• Premier League

Liverpool owner hints at Anfield rebrand

ESPN staff
August 9, 2012
Liverpool FC have resided at Anfield since 1892 © PA Photos

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Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry says he is prepared to consider selling the naming rights to Anfield to raise funds.

Henry also called upon the Premier League to implement Financial Fair Play properly - accusing some of the Reds' rivals of ignoring UEFA regulations designed to try to make clubs balance the books.

The American revealed he and his Fenway Sports Group are looking to the overseas market to boost Liverpool's income and that a rebranding of their historic home could be on the cards.

"This club should be able to significantly increase its revenues but it won't be easy," he told the Tomkins Times. "But I don't see it happening at the local level - the vast majority must come from our global agenda.

"A naming rights deal at Anfield could occur if the partner were right. We haven't [yet] pursued it."

Henry said Liverpool are looking to be self-sufficient and criticised clubs who overspend. Manchester City posted losses of £197 million for the 2010-11 financial year while Chelsea have already paid more than £60 million to recruit new players this summer.

UEFA has the power to bar clubs who declare losses of more than €45 million over a three-year period from European competition, but Henry doubts that will happen and called upon the Premier League to act.

"The mandate of Financial Fair Play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means," Henry said. "Recently I was told that half of the clubs in the top divisions within Europe are losing money and 20% are in straits of varying degrees.

"We believe the league itself may have to adopt its own rules given that clubs seem to be ignoring UEFA's rules, which may be porous enough to enable clubs to say that the trend of huge losses is positive and therefore be exempt from any meaningful sanctions."

Liverpool have been criticised for paying excessive transfer fees for players since FSG's 2010 takeover, with almost £130 million having been spent, but Henry said: "It's up to LFC to invest properly in players going forward so that the club can not only be sustainable but a powerhouse."

Liverpool were Carling Cup winners and FA Cup finalists last season but Kenny Dalglish was sacked after they finished eighth in the league, with Henry outlining that a 19th title is the long-term aim at Anfield.

"Our goal is to win the Premier League. It's not going to happen this year, but that is what we are building for - first and foremost. That's only going to happen if our league performance turns around substantially."

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