Skip to main content

Kraft: 'I'd rather give to charity than invest in EPL'

June 27, 2012 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robert Kraft would rather give $100m to charity than invest it in soccer
  • Kraft is the owner of NFL franchise the New England Patriots
  • The 71-year-old has considered purchasing EPL team Liverpool
  • Kraft said the absence of a salary cap in English football put him off investing

(CNN) -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft would rather make a donation to charity than invest millions of dollars in a top European soccer club because the economics of football make no business sense.

Analzying football's business model, Kraft insisted he would not follow the example of Abu-Dhabi owned English Premier League winners Manchester City, which has ran up huge losses -- $300 million for the last financial year (the highest figure in English football history) -- to assemble a championship team.

"Manchester City won the championship this year and I hear they're going to lose $156 million. I would rather give that money to charity if I had it. I want every business to stand on its own," the 71-year-old, told CNN.

In the U.S. team sports such as American football, basketball and baseball are governed by a salary cap, which limits the amount of money a team can spend on players' wages.

Manchester United is the most valuable brand in football according to a report by independent consultancy Brand Finance. The global appeal and on-field success of the 19-time English champions has helped establish a brand worth an estimated $853 million. Manchester United is the most valuable brand in football according to a report by independent consultancy Brand Finance. The global appeal and on-field success of the 19-time English champions has helped establish a brand worth an estimated $853 million.
Manchester's money machine
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Brand power: Football\'s most valuable clubs Brand power: Football's most valuable clubs
Barcelona's players are the best paid in the world according to a new report. The team kept its No. 1 place on the earnings table with each player taking home an average annual salary of $8.6 million (£5.2 million). That's a whopping $166,934 (£101,160) per week and a 10% rise on last year. Barcelona's players are the best paid in the world according to a new report. The team kept its No. 1 place on the earnings table with each player taking home an average annual salary of $8.6 million (£5.2 million). That's a whopping $166,934 (£101,160) per week and a 10% rise on last year.
1. Barcelona FC $8.6 million average
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
The world\'s 10 best-paid sports teams The world's 10 best-paid sports teams

It was the absence of such a salary cap in the Premier League that deterred Kraft from investing in Liverpool, which was ultimately purchased in October 2010 by the Kraft Group chairman and CEO's compatriot John W Henry -- the owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise -- from Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Football culture: Warrior or tika taka technician?

"I would only do it, if there was a salary cap. It's the same thing I said three years ago," said Kraft, who completed a then record purchase of NFL franchise the Patriots in 1994.

"We could have bought Liverpool before the two ownership groups who preceded us and in the end I don't want to compete in a business where people throw money at something.

"I want to be able to compete," added Kraft. "The fans in Liverpool are awesome and they are expecting to win every year, and if you are competing with people who have different rules then it makes it difficult."

Drogba deal: China's vanity project?

The former Patriots season-ticket holder argued that the lack of a salary cap combined with other clubs' decisions to run up significant levels of debt ensured that there was not a level playing field in English football.

"We have the resources to do it, it's just I choose not to do it.," said Kraft, who was speaking in London, where he is taking in the tennis at Wimbledon for the 38th consecutive year.

"I don't want to be in a business that does not stand on its own, I want every business to stand on its own, and for ego reasons I'm not willing to lose that kind of money.

"The only way I would go into a sports business is to win. And, I don't think I can compete on an equal footing so I choose not to do it. "

Elsewhere in the English Premier League, Tottenham's Wales international Gareth Bale has signed a new four-year contract with the London club.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT