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F.A. Cup Means Money as Well as Medals to Liverpool’s U.S. Owner

Posted by matthew | On: May 04 2012

A Liverpool victory over Chelsea in tomorrow’s F.A. Cup soccer final will be worth more than just a trophy to the team’s American owner.
Fenway Sports Group, which also owns baseball’s Boston Red Sox, believes Liverpool must return to its former glory in order to hit its commercial targets.
“Football success is the driver of commercial success,” the directors of UKSV Holding Company Ltd., the team’s parent company, said in the first set of results published since the group led by hedge fund trader John W. Henry bought the club in October 2010.
Liverpool last won the Premier League in 1990 and its record of 18 English titles was broken last year by Manchester United, which is in contention to add a 20th this season. The Reds are currently in eighth place and will miss out on European soccer’s Champions League for third straight season, something that FSG targeted as a key performance indicator.

Striker Andy Carroll, bought for a U.K.-record 35 million pounds from Newcastle in January, has scored eight goals in 44 games this season, and winger Stewart Downing has failed to record a single goal or assist since his 20-million pound signing from Aston Villa last summer.
The Reds have earned 24 of a possible 54 points at home this season and are on course for their worst performance at Anfield in 63 years, while only relegated Wolverhampton has collected fewer league points since the start of 2012.

An eighth F.A. Cup title tomorrow may provide a commercial boost because principal sponsor Standard Chartered’s 4-year, 81 million-pound contract contains performance-related clauses.
“We’ve created a platform that will allow us commercially to go and continue to grow our revenue,” managing director Ian Ayre said yesterday. “We’ve grown it significantly, we have an opportunity to do so globally, which all underpins future investment in the team.”
Today’s results published by Companies House show UKSV lost 50 million pounds ($81 million) from when it was incorporated Oct. 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011. The team’s full-year accounts show revenue remaining flat at 183.6 million pounds, with a 15 million pounds increase in commercial income offset by a 14 million pounds decrease in television sales after failing to qualify for the Champions League.

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