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Still time for FSG to surprise us. But not much.

by Jim Boardman // 20 May 2012 // 84 Comments

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WHERE to start? A week ago Liverpool were about to embark on their final game of the season, a meaningless trip to Swansea the latest in a run of meaningless league games. There may be some dispute on when exactly it was the league games became meaningless, and to some none of them were meaningless, but it was hard to think of that Swansea game in any other way. Maybe somebody at the club should have told Kenny Dalglish that the owners didn’t see those remaining league games as meaningless.

Before the season started John Henry declared that Liverpool had to finish in the top four. There was no leeway. No “challenging for top four” – it had to be a top four finish. Had FSG done enough to make this a genuine target?

Liverpool finished second in 2009. Then Christian Purslow was sent in by the banks who were at stage one of having had just about enough of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. By the end of that season the interference and the need to sell to buy had played its part in Liverpool ending a turbulent season in seventh.

Liverpool were seven points from fourth, four points behind the now rich Manchester City and two points above neighbours Everton.

By now the banks were on stage two of having had just about enough of Hicks and Gillett and so they sent Martin Broughton in to finish off the job Purslow had started. Benítez was sacked, Hodgson came in and expectations that had put pressure on Benítez all season were lowered. Fourth place didn’t really matter now – and although the board were reluctant to admit it, that was because Liverpool were as good as in administration by now.

By the end of that season the dodgy American owners had gone and new American owners had come in. The “yanks out” banners went up in the loft and although the new owners weren’t welcomed with open arms they made the right noises to keep those banners in those lofts. To this day they’ve never been referred to as “the yanks”, perhaps a sign that Liverpool supporters recognise that businessman can be good or bad regardless of where they come from, even if it’s from a country where football is called soccer and mainly played by girls. It’s a big country and its interest in the flavour of football Liverpool play is growing rapidly with many US Reds more clued up than many of their UK counterparts. In fact football fans can be good or bad at it regardless of where they’re from.

The new American owners were FSG, known as NESV at the time. They didn’t meet the criteria that Broughton had laid down for buyers – they paid off the acquisition debt but not the remaining debt and they did not commit to building the stadium that had got Liverpool into a mess in the first place. But they bought the club fair and square although litigation continues disputing how fair and square the sales process was. None of that is FSG’s fault.

FSG brought Damien Comolli in as director of football strategy and less than three months after taking over they sacked Roy Hodgson. Liverpool were heading for relegation and the sacking took place long after the fans had run out of patience. He was paid off and told to get his things; in his place came Kenny Dalglish, who managed to get Liverpool back up to sixth by the end of the season.

Liverpool were now ten points from fourth, 13 points behind the now third-placed Manchester City and four points above neighbours Everton.

FSG had reduced the amount of money Liverpool were spending on interest payments (by a little under £15m a year) and put it towards new signings. They also got money in from the sales of Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel – not to mention money that came in too late to be spent in full (on transfers at least) from the sale of Javier Mascherano at the end of the final Hicks and Gillett transfer window. In all Liverpool’s “profit on player sales” was £43.3m between the end of July 2010 and the end of July 2011. In previous seasons as the Hicks and Gillett bubble started to burst that figure was £23m (2010) and £4m (2009)

Since the end of July 2011 the club says it has bought players for total guaranteed transfer fees of £12.5m and sold players for total guaranteed transfer fees of £16.5m.  The club has also refinanced its debts. The £92m facility previously held with RBS and Wachovia has been replaced by a £120m facility with RBS, Barclays and Bank of America. £37.7m of that earlier facility related to the costs of the yet-to-be-started new stadium, the new facility sees that facility upped to £45m. The infamous shovel is yet to even see the ground it was meant to have broken five years ago.

Meanwhile, at the end of the first full season for both the returning Kenny Dalglish and the owners FSG, Liverpool FC finished eighth in the league.

Liverpool were now seventeen points from fourth, 37 points behind the new champions Manchester City and four points below neighbours Everton.

They’d also won their first trophy since the arrival of Hicks and Gillett and came runners-up in another, a massive improvement on the early exits from both domestic cups the season before.

Old sayings and quotes are brought up as and when it suits. When Liverpool were challenging for the title in 2009 the cries from those who are never satisfied were of “this club exists to win trophies” as the title challenge was belittled and the achievement of staying into the top four again was dismissed. By 2012 the cries were of “the league is this club’s bread and butter” as the cup success and near-miss were played down and belittled.

For those who always moan the idea that both sayings can be combined into one is rather alien. The fact the sayings were coined when the Champions League was called The European Cup and was only entered by actual champions is lost. Can Liverpool not exist to try and win every competition they are entered into?

Three years since finishing second it’s quite clear that for Liverpool the Premier League is a competition they are now entered into not to win but to finish as high as possible, in fourth if the owners’ demands are taken seriously. For the two domestic cups the club has shown it’s capable of winning them although next season’s Europa League will almost be unknown territory after a year away.

The top four used to be Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and one other team. Liverpool were that other team in all but one season from 2004 to 2009 but in the years that followed the teams who are contenders for the top four has increased markedly. Spurs and Manchester City have forced their way in, even Chelsea, with all their money, only managed sixth. Newcastle might turn out to be regular top four contenders, it may turn out to be a flash in the pan (Villa finished sixth in 2010), but even without Newcastle the Reds are trying to break into the top four of a group of six clubs who have all got as much right to play in the Champions League as the Reds.

To get into the top four the club has to do much more than change manager and reinvest money brought in from selling players. Borrowing money to buy players to get into the Champions League killed Leeds United.

Manchester United, even if their owners keep their hands in their pockets, have a massive advantage over Liverpool in a financial sense because they made their stadium bigger and bigger as Liverpool dithered over moving a few hundred yards across the road.

Manchester City and Chelsea can find as much cash as their ways of getting round Financial Fair Play will allow. Spurs usually find money when they need it, and chances are they’ll decided they need it this summer, having finished fourth but still missed out on the Champions League. Arsenal might surprise everyone and use some of those funds they claim to have available when needed. What are Liverpool going to do?

As it stands Liverpool are going to miss out on any early summer bargains – a problem the club have had for far too many years now. Rafa Benítez was frustrated at how Liverpool as a club would go on holiday as soon as the season ended, instead of using the time to persuade clubs to part with their gems before any bidding wars kicked in. They’ll miss out on those bargains because, unless someone is being less than honest, Liverpool don’t have a manager yet and don’t know what the new one thinks he will need to take Liverpool from bottom-end Europa League places to bottom-end Champions League places. And players aren’t exactly going to be keen to join a club that still has no manager having got rid of three in the space of less than two years.

There are plenty of reasons that can be put forward for and against the sacking of Kenny Dalglish but if he and the owners agreed on top four as a minimum requirement he didn’t meet their targets. If that wasn’t the minimum requirement for FSG why say so to the media before the season even begins?

That comment set the tone for the season. Top four was a must, regardless of how much other sides – already further on in their progress than the Reds – might have upped their own games. By the time Liverpool were heading south for the Carling Cup final they were four points behind Arsenal, seven points away from fourth but at the start of a decline in league form. Time and again Liverpool played well without getting the points, although they were also capable of losing after playing badly.

That demand for a top four finish had always seemed an unreasonable demand, a challenge for top four seemed more suitable to Liverpool’s situation and that of the others at the top end of the table. A challenge for top four should guarantee European football of some kind – but that’s what the Carling Cup win did. When Liverpool lost the game after the Carling Cup final – at home to Arsenal – it felt like the league season was over. Liverpool had challenged for the top four, albeit only until the end of February, and European football was assured.

Sadly, it seems, FSG didn’t share this view. They felt the investment in the squad (nowhere near the £120m often quoted) should have brought that top four finish and that place in the Champions League.

Nobody has asked them what they’d have done if Liverpool had finished fourth and still missed out.

A new kit deal with Warrior has now kicked in, reportedly worth around £13m per season, but Liverpool are still stuck in a stadium that hold 45,000 fans. For reasons not yet explained FSG have dumped the plans drawn up at great cost and granted planning permission for a stadium that could potentially be expanded up to 75,000 seats if other obstacles relating to infrastructure are eventually overcome. Instead they’ve reverted to plans for a stadium that can hold a maximum of 60,000 and can’t be expanded any further.

To build that 60,000 seater stadium they need to find a naming rights partner and the increased revenue from just an extra 15,000 seats means it isn’t so attractive to FSG to build it. Redeveloping Anfield is full of obstacles and far more expensive to do than FSG will accept.

FSG, from day one, seemed reluctant to build a new stadium. 18 months on and it looks no closer than it did when all the talks was about how vital is was that it was complete before Liverpool’s year of European Capital of Culture in 2008.

There are now genuine fears about FSG and although there is still a minimal amount of time left for their actions to make up for their lack of words the vacuum created by so many sackings and so little recruitment is leaving fans increasingly frustrated.

News that Roberto Martinez has been approached does not tally with claims that the club are looking to get Pep Guardiola. André Villas-Boas might feel he has unfinished business to do in the Premier League but if FSG’s mystery advisers have recommended no contact whatsoever with Rafa Benítez it seems FSG are still being swayed by those with old grudges. And those old grudges almost destroyed the club once.

Benítez may prove not to be right for the club, but if the club are interested in names like Martinez, Rodgers, Villas-Boas and Guardiola it’s incredible to think that they don’t see any need in at least meeting him and listening to him.

A new communications director starts his new role at the club in a few weeks. By the time he’s in post the job may be much tougher than he ever envisaged.

There is still time for FSG to surprise us. But not much.

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84 Comments

  1. Reactionary. It’s been a week since the season ended, one in which we failed to even repeat the performance of the previous season after pretty massive spending (no matter if it was recooped to some extent by sales, the gross amount spent should have brought in better players – we sold club assets and replaced them with much less valuable ones at nearly the same price or higher). Kenny underperformed by any metric, not just one that insists he make a top four challenge. The fact is we were just as bad in the second half of this season as we were under Roy in the first half of last. Another manager would have met with howls of derision for those results, but Kenny’s a legend and deserved better and he received it. That doesn’t mean he deserved to retain his position. We played ineffective, if at times attractive, football for most of the season and couldn’t achieve goals or results. There’s an argument to be made that Kenny could have turned it around, but it’s not a particularly strong one as if anything, his tenure showed a massive decline in results from January 2011 to May 2012. We were on a massive slide in the league, and no manner of cup run could hide that. The day we start rewarding an eighth place finish and a Carling Cup victory is the day we’re finished as a top club.

    • Was changing the manager all that was needed? Or to put it another way, did the owners do enough to insist on a top four finish?

      If so, what do they need to do (appointments apart) to insist on the same next season? And another important question – can we go for that at the same time as going for the domestic trophies?

      I think we all need to be certain of what to expect from next season, fright rom the off, otherwise whoever takes over will be getting abuse he might not deserve.

      • If we hadn’t crashed and burned in 2012, all your reasons for keeping KK would have been valid. But , we did derail spectacularly. Out of respect for him and who he is he didn’t go the way of Comolli. I for one don’t mind the Chelsea style firing of managers, cause it works very well. The results justifies their decisions. Truth to tell, KK hasn’t done well in either of his last three appointments.

        • I don’t mind the Chelsea way of Sacking managers either – but it HAS to be supported by Huge spending to satisfy the incoming manager.

          I do not believe FSG are prepared to do this – in fact I know they are not

      • I don’t know how Henry could have been any clearer by saying that not finishing in the top 4 (which also includes 1st) would be a disappointment. If he expressed it publicly, you can be sure he expressed it to Kenny. So there was clarity from the beginning as to what the goals were. Had we finished within spitting distance, I imagine Kenny would have been left in place. But we were so far off that we were out of the race for 4th with 3 months to go.

        Change of management wasn’t all that was needed and FSG have acknowledged that by sacking a host of others in important positions and (if Ayre is to be believed, which I assume as he’s in charge at the club, he is) are currently restructuring the football infrastructure and working toward making new appointments.

        Don’t know if we can pursue cups and a good league finish, but with a repeat of last year’s investment there’s no reason to believe it’s an impossibility. But one thing is for sure, if we want to compete for both in the future we need the standing and yes, financial windfall that CL qualification brings to the club. Aiming for better league finishes above all else is a strategy for future success. Aiming for CC victories to the detriment of league success is short-sighted and will do nothing to help us achieve what we all believe to be most important, which is league title challenges and competitive runs in the CL.

        What we should expect is a top 4 challenge above all else, just as we all wanted before the start of this past season. That means fighting for it beyond February. Love Kenny but his season was a failure and if it’s repeated or we regress, we should expect the new man to receive the same treatment.

        Right now, the owners are showing much more ambition than a section of the support.

        • What he said!

        • I can’t see myself ticking the Auto-Cup scheme box next season, and neither do my mates.

          It is clear the pressure on the New Manager to finish higher up the league – and clearly have ignore the cups – will be huge .

          This in itself will cause money problems for the club as I believe the Seat Ticket revenue will be much reduced for the Cup competitions

          • Did you have the same attitude under Rafa? He hardly prioritized the CC over the league or CL. In fact, it can be said that in most seasons his priority was CL performance. Just because cups are inherently less valuable and prestigious doesn’t necessarily mean anyone’s phoning them in. It’s a willful misreading of what Ayre said to suggest otherwise.

  2. Great post, sums up a lot of fans feelings about where the club is going (or not going) as the case may be. If we don’t get a manager in soon will the new man be afforded the time to continue his work (unlike Kenny) if we miss out on signings this summer and don’t finish top 4 next year? I hope not and I feel Kenny was worth another year. I just hope FSG have a plan in place or deal done (with Benitez would be preferred :) )

  3. Jen still rates Rafa highly. I hope it will happen and he will get an interview. Unless there is a real investment in this squad, we are not going to get in to CL. If FSG dont put in money in the squad and we dont break into the CL, i fear for LFC. One more season without CL and we are really going to be just like the Bitters. If the Kit deals don’t pay south of £25 mill, match day revenues wont cut it. If our rivals sign all the sexy players and we sign the drownings and no names then we will not be moving jerseys either. Thank god Luis took over where Nando left over. We are at a cross roads. We either get in this year or we are terminally out. I think £75+ mill will be needed this year, You only get 3 players with that money. We need a Left/Right sided player, a striker and a DM/AM. If that doesnt happen, i will be personally bringing out the ‘Yanks out’ sings again.

  4. Totally agree Jim. If FSG are as professional and thorough as they claim if would surely be remiss of them not to at least pick Rafa’s brain.

  5. I find the stadium argument puzzling. Yes, they need the revenues, but a larger stadium means nothing if Liverpool finishes 8th. Champions League is where a new stadium can be best utilized, and the club did not demonstrate it can get to that point. I love Kenny, and it is awful to see him go out the way he has. But if owners are willing to hold the club accountable for a fourth place finish, even if it doesn’t seem likely, I am on board. Let’s see who they bring in. Just because we don’t know a final decision on manager/director of football, doesn’t mean they are not doing anything. If FSG spend money on players, I can wait on the stadium. YNWA

  6. Have you ever considered the irony behind demanding more information while insisting on the “Boot Room” and “Liverpool way”. It’s not the Liverpool way to be open, and yet everyone wants information.

    To quote Kenny, “when there’s news to be told, we’ll tell you”. Give them time, a stadium is no easy task (especially in this economic climate and the laws behind construction in this country – boring and horrible news, but true nonetheless)

    • The phrase “The Liverpool Way” is useless now because it’s been hijacked once too often.

      In terms of keeping things in house, the one issue people had under the old regime was the washing of dirty linen in public. We don’t need to know about alleged dressing room spats or fallouts in the board room. We don’t need ever minor detail of every board meeting. But to keep everything quiet goes much too far the other way.

      As with most things in football, you need balance. As with most things in football, arguments tend to be about the extremes.

      • Agree that it’s been hijacked way too often – along with every past phrase, ideal, and tradition. I think what everyone craves is stability and (more importantly) tangible success across the board. However, to do that you need to have a clear vision and model of what you want. All we know for certain is that Kenny isn’t included in FSG’s vision, whatever it may be.

        Until we really know what’s going on, shouldn’t we encourage them to search and get it right? Articles and comments that feed the extremism and hysteria will only ruin any real chance of creating that stability.

        (Also, before we get into extremes, I’m not the die-hard “FSG is our saviour” type but I am willing to give them a fresh new start. It’s clear as day we needed it!)

  7. You may not trust FSG, but I don’t particularly trust you.

    Hand-wavy, portentous articles like this are part of the problem. Your sense of entitlement is part of the problem. Dinosaurs like Tony Evans are part of the problem.

    For you to somehow insinuate that this is all down to FSG and for you to position yourself as anything other than one person with an opinion is disingenuous as best.

    You are not me. You do not represent me, so stop using the words “we” and “us”.

    • I wouldn’t have put it so bluntly myself, but I share your views entirely.

      Tony Evans seems to be feeling pretty sorry for himself on Twitter at the moment. Trying to start a one man movement against the system that threatens anything that isn’t from the 1980′s – bless. A bit of encouragement towards bringing the club up to scratch (constructive, not deconstructive, questioning) wouldn’t go amiss.

    • yes – well said. I thought a decent article, but that does not mean it is representative or in any way correct.

    • @ Anu

      Show me where I used the words “we” and “us” in the article please.

      I did put “US”, which is short for “United States”.

  8. Delusion, in all it’s glory. What a load of tosh.

  9. I was going to write a comment until I read Anu’s. It may be ironic, but I can’t put it any better:

    “You are not me. You do not represent me, so stop using the words “we” and “us”.

  10. The fact you put the ‘no’ option first in the poll says everything about your bias.

    You do not represent me. You do not represent the vast majority of supporters nowadays.

    • Coop,

      Are you the guy off that site that with the little group (cult?) who have a bit of an obsession with me? They were wrong about who sent that email and you’re wrong about the order of the options on this poll!

      They come up in a random order, try refreshing a few times.

      I don’t think I represent anyone other than myself although I hear a wide range of views that I always try to listen to and where appropriate pass on. I often get asked “what do fans think of…” and usually answer with whatever mix of views I’ve heard of late.

      Many of those views will make my own views change over time. This site hasn’t got a view, it gives a selection of different people a chance to share their views, either here in articles, in comments or on the podcast. We certainly don’t agree on everything.

      Last week’s podcast for example asked what to do next about Kenny. I’d say we were about evenly split between go, stay and don’t know.

      Pity you can’t say why you disagree with what I’ve said instead of just assuming there’s some kind of bias that isn’t there.

      • I’m really not sure what everyone’s complaining about, I for one thought you’re article hit the nail on the head.

        And although you didn’t use the words “we” and “us” please feel free to include me as part of the imaginary “we”

  11. Some of the stuff on Twitter lately is ridiculous, it’s spreading here too now it seems. Everyone needs to calm the fuck down. But instead you’re chasing ghosts, seeing monsters in the shadows and making assumptions based on very little information.

    Articles like this just add to the hysteria that’s already taken hold of a large chunk of our fans. This is not helpful.

  12. Well written but short-sighted article. There’s far too many assumptions in there for the level of scaremongering about FSG.

    What were fsg’s alternatives?
    Sacking Kenny before the FA cup final? Meeting managers behind his back before they had performed their end of season review just like “the yanks” with Klinsmann? Or continuing with who they feel to be the wrong man for the job for reasons we are not privy to?

    Surely these are all worse options and I for one (and I speak for no-one else) commend the owners for taking their time, interviewing a broad range of candidates and consulting as many knowledgeable football experts as possible before making their decision.

    Not sure where all this scaremongering about the owners has suddenly come from but if it’s just because they do things behind closed doors then isn’t that what we all wanted? Or do you want updates every 5 minutes saying who they’re interviewing, who their advisor’s are and how they are just working through article 6.2.c of the planning regs to get the new stadium under way just so you can give your approval? I’m pretty certain they don’t need it.

    • I think the ‘scaremongering’ as you put it has come directly from the owners firing the majority of the Senior Club officials without – on the face of it – a plan in place as to who is going to come in!

      That’s not Scaremongering – I am SCARED!

  13. Its a sad day when you see articles like this, perfectly obvious that superfans like Jim Boardman are desperately trying to pursue a vendetta against FSG, and what makes is worse a vendetta that they can produce no evidence to support.

    I just wish Boardman and co would stop throwing their toys out of the pram just long enough to see The Kings (and his entire family) reaction to events this week and try to replicate just a tiny fraction of that dignity.

    It’s very simple, Kenny got let go because he failed to meet pre agreed trophies. Rafa will not be spoken to because as much as I appreciate all he has done, he is cyanide for a club as vulnerable as LFC is. It’s simple the man doesn’t play well with others, and despite what the RAWK led Rafa brigade think the majority of reds don’t want him. The man was successful nearly a decade ago, playing anti-football in an era when playing like stoke brought Greece glory too.

    Football has moved on, Boardman and co only ever want to look backwards, and I for one am delighted that despite concerted efforts on their part to poison as many people with their bitterness as possible, the poll accompanying this baseless scaremongering agenda filled article shows that the VAST majority of reds support the club and refuse to let members of a tiny insignificant supporters union have their way.

  14. The Anfield Wrap, SOS and certain members of the media (Tony Evans in particular) have shown recently that believe they speak for the whole of the fan base. They have been very vocal on Twitter and other mediums of how they do not trust FSG. A member of SOS said on Twitter this morning: You don’t care about football, You don’t care about fans, Liverpool Football Club is in the wrong hands’. I’m sure many of you will know this is a chant used in protests/marches against H&G. It was retweeted by founder of SOS, Paul Gardner. We can not let these people lead us into another fight against owners that have so far, done nothing to warrant this kind of abuse.

    I just think it so unhelpful, even dangerous. I think it all comes down to the removal of Dalglish. He was a very popular figure but rightly or wrongly, he has gone. FSG made the decision and now need to prove it was the right one. Hence, why I will give them as much time as they see fit to make the new appointment. If it all goes well and we progress, they made the right choice. If things don’t go so well, on their heads be out.

    There may be a time to ask questions but now is not that time.

    • I agree absolutely with Michael. The tone of some of the stuff in recent days has been depressing. It’s as if there’s a contingent who only really feel comfortable when they can go to war against the owners. And this is their opportunity.

      The truth is this: Kenny’s results and – more importantly – the direction the team was going in were not good enough. If the team looked like it was moving forward but the results hadn’t come then he’d deserve more time. But it wasn’t so I’m afraid he doesn’t. The cliche I’ll reach for is not the over-used (and meaningless) Liverpool Way but that other old chestnut “no person is bigger than the club”. In Kenny’s case this is debatable, at least in the eyes of fans who are attacking FSG for doing what they had to do. Kenny is not bigger than LFC – as he would say himself – and it wasn’t working.

      Since then there’s been a wave of criticism about the way the sacking and recruitment process has been handled. It’s unfair and often contradictory – e.g “it should be done behind closed doors” alongside “they need to come out and tell us what is going on”.

      On the evidence so far, FSG have a plan and they are executing it. We don’t know yet whether it will work. They need to be given a chance to implement it. And the abuse is absurd.

      There is one big, looming blot in the FSG copybook: the stadium. There needs to be progress or at least clarity on that and I don’t underestimate its importance.

      But the general tone of SoS comments and much on Twitter and even those we’ve heard from some involved with TAW has been shrill, chippy and just plain wrong.

  15. I think this article is just too negative. There isn’t any reason to distrust FSG. Kenny’s sides were consistently beat by shit opposition, and he has better players than most of those teams. When that happens I think its because the tactics were all wrong. FSG is just looking for someone with a new modern philosophy about football. Thats why you have names like Martinez and Rodgers popping up. They’re all winning with teams poor on talent because they’re tactics are good.
    Anyway, lets just stop being negative.

  16. For Anu.

    Jim did not use “we” once in his article. He used “us” twice. This is an LFC supporters site.
    So ‘we’ are all ‘us’. Deal with it or support the Bitters.

    • “Deal with it or support the Bitters”

      Are those really my only options?

      • Anu – no they aren’t your only options.

        Perhaps putting something forward to back up why you don’t agree with the above would be an option for you. One where you don’t just slag people off who don’t agree with whatever it is your view is.

        Anyone can do that. Dinosaurs or not, hand-wavy or not.

        • You ought to spell out that pearl of wisdom to your mate Evans then, he does nothing but slag off other people. The owners, other fans, anyone that disagrees with him basically…

        • Jim.

          After taking a bit of time to calm down, I think I owe you an apology for the overly harsh tone of my comment. I’m still frustrated with what happened since Friday, but for the most part what I wrote wasn’t particularly constructive.

          However, I still think it’s important to recognise that a lot of fans still trust FSG and are willing to give them time to sort things out.

  17. You criticise FSG a lot but don’t particularly offer any viable alternative to their methods. These are a group of businessmen who are interested in developing LFC to become a successful club.

    As I see it, FSG came in with the club in a mess. They put in Comolli, sacked Hodgson (not their man) and brought Kenny in to steady the ship. KD overachieved and not only steadied the ship but started to get it steaming again. Retrospectively I believe FSG’s mistake was to offer him a 3 year contract rather than a 1 year contract based on performance this season, but it was hard to not get caught up in the poetry of the King saving LFC. He wasn’t able to continue the form of the first half season and they have woefully underachieved this season. Yes, 4th means nothing compared to a trophy and I’d still rather have the CC than be in Arsenal’s position right now, but to build a lasting legacy the club needs to be competing in top flight European football.

    FSG are finally able to do what they want with the club. They’ve decided to completely overhaul the management structure and they bravely sacked KD after he didn’t meet their targets; at least that shows they are serious about success. Kenny will always be a legend to this club for his magic on the pitch, and we will always remember him for his exploits in the 80′s, but that (rightly) doesn’t protect him from the expectations of the board in 2012.

    Talking of the Liverpool Way as well as maintaining a sense of entitlement is rather paradoxical. Can we either decide the owners need to be fully transparent, or that they conduct themselves behind closed doors in a professional matter, but not both? A successful business will make decisions professionally and decisively, as well as looking to build for the future. As a club LFC is more than a business, but the business aspect of the club will dictate performance and success in the new football world. FSG aren’t looking for a quick buck like H&G or the Glazers, they’re looking towards continued success (which helps their business model too).

    Building a stadium won’t solve the club’s problems, it’s part of the problem but not the solution. FSG will build a new stadium, but to comment on their decisions claiming any more authority than our own opinions is farcical, since we aren’t on the board of FSG and we don’t know what the long term strategy is. To claim we have a right to know the detailed inner workings of the club is also absurd; it’s their money, their business, their reputation. They will announce their plans when they see fit, let’s give them a chance to actually implement (and reveal) their plan before we criticise it.

    • It would be nice to know though who is it that is advising them on at the moment.

      • I don’t think we’re in that position to demand that. I don’t implicitly trust FSG, I just think they need a chance to build what they want to build.

        Let’s quit this immature attitude of throwing the toys out the pram at every opportunity and picking fights with the owners for the sake of it (have we forgotten SOS’s initial PR disaster when NESV took over the club?). If necessary we can hold the owners accountable when we actually have something concrete. For now, being explicitly negative and scaremongering because we feel the owners should give us more credit gets us nowhere. The stuff on twitter is ridiculous; the media love it, they can whip up all sorts of stories of disunity from it; the owners probably look at it and think they won’t touch the fan base with a barge pole; the rest of us look at it and see those who shout the loudest using the opportunity to get all the attention.

        Ultimately we need to develop a relationship with the owners where constructive criticism is well received. At the moment certain elements have already written off the owners when they haven’t even implemented their plan; it makes LFC and the fans a laughing stock.

  18. Would it have made people happier if the “us” in the headline and in the last line was changed to “some of us”?

  19. @Jim For some of us, yes ;-)

  20. It’s hard to have faith in owners who are not only absentee but know little about all the intricate ins and outs of the game and the league as a whole.

    Also, this game is not something they love like baseball and the Red Sox. They care very little about the heritage and rich history of LFC. I think that their lack of reaching out to the fans on any level (regardless of hirings/firings) makes this very evident.

    At this point I see FSG as typical American owners… it’s just an investment to them .. nothing more.

    • They weren’t baseball fans either when they took over in Boston, and yet they led them to their first titles in 86 years, redeveloping their iconic stadium in the process, which is now one of the best and most profitable in the league.

      The owners at City and Chelsea aren’t lifelong football people. They came in, hired football people and now they’re reaping the benefits of their intelligent (and heavily financed) success. It’s a silly straw man to suggest that they can’t possibly lead us to success simply because they didn’t grow up as LFC supporters. They’ve been here two years, which, like it or not, is long enough to understand what it takes to succeed in football. It’s not astrophysics, it’s just football. They don’t need to understand the intricacies of the debate on inverse versus orthodox wingers, or the history of the sweeper position, to understand what it takes to be successful. The manager needs to understand that, they just need to work to appoint him.

    • |As opposed to the owners of Chelsea, City and United?

    • You are Spot on with the ‘Absent ‘ bit.

      I find it EXTRAORDINARY that an organisation that invest £100′s of Millions has not placed a Senior official of their own in the club for a full 7 day a week 6 month period.

      This would let them see and feel what goes on, what the feelings of the staff and players is, the local papers and Radio, matchday supporters etc.

      They are clearly only going to hear what they expect to hear when dropping in or calling for updates from Ian Ayre.

      If it was my money/company I would have parked myself here!

      • Ayre IS one of their men, as are all the rest of the employees at the club. Ayre is the club’s managing director. Most ownership groups in businesses in every industry doesn’t oversee the operation of their businesses. They hire people to do that, and that includes publicly-owned companies. They’ve done nothing unusual.

  21. Do you think that when you hire people for Work they should not be interviewed by Employers but also Do you think it would be fair for Kenny Daglish if he knew after FA Cup that they have already picked a replacement ready start working after Daglish would been told leave his position as manager of Liverpool.

  22. If FSG appoint Rafa – great. If they appoint Allardyce – not so great. Everyone else is in between and thus a fairly large margin in which to judge what managerial appointment FSG eventually present the fans with.

    They could still fuck up or come with the means to bring the glory days back but at this stage we don’t know yet so let’s wait and see what they come up with rather than all this stomping around and slamming of bedroom doors, eh?

  23. I agree with some of the points made, I don’t think FSG could realistically DEMAND a top 4 finish. The squads of City, Utd, Arsenal, Spurs & Chelsea are all ahead of ours in terms of strength in depth so a realist would have us finish no higher than 6th without overachieving. To make top 4 a demand this season I agree we need to invest significantly in the squad (though I don’t profess to know how much).

    I was disappointed when Kenny was sacked and would like the vacant manager & DoF positions to be unveiled asap. However, the various attempts to mobilise the fans against FSG are destructive. Once the bandwagon begins we will have SOME fans who are unreasonably opposed to ANY decision made by FSG. They need to be allowed the time to put in place their plans, just because we don’t know what the plans are does not mean there isn’t one. We as fans also have no god given right to know what the plans are until FSG see fit.

    People crying on Twitter & the radio like Tony Evans has been are doing just what he complains about, making LFC a laughing stock.

    • Sounds like there is a lot of shite on Twitter (shitter) at the moment, nothing new there then, happy i binned it a while back, massive waste of time, space and talent.

  24. I think it’s fair to say the author has got everything spot on in this article but at the same time I don’t share the sense of negativity that some fans are portraying regarding FSG.

    I know the stadium is vital but who can blame the owners having reservations about increasing the capacity when Liverpool haven’t sold out all their home games. Last January, just after Kenny’s took over some attendances were down to 39k. There’s also been a few 40k’s towards the end of this season. Their dilemma is clearly down to the cost over the value of adding 15k more seats. Could Liverpool sell out 75k seats most games anyway? I don’t want to add more on that though as I believe the stadium is a must (just a case of playing devil’s advocate).

    My issue comes with the Liverpool fans reaction to FSG. They installed Kenny on our behalf and despite the better football, we finished 4th bottom since January. For all the good, there was as much doubt about us going forward as we were. I personally think FSG would have been ok with not getting CL footy had we come closer. The reality is we were nowhere near.

    The SOS did a fantastic job during H&G’s reign but i felt embarrassed reading their letter this week. I’m not referring to SOS here but one minute it’s the Liverpool Way, next it’s keep us updated on Twitter every 5 mins. Then it’s you do the business and let the club run the football side of things followed by the ‘absent owners’ jibe. They obviously have their advisers but aren’t allowed to widen that circle of advise. It’s becoming ridiculous. Yes, fans pay some of the wages but they’re not on the board of LFC.

    Hopefully, I won’t be the one who looks stupid in a few years for saying this but I think we have to give them a go under their rules and ideas. The stadium aside I don’t think we have too much to be concerned about as yet. I think we need to let them get on with it but with scrutiny. I think that’s how it should be. At the minute it seems like we want to dictate to them how they should do everything.

    Finally, I want to add that I believe LFC and its fans needs to move forward and FSG not Kenny represent a better chance for us to do that. Like it or not, football has changed and balance sheets do come into the equation of how your team performs on the pitch. The Champions League is what teams aspire to now. Certainly, we can keep things as they are but we’ll never be successful again, albeit the odd Carling Cup. Obviously, that’s silverware but it hasn’t left me feeling we’re top of the pile. We’re still in the top 10 big clubs of Europe and need to strive higher.

    I’m from a generation where Liverpool won things. During the past 20 years I haven’t seen too much to make me want to stay as we are and not embrace change. That’s why I’m desperate to see FSG succeed. No one has filled me with the confidence that they want to succeed as much as FSG of late. Yes, they want to make money but so do the Glazers at Man Utd. When Utd win the league or reach the CL final, the owner side of things isn’t considered. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, even if fractious. I’m prepared to give FSG a few years to prove themselves. I believe they see the key to Liverpool progressing is change. Forgetting the past and moving forward.

  25. Jim,

    £120 million is the figure spent. It doesn’t matter that we sold players as well. We ‘wasted’ £120 million pounds on poor resources. We may have gotten most of it back from sales but we still wasted what we got.

    And we didn’t almost always play well under Dalglish. Granted there were times when we did. But there were also probably plenty more absolute shockers.

  26. The reactions to this restructuring is too much. I can’t see what they’ve done wrong other than make a hard choice regarding Kenny. Listening to the latest podast I thought TAW pretty much touched upon every issue we had last season. Memory beeing what it is, I seem to remember the room was split in half about should he go, should he be given another year. When fans can’t agree, is it that outrageous that the owners fell down on the side of change? We may not know who is advicing FSG, but can’t we save the outrage for when we know excactly what their plan has been(or if they haven’t got a clue, like Tony Evans shouts on twitter)?

  27. Good article Jim, been following TAW and the podcasts pretty much most of the season and to be fair to you guys, you give the opportunity for both sides of the argument in equal measure.

    I’d like to see a CEO come in who can lead in a PR and businessman sense. David Dein maybe? He’s got a few fingers in the FA pie so to speak and think a top end of the game CEO. Not to mention Arsenal’s successful years were under his stead.

    As for manager, I’d like to see a plan, not just see us go for the “in guy” at the moment. AVB would be an interesting one. I think too many fans are judging him on his Chelsea stint. He had issues with player power, he tried to get rid of the old guard and was lambasted for it. A manager such as him or in a dream world far away Pep Guardiola would be a perfect fit for Liverpool.

  28. I don’t wholeheartedly trust or distrust FSG at the moment, I’ll judge each of their decisions & actions individually & build a picture over time of who I think they are & of their intentions. Their big decisions so far are getting rid of Hodgeson, brilliant, replacing him with Kenny, even better (incidentally though Kenny wasn’t their man, he was ours & was appointed following alot of pressure to do so from supporters so it shows they do listen to us despite what the doom mongerers want you to believe) I don’t agree that getting rid of Kenny was the right thing to do cos I think he deserved more time & would’ve got things right but I can at least understand their resons for doing it. So far though getting rid of Kenny is the only big decision I disagree with, & even then I can see their reasoning, so I can’t believe how many people are completely against them this early on. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be asking questions but if we’re gonna kick off lets do it at the right time. They haven’t replaced Kenny yet, let’s wait & see who they bring in as a manager & even then lets support that manager & give him a chance, if it falls on it’s arse then that’s the time to turn on them, not now. I can understand people questioning what’s happening with the stadium too but from what I hear, if they’re going to build a new one then a naming rights partner is a massive part of that, I don’t know what’s happening but maybe a few naming rights partners have backed off a bit after the PR & media shit storm we’ve endured this year? I might be in a minority but I like the fact that they take time over big decisions & I also like the fact that it’s being done behind closed doors. Kenny was never one to entertain probing questions from sections of the media about what was going on behind the scenes & even now that he’s gone I expect the club to take the same stance. I can’t get my head around everyone who says we’re just an investment to them either, fair enough they don’t have the emotional attachment to the club that we do but very few owners in sport do, I’d like to think that they’ve got into football for a love of winning, which they seem pretty good at everywhere else. & even if they eventually want to turn a profit, surely the way to make us more valuable is to make us successful again? I’ve said it before but maybe I’m just enjoying being an optimist again cos the last few years under them other clowns have been a fucking nightmare, the club’s in much better shape than it was 2 years ago. We’re not getting a Sheik mansoor, we’re not getting a Roman Abramovich, that’s like hoping for a lottery win, the next best thing is a set of owners who can put us on a sound footing & build a sustainable club & from the commercial deals they’ve set up already & the fact that they’ve supposedly trimmed the wage bill by about 30m a season without weakening the squad suggests that they’re on their way to doing that. We had to put up with gobshite owners for 3 years while all of our biggest rivals strengthened, in my opinion it was only Rafa that kept us competitive throughout it all so the fact that everything isn’t back as it was before they came just 18 months after they’ve gone isn’t a big surprise. It’ll take time, chill the fuck out

  29. didier deschamps, marwjik, van gaal, laudrup, and and most importantly frank rijkaard-the guy who gave barca their current structure and format.. these are good names..i know guardiola is a good one too but i dont think he’ll be interested…please make it a good signing please. me and one more guy head a huge lfc fans forum in india and we are desperate to get our word out to make a big name signing as big name means big players..break the deadlock here..make our team shine again.

  30. I think this blog and all its writers, podcaster’s need to have an open mind. They should give FSG time. The same amount of time they gave Kenny and still continues to give him. Certain allowances must be made since they are new. But, i believe them to be more pragmatic than nostalgic. What we want is real reasons, not emotional bulemia and frenzied zealotary. Can this blog please provide sensible leadership. We some of us never saw Dalglish play in real life. So, we didnot see him with the tinted shades that some did. Those of us with no connection to him apart from the stories and the dvd’s, felt that the 2012 performance and the PR disaster meant Kenny had to fall on his sword.

  31. I can understand the outrage, although I do not necessarily share it. I think it is caused by yet another PR lapse by FSG – the way they went about the candidates, throwing all sort of names together. That’s very amateurish, and understandably raised a concern whether they know exactly what they are doing and what they want, and who they want.
    Other than that I’d give them the benefit of a doubt for now.

    (Privately though, I hate the fact that they do not talk to Benitez. They HAVE TO talk to him at least, what do they have to lose??)

    One more thing… my gut feeling which is almost never wrong, tells me that AVB is a wrong guy for us. He might be an ambitious, energetic, talented and all… but something about him is just so wrong for LFC. He is cold. He is egocentric. He is a bit psychotic even. I would be scared for our players if he takes over.

  32. I thought that the decision to sack Rafa was a poor one, and the time and today. However, I also think that even the darkest days under H&G the transfer constraints any manager would have been under would in no way be a tight as those at say Newcastle, or despite what they say, Arsenal. So despite being able to compete with those two clubs financially, we lag a long way behind them on the field. Despite all of Arsenals troubles, they are still miles ahead of us.

    Maybe Rafa was building something, but he was avaliable at the end of last season and we stuck with Kenny. Why? Surely you’d have looked at Rafa then. I think the owners have had their hand bitten by the sentimental choice and are extremely reluctant to go there again. Up and coming managers with something to prove (Martinez, Rodgers, AVB) and time to build something, or an old head who can get the most out of what we have and look to transition to a manager from within (Borrell, Segura).

    This last method is the “Barca Way”, promote from within keep the system constant from u7 to the first team. Ironically, this was the liverpool way until the 90s.

  33. Lot of anger and statements about who represents/ doesn’t represent who. For some of you i would suggest that you don’t read this site any more if the stuff posted here is going to anger you so. Stress is a killer and why bring anymore into your life.
    As to the manager situation this is a very important time of the year especially considering there is a major championship on during the summer and transfer dealing need to be dealt with ASAP. For this to happen a manager/director of football needs to identify the players he wants and the club go out and get them. As we (and i mean the club not any one individual unless they have a manager stuffed under their bed) don’t have either we are caught in no mans land and risk other clubs turning some of our players heads. Statements from FSG saying that there is no rush to appoint a new manager and the fact they seem to be compiling a long list of candidates to interview doesn’t instill me with confidence.
    For me give Rafa the job and let him get on with it, FSG have already recognised his foresight in appointing Borrell and Segura (forgive the spelling) by promoting the latter to technical assistant to the first team.
    The idea that we play the same way through all the layers of the club is only going to work if you have a manager that is going to play the system in the first team, this was another problem with Kenny who has his own ideas on how the game should be played.
    This was what Rafa wanted at the club (yes he stole the idea from Barca) it is to help bring youngsters through the last massive step from reserve to first team so that you can produce your own talent and not have to spend a 100mill every year but do what Barca and UTD do go and pay 30mill on that one marque signing each season to bolster the youth that you bring through.
    AVB maybe the answer as i have no doubt he would understand what it is the club is trying to achieve, but why get the apprentice when the master is waiting in the wings

    • Can we put to bed this idea that Barcelona bring all their players through their academy. Complete nonsense. I have done 5 minutes research and came up with these numbers for their gross spending, all in Euros

      Season 2003/4 45.8 M
      2004/5 78.5 M
      2005/6 0
      2006/7 31 M
      2007/8 71.5 M
      2008/9 92.75 M
      2009/10 92.5 M
      2010 /11 73.5M
      2011/2012 58.5M

      If anyone wants to check these out the link below gives all the individual signings.
      https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ajm7FLwxa9txdFJpcS1pWXVPRTNTdWpkcUVXck9PTGc&gid=1

    • here we go again with the Barca promote from within nonsense Do some F***** research before spouting off mate. As for your Newcastle statement ! not worth the effort replying.

      of their current 1st team Fabregas, Sanchez, Affellay, Adriano, Maschareno, Villa,, keita, Dani Alves, Pique, Pedro, adibal, Milito were all bought.

  34. Jim,
    Can’t say I totally agree or disagree with your comments.
    BUT:
    1: Exactly where was it stated that Kenny was let go for NOT getting top 4 ?
    I know Henry stated top 4 was the intent, but where have FSG said Kenny was fired for not getting top 4 ? Did I miss something, or is this opinion ?
    2: By definition, if we were a top 4 club, does it not stand to reason that we would be a competitive cup squad also ?
    3: Did FSG ever lay down a timetable for the new stadium ? If so, what was it, and have they failed that timetable, or have they simply not met your expectations of what that timetable should be ?

    Quite frankly … I don’t think not reaching the top 4 was what got Kenny fired. I think it was the absolutely horrendous performances the players frequently displayed.
    Combined with the Suarez affair, his fate was sealed.

  35. Mike Jefferies claims on twitter to have solid proof FSG have recently been trying to sell the club recently, im not sure where he has got this info from. I would not be suprised, i think this job at Anfield is a bigger one than they first realised. We are in a real mess just now on and off the pitch, and im not sure if they are the people to lead us out of it. If the selling story is true then perhaps they are also thinking the same way.

  36. A little perspective is needed on this.

    As much as we think Kenny should have been given at least another year at the helm, if the owners have decided to replace him, then there isn’t much we can do about it.

    What we CAN do is, give them and the new manager our support. It can go a long way in helping us restore our dominance.

  37. Jim,

    I’m a big fan of your writing usually but I’ve read and re-read this piece and I’m just not sure what the thrust of your argument is. So let me suggest what I THINK you’re saying and you can tell if I’m right or wrong.

    1) FSG overall are running short of time to demonstrate that they’re the right owners to move LFC forward?
    2) Did FSG provide the necessary resources to make a top 4 finish realistic?
    3) The new manager appointment is taking too long.

  38. Whilst I see the need for sceptism towards our current owners, due to the last lot, we should also be careful not to tarnish them with the same brush too soon. I understand the club havent been very open with communication but I think what seems to have been forgotten by many Liverpool fans, we as a club do things “behind closed doors” and to use the words of Kenny “will tell something when there is something to be told”

    Last Wednesday and the sacking of Dalglish was a dark day for the club, I didnt think I would ever see the words, “Kenny Dalglish Sacked by Liverpool” having said that its not to say it was the wrong thing to do, taking all sentimentallity out of it, its not that surprising. I think what we also need to remember is that FSG wanted Kenny to “steady the ship” a job originally given to Hodgson who nearly sunk it never mind steady it. Kenny came in and in 6 months went beyond steadying, which basically left FSG with no choice but to give him the job full time (imagine the outcry from supports if they hadn’t). Another 12 months on and there were questions to be asked and the owners seem to now be turning to the original plan of a looking for a long term plan. In hindsight maybe the owners are guilty of offering too much too soon, maybe they could have offered a rolling 12 month contract rather than the 3 years.

    So what now, AVB, Martinez etc, for me AVB is the one who stands out, he didnt get a fair chance at Chelsea due to egos, something I dont expect to be an issue with our squad. Whilst I am 50/50 over Martinez it is important that should the club choose him they do so with at least a 5 year plan in mind, this is something us as a group of supporters need to buy into and not turn against if initially results dont go the way we would like.

    So, whilst I dont particulary agree with all points made this is another great article from one of TAW lads, looking forward to the summer podcasts and “Season 2″, apologies for the Americanisation.

    • Completely agree with your first paragraph. When Kenny was appointed he made a big thing about the Liverpool Way. Although it was a bit cringe worthy the owners took it on board and mentioned a few times they were learning how Liverpool did things. Now, the fans want the opposite. We’ve tied them up in knots to be fair.

  39. Wow, you’ve really stirred the pot their Jim. Valid points all IMO. Sacking Kenny could be construed as a bold (if unpopular) move provided that there’s a solid plan for replacing him and revamping the management structure. So failing to achieve top 4 is the reason for replacing the manager – then FSG have had plenty of time to line up the pieces for their next move. Or does the apparent delay indicate that they are in fact playing all of this far more by ear than we would like to believe? Totally agree re: Rafa. Even supposing John Henry doesn’t intend to explore re-hiring him, surely he want to have a chat with him to sound out his views? Its very common practice for finance types to interview candidates they don’t really intend to hire in order to fish for information. It doesn’t make sense to me to totally overlook him even if he isn’t the preferred choice. Of course, maybe this is all a massive smokescreen and really JH has secretly rehired Rafa (just keeping it quiet so as not to cause PR damage regarding replacement of Kenny) and is currently working on bringing in his targets. If that’s case, I take it all back – grovelling apology for doubting John in the post etc….

  40. I share your concerns but I think it’s too early to start hanging FSG. In principle the idea of casting the net wide for a new manager has its advantages but in the cloak and dagger world of football it’s starting to backfire already. Rogers, Klopp, De Boer – in ruling themselves out they have, through no fault of their own, called the process itself ibnto question and possibly sewn seeds of doubt in the minds of other candidates. To be fair to FSG, the timing isn’t ideal for many of the candidates: in a year’s time Guardiola, Klopp and De Boer, to name but three, might have viewed the situation entirely differently and expressed immediate interest, but at the moment all three are either on a break or at an early stage of a process (and with CL qualification to boot) at their respective clubs. They need to talk to Rafa but also make a clearsighted and authrotiative move and the sooner the better. It is essential that the CEO and DOF positions are filled quickly and that enough money is provided to secure the 3 or 4 signings of top level players that we need, even if some of them are loans. Defour, Affelay, Johnson, for example – gonna-bes that could still come good. As it stands, however, it could be Martinez by a process of elimination and the whole house of cards will rest on a very uncertain platform.

  41. On the paragraphs on the accounts and investment to the club.

    The neatest way to sum this up is that the accounts showed an interest free loan (i.e. equity) from FSG of £30m in the year to 31/7/11. This means they put £30m of their own money into the club over and above what the club makes itself. Obviously their £297m initial investment also significantly reduced the debt burden and a cost avoidance of c£15m a year in interest payments.

    So the net result of all FSG investment to LFC is c£45m, £30m in equity and c£15m in reduced costs.

  42. Good article & responses, constructive debate is healthy, but all this bickering between supporter groups is depressing. A bit off-subject, but instead of telling FSG how they should be doing their jobs (something I’m certainly not qualified to do), perhaps we’d be better advised to look a little closer at our own performances. The atmosphere inside Anfield for almost all games now is emabrrassingly shite. There has been some debate on this, and there are some reasons, and contributing factors, but we could and should be coming up with some constructive and practical actions to try and raise our own performance levels considerably. I was brought up to believe that the team need supporting more when they were struggling. Frankly, our Premier League performances after Christmas and final position were little more than our level of vocal support merited. Perhaps a summer TAW podcast on this subject?

  43. Worth remembering it took nearly a month to hire Rafa after Gerard was sacked. It was also about a month after Rafa was sacked before Hodgson came in. I’d much prefer they interview a few people and take a couple of weeks than rush ahead and pick the wrong man.

    I’ll only start to worry if there’s no appointments before June 1st (not necessarily the manager, but if the DOF/CEO/et al roles remain unfilled).

  44. Hi Jim,What a response!
    But I just think that it demonstrates that most people don’t know if they’re coming or going with all this stuff!
    We had some shiny new American owners come in a few years ago and I was taken in! Remember that 1st press conference with the back-drop banners in the background and the talk of a spade in the ground in 30 days?
    And I watched and thought “Here we go!”
    Well,once bitten twice shy as they say.These men have a “World Series” involving 3 teams from New York.They have Boston Red Socks or Blue Socks or Green Socks or whatever they are called.But I couldn’t tell you!
    And now they have the power to take a Club like Liverpool into that same fantasy world.
    This Club is a Dynasty and a Club that should be guided by the whims and wishes of the hard-working men who traditionally pay good money earned with hard sweat to follow their team.
    We don’t want no Boston Red,Green or Blue socks.We don’t want no World Series.We just want to believe that this Club is Our Club!
    We might think that Dalglish did well.We might think he didn’t!But all we ask is that we see him treated fairly!
    But anyway,enough of this rant!I might be the next Manager! I’m currently 148th on the short-list!
    Says it all doesn’t it!

  45. What I’ve learn from the pass 18 months, the owners are more bother about money than what the fans think.
    JWH only seems to pop over for the odd game, but I doubt he has watched every game this season
    He doesn’t seem to be that interested in Liverpool, he is only here to make money

    • Why would they spend £261m to please Liverpool fans? Be realistic mate. Their plan is to make Liverpool successful so they can make some money. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. The era of David Moores type people are over and with that maybe Liverpool can wake up from their 20 year slumber under that ownership. Even Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour have agenda’s for owning their clubs.

  46. Look, can we have some perspective here? The fans didn’t get rid of H&G, the bank did. The fans didn’t hire Kenny, FSG did. Regardless of all the shite we talk and hear on Twitter and all the rest of the nonsense, it will have absolutely fuck all to do with us, because the OWNERS will do what they want regardless. It’s their money, it’s their club and I say good luck to them. Whether we like it or not, the LFC of the 70′s and the 80′s is long gone. The best advice I can give to a Liverpool fan now is to hang on and enjoy the ride as best you can. Don’t tell me you didn’t smell something was wrong when we enquired about Downing last year, don’t tell me that Carroll is going to get better, because a blind man on a galloping horse will tell you he will NEVER be worth 35m, and this is not coming from a man with an agenda, just from a man with a pair of eyes in his head.

    So I don’t blame FSG for ditching the men responsible for this profligacy. And yes, they should definitely talk to Rafa.

    Jim is still pissed off that they fired Kenny, as is a lot of the ‘cult of Kenny’ members…but they would do well to remember that the club existed before him, and they actually managed to win something before he came along, that will not be ignored.

    The start of anything here is 4th place, not the cups, and certainly not if it means we do a Birmingham and stop playing after winning the shittest one. So enough of the teenage tantrums, hang on and watch and see what happens, and FFS get up on your hind legs and shout for the team next year.

    ferd

  47. Good one, Ferdia.

  48. For FSG not to even talk to Rafa benitez shows a total lack of class, vision and wisdom! – Just think of what they could take away, be it more knowledge, inside information and even a new manager!.

    So much rubbish is said about Rafa, but if like me you know your apples then you dont even have to defend the man, he is liverpool through and through, only the stupid people knock what he is and what he did for us!

    Yet you get very silly people requesting managers like avb & martinez – why ? what have they done in the game ?

    Have a day off FSG and get over the wirral and have a chat with Rafa at least!!!!

  49. Why’s it ironic Jim, that this ‘well balanced’ article came after the sacking of Kenny and not necessarily any other time during FSG’s reign here.

    And before you may say,”They’re taking vast non-evaluated decisions like sacking everyone in the club” this article wasn’t published then, either.

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