Kraft: 'I'd rather give to charity than invest in EPL'
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Wed June 27, 2012
- 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.
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.
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.
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"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."
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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.
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