By Evan Brunell
John Henry has long been an outspoken opponent of revenue sharing, one of very few things that the Red Sox agree with the Yankees on, as Hank Steinbrenner had some choice words on the subject in February. In a radio interview with WEEI out of Boston Tuesday, Henry revealed he was fined $500,000 for comments related to revenue sharing made in 2009, as quoted in the Boston Globe.
"Change is needed and that is reflected by the fact that over a billion dollars have been paid to seven chronically uncompetitive teams, five of whom have had baseball’s highest operating profits," Henry says in the article. "Who, except these teams, can think this is a good idea?"
Over a year later, Henry (photo, flanked by president Larry Lucchino on left and chairan Tom Werner on right) said "I made statements which turned out to be true, or at least there were various documents that were leaked after that." He is referring to the financial documents of a few baseball clubs that were leaked and showed high operating profits for certain clubs that publicly cried poor.
Henry also revealed the team received a letter after Steinbrenner's comments, warning them to keep their mouth shut.
"The large markets are not allowed to give their opinions," he said, saying baseball encourages small-market teams to do so. He declined to say why, but declined to say why although the answer seems clear: small-market clubs will promote the system as it directly benefits them.
Henry confirmed earlier revelations that Boston paid $85 million in revenue sharing, and this is on top of losing other assets that baseball draws into its general fund. Henry earlier purchased an English soccer club, Liverpool, and noted certain differences that can impact operating revenues of each respective club.
"There are a lot of other forms of revenue sharing that we don’t generally think about," Henry said. "Like with Liverpool, we own our hats and our jerseys and our marks and our stadium. But baseball, essentially, has all those rights. It’s another reason why we have been investing outside."