Arsenal pursuit of Suarez given added spice by 2002 baseball saga

The Boston Red Sox, John W Henry and Stan Kroenke and the 2002 takeover that gives the Suarez pursuit even more juice.


Those were the words of John W Henry; one half of the founders of Fenway Sports Group who own Liverpool. Obviously it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what exactly Henry is talking about.

Arsenal are readying to chat to Luis Suarez about a move to The Emirates; with the club finally ready to loosen the coffers at the club and make a move for the star in a club record transfer bid.

Now many will wonder where a man who sanctioned those god awful away shirts gets off having a go at Arsenal for launching an ambitious bid for one of the world’s best strikers but at the end Suarez is, in essence, his employee.

So what are the chances of a deal being brokered with Henry seemingly turned off to the idea of a transfer?

Well money talks so if Arsenal were to get ridiculous with their offer then who knows; stranger things have happened.

But I think I have come across something from 11 years ago that might just be the stumbling block Arsenal struggle to navigate.

Now the 2002 Major League Baseball season may have belonged to the Oakland A’s with Billy Beane, Scott Hatteberg and the winning streak being immortalised by Brad Pitt, Chris Pratt, Michael Ryan and co but at the start of the season developments at the Boston Red Sox took focus.

Because John Henry lead a protracted takeover of the franchise in 2002 after the club had been up for sale for 16 months.

The former owner of the Florida Marlins had a vision of what he wanted to achieve at Fenway Park and was determined to make it work; but he was not the only man who went in with a bid.

The other potential buyer … a certain Stan Kroenke.

For all of his successful enterprise into the American sport market he has never owned a team in MLB and losing out to Henry ensured that was the case then; and remains the case today after an attempt to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 failed.

Kroenke and Henry might have patched up their differences from that bitter moment over a decade ago but on Kroenke’s side of things he would love to prise the biggest asset away from the man who beat him to the Red Sox; and plonk him in the shirt of the club he now controls.

But the Arsenal owner may have a problem if Henry decides that he would rather keep hold of an unhappy multi-millionaire footballer then give his business rival the satisfaction of revenge.

Will it mean anything in the end? Possibly not; at the end of the day business is business and if the sale works for all parties involved it will go ahead.

But I can’t help myself thinking Luis Suarez is the Eddie Murphy in our very own Premier League version of the film ‘Trading Places’…

… but will Suarez trade places this summer?

image: © Keith Allison

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