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31st Jul 2018

Part Liverpool owner LeBron James describes Manchester United as ‘historic franchise’

LeBron invested millions of dollars in Liverpool back in 2011 but recently cited Manchester United as an example of a 'historic franchise' before the club in which he owns a stake

Reuben Pinder

This might not go down well with Liverpool fans

LeBron James recently left his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to join the LA Lakers, despite their absence from the NBA play-offs since 2013.

The Lakers are very much a sleeping giant in the NBA, with a huge following and a rich history, and LeBron spoke about how much he enjoys a challenge of bringing the Los Angeles team back to significance.

He compared the Lakers to other sporting giants, or in his words, “historic franchises.” He reeled off a list of examples, including the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics and, finally, Manchester United.

On the face of it, there’s nothing controversial about this comment: all four of those teams are undoubtedly big brands, rich in history, even if Manchester United are not technically a franchise.

But the comment won’t have gone down well with Liverpool fans given the historic rivalry between the two clubs.

‘King’ James is a part owner of Liverpool, after he invested $6.5m in the football club in 2011. The faux pas should be forgiven, but given the historic vitriol that has existed between Liverpool and United for decades, don’t be surprised to see United fans enjoying the reaction to this comment.

As well as some Liverpool fans not best pleased by his remark…

Liverpool beat United 4-1 in a pre-season friendly in Michigan on Saturday night, with new signing Xherdan Shaqiri stealing the show with a spectacular bicycle kick.

The Reds look in good shape ahead of the new season and have brought in four new first-team players. Meanwhile Manchester United seem to be less prepared, with manager José Mourinho not content with the club’s lack of transfer activity.