So there we have it, another January Transfer Window has come and gone, as have 31 days of social media meltdowns, gossip, ridiculous valuations of players etc. The review is that it was a bit of a strange one for the club. Speaking and writing as a fan I’m really seriously disappointed and I’ve a growing resentment against FSG. They were quite low in my rant radar as we got in Klopp, reached the Europa Final, the League Cup Final and qualified for Champions League football. Here’s The Anfield Talk’s Robin (@robbiemac72) with where the Reds go from here.
Going in the right direction? We’re going in the right direction alright, to mediocrity. I’m not happy and I’m going to tell you why.Embed from Getty Images
The major deals are that Coutinho was sold to Barcelona for £142 million and van Dijk was brought in for £75 million. We dropped the ball by not inserting a clause in the Coutinho sale so that the player remained at the club until targets of reaching the Champions League Final and qualifying for 2018/19 Champions League has been secured. This is seriously bad business by FSG who’ve clearly shown profits matter over glory. If an average club like Leipzig can turn around to Liverpool and insert a clause stating Kïeta cannot move until summer after we paid £48 million for the player, why could we not do a similar deal with Barcelona?
Not only that, but the bizarre situation of letting Sturridge go on loan to West Brom also flies in the face of logic. A player injury prone but yet possesses a 48 goals in 98 Premier League appearance ratio. Sturridge is a man that, when fit, is required in a Champions league squad now that we’re left with Solanke and Danny Ings who’ve barely had any first team football. We’ve also let numerous other young players go out on loan too like Harry Wilson and Ovie Ejaria, a prolific goal scorer for the U23s. Jon Flanagan’s time with the club is up for personal reasons.
The signing of Van Dijk was really only to appease the fans and Klopp himself but only happened because of the sale of Coutinho. Selling Coutinho and getting van Dijk in were both long term visions of FSG, nothing earth shattering or visionary about that. Just a cut and dried business deal. Liverpool FC are number 8 on the Forbes list of the richest clubs in world football with a valuation set at £1,167 million and with a record £300 million revenue announced in 2016. Clinical business stuff.
Yes, FSG have invested £115 million in the restructuring of the new Main Stand at Anfield but where is the real passion for the club? Where is the desire to get the best to be the best? Where is the spontaneous signing? The risk taking? Screw your American Moneyball philosophy. My fellow The Anfield Talk writer, Ronan O’Rourke went into detail of what this practice is all about in his article, ‘The Myth of Moneyball.’
We’re not a supermarket selling players, we are one of the greatest and respected clubs in worldwide football. Don’t forget that. We want to see that FSG share the passion of Liverpool fans to reenact the glory days. If we can’t keep up with the likes of Man City and Chelsea then we need to take a long hard look at what FSG are doing with Liverpool FC. Are we becoming another Arsenal? Are we content to just qualify for Champions League football with the occasional trophy thrown in?
I for one like the way the club has moved forward from Hicks and Gillett but our inactivity in last years January transfer window and a single major signing in this one only because of Coutinho’s sale alarms me greatly. Thomas Lemar, Riyad Mahrez, Alisson and Oblak and early arrival of Kïeta were all mooted and heavily linked to the club. Nothing happened. If we were Man City/Chelsea it would have happened, this is the difference to why we’re struggling to qualify for CL football and win trophies every year.
Do the FSG management share the vision of the future of Liverpool FC with the fans? Are we a profit before glory club? Are we another Arsenal? A club who’s board of directors are quite happy to just merely qualify for Europe every year. This is not the Liverpool mentality, it goes against the grain of Liverpool FC.
My name is Robin McNamara and I am a fan that has begun to ask the hard questions. FSG, are you listening to the fans?