Feb 25, 2012; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry listens to reporters questions during spring training at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Sox Not For Sale? The Reasons Why The Rumors Persist They Are.


John Henry didn’t get to be 311th of the Forbes 400 richest people in America list by being an incompetent business man. After acquiring the Red Sox in 2002 and benevolently presiding over world championships in 2004 and 2007 the can’t miss, good times franchise and it’s product hit the skids in 2012 after finishing dead last in the American League East, their worst record since 1965. Even so, the Red Sox estimated value is in the neighborhood of $1 billion or more. As reported by FOX business writers Charlie Gasparino and Matt Egan,  sources close to Henry believe he could sell the Red Sox for $1.3 billion. So what’s the problem if even in the midst of a losing season the team’s value is so high?

The problem is that Fenway Sports Group is only one of the business entities in Henry’s portfolio, some of which have recently  become a drag on profits. His investment fund, Global Analytics, performed poorly in 2012, losing slightly over 21% this year, 6.16% alone in September. Liverpool PC, Henry’s English Soccer League darling, purchased in 2010 for $476 million, continues to negatively impact the bottom line. Additionally, Fenway Sports Group owns about 80% of the cable sports channel NESN, a NASCAR team and a sports-marketing business.

A rival baseball executive recently told FOX business, “Henry is a Wall Street guy and he can read a balance sheet. He’s getting killed in Liverpool and the Red Sox basically break even or make a few bucks. NESN does very well, but having a partner will make him feel better from a financial standpoint.”

Henry may also be having problems after the the New York Times Company’s $68 million sale of their remaining share of their ownership in Fenway Sports Group earlier this year.

Red Sox public relations personnel continue to deny a partial sale of Fenway Sports Group to a buyer that could help Henry share the burden and reduce his risk. In the wake of the Gasparino/Egan FOX Business article Henry denied the Red Sox are for sale. He messaged Globe reporter Peter Abraham and was interviewed on WEEI to nip the article’s claim in the bud. Yet the business imperative is real and media sources simply won’t stop talking about it.

The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy believes the Sox are not for sale. He referenced the Gasparino/Egan article but doubts that Henry is looking for a buyer, citing $285 million recently invested in Fenway Park and that Henry is a very real fan who loves the team.

Love or money, which will it be?

He tried but he could not get it down 
For truth or for mystery 
He tried but he could not get it down 
For love or money
- For Love or Money, Joni Mitchell

Tags: Boston Red Sox John Henry

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