League Mess

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As much as there is to dislike about Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, and the European Super League he spearheaded, at least he was out there publicly defending it. The other ringleaders, like the Glazers at Manchester United and John W. Henry at Liverpool FC, were silent.

Yes, Perez didn’t say anything in interviews beyond easily debunked misinformation and really self-serving verbal garbage, but at least he was out there, standing up for his position. Meanwhile United CEO Ed Woodward took accountability for his mistakes by resigning. Finally, on Wednesday, Henry faced the music and issued his mea culpa.

John W. Henry, in prose that evokes the song “I Alone” by ’90s alt-rockers Live, says he’s the only one fingers should be pointed at.

“I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours,” Henry said in a video address today.

“It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No-one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours, you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.

“And I want to apologise to Jurgen [Klopp], to [CEO] Billy [Hogan], to the players and to everyone who works so hard at LFC to make our fans proud. They have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption. They were the most disrupted, and unfairly so. This is what hurts most.

“They love your club and work to make you proud every single day.”

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He’s right, the fans made their discontent heard loud and clear, everywhere, but maybe the angst was loudest and proudest at Liverpool.

“I know the entire LFC team has the expertise, leadership and passion necessary to rebuild trust and help us move forward,” John W. Henry continued.

“More than a decade ago when we signed up for the challenges associated with football, we dreamed of what you dreamed of. And we’ve worked hard to improve your club. Our work isn’t done. And I hope you’ll understand that even when we make mistakes, we’re trying to work in your club’s best interests. In this endeavour I’ve let you down.

“Again, I’m sorry, and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days. It’s something I won’t forget — and shows the power the fans have today and will rightly continue to have.

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“If there’s one thing this horrible pandemic has clearly shown, it’s how crucial fans are to our sport and to every sport. It’s shown in every empty stadium. It’s been an incredibly tough year for all of us; virtually no-one unaffected.

“It’s important that the Liverpool football family remains intact, vital and committed to what we’ve seen from you globally, with local gestures of kindness and support. I can promise you I will do whatever I can to further that.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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