AS the topsy-turvy season we are currently enduring continues to both delight and frustrate in equal measures, the on-pitch setbacks should not completely distract attention away from potentially a huge announcement made this month.
Despite not being a unanimous decision, it seemingly appears that there are enough votes in place to make this happen.
Now the rules set to come in are to govern the wage expenditure as well as club losses, with potential punishments including point deductions. The levels quoted are that over a 3 season period, no club can report a loss of over £105 million, and guess what? Along with Manchester City and Chelsea, we are the only club over the last 3 years to have reported such a loss, and unlike the teams in blue, have only a meagre League Cup to show for this.
As we are reminded regularly, the net transfer spend under FSG does not amount to a great deal, so we certainly haven’t been splashing the cash on the Toure’s, Aguero’s and Dzeko’s of this world; instead we have had a juggernaut, slowly sinking under the weight of toxic debts and unmanageable financial plans installed by our wonderful (sarcasm) previous owners.
So the question is this, are there some sections that owe FSG an apology?
The decision announced earlier this month will certainly not have been a snap one, and much more likely has been discussed for a number of years. With this in mind FSG have had to undertake a project from the day they bought Liverpool, to nurse her back to financial health.
The biggest surgery we have seen came in the summer when we waved goodbye to Kuyt, Maxi, Adam, Bellamy, Aquilani and to some extent, Carroll, and then again in January as Cole bid farewell. I shudder to think what the combined weekly wage was of these players but it is safe to say that without Champions League money at the very least, it was unsustainable, particularly given the level of contribution of some.
Let me be controversial for a second and throw something out there…perhaps the sudden announcement made by Carragher this week is linked. Why do I say this?
Carragher has undoubtedly earned every penny of his contract and more but in the new financial environment we find ourselves in, can any club afford to pay a 35 year old such high wages (Lampard at Chelsea)?
As well as the points made about wages, we have seen a much stricter transfer policy and the club is not being burned as it was under Comolli’s guidance.
This has hurt us this season undoubtedly; had Sturridge been signed in August we would be in a very different position. The defeat to West Brom on Monday highlighted how we cry out for somebody operating in the positions that Sturridge does.
FSG have undoubtedly reduced the wage bill at the club, something that walks hand in hand with a drive towards a younger squad as well as compiling a squad in a much financially sound manner. Combine this with work off the pitch in terms of partners, sponsors and so on (if you believe rumours, the next shirt sponsorship deal will be impressive) and the argument can certainly be made that the club is making solid foundations to build on if everyone involved is strong enough to tough it out through these frustrating times.
What’s my view I hear no-one ask? I’m sure I will be accused of being a FSG sycophant, a Rodgers lover and probably bizarrely enough, defending Allen in this piece, but I can see the merits of what is being done.
Unfortunately the club was on its knees after H&G and tough times were inevitable to sort their mess. I didn’t want Rafa or Kenny sacked and likewise I don’t want Rodgers sacked – I believe the club now demands stability. I can see the Rodgers style coming together and it will take time.
Likewise, it took Rafa time (Kenny needed more time). Chopping and changing managers every 5 seconds is very Chelsea, and do we want to go there?
Whereas I can see what I think is the bigger picture and I truly believe there has to be more flexibility. The errors made in August are unforgiveable and we were very lucky to have a certain Uruguayan. As is the way in football if you identify the right player why quibble over loose change? I won’t apologise for the criticism I have given in relation to the striker debacle.
So before the pelters begin, answer this: Do you owe FSG an apology? If not, why?
Come find me on twitter @timdibs