There is one thing, and one thing only, wrong with Liverpool Football Club at the moment.
It can be argued that Man Utd, Arsenal, and several other clubs, have more debt on the books than we do at Anfield. The difference between them and us, is that they have sustainable plans, and considerable income streams for paying them off.
Liverpool’s debt, and the way it has been leveraged against the club, has put this great footballing and national institution on the edge of a precipice. Like it or not, the recent financial management of Liverpool has been on a level of football suicide that is consistent with Peter Risdale and Leeds.
£30 million pounds a year to pay in interest, or £1 million every 9 days – whatever the figure really is, it means that the club basically has to qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League every year, just to stay still. Not to progress, not to bring more, better players in. Not even to pay off some of the debt – just to stay still.
And what’s the result of that ?
Poor players who should not be wearing the red shirt starting Premier League games – because we cannot afford to move them on ( for a profit – you know who I mean ) because the money will not be invested in the squad to replace them
Critical Substitutions – Torres and Benayoun were taken off yesterday because we need them to play in mid-week. Make no mistake about it, Rafa has been told that he has two priorities this year – Stay in the Champions League as long as possible this year, and qualify for it next year. The financial rewards of the Champions League make it a much bigger priority than the Premier League in our current financial state – the league is not a priority for the owners – and Rafa is doing what he has to and what he has been told to, to safeguard the future of the club as he sees it.
A guaranteed income stream for future years has been ignored and the mythical ‘spade in the ground’ is still a pipe dream, whilst Spurs ( for god’s sake ) are busy building theirs.
Decent Squad Players ( Crouch, Riise, Bellamy etc etc ) are sold on because we need to trade up. We are reduced to wheeling and dealing in the transfer market to compete ( Does that mean Harry Redknapp is the best manager for us at the moment ?! ). And then our squad becomes too thin.
Our best players are long term injured because we rush them back to quickly – Gerrard may have gone this way already, Torres I would put mpney on this happening.
Our best players leave in the Summer because they see no way in which we can challenge next year ( Reina, Gerrard, Torres, Mascherano, Agger ) as there is no investment in the team ( Sell Babel to pay for Reina’s contract – dear god )
Now ok, the last 2 are more predictions than truths. But consider – we have gone from selling players to buy better ones, to selling players to pay for contracts – how long is it before we sell players to pay off a rising debt ?
Rafa is doing the best he can. Whatever people may think about him, one thing is indisputable – he has the heart and soul of LFC within him – think of your own hurt recently and then imagine you are putting your entire life in to making the club successful only to have the rug constantly pulled from under your feet. Just for one minute, imagine Jose M at the club at the moment – he managed to talk himself out of a job when he was being given hundreds of millions to spend ever year – he would tear our club apart right now.
There is a reason that the kind of leveraged buy out is illegal in America. It is a gamble with a business, with people’s lives and jobs, and our heritage. The debt is the problem.
What can we do about it ? I honestly don’t know whether Share Liverpool, a Sheikh, or some serious, prolonged protest is the answer. But those of us who have quietly or even financially supported SOS and the like whilst not taking any serious action – the club as we know it will DIE if we don’t do something. Soon.