Red Sox owner John Henry on Thursday refuted a Fox Business story that claimed his ownership group intended to sell the team.
“A sale of any kind is so far from our thinking it hasn’t even come up apart from technical planning issues involving death or disability. This report is completely without foundation,” he said.
The Fox Business report did not cite any named sources.
“Regarding unnamed sources: Any sale discussions that may have taken place were missing three key people — Larry [Lucchino], Tom [Werner] and me. The Sox and any of the other components of FSG [Fenway Sports Group] are not for sale and will not be for the foreseeable future,” Henry said.
Charlie Gasparino, who wrote the Fox report, elaborated on his report in an interview on WEEI Thursday afternoon.
“I am not making this stuff up, I don’t care how much they deny it,” said Gasparino, whose story included a quote from a Red Sox spokesman denying the team was for sale.
“After discussion about our sourcing and what we knew about this, we felt pretty confident to go with it,” Gasparino said.
The Fox story said executives at Fenway Sports Group were concerned with having “the financial resources to run both” the Red Sox and the Liverpool soccer team, which it purchased in October of 2010.
In his own interview on WEEI, Henry reiterated his earlier statement.
“We’ve had minority owners get out, but there’s always been more than enough interest from existing partners to take them out,” he said. “There hasn’t been any discussion with minority partners, at least with us, that they want to sell the asset.”
He also said FSG’s ownership of Liverpool had no relationship to the Red Sox and that each team operates on its own budget.
“There hasn’t been a financial issue but there’s really been an issue between fan bases,” Henry said. “Right after we spent $476 million to buy Liverpool, which many people think was a bargain price, we spent how much on [Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford]? That provoked such an outrage in Liverpool, we were shocked by that. ... Then we went out and spent $150 million or so on buying players in Liverpool and that provoked that here. “
Lucchino, the team’s CEO, called the notion of a sale of the Red Sox “nonsense” during an appearance on WEEI earlier.
Of his partners, Werner and Henry, Lucchino said, “They feel the same kind of competitive juices that I feel, that our fans feel, to put this team back on the track it was on for a decade. For better or worse, we are the guys that you’re going to have to kick around for awhile.”
Peter Abraham and Gary Dzen contributed