I am one of those who usually tries not to be kneejerk. I reserve my inclinations either way and by God, if the last ownership of our club was something to go by, I am well served being that way. This is not to say that I am skeptical, but I am generally reserved in appreciating anyone’s participation in matters of our club. Although, this is not a fool-proof way of not getting hurt (e.g. what Torres did in January, inspite of his WC picture with our scarf, his interview that he is at the best club, his reassurances 7 days before putting in the request), but it does minimize the chances of getting hurt.
On those lines, while I was happy with how Gillet and Hicks were booted out of the club, I was reserving my decision on how our new owners would treat us. I am happy to admit that there has been absolutely nothing that FSG has done that would make me doubt their dedication. I am not trying to be judgmental, just a little reserved.
NESV/FSG have done most things right ever since they came on. I’ve watched most of the interviews of Misters Henry & Werner and they’ve always sounded poised, reserved, and in control. They’ve come across as people who care about the fans and have interacted with most fan-groups. The formation of the Supporters’ Committee is one such step that directs the fan opinion into things more and more constructive.
It would have been disrespectful to fire Hodgson within a few weeks of their takeover. So they just about gave him ample time to him (maybe a game or two more than they should have) and finally decided to let him go. They seemed to understand their principles correctly – that the fan is always topmost.
Having said that, they don’t really take decisions based on twitter noise. While Kenny’s appointment would have been suggested by twitter, the transformation definitely means that this was a decision borne not just out of fan-pressure but acute understanding of the game by people involved. Mr Henry or Mr Werner might or might not have the absolute understanding that might be required but then they have and trust people like Ayre and Comolli to do that. That’s what the owners should do. Have the right men in the right place. Be it Kenny or Ayre or Comolli.
Handling the Torres situation was one such factor. Honestly, in my experience, the fans take to one or two players when the team on a whole is not playing well. Compare today with say Dec’10. We have more heroes in the team. Dirk, Lucas, Raul, Maxi, all feature in the personal favorites’ lists. In December it was only Torres, Pepe and Gerrard. The internet was outraged in January when some reporters tweeted that Torres requested LFC to consider the Chelsea bid. When you look at it, we didn’t do too much business in January. We sold two frontmen and bought two. I’d say Suarez, at that point in time, could have been considered slightly lesser to Torres and Carroll, well, was just an unproven commodity. But the manner in which the business was conducted, made us all feel good. The money was immediately reinvested. There was a belief in the fans and the club. While we all knew but dreaded admitting it since July last year, Torres was confirmed as El Sulk. His exit, which was unfathomable a few months ago, was welcomed by fans. Overall, the spending was £1.8m in January but we the fans felt as if we’ve spent about £50m in 2 days. Liverpool has been reborn and they are going to be ruthless on the field and off it too!
This summer’s window gives you four positives from what has transpired till date:
1. The business will always be conducted behind doors – the Liverpool Way
2. Liverpool FC are going to be aggressive enough in the market and pay top dollar for top talent.
3. People who do not wish to play for Liverpool aren’t going to be requested or cajoled!
4. We’re no longer going to worry about which top player would be sold or would want to leave
Of course there have been some embarrassing moments. The ticket system (although I don’t know much about it) is supposedly not the best. The third kit is, well, not well received although people are warming up to it, or rather, cooling down with their protests. There has been an occasional embarrassment caused by sponsors like Standard Chartered too but I’m sure the owners have always had the best of intentions. It would be patronizing to use excuses like ‘they’re new’ or ‘let them settle in’ (could apply to Venky’s) because I think they are too good and proud to seek those excuses. As far as I am concerned, having established that they mean the best for our club, I am now going to let them establish that they don’t being a trigger-happy critic.
I am glad that Gillet and Hicks are no longer our owners. I’m happy that people like Ashley, Glazers or Venky’s don’t own this club. I’m just as glad that our ownership is not with oligarchs or monarchs either!
For most those who read this, I would request you to spread the positivity since that ultimately helps the entire Liverpool community- fans, players, manager, owners, sponsors.