New York, New York, Not So Good in the Name of the Son
Hawkes, Will, The Independent (London, England)
The House of Steinbrenner ESPN View from the sofa
Thank God. Unfurl the banners ("Thanks but no Yanks" - brilliant) and ring the bells at both cathedrals: it looks like Liverpool FC has been saved. Those evil American rotters who've been ruining the club and making the players play really, really badly are on their way out, at long last. A brave new dawn is, er, dawning over Anfield, courtesy of a saviour from the land of the free and the home of the brave (well, the former home of the Braves).
Which is a little strange, given that Liverpool's historic links with the US would suggest an alliance with New York rather than its chippy New England cousin. Unfortunately, the best man for the rescue job died earlier this year. George Steinbrenner ("The Boss") was Mr New York Yankees, running the club from 1972 until 2008, when he ceded control to his son Hal. And for all that John W Henry revived the Red Sox, winning two World Series, his record rather pales in comparison to George, who presided over seven world championships during his rollercoaster tenure in the Bronx.
People in England get a bit excited about Ken Bates but in terms of success, charisma and downright ruthlessness the Leeds chairman has nothing on Steinbrenner. This is the man who made illegal contributions to Richard Nixon's re-election campaign in 1972, who insisted Yankees players had no facial hair (except for moustaches), and who paid a gambler to dig up dirt on a batter he felt wasn't performing well enough, for which he was banned from day-to-day management but not ownership.
Inevitably, he wasn't always popular but at least he was interesting, which is more than can be said for his son, Hal. …