Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Yankees Outdo Red Sox in Soccer

Liverpool FC will be playing AS Roma at Fenway Park on July 25th. The Sox owners also own Liverpool so it makes sense. However, the Yankees recently announced that they'll be hosting a pair of soccer games, and both of them blow Fenway's out of the water.

On July 22 in Yankee Stadium, Chelsea FC (recently crowned European Champions) will play Paris St. Germain (PSG). PSG finished second in the French league, and will be playing in next season's Champions League. So will Chelsea, who finished 6th in England, but are still one of the most popular teams in the world, loaded with star talent.

On August 8th, Yankee Stadium hosts an even bigger game. Real Madrid are playing AC Milan. Real Madrid won the Spanish league (for the 32nd time), and have won the Champions League 9 times. AC Milan finished 2nd in the Italian league, have won that league 18 times, and have won the Champions League 7 times.

All four teams the Yankees host will be in the 2012-13 Champions' League.

Meanwhile, Fenway Park will host the 8th place English team, and the 7th place Italian team. Neither team will be in the Champions League or any other European competition. The two teams combined to win 30 games, lose 28, and draw 18.

Why care so much about soccer teams and exhibition games? Because it's another example of how big a world the Fenway Sports Group entered into when they bought Liverpool. They're out of their element.

Real Madrid is worth over three times as much as Liverpool, $1.877 billion compared to $619 million (Source: Forbes). Real Madrid and AC Milan combined are worth $2.866 billion, while Liverpool and AS Roma are together worth $973 million.

The Red Sox and Liverpool will both make some money when Liverpool comes to town, but the on field product isn't nearly as exciting or as enticing or as profitable as the giants that will be playing down at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees aren't attached to a mediocre English team. They can invite the best teams from Europe to play. And that will attract fans who will pay lots of money to see them play.

Liverpool is a 2nd rate team in danger of becoming 3rd rate. Fenway Sports Group was a big fish in a small pond when they bought Liverpool. But now they're in a much larger ocean. And the sharks are much bigger.

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