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BILL RADKE: John Henry is a football buyin’ man. And by that I mean soccer. After a night of dramatic negotiations, the owner of the Boston Red Sox is now also the owner of the Liverpool football team in England. Marketplace’s Eve Troeh is with me live. Hi Eve.
EVE TROEH: Hi.
RADKE: So I understand soccer fans in England were up all night following this news. What happened?
TROEH: It’s pretty big news. Liverpool is one of the most important football teams in the U.K., and it’s been in financial trouble really ever since two other Americans bought it a few years ago. They owe the bank more than $450 million. That’s due by the end of this week. Now John Henry, who owns the Boston Red Sox, stepped in with an offer that would clear all that debt, but it wouldn’t give any profit to the two owners. The owners fought hard, but the team’s board this morning said that Liverpool will be sold to John Henry.
RADKE: And how do Liverpool fans feel about this?
TROEH: I talked to Professor John Beech, who studies sports and tourism at Coventry University. He says after a spike in foreign owners over the past few years, U.K. fans are used to outsiders. But they do like to get to know them, if they can.
JOHN BEECH: I mean everybody’s been practically looking at Google and Wikipedia to find out exactly who he is. He’s not a known entity in this country.
They’re very interested in the Red Sox record. They’re also interested that Henry chose to renovate Fenway Park, instead of building a new stadium. Liverpool’s been playing in its current stadium since Victorian times, so Henry might try to spruce that up instead of get them a new one.
TROEH: I like the sound of that. OK. Marketplace’s Eve Troeh, thanks.
RADKE: Jolly good.
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