Emile Heskey On Wayne Rooney To Birmingham & Celebrity Owners
Here at BoyleSports we got the opportunity to chat to former England star and Birmingham player Emile Heskey.
The 45-year-old gave us his analysis of the latest goings on at St. Andrews including Wayne Rooney’s appointment as manager, Tom Brady’s investment in the club and what the celebrity owner phenomenon means for the future of football.
Watch the video below for Heskey’s verdict on all these stories:
Wayne Rooney’s Appointment As Birmingham Manager
On Wednesday, October 11th it was announced that Wayne Rooney is the new manager of Birmingham City. The club signed Rooney to a three-and-a-half-year deal which begins with immediate effect.
Emile Heskey gave us his opinion on Rooney’s appointment as Birmingham City manager.
“It’ll be good for him [Rooney], it’ll be good for Birmingham bringing someone of such a high caliber and high status back. I’m not saying that that high caliber will bring results, he’ll have to still bring results but it brings a notoriety with it as well.”
Heskey goes on to highlight the media attention that the move will bring to both Rooney and Birmingham.
“It brings a lot of attention to the club and it brings a lot of other things that come with that. But I think it’s great.”
Tom Brady’s Investment In Birmingham City
Recently retired legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady became a minority owner of Birmingham City in partnership with Knighthead Capital this August. The club announced that Brady will be part of the new Advisory Board.
Heskey, a former Birmingham player, outlined the tough times that the club have been through including relegation and points deductions. He then explained why he thinks the new ownership is a positive thing for Blues.
“Now seeing the upside of it where you’re getting bought out by a consortium that are really here to help and are really here to help push the club forward. And you’re starting to see them changes as well because you’re starting to see the stand being done. You’re starting to see the manager being backed.”
Celebrity Owners In Football
Celebrity football club owners have become a massive part of the game in a very short space of time. Famously at Wrexham, Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the club. Fellow American stars like LeBron James (Liverpool) and Tom Brady (Birmingham) have also gotten involved in ownership.
Heskey was positive in his appraisal of the impact celebrity owners are having on football.
“It brings much needed funding, and it brings a lot of notoriety and it brings a lot of razzmatazz.”
The former England striker went on to say that celebrity owners are bringing an element of entertainment to the game but rejects the idea that it will become like American sports.
“It’s going the American way, it won’t ever go as bad, but it needs a little bit of entertainment. Because for the longest time it used to just be about the match… about that 90 minutes.”
He then explains the positive elements of the way that football is becoming more entertainment influenced.
“But now we’re trying to make it a bit more about the clubs, the fans… bringing it all together. The more we can have this stuff, especially for a club like Birmingham, the better it is.”
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