Henry admits to overspending

Reds owner was initially sceptical about bringing Dalglish back

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 13/10/11 5:29pm

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Liverpool owner John W Henry concedes he may have overspent on some players, but believes it was important to put down a marker.

Since completing a takeover at Anfield in October 2010, the Fenway Sports Group have pumped £110.5million into the pursuit of fresh faces.

The likes of Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing have been snapped up for big money, with the Reds aware of the need to spend in order to compete.

Liverpool are not FSG's sole sporting enterprise either, with £191m in new payroll commitments taken on with the Boston Red Sox at the start of the current baseball season.

Henry believes building for the future on both sides of the Atlantic will have long-term benefits and is surprised to have seen the considerable investment draw criticism from some quarters.

Ironic

"There was a lot of criticism in Boston that we weren't going to spend money on the Red Sox after we did the LFC transaction," Henry told the Guardian.

"We spent something like $300m in the off-season in Boston, and then there was the fear we wouldn't spend in Liverpool.

"It is really surprising, ironic, to be now accused of overspending. Usually owners are accused of the opposite.

"Hopefully the fans of both clubs will eventually see what we see clearly - that there is nothing to fear from the existence of the other club and that Fenway Sports Group is much stronger financially because of Boston and Liverpool."

Pressed on whether he felt some of his acquisitions were yet to provide full value for money, Henry said: "Choosing players in any sport is an imperfect science. We certainly have been guilty of overspending on some players, and that can be tied to an analytical approach that hasn't worked well enough."

As FSG get set to celebrate their first anniversary at the Anfield helm, Henry has also revealed that he initially had reservations about bringing Kop legend Kenny Dalglish back to the club.

Gamble

"I wasn't convinced when we arrived that Kenny should be back managing and I wanted things to work with the manager we inherited. But the fans knew much more than I did."
John W Henry Quotes of the week

Roy Hodgson was at the helm at the time of the takeover and Henry admits he was sceptical about re-appointing a man who had been out of management for 11 years.

"Kenny is certainly charismatic and beloved by the fans," he added.

"I wasn't convinced when we arrived that Kenny should be back managing and I wanted things to work with the manager we inherited. But the fans knew much more than I did. It took me a while to get up to speed. Then Ian Ayre (whom FSG appointed as managing director) was a catalyst.

"(Director of football) Damien (Comolli) was a gamble. Kenny was a gamble. But they were both calculated gambles.

"They both have the advantage of being passionate about their work and are both very clever. We didn't feel we had a lot of time to wait, and we hope things turned around."

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