By Sam Jones

LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB is in the midst of a crisis. Not the crisis you think I mean, not the deadline day debacle that is consuming the energy of most. This is a different sort of crisis, an enduring, ongoing crisis. Deadline day is part of it, yes, but it’s just the latest instalment, dating back for quite some time.

I’m talking about a crisis of leadership. Ever since Christian Purslow was rightly shown the door there has been a distinct lack of clarity about who was in charge. The manager has been in a position to pick the team, sure, but issues off the pitch have been far more problematic than even the mixed results on it.

John Henry, and to a lesser extent, Tom Werner are the people considered to have the final say, but if that’s the case, where are they? Where is the leadership? And if they don’t have the final say, if in fact, that rests with the man on the ground then where is Ian Ayre?

He’s at the front for photos, that we know, whether that’s collecting trophies or demonstrating his impeccable sartorial credentials during the signing of Nuri Sahin, but when it all kicks off? Where is he then?

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

When it all goes wrong Ian Ayre is nowhere to be seen. Henry likewise. The controversy surrounding Luis Suarez last year wasn’t a football problem. The issue wasn’t hitting the post, or complaining at referees, it was an allegation of racism. It was a massive PR issue for one of the world’s most famous football clubs. It threatened the “brand”. Sponsors. Revenues. It was a business problem.

And where was Ian Ayre? Kenny Dalglish was there, trying to support his player and guide the club through it, but that didn’t seem to have a strategy. It was a series of dealings with the media that weren’t joined up. But that wasn’t his job, it was Ayre’s.

There should have been a plan. We shouldn’t have presented all and sundry with such an easy target, from the widespread but incorrect reporting of the word “Negrito”, to the t shirts, to the absence of an appeal, the whole thing was mishandled. Not by Dalglish. He did what he could, but someone, someone in charge, should have sat down at the start and dictated the plan.

Maybe they did, but if that was the plan it speaks volumes for Ayre’s competence as well as his leadership. His complete absence of visibility throughout the whole saga.

I may be doing Ayre a disservice. Maybe this isn’t his remit, maybe he isn’t allowed to control these issues, but if that’s the case, who is? Henry? Werner? From Boston?

And regardless of who is in charge, where is the strategy? Managerial appointments have been either thrust upon them, with Dalglish, or handled bafflingly, in Rodgers. Not the choice, which may well prove to be right, but the process.

The public courting of so many managers, the indecision on a Director of Football. No strategy, no plan. No clue, it would seem. And throughout their tenure, the transfer strategy has been a mess. Not Ayre’s fault? Not Henry’s? If not, who appointed Comolli? The man whose statistical approach gave us Charlie Adam, and thought 35 million was a fair price to pay for Andy Carroll. More than Atletico Madrid paid for Falcao.

When you look at the value we found in the market this year, Allen at 15 million for example, what could we have done with the 55 million we spent on Carroll and Downing? One’s on loan, the other not a guaranteed starter, what would our current squad look like bolstered by 55 million?

Football decisions, yes, but football decisions made by men appointed by people who weren’t qualified to make those appointments. Men who make these decisions from the other side of the Atlantic.

And so, to this summer. Andy Carroll gets to go on loan. Brendan Rodgers says he would be “crazy” to let him go with no replacement. And yet there is no replacement. Is Rodgers crazy then, or just the latest manager to be let down by the club’s leadership, allowing their manager to take a public position that doesn’t transpire. For Rodger’s missing striker see Dalglish’s apology, for things he said and did during the Suarez saga that should have been handled by someone else. The club’s absent leaders.

And if today’s rumours are true, that Rodgers didn’t know his budget until the last day of the window, then where is the communication? Where is the leadership?

This isn’t about money, balance sheets, any of those things. It’s about the quality of leadership. It’s the thing that puts Willie Walsh in front of the cameras when British Airways have a problem, it’s the late Steve Jobs taking his business to the top with a vision that his whole organisation could buy into.

Liverpool have no one who does any of those things, and it’s costing us dear. It’s costing us opportunities, and we’re no further forward than they day they took over.

Ultimately the person who fills that role needs to be at the club. Every day. The owners are just shareholders. They aren’t in a position, unless they relocate, to perform that role. So we need someone who can. That someone isn’t Ian Ayre.

If you’re in any doubt about the importance of that job ask yourself this: would a Manchester United fan swap FSG for the Glazers? I guarantee they would, in a heartbeat. But would they swap David Gill for Ian Ayre? I think you know the answer.


  1. Dalglish blameless as always. Nice.

  2. mark Ratcliffe

    Excellent article. Leadership would’ve been appointing a proven CEO and sticking to there ideas of a proper organisation maybe pep Segura would’ve stayed.

  3. Accurate and depressing in equal measure. Despite yesterday’s debacle – and that’s exactly what it was – I’m not going to declare fsg the new h&g, but a few more dud moves and the parallels will be inescapable. The manager said he didn’t want a DOF, so one wasn’t appointed. That’s fine. A communications director came in. Good idea. And yet theclub is still operating without a top notch CEO, someone with vision aligned to competence. I would love to know exactly how Strikergate unfolded. The fsg website erroneously stayed earlier in the summer we’d signed Dempsey, Werner was singing his praises, GE was desperate to come, going to far as effectively going on strike. At the same time, 24 hours before deadline, we let our record signing go to west ham, but all the soundings are that a replacement is on the way. And then nothing happens. Well, not quite: we signed a lad from Bayer. Would Rodgers have sanctioned it if he’d known he was buffeting up the coppers needed for Dempsey? Did we not know that fulham would try and squeeze a few extra quid out of us? Do they not realise that as well as being dangerousness light up front, the manager has been undermined and morale has been damaged, with faith in the whole project dissipating by the second. Tremendous. Oh, and watch Clinton smack a hat-trick against us when we next play them. In a word: bollocks.

    • Walter Kennedy

      I agree totally, Bollox is the word and how we are being run at the moment is shocking at a business level like that, its a wagon load of Bollox. I agree that their a few more steps away from being in murky water and The Stadium could be the final nail in the coffin, personally I believed they were on over their heads and Jim Boardman effectively spelt it out on the Podcast yesterday. Worrying times On and Off the field.

  4. Kenny should be blamed for picking the right targets last season (although some claim that too was Commolli’s role but I digress)…what’s 100% not his fault is what prices we negotiated for the players we did bring in – its not his job and I’m sure he didn’t have much of a say in the final prices anyways

    Kenny didn’t hold the Suarez saga very well that’s his fault but again, it was NOT his job – it wasn’t Commolli’s either – heck there was nobody for that role – and blame for that lies with FSG in my opinion

    Bottomline is as long as Henry and Werner decidely sit in Boston and have no clear cut vision spread across the club regarding our future, I’m afraid these things will happen again and again

    Here’s hoping I’m wrong!

  5. Kenny should be blamed for picking the right targets last season (although some claim that too was Commolli’s role but I digress)…what’s 100% not his fault is what prices we negotiated for the players we did bring in – its not his job and I’m sure he didn’t have much of a say in the final prices anyways

    Kenny didn’t hold the Suarez saga very well that’s his fault but again, it was NOT his job – it wasn’t Commolli’s either – heck there was nobody for that role – and blame for that lies with FSG in my opinion

    Bottomline is as long as Henry and Werner decidely sit in Boston with nobody in-charge within the club and thus have no clear cut vision spread across the club, I’m afraid these things will happen again and again

    Here’s hoping I’m wrong!

  6. Amen to that! Ayre should go for sure, and a proper Chief Exec put in place, and fast!
    Good read.

  7. There is obviously something going on within the ownership and upper management. Their other team, the Boston Red Sox baseball team, are going through similar problems. In the last year, FSG has basically dismantled that team getting rid of underperforming players with big contracts and bringing a new manager and coaches. As a fan of both Liverpool and the Red Sox, I really hope they figure it out sooner rather than later.

  8. Ayre meekly went along with the Purslow conspiracy to get rid of Rafa. He then persuaded the American novices that he, Ayre, was the guardian of “the Liverpool Way” and Rafa would ask too many uncomfortable questions if he was brought back or even consulted. The FSG crowd then studiously avoided Rafa when they had two opportunities to appoint a new manager.

    The sacking of Rafa and the refusal to hire him again has cost the club many millions of pounds in the hiring and firing of directors and managers and staff, too many poor player sales and purchases and a chronic lack of victories on the pitch. In losing Rafa, the club lost its intellect, its plan, its budget and its driving force.

    It’s not too late to bring Rafa back but the FSG crowd are too deeply compromised by their reliance on the Ayre-Purslow world-view and too incompetent in footballing matters to extricate themselves. They are frightened of appointing a strong, intelligent, independent and successful manager, because they are weak.

    Maybe a sale of the club would be for the best and one more opportunity for Rafa to return to finish the job he started so brilliantly.

    • Enough of that! Rafa contributed to a lot of the clubs problems too. All other top clubs have decided to give him a miss also, I think that speaks for itself.

    • Agree 110% Victor. No disrespect to Rodgers but Rafa is the manager we should have now, not a complete novice cutting his teeth at a big club.

      Ayre is a spineless monument to the dysfunction that has enveloped the club over the past decade. Rafa was overlooked in the summer because he demands high standards from everyone, from the owners to the players and everyone in between. Clearly neither the owners nor Ayre wanted their performance to be highlighted in public by Rafa, as he did with H&G. We’ve got to wonder what they have to hide…..?

      Oh, and could we please have an apology from all the fans who shot down those of us who dared to question the owners performance thus far? Their poisonous, vitriolic bile has been replaced by deafening silence since 11pm on Friday night

  9. I know he’s getting on a bit, but get Brian Barwick in as CEO and ditch Ian Ayre. Barwick is already on the club’s management team so it’s just a straightforward promotion.

    Excellent article.

  10. Much to agree with here Sam. It will be Rodgers who gets the media and many fans’ criticism, and for me he says too much to the media – by all means think it, just keep it to yourself! However it’s about time FSG made clear where the buck stops (sorry) at LFC, leadership is desperate, and epitomised by the final day debacle.

    With a minimum of 25 games before the year end, the lack of forwards – even if they can avoid injury – will have a massive impact.

  11. Completely agree with the excellent article and last two comments. It was BR who was behind the two top signings this summer (prior relationship with Allen and he convinced Sahin to come for less money). He’s also identified other targets, one of whom desperately wanted to come, and judging by his public comments, was led to believe that they would come. What value has Ayre added to the process? Who was responsible for knowing, and communicating to BR before the last day of the window, that the transfer budget included fees AND wages? Who was responsible for negotiating the deals? If FSG want to keep Ayre, leave him on the commercial side, but we need an accomplished executive to handle the footballing side.

  12. Agree, any great organization has a great leader. But was it Shankly or his chairman? I think you need a manager and chairman who are aligned. But only one has to be the high profile leader. Rodgers may very well be that person, the ‘Shankly’, but unless he has a chairman with a shared vision you get ‘talk’ that’s not backed up by action. Just look back the quotes from Rodgers, Ayre and Werner, regarding transfers and the ‘ability to compete’, they totally contradict what happened last week. Says to me the board and the manager are not aligned. Take your pick who you want to be leader, but this has to be addressed first.

  13. This is a good indication of what’s going on here.Last season I saw a Liverpool Legend being hung out to dry.Flapping like a shirt in the wind.

    Meanwhile,an organisation that uses every trick in the book hammered home their advantage.Where was our own PR department?Do we not have any influence whatsoever on the media?

    John Barnes came out many times to try and set the record straight.But the silence from the “Leaders” was deafening.

    Maybe they don’t understand?But if they don’t understand that these issues between rivals being played out in the full glare of the media need their involvement then we’ve got no chance.

    And if they don’t understand that a man like Dalglish deserved a lot more respect than he was given when he was dismissed then we’ve surely got problems.

  14. I couldn’t agree more. The lack of clean and clear direction from the top is shambolic.

  15. Spot on. The whole organisation is lacking. Last night was a disgrace and not only leaves us massively short of goals but highlights the lack of leadership that will ultimately cost us at any time of crisis. I can’t see fsg sticking around long term. They are looking for a sale. All the talk is about wages and inflated costs. The real issue is the structure.

  16. “Not by Dalglish. He did what he could..”
    Just about stopped reading right there. He poured gas on a fire that we’ll struggle to put out for years.

  17. Phil holding

    Brilliant piece they work on the not me guv style of ownership, been like the Marie celeste at the top tier since they took over, great at hanging coaches out to dry though, but they are planning on a napkin, on the hoof, no vision, no direction, no clue,

  18. Would have liked to bring in a forward but I think people are overreacting. The players we brought in I don’t think we will be trying to sell them at a loss next summer or having to loan or pay them off. This will break a cycle that has been going on a few seasons. The wage bill being cut will also allow us to have the funds to bring in quality players from now on. People were getting carried away thinking we were going to be competeing for a European spot this season anyway. The appointment of Dalglish which was essentially brought upon by the wishes of the fans has cost the club dearly.

    21 Players brought in past 3 seasons

    Jordan Henderson
    Charlie Adam
    Stewart Downing
    Jose Enrique
    Sebastian Coates
    Craig Bellamy
    Brad Jones
    Paul Konchesky
    Raul Miereles
    Luis Suarez
    Andy Carroll
    Joe Cole
    Milan Jovanovic
    Danny Wilson
    Christian Poulsen
    Jonjo Shelvey
    Alberto Aquilani
    Glen Johnson
    Sotirios Kyrgiakos
    Maxi Rodriguez

    10 gone

    Charlie Adam
    Craig Bellamy
    Paul konchesky
    Raul Miereles
    Andy Carroll
    Milan Jovanovic
    Christian Poulsen
    Alberto Aquilani
    Sotirios Kyrigiakos
    Maxi Rodriguez

    6 for sale/not wanted

    Jordan Henderson
    Stewart Downing
    Joe Cole
    Danny Wilson
    Brad Jones

    5 successful/too soon

    Jose Enrique
    Sebastian Coates
    Luis Suarez
    Jonjo Shelvey
    Glen Johnson

  19. Dude. Seriously. The fact that you feel as though you or any other fan is entitled to know what’s going on outside of anything other than the FIELD OF PLAY is a disgrace. If you believe Rodgers had no idea what his budget was you’re insane.

    The fact of the matter is, this is a time of financial uncertianty in the world, and FSG are living with the mistakes that they themselves, and Hicks/Gillette/Benitez bestowed upon them. Nobody in this world deserves to know why a company’s decision was made, who made it, when, etc. Unless of course your club is a public club, owned by the public who invest in it. Last time I checked, Liverpool is not Barcelona.

    You can’t get mad at the owners, or the coach (unless there’s locker room problems). It’s the players that you have to get angry with, or get behind in support. I see Arsenal fans getting pissed at Wenger. What a joke?! This guy has done it the right way for 10+ years and they are calling for his head. What a joke. Fans do not know what they’re talking about.

    It’s the players you either need to support or march against. We should be thankful they got rid of Spearing…FYI.

  20. Since when are you in any position to judge what Ayre is and isn’t doing right? None of you are involved in the daily running of the club, none of you have a clue.
    Do you think our owners pay Ian Ayre to show you lot ‘leadership’? They pay him to run the club. If he’s doing well and they think that, who are you to disagree? If they don’t, they will get rid but it is their decision, they are the businessmen, they are the ones with the brains, not you lot with your MLK quotes.
    Things don’t always go right in football, sometimes things don’t go to plan but this desperate culture to look for blame and to look for answers is absolutely embarrassing us as a club. If Rodgers leaves, if the club is in desperate debt, if we’re paying off £100m in interest or we’re on the verge of relegation, then yeah, blame somebody and start the soul-searching articles. But all this because we didn’t get one player in an embarrassing last-ditch effort on deadline day? The same people didn’t react the same way when we missed out on Adam a few years back, we miss out on players every window, some fans have to deal with that and get over the blame culture. The time isn’t right, the Suarez situation has nothing to do with the current situation and we are clearly in a much better position than we were with Kenny calling the shots.

  21. Just another thing. Direction?

    Give us your thoughts on direction. Is clearing off up the wage bill and refusing to overspend on players a ‘direction’? Do people want to go back to the good old days under Rafa, where we threw ridiculous contracts at players like Voronin and Jovanovic, purely because they were ‘free’? The days of wild spending are gone. FFP is on the horizon, we now have to be savvy and spend money like we value it, not like it’s a video game that isn’t real. It’s unfortunate that Rodgers didn’t get his man, but the last time we allowed our manager to make a desperate attempt to ‘get his man’, we ended up with Andy Carroll for an embarrassing record fee. We need to operate within budgets, it appears some fans can’t – or simply won’t – accept that.

    • Rob,
      I think you are confusing the very good piece with many valid questions asked about the style the club is being managed at the top, for a rant about a player that the club failed to buy. Rant that the club doesn’t want to spend. It’s not quite that.

      As it looks to me, the owners gave certain promises to BR before he accepted the job. They then presented him at the press conference, and it was obvious there and then, when Ian Ayre was mumbling something about the structure and the Director, that BR was having none of it, and he showed it right away.

      Basically, it looks like IA is there providing administrative assistance to BR, but fails to inform him about some key issues, or they misunderstand each other, just like then, at the press conference.

      Some of the comments here are smashing too. I just hope Mr.Henry reads it somehow and takes into consideration. Well, I am positive that Jen Chang will make sure he does.

      The situation with this transfer deadline is that Rodgers was making certain footballing plans and decisions according to what has been promised to him. He was not delivered that. Whether the miss out on Dempsey was approved by him, or not, we don’t know yet. If it was, then ok. If he only found out in the dying minutes of the window that the player he counted on was not coming in only because the club wasn’t willing to overpay a couple of million for him, then it may seriously break trust between him, Ian Ayre and the owners. Like someone righty mentioned, the Dempsey merchandise sold in the USA would have covered those couple of extra millions, so it was a silly reason to give miss out on him, more so that the direct top 4 competitors were hunting him too. Bad, bad fail.

      But what is even worse is that looks like a bad situation, as BR has just started his job, only played a couple of games into the season, and such a disheartening which may deteriorate his relationship with the owners and the MD, may lead to even more potentially serious issues.

      So the club has the questions to ask, and answer, themselves, and take some action. It’s not necessary that we hear all of it. It’s something that should be handled in a professional way, away from the press, and i think we as supporters should be made happy with the actions, not words, for a change. There have been too many words, contradicting each other from time to time. All we need is clarity and a feeling that things at the club are being done with a plan and intent, rather than some sporadic emergency actions.

      • Karen, the article lacks so much validity because very few people on here know about the day to day running of the club. You yourself say “Basically, it looks like…”, but what it looks like is often completely different to actual reality. People on here are saying Ayre is shit at his job, that he’s underperforming and that he isn’t involved enough, but these people have absolutely no clue or ability to measure Ayre’s performance. In the view of FSG, they could look at improved sponsorships, reduced wage bills and reduced average age of the squad as brilliant on Ayre’s part. We don’t know what he’s being measured by, which is why I completely refuse to blame him for things I’m completely unqualified to criticise him for. If he’s doing badly, the owners will get rid, they shown with Dalglish that if somebody is doing poorly in their job they won’t last.

        The point on Suarez is possibly valid, but why bring up the Suarez stuff now, straight after the euphoria around deadline day, if the actual agenda of the article wasn’t deadline day? If people want to know who has the ‘plan’ now, the owners brought in Jen Chang as communications director, so I imagine he will now be in charge of dealing with a lot of the media side of things, so Ayre, quite rightly, doesn’t have to.

        • what euphoria is it that you are refering to. the euphoria of
          only having 2 strikers. Do you work for Ayre? this is a fair article
          asking questions. Is the writter a shareholder? propably not but they are a fan and a fan can express their view. If fans vote with their feet then the owners will listen. Do you know what is going on inside the company? Are you on the inside? If not don’t imply if someone has accurate or inaccurate information then bullshit what the owners will or won’t do. You should critic your own shit.

          • Don’t work for the club, don’t have any clue about the goings on at the club, it just makes me smile that people who clearly aren’t capable of making the most basic of observations/criticisms are still trying to do it because they’re a bit upset that we didn’t sign Clint Dempsey.

            The leadership issue is something we as fans will probably never see. The Suarez situation could have been dealt with loads better by everybody involved, it was a mess that shouldn’t simply fall at Ayre’s feet.

            With regards to transfers and ‘leadership’, what do people seriously want? Seriously? People saying Rodgers has been let down by a lack of leadership because he didn’t sign a player? This is the stuff of idiotic pundits on MOTD. Rodgers may have been let down by us having budgets or limited funds, but that happens at every club and has nothing to do with leadership.

            This argument, IMO at least, is completely unwarranted and weightless. After the Suarez debacle, there was quite a lot of justified criticism of Ayre, Dalglish, etc. but this stuff is just embarrassing knee-jerk. If somebody knows the goings on, if somebody sees what the ‘leaders’ are and aren’t doing (it is only possible to see things like this behind the scenes, clearly), then come out and make an article criticising the performance and character of the said people. But to come out and say where’s our Steve Jobs? It’s a completely different business altogether. Our Steve Jobs is Rodgers, he’s the man who sells the idea, who dictates our team and performance. We had a disappointing deadline day, it is hardly rock bottom and it doesn’t warrant ‘the suits’ holding press conferences giving needy fans an explanation.

            I don’t work for the company, nor do I have much clue, so I wouldn’t dream of writing an article criticising people for not doing a job when I have no clue as to what they do in their daily work. Ayre could have done everything possible for us during this transfer window, but because the end result isn’t there fans resort to a backlash? It’s embarrassing. He could also have done nothing, but we don’t know either so just picking a side and running with it seems ridiculous.

          • If you have ” no clue ” why comment

          • Because that’s the entire point of the comment box – to debate the article. I am debating the article and the writer, just like you and I, doesn’t have a clue, but because it suits the agenda or what everybody wants to think, it seems to be OK. Basically, instead of getting into hysterics and starting the campaigns against FSG, actually wait until we have something worth criticising them over with a bit of proof, instead of basing opinions on what we “think” has gone on despite having little weight behind the thoughts.

        • Dean Frederick

          @Rob The point of the article is to highlight the fact that decision making seems erratic which generally is not the case when an organisation has a strategy and effective leadership. Because you are unable to assimilate basic targets not being met with underperformance it does not mean the article doesn’t raise relevant points.

        • Rob, I understand your point. Most of us are not privy to what goes on inside the club. But let me give you an analogy: in engineering, a system that is not directly and internally examinable is called a black box.

          The current LFC management is one such opaque structure. We don’t know who does what. However, as the black box interacts with other systems, we can examine the inputs and outputs to try and determine what the black box is actually doing.

          On the basis of what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, and even though we still do not know how it functions inside, we can make an educated guess that it is not functioning correctly… in other words, you don’t need to have the schematics of something to see that it’s broken.

          Having one senior striker in the team, and no strikers (even U21) on the bench is not a credible policy, either short or long-term. There is absolutely no way to spin this into a positive. What’s worse is that if you look at the youth team, apart from Morgan and Ngoo, I can’t really see that many strikers either…

    • There’s also the little matter Rob of staying in the PL. And while some may scoff at the idea, without goals it is hard to see us picking up points at any club this year. We could really really struggle

  22. The last 24 hours have been an example of how this club of ours has been run for far too long ,from the day PBR ( Peter Robinson) who was one of the best administrators in the world of football left his post at Anfield this club has made mistake after mistake .
    The new kid on the block a certain Rick Parry was next in the chair and there the malaise set in , we have all heard the stories of the missing Mr Parry when Rafa was climbing the walls trying to bring quality players in and the time Steven Gerrard ‘s contract talks stalled after Istanbul leading to the embarrassing Chelsea episode also the Athens ticket fiasco.
    I feel for Brendan Rodgers today as he has just realised what problems he will have to overcome to fulfill his mantra of Champions league football , whoever is responsible for the balls up yesterday have made a fool out him and broken his trust of his new employers after only a few short months into the job .

  23. John Hegarty

    This article is spot on. We need someone in who understands football in England, whether it is a CEO or DOF. Someone who knows how important it was to stump up an extra £2 million to get Dempsey to replace Carroll when the squad is very thin on strikers and there are only a couple of hours left in the transfer window. Comolli was a disaster but Daniel Levy played a blinder in this transfer window again for Spurs. FSG cannot provide the right leadership because they don’t understand English football and are too far removed from it. This is why they let Comolli spend £35 million on Carroll but wouldn’t allow Rodgers to spend £6 million on Dempsey. They haven’t a clue. Henry has pretty much admitted this in a recent interview. This is why we need a top football man running the club on the ground.

  24. I dont like to see our fans make a scapegoat out of Ayre. He undoubtedly needs to be replaced and his performance since moving from his commercial role has not been impressive. However I think the fan anger needs to be directed at the owners. They own the club for almost two years now but they are nothing more than vacant landlords. How many more f*ck ups need to happen for the owners to actually do something worthwhile about it. From losing Torres, overpaying for Carroll, the racism affair, the lack of movement on the stadium, the sacking of Comolli and Dalglish and now the farcical transfer window. What else needs to occur before the owners decide to treat this club the way it deserves to be run.

    According to the Daily Mail Dalglish’s sacking will be dealt with in a very public manner in the first episode of the new Liverpool documentary. That is not in keeping with the way this club should be run.

  25. Spot on article. The real problem is leadership from the owners, the managing director and manager. We need all 3 to be top class to return to winning ways. We are experiencing the symptoms of 2 out of those 3 learning on the job and I don’t mean Brendan Rodgers!!

  26. Would the deadline day fiasco have played out the same if Pep Seguro had been given a bigger role and not left?

  27. luxury_scruff

    Ian Where.

    © luxury_scruff

  28. drakerichards

    difficult to argue against anything here…The idea that thicko fans who don’t hold an MBA should buy the shirt,wave the scarf and shut up is absurd..If it’s not our business how the club is run whose business is it ??

  29. We live in different times to the ‘wonder years’ of the 70s and 80s. Today, and in effect, since the Sky television revolution began in the early 90s, football has become a business. It is indeed true that LFC is a private company and only has to answer to its shareholders. But we as ‘paying customers’, whether season ticket holders or merchandise purchasers, have a right to vote with our voices or our feet, the latter of which could have a substantial effect on the business. But this culture amongst football fans in general of seeking to always apportion blame is where the problem lies. And whilst our real supporters are without doubt amongst the most knowledgeable and respected, I cringe each week when I listen to the countless morons who call in to the national radio stations calling for this manager to be sacked or that player to be dropped. Liverpool fans are fast building a reputation of being moaners. Let’s stop this nonsense and get behind our CLUB.

    • I wholeheartedly agree about the ‘moaning’ fanbase that seems to have sprung up over the last few years. By all means we are entitled to voice our opinions and have a bit of a rant when it is deserved, but some fans are not happy unless they are constantly moaning!

      Does me nut in at times!

      ps. I am not referring to any poster on here. Good constructive and valid criticism in posts.

  30. Excellent analysis and spot on the money about us being no further down the road since they took over with the wasted opportunities.

    Re the photo ops with Ayre , I hope someone reminds the scruffy little meff that the next time he is in the picture for signing a player (a) don’t wear a cheese cloth special from TJ maxx

  31. (b) make sure it’s not blue and (c) make sure the photographer is standing further back so his big fat head is not coming thru the camera like a scarey monster

    Sorry about the reply being in 2 parts, please edit if you can

  32. Spot on article. My views also. As you say it was not Dalglish job to deal with race issue. Clear instruction from the board should have been laid down. All Kenny should have said was I have no responsibility for this issue , You need to talk to the CEO.Dalglish is told what players are available.if he thinks they are good enough then the club negotiates the sale,The fact that Carroll, Henderson and Downing didn`t cut the mustard is down to THEM not Dalglish,They are all English (FSG Requirement) and Internationals.
    FSG will bale out when it suits them. They bought us as a business decision. They saw LFC as easy pickings to bolster their real interests. Boston Redsox. When they sell the Reds in maybe three or less years the profit will be re invested in Boston Redsox..the business they know!

  33. Who is calling the shots? Well Agger doesn’t seem to think it’s Rodgers for transfers:

    When asked if he believes Rodgers wants to sell him, Agger replied: “No, absolutely not. But I do not think it is his call to make. I guess the owners are the ones to make that call, just like it is in any other company.”

    That’s our centre back referring to LFC as a “company” as well. Ugh.

    Fantastic article by the way.

  34. Walter Kennedy

    Very well written piece and explains to the normal fan everything that is wrong and continues to be wrong with the daily running of the club.

    Ship with a Ghost Crew!!! Employ David Dein to run the club and be done with it.

    Put Ian Ayre back in charge of the commercial side where he is strongest. To succeed in any business you put your strongest members in their strongest positions.

    The reason mistakes are being made is because someone else is running the club and FSG’s eye is not on the ball. Fact.

  35. Why can’t our fans ACCEPT that Kenny played a LARGE part, if not the LARGEST part in our transfers last season!!!!!!!! Accept it because the man said it himself point blank. Commolli may have agreed, payed the ludicrous wages or talked up the stats but Kenny wanted them.

    Regardless how much you pay, a turd is a turd and we’re worse off with them.

  36. A well written article. I wonder why so many would rather no question should be asked and so many would rather just point it to the previous regime and blame them. The club needs to realise we are wasting valuable time with all this half-arsed decisions and purchases. If you want to be serious about challenging the best, let the action of the powers that be speak, rather than apology letters to the fans in hope they would receive sympathy votes of confidence.

  37. Fair play that John Henry has said “something” but he has also said nothing?

    1) Mentioned the 3 signings (sahin is a loan deal?)

    2) Everything is about the future eh what about NOW (RVP is a NOW signing and showed why, ok we can’t sign those players but where are our “NOW” signings to replace dirk/maxi/aqualani ? senior pros ? not 16 weeks but 16 years, balls!!! stadium 16 years yes, playing staff has to be recycled every 12-18mths whether your man city or stoke FACT.

    There needs to be a balance between youngsters/prime players/experienced pros

    3) we are the only team in europe banging on about FFP – not going to happen John, can you see Platini banning PSG from the champs lge or CITY or Chelsea?

    4) contradiction – it WAS about cutting costs because you have? 23m off the wage bill ? were are the “Value for money” replacements?

    quote – “We have no fear of spending and competing with the very best but we will not overpay for players”

    carroll 35m/henderson 16m/downing 20m or dempsey 7m

    so even if you get nothing for dempsey in 4 years 7m has gone 7m loss or depreciation of an asset in business terms.

    carroll 35m into 17m at best over 50% loss 17m LOSS

    downing value ? 7m? 13m Loss

    they apparently tried to swap henderson so lets say it was a straight swap and be generous 7m = 9m loss

    Thats a 40m loss on current net book value of assets, compared this to the 1m or 2m extra to get dempsey and the 7m over the contract, HE was our NOW signing .

    Its not dempsey per-say but the dempsey example that bothers me. were is the logic and more importantly?


    In what sense are we competing for the best players, were is the example of this?

    I take the point we were in a mess form H&G, the price of the club also reflected that, I take the point they have cleaned up the financial stability issues.

    but this blue print?, the business? the “project” plan, what is it? its not very clear?

    financial strategy clear
    commercial strategy clear
    football game playing strategy/tactics/philosophy clear
    football and non football related operational strategy ????

    Is this last one the most important ? who is running the football club ? who is making the decisions ?

    I don’t want to be all “show me all the answers i demand it because i pay my money” arsenal and Manu don’t tell their fans everything. but by hook or by crook these clubs appear to know what they are doing on the whole, even if they make mistakes or even if you don’t agree with every decision.

    As a club, over the last 2yrs, we keep continuing to make high profile media mistakes, on and off the field.

    Please make it stop!!

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