A new optimism is creeping round Liverpool with a new manager in Brendan Rodgers and a new chief commercial officer in Billy Hogan as the club celebrated its 120th anniversary.
While all eyes were on the new manager and the fans belief he will reincarnate Liverpool's tradition of "pass-and-move football," of the Shankley era, an appointment that recently occurred behind the scenes may prove to be just as pivotal. Hogan, the Cleveland-born and formerly managing director of Fenway Sports Management, was appointed
"When Fenway Sports Group [John Henry and Tom Werner's Sports sports investment company, FSG] took over Liverpool, the club had been through a tumultuous time," Hogan said.
"But the ownership group is a proven brain trust that owns and controls multiple sporting properties," referring to the Red Sox, NASCAR's Roush Racing and regional cable outlet NESN. "Our goal is to grow Liverpool's revenue and return the team to the top of every category be it the English Premier League, Facebook 'likes,' or number of global supporters."
At the press conference to announce Rodgers taking the job, club owner John Henry hinted at the strategy his team will employ to achieve that goal. "We will embrace the unconventional, build the right way and together set a bold, exciting course for this historic club."
The start of the new era came with the record breaking $38.4 million-a-year shirt deal the team struck with Detroit-based New Balance subsidiary, Warrior. A six-year contract so lucrative, former manager Kenny Dalglish quipped it was as "good as points."