Kraft would rather give to charity than invest in European soccer

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Kraft would rather give to charity than invest in European soccer

Don't worry, Patriots fans. Robert Kraft isn't going to pull a Fenway Sports Group on you any time soon.

Speaking with CNN International from Wimbledon, the Patriots owner said he would rather make a donation to charity than invest millions of dollars in a top European soccer club.

Kraft said he likes all his businesses to stand on their own, and some of the top soccer clubs in the world haven't been able to do that. With exorbitant player salaries and profits that can't keep up, many teams are losing money.

Manchester City, which won the English Premier League, has run 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," Kraft said. "I would rather give that money to charity if I had it. I want every business to stand on its own."

Kraft could have bought a stake in Liverpool, which was ultimately purchased in 2010 by Red Sox owner John Henry.

Here's more of what Kraft told CNN:
I would only do it, if there was a salary cap. It's the same thing I said three years ago.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. 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.We have the resources to do it, it's just I choose not to do it . . . 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.

Of course, Kraft already owns a soccer team: the New England Revolution. As the team has struggled in recent seasons, local MLS fans have criticized him for not wanting to invest in that team, either.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."