- October 13, 2020
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Business
Billy Beane’s potential deal to buy a stake in the company that owns the Boston Red Sox would end his visionary reign at the Oakland Athletics — and could mark his exit from baseball entirely, The Post has learned.
Multiple sources tell The Post that Beane of “Moneyball” fame would resign from as position as executive vice president of the A’s and sell his minority stake if his “blank check company” is successful in its reported pursuit of Fenway Sports Group, the Boston-based conglomerate that owns the Red Sox and English soccer champions Liverpool.
Beane, the most celebrated baseball executive of his generation, would not be leaving the A’s after 23 years to join the Red Sox, but rather to focus on building a soccer empire in Europe, these sources said.
As The Post reported in August, Beane has partnered with prolific sports banker Gerry Cardinale to raise $575 million through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, called RedBall Acquisition Corp., which was created to focus on European soccer acquisitions.
Insiders told The Post at the time that Beane and Cardinale were focusing on buying a stake in Liverpool. According to a Friday report in the Wall Street Journal, Beane and Cardinale are now talking about a deal to merge with Fenway Sports Group, which is known for the Red Sox but also owns Liverpool.
“Billy has really done all he can in Oakland,” one person familiar with Beane told The Post. “He loves soccer, he’s been doing a lot with the sport and his future lies in bringing ‘Moneyball’ to Europe.”
Beane, 58, is the person most credited with bringing analytical, stat-driven strategies to pro sports and was portrayed by Brad Pitt in the movie “Moneyball.”
But he’s also a major soccer fan who has gushed about his love for Liverpool and has taken an active role in the European game over the last few years. He is an official adviser to Dutch team AZ Alkmaar and owns a minority stake in English second-tier club Barnsley.
Sources say that Beane would continue in that vein, acquiring middling teams across Europe with FSG’s money and using “Moneyball” to make them winners once the merger is complete and FSG goes public using RedBall’s SPAC ticker.
But sources also tell The Post that the inclusion of the Red Sox makes the merger much more difficult, if even possible.
“Major League Baseball doesn’t allow teams to be owned by public companies, so this could end with FSG carving out the Red Sox to get the deal done,” said one sports banker with knowledge of the SPAC. “Baseball would make it a nightmare otherwise and Liverpool is the target here anyway.”
That wrinkle might not be as much of an issue for Beane.
“That would suit Billy just fine,” said the source. “He’s not interested in being part of the Red Sox, he wants to be in soccer.”