Liverpool challenge is bigger than the Red Sox, claims owner John Henry

The Reds' boardmember has revealed that his project on Merseyside is tougher than the MLB club, but is confident the club are moving in the right direction now

Liverpool owner John W. Henry believes the size of the task facing him at Anfield is bigger than the one when he took over at Major League Baseball side Boston Red Sox.

The American billionaire has been at the helm on Merseyside for two years this October and the Reds are about to embark on the 2012-13 Premier League campaign under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, the third manager during Fenway Sports Group’s reign.

Despite claiming the League Cup last season, after another summer of rejuvenation – with a new backroom and playing staff - Henry is confident that the club are making strides forward to compete at the right end of the Premier League once again after a disappointing eighth-place finish last term.

"When you look back from this vantage point: the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United - Liverpool isn’t holding up its side of the rivalry," Henry told The Daily Mirror.

“That is the way it was with the Red Sox and the New York Yankees - the Yankees were just completely dominant when we arrived here 11 years ago.

"We knew we could never be on an equal footing financially with The Yankees. But we had to do everything in our power to get on a level footing with them on the playing field. That was a tremendous challenge," he said.

"As we started to close the gap, they built a new stadium. That was a quantum leap forward.

"This is an even bigger challenge.”

Along with Tom Werner, Henry's FSG acquired an 80 per cent stake in Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox in 2002 before winning the sport's major prize, the World Series, just two years later.

The American is fully aware that the riches of the Premier League is a far cry from that of MLB, but the billionaire is pleased to see the club heading in the right direction.

“I don’t know how long it will take to really compete, I just know we are behind - but we are on it,” he explained.

“Do we feel that it is possible to get on a level with those clubs? Absolutely.

"Can we close that gap and compete at the very highest level? Absolutely.

“When we came, it was a great time of instability. People have talked about this idea of virtuous circles. The stronger we are commercially, the stronger this club can be," he said.

"I think already we have made great strides. We are very aggressive in how to raise the revenues commercially. We are working on stadium solutions because we know that match day revenues have to increase.

"I think that we are moving in the right direction. I think that our fans see that we are on the job and, hopefully, they will see improvement this season.”