PLAYERS signed on freebies or for a pittance? Problem positions not addressed? Doing business almost exclusively with mid-table or relegated clubs? Turning a profit in the transfer window? Ah yes, the dying embers of the Hicks and Gillett regime, we remember it well. Still, how times have changed, eh? Eh? Well, they have, haven’t they?!
While it may border on the hysterical to equate the current situation at Liverpool Football Club to the darkest days in our history, to dismiss the above comparison out of hand would be to give the current owners a pass that fewer and fewer fans believe they deserve, writes PAUL CANTWELL.
When the erstwhile owners signed the likes of Sotirios Kyrgiakos, David N’Gog and Philipp Degen for little or no money in 2009/10 it effectively confirmed what many of us had long suspected — the then owners had zero ambition and were running the club into the ground (the metaphorical ground, that is — not the actual one they had promised three years previous.)
No sane person can possibly argue that current owners, FSG, are running the club into the ground, but the ‘zero ambition’ charge is becoming decidedly more difficult for the Boston outfit to shake. Indeed, it’s a charge that gathers more and more traction with the passing of each underwhelming transfer window.
The timing of this piece, just a few days after the transfer window shuts, leaves it open to accusations of knee-jerkism, but in truth this could have been written at any point over the past three years. Instead, it was only fair to give the owners the benefit of the doubt and see how they acted in the first transfer window of their regime where they could not trot out the well-worn line about not wanting to ‘mortgage the club’s future.’ With the massive new TV deal, allied to the recent Forbes valuation of the club at £1billion, the previous pragmatic tone no longer carried weight.
So, how did that transfer window go? Well, pretty much like all the others under FSG: books were more or less balanced, players were signed exclusively from the young-with-potential-and-therefore-no-need-to-pay-big-wages shelf and, seemingly, not a single discussion was held with a player who could reasonably be described as ‘world class’, ‘highly sought after’ or ‘a serial winner’.
While each of these failings are grist to the mill for the growing number of fans questioning the direction of the club under the current owners, they also make it increasingly difficult for FSG’s remaining supporters to point to any tangible sign of ambition, at least in terms of on-field success.
To take just one criticism of FSG’s transfer policy — the lack of ‘serial winners’ we go for — is to draw a clear parallel with one of the team’s most obvious and debilitating failures: inconsistency. Under FSG, the club have focused almost exclusively on signing players from mediocre teams. And when you sign mostly mediocre players from mediocre teams, you don’t just tend to get mediocre talent, you get a mediocre mindset.
The club is effectively asking players to swap a mentality of ‘if we win one in four and draw another we should avoid relegation/finish top half’, to one of an obsessive, pathological drive to win, to be the sort of players who hurt from the final whistle of a defeat till the first whistle of the next game, to be players who take each defeat like a grave insult to their honour. The former attitude gets you eighth place finishes; the latter, title challenges.
It’s difficult to change this mentality in one player, never mind a whole squad. But that’s the position we find ourselves in; we have an entire squad of players who have spent their careers in such a frame of mind, either with us or their previous clubs. Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi and Sadio Mane all came from the likes of Sunderland, Southampton, Newcastle or foreign clubs that were mid-table or slightly above, but rarely title contenders.
Contrast with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, who have all added players this summer who have either won or challenged for a domestic title in the past few seasons. These clubs pay higher wages and for that money get experienced pros who know how to win, whereas we get inexperienced kids who aren’t at that stage.
A perfect example of the poverty of FSG’s ambition is the ‘keeper situation. Last season the club finished six points off a Champions League spot, with conservative estimates having Mignolet costing us at least ten points over the campaign. So clearly we needed a top class keeper, right? So, do we go after a proven, experienced top level keeper like a Kevin Trapp, a Claudio Bravo or a Rui Patrício? Do we try to turn, say, Hugo Lloris’s head with an eye-watering increase in his pay packet?
No. Instead we buy a kid for £4million (on £15,000 a week, as claimed on some websites) from a relatively small club, whose only experience of English football is playing for City’s under-21 side. This kid is now expected to marshal a defence with hundreds of first team appearances under their belt, and in a foreign language to boot. By all means, buy Loris Karius for the future, bed him in slowly, but this should not be the answer to an urgent problem. Perhaps FSG will get lucky and Karius will be the great success we all hope but that still won’t change the fact that it’s reckless, pie-in-the-sky, penny-pinching economics.
The owners can point to an outlay of hundreds of millions spent since they took control of the club in 2010, but that’s misleading on several levels. For starters, their net average outlay per season stands at a very modest £26m, the same as it was for the first few years under Hicks and Gillett (transferleague.co.uk). Even ignoring the new TV deal, the club’s commercial growth alone over the same period dwarfs that figure. But more significant still, are the wages the club offer.
Take the comparison of Mane and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Although costing roughly the same in transfer fees, United are paying Mkhitaryan a reported £200,000 per week, plus a £6.2m signing-on fee, whereas Mane is receiving £90,000 a week (if Mane received a signing-on fee it wasn’t made public.) So, over the five years of their respective contracts, Mkhitaryan will cost United roughly £90m, whereas Mane will cost us around £60m. While Mane has made a promising start to his Liverpool career, in general you get what you pay for and United have signed a Bundesliga player of the season, who had more goals and assists combined than any other player in Germany last season.
In fact, our fellow non-Champions League-playing rivals have no less than seven players on more than our highest paid players (James Milner and Daniel Sturridge, who are both on £120,000 a week), while other Champions League absentees Chelsea have six players earning more than our top earners. While United’s turnover may be higher, and Roman Abramovich’s pockets deeper, the new TV deal should have allowed FSG to at the very least revise the wage structure, to a degree that would enable us to compete for the same calibre of player. Instead, the combined wages of our six summer recruits is £340,000 per week — or just £50,000 more than Paul Pogba’s weekly wage.
Many argue against spending for the sake of spending and ridicule the fear many fans have of a net spend that’s in the black, and rightly so. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit, after all. But the issue is how we made a profit. Was it by cannily off-loading lots of deadwood and replacing them with a few high quality proven winners who command big wages? Or was it by off-loading lots of deadwood and replacing them with players of a similar level who will be next summer’s deadwood? Time will tell. But, if recent experience is anything to go by, it will most likely be the latter.
The defeatist attitude of many fans to the transfer market (‘what’s the point, they won’t come’) seems to be based on the absence of Champions League football, but, again, that argument doesn’t fare well under scrutiny. As mentioned above, United and Chelsea are sitting out this season’s showpiece event but it hasn’t curtailed their ambition in the market. Liverpool only finished six points off the Champions League places last term, not 26. There was nothing to prevent the club from approaching, say, Lloris, and saying, ‘look, we weren’t far off last season and we think you’re more than good enough to help us bridge that gap. Besides, the contract is for five years, not one’. Again, it’s a matter of ambition.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of another tepid transfer window comes in the form of the seeming acquiescence of the manager. When he was appointed almost a year ago, it was widely reported that Jürgen Klopp told the owners he would be happy to work with the current squad, and would not be demanding bottomless pits of transfer funds. It would have been hoped that the glaring defensive frailties and maddening inconsistency of the team last term would have disabused the German of his extremely optimistic notions. Instead, Klopp repeated the message a few weeks ago when asked his opinion of the Pogba signing. “Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently”, Klopp said. Such romantic ideals allow clubs to gain the higher moral ground, but rarely the higher league position. Clubs like United, City and Chelsea spend big money for a reason.
There is no doubt the club have been careful, to the point of parsimonious, with their wage structure and spending since taking over. This has led to a lack of leaders on the field and a raft of either mid-table or ‘young with potential’ players that now populate the current squad, players whom the club can pay relatively low wages and for whom a resale value is foremost in mind. This can be interpreted either as a sensible business strategy or, perhaps, a desire to make the club more attractive to potential buyers. But one interpretation it does not lend itself to is that of a club with serious ambitions of winning the title.
Although only three games into the nascent campaign, the team has amassed a mediocre four points from a possible nine. Although two of those games were away to clubs who finished top four last season, in truth both Arsenal and Spurs were there for the taking. It’s hard not to see the four points as a mediocre return, and a reflection of the owner’s mediocre investment and mediocre ambitions. But then again, they are a young four points with potential so perhaps FSG can one day sell them for five.
So, we should just pack in it and not bother then? Of course not. None of this is meant to sound like the death knell on a season that’s less than a month old, but rather as an overall assessment of FSG’s investment and, by extension, ambition for the club. We all hope the team can finally end the wait and bring the title back to Anfield next May. But if they do, it will have been achieved despite FSG’s transfer policy, not because of it.
One of the positives from this transfer window has been the bucking of the recent trend of selling poorly. The club should be commended for getting the prices they did for Brad Smith, Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke and, to rob Jamie Carragher’s line, Mario Balotelli. But ultimately it’s in the club’s purchases that we would like to be commending the owners, not the sales. Otherwise the most satisfying sale of all may be that of the club itself.
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Hiring a manager for 7 million a year and giving him a six or seven year contract worth nearly 50 million. Well, yeah, sure, lack of ambition. Whether he is the right man, I don’t know, but it was what quite a few fans asked for.
I am all for running the club on a sustainable basis, in other words not spending money on transfer fees and/or wages that we don’t have. I wouldn’t compare us to Man U or Chelsea. The first earn a lot more via merchandise and all and have quite a run of CL qualifications whilst Chelsea have an owner who has put his own money into the club and a business model of buying young players in excess to sell them on for a profit (or so it seems).
Klopp is fortunate to be given the opportunity to manage a club of Liverpools stature, and appointing him is commensurate with the clubs turnover and standing.
The people think we have been gifted with Klopp by FSG is shit. Klopp has been gifted with LFC
FSG , in the pursuit of profit before giving a shit about the club or its support, appointed a cheap inexperienced manager in Rodgers.
That people think we are lucky to have Klopp shows how far expectations and non financial performances have dropped under FSGs ownership.
The sooner they go, the better
Agree with nearly all that. FSG don’t care about winning. They’ll make a massive profit anyway.
All the negativity bores me. Let’s just enjoy the ride and see where we are come May..
spending should never be the gauge. Leicester has proven this.
If they are not going to spend with a view to win, rather than everything being an investment vehicle, why are they here?
Because football inflation runs at a far higher rate than the rest of the economy.
Because in football you can buy the #1 ranked club in Europe for £300m, restrict who it can sign to ‘players no one else wants’ and marvel as six years later people are offering you over three times what you paid despite the fact it’s now ranked #29.
The manager can only do so much, expect plenty of games like tottenham this season – almost total domination and no players who can kill a game.
And if we had one they’d sell him.
Contrast with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, who have all added players this summer who have either won or challenged for a domestic title in the past few seasons. >>> De Gea, Shaw, Blind, Fellaini, Valencia, Smalling, Martial, Depay, Jones, Rashford – not too many serial winners in that lot signed by united in past few seasons…..
Karius is a good couple of years older, and more experienced, than De Gea was when he made Uniteds first team….lets not confused De Gea of today with the bag of nerves that started his first 2 seasons o his United career
Blind 4 Eredivisie titles and the F.A. cup
De Gea Europa league Super cup Premier league F.A. cup
Depay Eredivisie KNVB cup
Smalling 2 premier leagues F.A. cup
Valencia 2 premier leagues F.A. cup
Martial F.A. cup in his breakthrough season
Rashford F.A. cup in his breakthrough season
that is before you look at this seasons signings ie Mkhitaryan,Pogba and Ibrahimovic.
quite a few honours there for a group of non serial winners eh?
Didn’t we offer Alexis Sanchez higher wages than Arsenal? He didn’t join us due to location – and there’s fuck all you can do about that.
To be fair that line always gets trotted out when in reality (and Sanchez is on record as saying this) he went with Arsenal because Wenger flew out, met him and got the deal done whilst Rodgers was in holiday.
Agreed And good point
We tried to sign Willian and look what happened
And that Dortmund player that now plays for the mancs
What players are available that are better than our own players that are not playing CL footie or want to? Had we won the Europa then Gotze would have signed instead of Mane. Its early days but Mane looks to work harder than Gotze. we seem to have the players Klopp wants and that FSG have realised that a manager is important and have tied him down is a step in the right direction. We need some more quality but apart from when Coutinho and Sturridge signed this is by far the best window by FSG, although that bar is low, it is worth remebering how we ended up with Balo having ended up with nobody the year before!
The first few lines discouraged me to read more into the article. This transfer window is nowhere close to being similar to previous transfer windows. The last 2 under Rodgers saw over 200 mil in buys with net close to 55 mil minus…for purchasing crap like Balo, avg defenders in lovren and sakho for 40 mil, selling star player for meagre 60 mil…this window has been most cost effective despite a little inflated price for wijnaldum.
To talk bout wages is another nonsense…we do have a balanced wage structure to attract and retain the players we want…i dont care if a world class player is at manure earning 200k a week and not willing to play at lfc for lesser….it’s not that our sal structure would be at some 30k for good players…How could you forget bout Benteke purchased for €32mil at €140k per week and balo purchased at €16 mil for 90k a week. It’s not for any lack of trying…fsg invested their hopes too…we triedthe likes of Sanchez, Digne…it didnt happen despite good offers to club and player. FSG deserves support and not questions at this time…questioning time was done during Rodgers and sacking him during his contract to bring in Klopp is the answer we all wanted. I wouldnt want them to think bout selling the club now to some oil sheiks or state sponsored firms for any amount they would bring in. FSG deserves a positive force from supporters to acheive sustained success
Why do FSG deserve anything? They’ve been in charge for our worst run of league finishes since 50s.
This. They don’t exactly seem to be desperate to change it either! They genuinely don’t seem to give a shit about us winning the league and why is anyone surprised? For years they’ve jizzed over Arsenal and there fans are going fucking livid most weeks because they’re very similar! They mainly care about profits and not trophies!
FSG deserves the support for the success of liverpool. They nor Klopp have been here since the 50s to be blaming for this run. We have tried owner bashing for all these years for no good. Gilette and hicks indeed messed it up…fsg did mess up with their lack of knowledge initially…but they could have lived with apathy towards the scene, instead they have put their efforts, listened to the fans and have tried to acclimatise to a foreign idea…whether for stadium, Manager or even trying to get right players, they have been trying it all. The run of not winning trophies will continue but not for the lack of trying…and even while trying, sticking to the liverpool way…with lot of heart and not all money. The only thing missing now is a bit of patience and support from fans…maybe Messis Neymars and Pogbas…we cant have the latter, so lets stick to the former…for sometime atleast. There are signs Klopp will achieve what we long for within 3 yrs which he asked for in the beginning. Owners support his way, and let us give him time to do it this way.
Oh fucking wake up. We owe them nothing. Nearly all the mistakes they make are bourne of greed (ticket prices, selling seats etc). Cheaping out on average players, bringing in rookie managers,selling good players just for profit.
This article is fucking spot on. There are too many fans who claim to understand the Liverpool way. Peter Robinson ran this club at the height of its success and we paid big money for top talent. Rush is a classic example – the most expensive teenager, the 87-88 rebuild was us doing a 150m job then.
FSG can’t even be arsed turning up – they only attend 2-3 games per season. They are shite owners taking a tonne of profit out of the club. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just naive.
The Europa final amplified their tenure for me. 1-0 HT with an okay team but no pedigree of winning. Put under pressure they cracked because there was not one player to stamp their authority on the game. Immediate response was to blame the players – why? That is their level. You pay peanuts you get monkeys. Works against what the club did in their prime. Too few understand that and until fans realise you need to spend big but sensibly to win shit we’ll be stuck in this perpetual bollocks of mediocrity we’ve been in for years
Reaching Europa league final was in itself a class act with that team…definitely exceeded expectations. If paying 30-35 mil per player at 125-150k / week is peanuts, that’s exactly what’s wrong with football. There is no comparing the current scene to the 80s. It’s not the owner’s fault that Hendo, Allen, Moreno, Benteke were all purchased at inflated price and they are just mediocre players who cant raise their level despite potential…the owners did their best to retain Suarez and to replace him with Sanchez when sold…it’s commendable they got rid of Rodgers with compensation and brought in Klopp in an effort to make us winners…reaching europa league final after defeating multiple heavy weights proved they are in the right direction and invested more in Klopp. It’s not their fault that we couldnt sign Digne Dahoud Pjaca or Pulisic and ended with profits for selling the not required members at an inflated price …Ibe for 15 mil Benteke for €30 mil Brad smith for €6 mil Alberto for €5 mil…all contributed to that profit which is a solid job and unexpected one..as well as cost effective signings who can take us to next level…could have sold ings for 20 mil if it was all bout the money… and unless you but a Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and the ones in that Calibre you are not guaranteed trophies. What did Sanchez and Ozil bring to Arsenal?? I would rather fucking dream than fucking wake up and complain and make things worse than it seems
I guess you are entitled to your opinion of FSG and how they run the club, but some of the charges you make against them and the comparison with the past are off the mark.
They have appointed two experienced managers and one rookie manager since taking over the club. They also sacked arguably the most experienced manager (in terms of years in management) – you aren’t saying that was a mistake are you?
Good players have not been sold for profit. They were sold because they wanted to leave the club. They have also sold several players at a loss
Are you seriously saying that 19 year old Ian Rush was a top talent when he signed for Liverpool from Chester City in the 3rd Division? I’d argue he was potential, in much the same way that FSG have invested in potential such as Origi, Can, Markovic. Some work out, some don’t.
The 87-88 rebuild was largely financed from the transfer fee received from Juventus for Rushy, which also had the effect of pushing up the transfer fee we paid for Beardsley in particular.
Back to the present, and yes most of the team appeared unable to stamp their authority on the EL final, but they were the same players who got us through the ties against MUFC and Dortmund. The transfer fees had no bearing on how they could perform brilliantly in some matches and like dross in others.
“FSG deserves the support for the success of liverpool”
There hasnt been any despite a minor cup under Kenny
And they sacked him for it.
I meant to achieve any success…all this unwanted negativity is not gonna help…btw fans are also responsible for Kenny’s sack just like appointment of Klopp…the owners are responding to fans demands but how much have WE supported them?? you speak of supporters owning the club…that is not realistic…owned by oil sheiks and the likes with terribly unethical business standards or human rights record will bring in the money but will kill lfc’s charm that exists worldwide…you think the likes of Sullivans, Levys, Ashleys, Venkys would guarantee success??
I’m trying to come up with a better opening line than “this is one of the worst pieces I’ve read on The Anfield Wrap”. Some of the criticisms that the author has put forward need to be challenged.
Firstly, Karius is described as a kid. He’s the same age that Pepe Reina was when he signed for Liverpool. And what did we know of Reina back then? Probably not a lot, other than he had failed to make the grade at Barcelona before joining Villareal who finished 15th, 8th and 3rd the three seasons he was with him. Hardly an indicator of what he would bring to the club. And as for the foreign language argument? Newsflash: Europeans tend to be fluent in more than one language – my God it’s no wonder the Brits voted in favour of Brexit with that mentality.
Having not mentioned that Karius signed from a Bundesliga team, the author then leverages off Bundesliga performance for his Mane vs Mkhitaryan argument. OK, so the Aremenian was player of the year last year – but his two previous seasons were quite underwhelming with Roberto Firmino outscoring him on goals and assists both years. So what would be the point of us signing a guy, and potentially having to make him highest earner in the playing squad, when we already have someone two years younger who had better stats than him?
Finally, attempting to sign Hugo Lloris is far from an indicator of ambition. He’s a good keeper, but that’s all – he wouldn’t get us back the 10 points that Mignolet “cost us”. And at this stage a few Spurs fans probably think that Vorm is as good as him after his performance helped prevent their side being 3 down at half time 10 days ago.
I’m not sure why some fans can’t get it into their heads that we can’t financially compete with Man City, Chelsea & Man Utd. Our owners are savvy football business owners who have made their money from doing well at running sports team (and before someone goes on about them just looking for profit – they get the biggest gains when the team does well on the pitch and enhances it worldwide reputation – they want us to do well and wins things just as much as the fans)
They haven’t got where they are from pumping endless streams of cash into teams. There are very few humans or business in the world that can maintain that in the long-term aside from a few oil-barons.
BUT – and this is a good but – that doesn’t mean we can’t compete on the pitch. I think Klopps already shown that sometimes, the young, hungry ‘potential’ in our team can trump the rich superstars. And we haven’t even seen a whole season of it yet. He’s right, we have to do this differently than the rich 3. And as far as i can see, FSG are accommodating his vision as much as required. And wouldn’t it be so much sweeter to do it that way than to be a multi-billionaires plaything?
Unfortunately, the correlation between squad value and league finish in the prem is established and proven.
You are dreaming if you think “young hungry” players can win the league over a team built a with the most talented experienced players in the world, managed by managers with CVs full of league and European victory.
“You can’t win anything with kids.”
As we prove season after season.
4 of last seasons top are in the bottom 8 of net spenders this summer.
Arsenal would be down there as well if they had anyone half decent for sale.
That’s nonsense – they plough s shitload of cash into the Red Sox (who do win stuff)
This is so boring. Would it make you feel better if we gave everyone a massive pay rise?
For me it’s simple – if they had no ambition, there’s no way they’d a) get Klopp and b) then sign him to a six year deal.
He was the top available manager in the world. That says it all for me.
FSG could certainly have managed the club better, but to say they lack ambition doesn’t seem right to me.
They absolutely nailed the managerial appointment at third time of asking and had the best chance ever of making right their previous I deferent wrongs.
Nothing will change under their ownership, much water will be tread while eking out every last penny from the many wide-eyed members of the #LFCFamily in every corner of the globe, all the while ignoring the growing murmurs of discontent and concern amongst those their corporate slogans have no effect on.
Descent is upon us.
Stagnation is more like it. Nice to see the finger pointed where it belongs (fsg).
After all the non stop speculation its about time. Great article by the way.
Fair article but indications are that Klopp feels he can get better results with a smaller,younger and hungrier squad. He has rarely splashed the cash and is renowned for spotting and developing players.
FSG have wasted big money on players totally unsuitable to LFC. Who really wanted Carroll, benteke or balotelli?
For the first time we had a plan in he window and got most of what we went for. Come January with a favourable league position we may be able to purchase that top end quality we need. Certainly we will have cash available for once.
I am positive about the season as it does appear in general we are all together.
I can understand why people are getting itchy. But.
1) In 2015 Manchester United had a revenue almost twice the size of LFC.
2) How much is the net spend/season when factoring in the cost of the stadium expansion?
3) The club was £237m in debt when FSG took over. When the club made a profit in 2014, it was for the first time in seven years.
4) FFP (though it seems it doesn’t really matter these days?)
5) If we take what Klopp’s saying at face value, he’s pretty much decided which players to go for and who’s worth paying what for.
Well done TAW- on a slow-news International Break weekend you’ve spotted the Transfer policy soft underbelly to disrespect FSG and Klopp and raise our hackles to have us snarling and sniping at each other- until the build-up to the Leicester home game (it’ll keep us plebs distracted before you get back to ‘serious’ thought-provoking writing again).
No writer being named (and therefore blamed) for this hilarious piece gives your game away I’m afraid. Thanks for the laughs and thoughtlessness though- can you imagine if that was a serious article?!! :-D
It says the article is written by Paul Cantwell.
Don’t see where this cynicism comes from and it’s not warranted in my opinion. The transfer window shut only a few days ago (less than a week), so it’s not surprising someone would write an opinion piece after the whole thing is over.
Returning to the main point of the piece, I think FSG are confused. They can’t compete with oil money so getting into an arms race with City or chelsea isn’t an option. They’ve also seen how a team put together on a reasonably small budget by Rodgers came close to winning the league. So they’re thinking why not put the trust in a manager who’s done something similar a couple of times before? I worry the fallacy of this argument is that the EPL is a lot more competitive than the bundesliga.
It took Rafa quite a few consistent transfer windows before he eventually had the team consisting of Reina/Agger/Alonso/Mascherano/Gerrard/Torres. Unfortunately, I think we’re way off having that kind of spine in the team.
What makes you think FSG is confused? How do you know this for a fact a successful professional outfit like FSG can’t compete with “oil money” as you put it, and get into an “arms race”? Are you privvy to all their operations and financial/business acumen?
What makes you think that it is a fallacy of putting trust into a manager that, at least most fans know, has proven himself a winner before?
Utter Rubbish. The biggest show of ambition is hiring a winner and letting him run the show. What this idiot wants is for FSG to hire klopp and then subtly go about undermining him by bringing in show pony signings. You want Hugo Loris? Go support Tottenham and be done with it.
I don’t know exactly what’s in FSG’s heads. But I’ll tell you this – they are not interfering with transfer policy and I agree with them. Trust the manager and let him get on with it.
In order to sign the player you keep banging on about there are some things:
1) He needs to be good enough to fit in to a pressing, high intensity game. Not all world class players are.
I can’t abide by people who insist he should have gone for Mikhitaryan – he tried that at Dortmund and Henrik didnt quite suit that style. Mane does much better.
2) The player would need to be willing to come to LFC when we aren’t in the champions league. Wages aren’t everything. Mario Goetze apparently got cold feet simply because we weren’t in the CL.
FSG may have gotten under the last manager’s skin. But we now have a different manager who was happy enough with their backing to sign a longterm contract. That shouldn’t be ignored.
A word of advice to the moaners: watch carefully what is happening. Hugo Loris is the second best Keeper in the PL. We went out and got the 2nd best in the Bundesliga. The money is irrelevant.
Look to see if this’ bunch of mediocre players’ can turnover big teams on a regular basis. If they do maybe you need to hop on the wagon and support the team and STFU.
I can’t understand how it serves any good to judge the success of the transfer window before those transfers have gotten an opportunity to play. It borders on insanity. They may be good. They may turn out to be mediocre, but I’ll be supporting whole heartedly right down to when/if the worst happens. I’m betting it won’t though. We’re gonna win the league. YNWA
Brilliant post mate.
I bet two years ago you said the exact same thing about Rodgers
“STFU and support the manager” …”IBWT” and all the other shite.
Even though Rodgers was clearly crap from day one.
Back The Boss ! Trust The Owners! Get Behind The Lads! Go and Support The Plastics ! Uber fan’s response to any criticism
You can’t compare someone wading in behind Klopp and his ways and Rodgers,
Anybody who doesn’t subscribe to your point of view gets it in the neck,
Soooooo bloody negative all the time.
I agree with many comments made above by fellow fans that FSG is not to be blamed for these.
– they have rightly or wrongly spent over £200-300m over previous three seasons, some players turned out to be like super Mario and Marcovic while others turned out to be in our current first team such as Coutinho, sturridge, hendo, Lallana, Lovren, etc
– we have further strengthen the team by adding four first teamers in keeper, centre defender, centre midfielder and a fast attacking player who can operate on both wings.
– and we didn’t sell any first teamers
– KLOPP has the funds to spend if a player that he wants is available, but Klopp made it very clear in a number of occasions that he is very happy with our current squad. period. What more do we want?
– are we supposed to buy players fir the sake of pleasing some immature and restless fans, short term?
– Klopp model is to win as a team. And always to make the team bigger than the sum of 11 players, always.
– what do we care if other team signed a 200 foot player or husain bolt? Our manager is happy with what his “tools” and he will build a winning team.
I think this is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on here.
FSG have been here now for almost 6 years and the fact is we’re no better on the pitch than when they first took over. Twenty six years without winning the league and I feel like we’re as far away now as what we’ve ever been. People say be patient, but we’re slipping further and further behind. West Ham, Stoke and Everton are all starting to show a bit more ambition, so pretty soon we’ll have them to worry about as well.
Virtually every year under FSG has been like starting again at year zero and it’s always the next transfer window when we’re going to sort things out and then the one after that. Having no net spend when your already playing catch up from 8th place is inexcusably and I can only think (and hope) that there’s something in the takeover rumours.
There was a lot of positivity around Klopp’s appointment, and rightly so, but I can’t believe he’s happy with the left back situation – mind you, if my bosses were paying me £7 million a year I’d say and do whatever they wanted. They put a lot in to getting Klopp, but as far as I’m concerned they haven’t backed him and it’s been a poor window.
All these people who are satisfied with the owners I’d like to ask what would it take for you to change your mind? Another 6 years of mostly abject mediocrity?
It was only a few years ago when finishing 4th was the ‘minimum acceptable requirement’, now finishing in the top four will be ‘a bonus’. I wonder what our expectations will have been downgraded to a few years from now?
I hate this crap “mind you if my bosses were paying me X amount per year I’d say and do whatever they wanted”
Utter Rubbish to paint Klopp in this light.
I think FSG’s biggest problem to date has been a lack of footballing nous at the very top.
For example, the Balotelli and Benteke purchases should have, and would have been, hit on the head if a more knowledgeable person had been in charge above the manager, and overseeing the clubs strategic footballing planing/direction.
We have no one in place at the top, who can go to the manager and question his purchases, and if need be, veto them with a logical argument highlighting their un-suitability.
Our club already has problems competing financially with our rivals, and we really can’t afford to be making those kind of mistakes in the transfer market. Those two specifically, weren’t difficult to spot or understand, and really could have, and should have been avoided.
Which now brings us to this seasons transfer window, and we still appear to have similar problems.
This time, we appear to have glaring holes in the team roster that could jeopardize the teams season.
Again, do we have anyone at the club who can say go to Klopp, and ask why certain positions haven’t been addressed? Can we really say those above Klopp have the knowledge to identify, and bring up these issues, and then debate their merits with the manager?
Was Wijnaldum really a priority over say a Defensive Midfielder/Controller?
Could that 25mil not have been spent better to provide the team a more targeted, bang for the buck in the coming season?
It still appears those in charge above Klopp don’t have the knowledge or experience to anticipate these issues and act on them.
Our strategic oversight is not guided by anyone with suitable footballing authority and judgment. One who can identify problems before they become season threatening issues, and bring them up with the manager.
All the people above Klopp are more suited to making their way round a company spreadsheet.
There’s a distinct lack of footballing nous, a lack of risk assessment, and just general footballing common sense, to help guide the club.
It continues to be a key weakness, and one that allows strategic mistakes to be made.
Checks and balances that should exist to minimize these errors in fact do not exist, or at least function as they should in a well run footballing organization.
It really is something that needs addressing, and is a cause of great concern.
Can’t argue with any of that David,
Nous has def been lacking for a long time,
The amount of ex players in positions of authority in European clubs seems to be in much higher numbers than ourselves, I may be incorrect but it looks that way when I watch European cup games on the box.
This is easy
Gillett and hicks tried to quick buck Lfc and leave it in debt , no interest beyond that . Good bye fools.
Fenway bought the club thanks to Martin B (hero) for nothing with no debt except expensive bogus art project of hicks gillett 40 million
Now Fenway can just sit do a few small things and follow football and premier league wave improve income and by magic Lfc will be worth 2 billion in 5 years . Even if we win nothing .
I want to understand how we even have a loan for the new stadium as the increase money jumps in the last few years and the fact our net spend on transfer and constant reduction in wage bill have been awesome . Is there some profiting ( it is a business , but when u get it for nothing there are uk morals , not immoral usa capitalism . You would hope ? But I don’t know and a biased to thinking it about football and not just business .
This is where we start to really understand ambition for the club and ambition for business and that fine line
Really happy we have Klopp , we need a larger than 60k stadium and better economics else west ham and Spurs will stay ahead of us and grow and grow the others will stay miles away . Soon 6 th place will be our aim every season is my worry
Basically all the simplistic nonsense and half truths that get thrown at the owners encompassed in one article.There’s so much to argue with that I wouldn’t even know where to start.Don’t start pandering to simpletons who see FSG as the devil by allowing articles like this to be posted,you’re better than that lads.Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not every opinion deserves respect.
I am happy FSG own LfC more than most
Maybe China owning us would be better but selling out to just money is not what football is about
It’s telling about this whole thing that Ben Johnsons piece which keeps a positive view gets less than half the posts in comments than this more inflammatory piece does.
Totally agree. I missed Paul Cantwell’s name to the article but this is the 2nd or 3rd incendiary anti-FSG/JK transfer window published focusing on cynicism and negativity.
I’ve said before I like the additions and the early embedding of same. Manager and Owners have a good vision and values for the club and I’m very hopeful for this season that we’ve gotten a very decent and versatile squad of players. I don’t remember anyone jumping for joy when Suarez, Sturridge, and Coutinho were separate January buys- again there was cynicism before enlightenment. Enough of these shit-stirring articles and we’ll finish up selling our integrity for the filthy lucre like the others.
Fully agreed lads.
Jk is happy with the squad we have. We didn’t sell any of our first teasers. Instead we have strengthened the team with four key players in Mane, Matip, Gini, and the keeper.
JK will do the same next summer. He will give this team 12 months to adhere to his style. And he will further improve.
He mentioned a few times that the club can’t expect loyalty from the players if the club is not loyal to the players. At least Jk is showing commitment and loyalty to the core of the team. Give him time and he will get us across the line.
Also couldn’t agree more.
Legitimate question to ask, but terrible article, and even worse comments afterwards.
If FSG’s time is coming to an end, i for one, will applaud them when they leave.
What an awful piece. Loris Karius has started nearly 100 Bundesliga games and has been one of the top 5 goalkeepers during that time. He’s a big reason Mainz almost got a Champions League spot and ended up with a Europa League spot. The only reason we got him for 4.7 million was because of a release clause. His real value is more along 15 million. All you are doing is complaining about us getting a goalkeeper who is the best and perfect fit for what we want because we got a cut rate deal and because you have no idea who he was before hand.
Ya but let’s not use the managers inside track regarding German league players as the price won’t be high enough to appease the moronic part of the fanbase,
Thanks be to Jesus we didn’t sign Mahrez for half a mill or there would have been war.
There seems to be a rather black and white view point on FSG. I’d put forward a view that’s more grey.
FFP was happening and they stated clearly that’s why they bought the club. We all know the mantras of buying young before they reach top whack etc and being smart. FFP will die a death though soon. So really, the benefit of having FSG based on their own admission of being smart is negated.
I think they’ve done ok as owners. I also think now is the time to sell and move on. We could then all look at their spell in charge as one of bringing back stability. The landscapes changed though in FFP and the TV money. With their model we’ll be left behind.
I think the perfect example of their cautiousness is the Anfield Road expansion. I understand how business works in the sense of let’s wait and see that we can fill the new main stand first but don’t forget the Annie road would only increase the ground to 60k. Is there anyone who thinks LFC couldn’t sell out 60k regularly. Why not take a gamble and get it built. Not for the financial benefit long term but for the psychological advantage 60k Lfc fans can bring on the pitch.
It’s business caution though and that’s becoming their whole tenure. Imagine if we buy a player on 150k a week on a 5 year deal and he fails. What then, we’ll be stuck with him etc. Well the truth is we’re losing more than that because the mediocre players we’ve bought have failed. How much did we lose on Balotelli. How much on Carroll. How much would we have lost on Benteke had it not been for the flood of cash. Mediocrity and caution isn’t working out. We need to show ambition now. We can afford it.
That all said, I think there’s another side to this window which I’ll leave for now. I can very much understand Klopps strategy but in relation to FSG the landscape change suggests we need to adapt to it.
I’m home now and wanted to elaborate on my last paragraph.
In some ways (although I’m disappointed by the window, primarily the left back position) I can understand waiting to buy. The wages we pay is our biggest problem not net spend. If we’re not going to pay the wages then the window becomes more understandable. We’re not going to attract the top players with no Champions League footy. The only way to bypass that shortfall is pay the wages. Utd can do it because they earn £100m a year more than us. City and Arsenal earn £50m more.
To clarify before I make my point, my view is the problem is not paying the wages for some top players. Regardless of Utd’s turnover we could have afforded it. This is where my issue with FSG lies.
Regarding the window. At the end of last season I’d have put us up against anyone in the Prem. I expected us to beat Utd in the Europa. I was surprised we beat Dortmund and over the 2 legs I think they were better than us but we did beat them. We had enough to get us over the line. Earlier we went to Chelsea and won and City and annihilated them. Admittedly, there were other games we lost which was both poor and disappointing. I thought an attacking midfielder with pace and strength would go a long way to changing some of those results as well as improvements in the defence. Maybe, Mane will be just as good as an attacking midfielder. Maybe Matip and Karius can solve the defence issues.
I don’t think Klopp wanted to bring in 15 players though or even a new 11. I think he wanted a left back for sure. I believe he thought a few tweeks were needed for this season with the aim of making us better equipped to beat shite like Newcastle and Watford and win games where we were 2-0 up like Southampton. Point being, I don’t think he thought we were too far off. Only 1 game against Burnley goes against this potential belief being right. Had we won that one game and we’d be talking in completely different terms. We didn’t but it’s still early days to say if that’s our soft underbelly rearing its head again. Had we signed 2 accepted world class players would we have beaten them this early in the season. Well, that’s the thing. Had they been quality then yes. Had they just been expensive then who knows. So, I think he thought the team was good, wholesale changes wouldn’t be beneficial and he couldn’t find a left back he wanted for the next 7 years. On top of that, his knowledge was that Karius and Matip were sound.
I think next summer he’ll buy a few more players but they’ll be ones that will strengthen us further and possibly even to the top. I think he’s patient and methodical. The reason I like that is because I don’t this theory of buying expensive players guarantees success. Downing at £20m wasn’t cheap a the time. Neither was Carroll at £35m. Neither was Benteke at £32m. It’s not about the fee. It’s about the quality but more importantly, the fit. I’m confident Klopp is looking for the fit which is why I feel confident with him. We all mention names like Hector or Digne or a dozen others but who really knows enough about them or the way Klopp wants to play to know if they’d set the house on fire at Anfield under Klopp? I certainly don’t.
Just a point on the other clubs. Where were Chelsea last season? Did spending £150m on players the summer before make City much better. I watched them go out of the CL and was appalled at their lack of fight and spirit. Did Utd spending £250m in the previous 2 windows make them any good? Well, they certainly didn’t get in the CL places whether they were beaten by Leicester to the title or not. I’m pleased to have a manager who see’s it like a jigsaw that needs to be pieced together and not one that goes to Harrods and thinks that hand bag is £25k it must be really good. The bags in Browns of Chester are far more stylish and less than £20. My missus has one and it’s far classier than a pile of shite made out of snakeskin.
So, here’s a list of expensive players over the past 3 or 4 years bought by the big 3. Which of these should we have offered equal or more money to go after at the time.
Ángel Di María £60m
Kevin De Bruyne £55m
Raheem Sterling £44m
Eliaquim Mangala £40m
Juan Mata £37m
Anthony Martial £35m
Nicolás Otamendi £32m
Diego Costa £32m
Cesc Fàbregas £30m
Ander Herrera £30m
Wilfried Bony £28m
Juan Cuadrado £27m
Marouane Fellaini £27m
Luke Shaw £27m
Memphis Depay £25m
Morgan Schneiderlin £25m
On first glance the only one I’d want is Martial. I don’t rate Costa as someone who will make all the difference. De Bruyne was sensational last season but people go on about the way we caved in v Sevilla but I was absolutely disgusted by his performance v Real in the semi and thought he was wank in the Euro’s. No balls. Fabregas maybe but not definitely. The rest can suck my dick.
Recent league wins have been down to Hazard and Aguero which backs up my point. It’s about quality not expense and to find quality you need to be a bit smarter than having an open cheque book.
Great anslysis Robin- right on the money, if you take my meaning:-) ,P
“Imagine if we buy a player on 150k a week on a 5 year deal and he fails. What then, we’ll be stuck with him etc”
Maybe these guys are more tuned in than we give them credit for. Maybe the reason they signed off on Benteke was that they knew the new TV money was coming and getting the money back was not going to be a huge issue if he didn’t fit..
one way to look at it..
Maybe, but all said and done it doesn’t help the club. We need a striker who can score not a continual series of misfits.
My point is I feel that’s how FSG have looked at it. They have a policy of start on low(ish) wages and if they prove themselves worthy then it goes it. I understand why, it stops Jovanovic and Cole being in the reserves on a combined £210k per week like when they took over. But, and this was my point. if we’d have bought a good striker 3 years ago (we all know strikers who would make it at Anfield in the same way we weren’t sure one way or another if Carroll, Mario, Lambert or Benteke would) then the fee and wages wouldn’t have been much more than what we’ve WASTED in the meantime on average players. We’ve had no return on the 4 mentioned goals wise. Plus there’s a possible £30m income as good strikers get you points and therefore CL places.
To clarify, the difference between a very good striker that you pay for and 4 average ones that have scored about 16 goals between them is very little and has noticeably held us back. So, if you’re suggesting they were smart in any way buying Benteke i’m suggesting they clearly weren’t.
That’s not my point – I’d suggest that FSG have no clue who Benteke was, probably took advise from the recruitment team and said ok lets sign him.
benteke was on very good money – 130-140k a week apparently – enough to attract a very high calibre of player so the owners were happy to back that call to sign him with decent money.
I’d think its the recruitment process team, and not the owners, who were dumb to sign benteke.
If that wage is true then actually, I completely agree with you.
Not sure you can hang Benteke on the recruitment team though,
I stand to be corrected but wasn’t it rumoured to be Brendan’s last throw of the dice signing and the recruitment team got Firmino ??
Rumours and speculation = modern football
What a game.
The manager has had a role in the recruitment unlike what Rodgers made us believe. He was just not brave enough. Balo, Benteke and the likes were just panic buys to calm any discontent among fans when the likes of Sanchez, Cavani, Willian, Salah, Mkhitaryan were all missed out. Rodgers was weak to reject those panic buys unlike Klopp. Balo and benteke were pure gambles at the last minute and in itself shows that it was not for the lack of trying. If it was Rodgers now we would have had Ben chilwell, Gotze and Zeilinski now and that would have been even bad for the club. And the likes of Brad Smith, Ibe, Allen would still be at the club and that would resemble the stagnation that someone mentioned above. There have been positive changes all round since Klopp and i dont think anybody else could have acheived it (maybe Poch) …and the chemistry between the owners and manager is perfect too…Raiola himself mentioned that refusing anymore chances to Balo was Klopp’s decision against that of the owners…signing Grujic Karius Matip Mane as well the refusal to sign chilwell and Gotze is also managerial decision (another change since Rodgers). With things like that I dont think owners at Manu or chelsea would have been happy with him. Here FSG has realised they need Klopp’s direction and honesty to support or reject owner’s ideas based on his intelligence.
I thought this was harsh on Post Klopp FSG.
Bang on for Pre Klopp FSG….
Fsg are destroying this club …. They have spent little if any of their own money if you take into account that almost every year we’ve sold our best players to fill the coffers their net spend is a joke.
Worse still they’ve managed to lower the fans expectations that somehow we can’t compete with the other big clubs which is complete rubbish we’ve had the bottom clubs out spending us this window that’s how bad its got…
If we’re not careful we will end up losing klopp because whilst he hasn’t come out and criticized them he cant be happy to be starting this season playing people out of position because the transfer funds weren’t released…#fsgout
Lets look at these 3 yrs of transfer business…though this yr the net has been +17 mil, the past 2 yrs has been 35 mil and 20 mil in the minus after spending 200 mil. Klopp only signed the 6 yr contract upon assurances that fsg are here for a long run.
wrt left back we tried signing Digne and failed. Klopp’s rightback at Dortmund Lukasz Pizsczek started his career as striker, played as winger or AM for his prev club Hertha Berlin and yet turned out to be a successful defender. Again, it’s not that Klopp would ask Couts to play as CB someday. Moreover i think fsg have always spoken bout winning titles and restoring glory since the purchase and every year and never spoke in terms of asking fans to downgrade expectations
almost every year we’ve sold our best players to fill the coffers their net spend is a joke.
Who are these ‘best players’ they’ve sold?
Out of the 75 we’ve sold since FSG took over only 6 are worth discussing. The rest are complete dross.
Reina – Had repeatedly courted Barca and lost form. My guess is Rodgers decided against keeping him. There’s also the fact he was a high earner and I’m sure a view was taken he wasn’t worth it. The jury could be out on this but for me, his heart wasn’t in it because he didn’t believe he could win trophies. He joined after the CL win when we looked strong.
Gerrard – I lay that at the door of Rodgers / the fans and FSG. There was a rumour FSG wanted to keep him but on half the wages. From a playing point of view it didn’t make much difference as his playing days were coming to an end.
Agger – Again, Rodgers has to take a lot of blame there. Agger said it himself. We don’t know what pressure Rodgers was under from FSG but we do know that Agger was too injury prone to be a vital member of the squad.
That leaves the 3 I assume you refer to.
Torres – It’s wrong to say Torres was happy at LFC. He wasn’t. Forget his loss in form, in fact forget everything in relation to your argument, he was replaced in the January and no profit was made.
Suarez – Suarez pleaded to leave for Arsenal, he was so desperate to join any club but us. I think, Gerrards pep talk that he should stay and wait for a better move swayed him. He was put on 200k knowing it was for the season only. When Barca came in there was nothing we could do. Bottom line is he refused to stay.
Sterling – The issue over Sterling was over how we negotiated trying to keep him. We lacked ambition. An offer was made but he felt he was worth £100k a week (not the £150k he later wanted once he’d been threatened by the club about the reserves for 3 years). We should have done more to keep Sterling in those early days after the 13/14 season finished but when he was sold we had no way of keeping hold of him. We had to sell. To say he was our best player at the time is wide of the mark though.
No-one likes the fact that keep finishing 7th which makes the best players want to leave and that could very well be down to FSG but, who was sold in a sinister fashion for ‘profit’ or to fill the coffers as you say? I’d love to hear your side of events. My view is you won’t reply because you’re full of shit.
I agree, this is the only window when we’ve ‘balanced the books’ under FSG. I’m not an FSG apologist either, perhaps they could have invested more in players but if we’re honest we haven’t been at the top table for transfers since breaking the British transfer record for Collymore in 1995. Maybe that’s part of the problem? But until we are taken over by a sheikh or billionaire businessman we might have to get used to the current strategy of signing players from lower/mid ranked teams. That’s never worked has it? Hang on who were Barnes, Beardsley and Aldridge signed from?
One difference then was, although fading but certainly in the 70’s and 80’s we were the team players wanted to play for. All we had to do was offer the cash and they came. Utd hold that mantle now, unfortunately.
FSG are weird like there’s no doubt about it. The best signings under them have come in January with Suarez early and the Sturridge/Coutinho window but then all the other January’s when we’ve had near-crises upfront or in goal (pretty important positions I’m sure we can all agree) they’ve left it as is.
Summer’s are mad under them as well. 2011 – crap. 2012 with the open letter. 2013 cost us the title in hindsight. Last year were they let Rodger’s spend big on Benteke when they must have been speaking to Klopp. And who comes that close to the title, sells Suarez then spends the money on replacing him with Balotelli and Markovic as the big attacking signings (both one season wonders and 2 league goals between them was it)? Not a club who really cares about winning IMO.
We could have had a premier league, Europa, another league cup or even an FA cup under this ownership if they’d have just shown a bit more ambition. Not even that much more tbh; I’m not being funny but it’s not as if anyone’s demanding we go into bidding wars for Pogba or something. They just don’t want it bad enough.
It’s the players that did not want Liverpool bad enough…Sanchez, Willian, Begovic, Digne, Mkhitaryan, Salah, Deigo Costa, Shaqiri, Cavani were all tried and failed for various reasons..either for London attraction, lack of CL or Club blocking deal at the final moment but not for the lack of ambition. Would rather not have them if only ridiculous wages could change their mind.
You might well have a point, but then again… http://www.joe.co.uk/sport/liverpool-jurgen-klopp-transfer-window-inside-story/84124
Excellent article recommendation NB- well written, informative and balanced. Good spot.
This is drivel. I’m used to better from The Anfield Wrap.
This is another rubbish article with a veiled attempt to draw the continued moaning of some fans who will take a bite out of FSG. I am not an FSG apologist but I am also trying to understand what good they are trying to do, even if they have made mistakes like some think and have stated that they have.
We’ve won nothing of note since they took over, how about the managers who were appointed or the players who played then? Didn’t they have a say on things on the field or is it always going to be the owners fault? Mistakes happen on and off the field, so it remains to be seen how they fix some of it, and the approach may not suit all of us.
The writer of this article refers to keepers, and Bundesliga player of the year, etc. What is this comparison really about? You don’t work with any of these players day in day out, so where do you get off making this type of insinuations of who is better?
And yeah that old wage structure business. So do all us fans and this writer know everything there is to know about the business or what really happens during this time behind the scenes? Do we all work at LFC and FSG headquarters to back this up? Hindsight is brilliant analysis isn’t it?
How about we try giving the team assembled by the manager that most of the fans of LFC wanted, a proper chance this season (yes all the games)?
Why do we keep drawing at piece meal arguments over and over again, eg. LB issue exposed at the final, or not buying Pogbas, Messis and Ibras because Mancs are buying the same so we can compete, etc? That is easy to point out isn’t it?
Did we have great LBs when we almost won the league? Do you think we should blame FSG or the World Class Players we had/have, for the slip, or not outscoring Palace that night? I think no one, including Rogers. They tried, and continue to try.
So why not wait and see what Klopp is trying to do to sort out some of the things we think he should be doing or FSG not doing?
Articles and some comments make me wonder about the nerve and will as fans to stand up to this perpetual self-defeating mindset, that sets in before we have had a chance to go through 10-15 games?
Why are some fans resigned to achieving their couch-potato-manager badges with the latest FIFA 17 manual for reference?
I hope the TAW can write more articles that shares some positive aspects on what the owners, the team and the manager are trying to work on – continue to focus on the good first.
Well said Sash. Like Robin and many others above we are not all spend-rich-win-quick merchants. The base of the club must be sound. Despite comments to the contrary, we were in danger of Administion a few years back while searching desperately for owners that’d reflect and respect the traditions of the greatest club in the world (and thankfully not the biggest as that brings its own problems).
FSG were well documented in their courting of Klopp twice before and we waited silently in hope. They decided on BR to hold the reins in the meantime but forcing him to work under the Transfer Committee meant we missed out on the players Robin listed above plus Eriksen, Mikyhitryan and a few others. Yet he gave us incredible football with only 2 World Class players SG and LS and a bunch of “misfits?!” and children- Sterling, Ibe,Wisdom, Flanno, etc.changing his system from 4-2-3-1 to 3-5-1-1 to 4-1-2-3-1 etc to fantastic effect. We had 5 or 6 teenagers or maybe more in 13/14 games betimes for C’sakes! People forget the hand he was dealt, plus he had one hand held behind his back- but that’s another days chat. FSG wanted a squad that’d be in keeping with JK if he ever came here (and a few bob left too it seems for him to spend:-)) and BR worked under that, though he had a different philosophy.
Bottom line, FSG did take us on with the FFP rules in mind as an opportunity yes, but they also reasonate with our culture and tradition. They’ve made mistakes and held their hands up each time I think and apologised and reversed decisions (seat prices etc. )
Then they pulled the Rabbit out of the hat- a big grinning German that we all love and everyone else (esp. mu fans!:-D) is jealous of. Fergie knows and has eluded to his fear of this coming of Klopp. So have others- to the extent that they’ve risen their own bars and grabbled for good managers too- plus they’ve burst their purse strings for overpriced players in a desperate attempt to make up for their managerial shortfalls. (Who starts pre-season in China at the end of July ffs?!!)
We’ve a guy who’s building a machine, not looking for expensive parts- he’ll make his own as he did before. We’ve owners who gave him the biggest vote of confidence by giving him a Fergie/Wegner/Boot Room contract- ie. you’re The Boss- continue what you’re doing- ‘let us know if you need anything and we’ll give it, coz you’re The Boss!’
In the years to come, I think others will come to realise that what FSG have done is the biggest finacial gamble of this or many previous summers in the EPL- could you see Chelsea or City having this 100% belief and balls to do that??!
FSG’ve got their man, they’ve got the man we wanted, they’re totally behind him with a sound business model now that’ll burst with money if he gets us across the line- and I, like many others, believe he and they will.
Walk on folks, P
I am getting more and more confused as to how the supposed failure/reluctance to sign a left back has merged into some kind of analytical attack on the club net spend.
Had we signed a 7-8m quid left back from Sparta Prague would anyone care the net spend for the summer was a whopping 5m quid? I don’t think they would. The whole narrative would have changed. But because Klopp didn’t get a left back, we are now questioning the price paid for Karius as an indicator of quality, overlooking Matip being free, whether Grujic is any good and why we didn’t buy 6 Sadio Manes!
Now, if FSG were driving this from some form of penny pinching, asset stripping point of view (or whatever other “crime” has been thrown at them his summer) then surely the simple answer would have been to raise funds by cashing in Danny Ings for 20m quid. Or persuade Benteke to move to China for 45m rather than the 30m quid we got from Palace – all theoretically straightforward solutions to a funding issue…..jeez, we could even have sold the devil himself back to Sevilla I would think.
All of this could have appeased the “fans” but none of this happened, so you can only assume Klopp is true to his word on how he sees this playing out under his watch.
For me a pertinent question to ask is what if it doesn’t work out under Klopp, what then? If we finish 6th or 7th this season and next season by Christmas we are falling off the top 4 pace and Klopp walks (or gets sacked and if you can sack Kenny Dalglish you can sack anybody) where does that leave LFC under FSG?
I can guarantee he would not be getting replaced by Ancelloti or Simeone.
If FSG cannot get it to work under Klopp they need to accept it is in the best interests of the Club to go along with him. By then they will have tried everything manager wise, Club legend, the supposedly next bright young thing and a world class manager with a proven track record of success.
If Klopp can’t make it work under the FSG model nobody in the world can.
Klopp wont be sacked in the next 2 seasons or so. there is a reason he got 6 years and I firmly believe that’s because he sat down and gave FSG a few home truths about how to build a side, and how long it takes.
I’d imagine he told them that there are 2 ways to do this:
The quick way, in which case you need 200m quid in cash and a decent bank account for a wage hike. This model may work short term but probably isn’t sustainable.
Or we go down the evolution route. We make the changes I WANT each summer. The players in and out that I feel are necessary. I have contacts that can help with this across Europe (see ben chilwell being recommended by Klopps mate at Huddersfield for example). It might be slower than you want, but its worked before and it’ll work again.
He probably showed several examples of where this second model works – from ferguson initially at united, via wengers first few seasons at arsenal, all the way to Klopps Dortmund. He might have mentioned that Chelsea didn’t evolve the day Abramovich entered the picture but had been growing under Matthew Harding (zola, desailly, di matteo, vialli, gullit etc) for 10 years to the point they had CL football. (obv roman took them the final mile). Even City took a good few seasons under the Thai guy and then the Abu Dhabi mob to achieve what they wanted.
FSG probably thought this sounds cool, and were prepared to back Klopps judgement. I guess, whether its popular or not, this is what its going to take.
We’re very good at wanting what others have now, but rarely spend the time to look at how they got there…
Best point made and sums it all up
Ok, ok- Challenge for the #fsgout people.
Please inform us of your alternative owners out there and your reasonings as to why they would be a better fit for our club. Personally, I must be missing something because I cannot understand the animosity behind these ‘Articles’ and TAW swipe comments.
This is a genuine fan-to-fan request- let us know who would be able and better at running our club right now than FSG with the Steership of JK?
(Please be measured and sincere with replies. For fear this discussion thread may be close to exhaustion, do not be surprised to see this request being repeated again as I am intrigued with this better option that I cannot see)
Thanks for your ‘comment’ Peter.
Your very welcome, thanks for the ‘reply’ TAW. Love the site btw.
That’s impossible to answer. You can only judge owners, like players, managers etc with a huge slice of hindsight.
Maybe, but surely there must be a better alternative that some know about- otherwise why the constant dissention and demands for them to go?
Hi KM1806, Peter,
you both make excellent points, and the most telling will be the one that you made KM1806, which is looking at the first few years before any club took off under said owners and/or managers.
This is an important point I believe to be true in many fields. I have worked in different industries up to the present and have seen the likes of people not always looking at the track record of say a filmmaker like Steven Spielberg’s first 20 years or guitarist Slash/GNR or photographer like Edward Burtynsky or Steve Jobs and Apple.
What most see (especially those who have jumped into a career thinking they end up with the end product) is the end product by which to measure their success.
Many fall short in my experience, as they don’t realize how much time it takes for talent, time, money, preparedness to meet those opportunities that some think is luck, to come together to achieve success. It’s like that rubik’s cube; it takes time, but there is a solution.
Thanks to both of you for posting your thoughts and comments as it is needed to help stem this negative thinking and split between fans. It’s why enjoy the TAW and what they have to offer, as they are doing a great job compared to other websites, even if/when they frustrate.
peter its a reasonable question but unfortuantely you are not dealing with reason. The desire to understand why people piss and moan about FSG and Klopp is a fruitless journey that leads nowhere. They do it because that is what they do.
The better question is what was the point of the fucking article in the first place.
Thanks Steve. I alluded to that question too a couple of times before as you see further up and concluded TAW were stirring it up on a no-news weekend. Their ‘reply’ to my question here wasn’t a reply. Instead of asking a feature writer to pen any alternative for us to consider in this vexing discussion- they merely “Thanked me for my ‘comment’ using my apostrophes deliberately as I wasn’t previously taking their ‘article’ seriously.
Unfortunately features such as this one is a stone throwing exercise that’s morale damaging but I have no issue with it if the feature or another Writer was proposing a reasonable alternative. Without such, as fans, we just vent frustrations and nervous energy at each other at such a time when we should be together.
TAW is an excellent thing with damned good insights and lightheartedness and good ole scouse chat and emotional- the way it should be – it helps heal the loss of the Kop mag in the paper format and other real fan mediums. But really- there is a responsibility too when stroking fires to keep fans engaged during slow weekends. It can lead to negativity at a time when we need positivity and patience because I do believe we are on the cusp of something great and dissention on the ‘net can lead to dissention on the Terraces.
I’m all for questioning and analysis- but with a constructive end in mind- not dog-in-the-manger inflammatiries for the sake of extra newsprint or in this case ‘Webprint’.
Btw. I’m still awaiting a constructive, reasoned alternative- but as you can see- it’s gone very quiet here. Hopefully someone’s working on it, but I won’t hold my breathe. YNWA, P