A Kings Ransom

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By Brian Reece
Twitter @oldfattoad

With the arrival of J W Henry and his FSG Liverpool have found themselves in a position not many supporters would have imagined just a short and painful time ago, Liverpool Football Club can trade on the market floor with other premiership heavyweights.

For the first time in years Liverpool do not have sell to buy nor have to obtain needless loans to fund transfer activity, these methods were use by the previous ownerships reign and plunged the club into chaos and almost dragged Liverpool into administration.

Liverpool Football Club were the laughing stock of Europe and resulted in mass demonstrations in and around Anfield, but thankfully J W Henry stepped in and rescued the club from its idiotic and financially immature owners, FSG have installed financial stability once again and the signings of Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson have shown Liverpool supporters that FSG mean business and most importantly have a winning track record to back up all there claims.

But for all the signings Dalglish and FSG make there remains a small matter of what to do with some players who are clearly not needed or wanted at the club anymore, This is were the problem starts, players like Aquilani, Cole, N’Gog, Polusen, Degen, Insua and most of all Jovanovic are basically holding the club to ransom, why? You may ask well the answer is clear its in their wage slip every week.

These players were paid a kings ransom to come to Liverpool and not one of the players mentioned have proved to be anywhere near there wage scale or produce any kind of football we could justify there worth in any terms of value.

Now selling or loaning them is the most straight forward and logical thing to do but no club is prepared to pay the kind of wages theses leaches want so unless we release them for free how are we going to be able to offload these parasites from the club.

In there defense if there is one, could be the view that we agreed to pay them that and its part of there contact, this means we could in theory be stuck with them warming the bench or spending there lavish life playing there time out in the reserves, which has no benefit to man nor beast, also Liverpool will not want to lose a fortune financially from any sale of these players, in the case of Aquilani, Liverpool will not sell for less than £13m which is always going to prove difficult as his wage demands are so high it will put off most willing buyers.

It is clear that FSG wish to reduce Liverpool’s wage bill considerably and must either take a loss in the selling price or loan out the player were the club may still have to pay some of the wage bill, am sure at some point Liverpool will offload these players but maybe not all of them before the new season starts, but Liverpool fans understand the basic mistake we made and that was to agree to there ridiculous wage demands and terms in the outset.

Supporters have no problem with high wages but just make sure its spent on a player who is value for money and plays to the standard of his wage slip and not to give in to players who want A Kings Ransom for little or no return.

More Stories FSG John W Henry Kenny Dalglish


  1. Brian, great read.

    Im waiting with bated breath who we sell, for me i love players at the club wo are either workers and are here because they are happy to be part of the liverpool “team” or players who are here because they are doing the work and getting paid highly in return.

    For me its clear that we have so many poor players just sitting in and taking their money and i cant get on with that at all!!

    please dear god lets hope we can ship these players out, but you will see my list and then players who are poor poor players but just not the players we now need to get back into the must have champions league spot.

    to save the wage bill and let the club make better use of the resources that we might have, we must at all costs get these players out and i mean now.

    JOE COLE, – he is on to high wages and not producing the goods to warrant teh money, no matter what steve clarke says, this player is done, get rid now.

    POULSEN, – Disgusts me, yes he wants to stay because he loves his easy life, he is very poor, his legs have gone and id rather give the role to coady or spearing down the pecking order.

    NGOG, – just doesnt show any sign of huge desire, has been given alot of chances, doesnt look up for the fight, he is far to passive and to be fair, he is not getting better, yes he did well in one pre season game! – so what, get rid his wages are a joke at 55- 60 a week – what is he doing to warrant that outlay???

    EL ZHAR, DEGEN, JOVANOVIC, – all just crap, thats that.

    SOTO, – love his attitude but he is to old now, getting to slow on the deck and for me he is just not the quality player to come in for say carragher or skrtel, hence we still need a center half with power and huge pace?

    BRAD JONES, – what a waist of time that deal was, what did we need him for when we had Gulucsi and hansen and others already at the club, what a joke deal that was by roy the mug hodgson?? total lack of thought, waist of money and wages in this guy, and he was never that good anyway? get him out.

    AQUILANI, – yes i did say aquilani, love the way some fans are in love with a player that from day one has lacked any sort of commitment, we got him fit then when we are in the middle of a challenge he wants out back to itay, then we grant him his wish and now all we hear is return to itay, his agent is a prick who never shuts his mouth, you would then think the player himself would respect the club and fans a bit more by coming out and telling us the truth, its clear that he wants to move on, although its no bad thing if he has to stay at sit on 0ver 85 k a week, disgusts me this player, id kick him out asap, and yet some fans are ready to see raul go before him!!! – just staggering, joke of a man, with no loyality at all.. and yet some fans are wanking over him…

    tell me what has he doen for the club to bend over backwards for thsi gimp… he cant tackle, he cant last over 70 mins, he cant head, he doesnt tarck back, all he can do is look good with time and space, just watch his game dip when somebody form wolves smashes him in the air on a cold nite in the winter.

    this guy is shite bag get him out now.

    1. Mate, try less offensive language in describing players from the team you support and I might agree with your argument, especially about Aquilani

    2. Sam are you talking about Raul in that last sentence – can’t tackle can’t last 70 mins etc etc looks you have that right!

  2. I think its a bit much to call our own players ‘Parasites’. Overpaid yes but the clubs own fault for overpaying on contracts for substandard players. This is the price for Poor judgement in the transfer market and not producing enough players from the academy In the past.

  3. Disagree with the majority of this post. Insua and N’Gog were bought for next to no money, and as they were young, their wages were nowhere near as high as free acquisitions. These players were always on the books to develop, either for our own squad, or to sell on (they fit neatly into the FSG model even though they are Benitez purchases).

    Aquilani had a disappointing first season, but this was due to the frustration of injuries coupled with his initial fee and the label of replacing Alonso. Stats show how many assists he (and Insua for that matter) produced when playing regularly in 09/10 (sorry but I don’t have these to hand). He was highly praised in Italy last season and played over 30 games. He is a player I feel we should keep.

    As for Cole, Jovanovic and Degen, having been signed on a free transfer they will be on higher than normal wages. However, remember that they were signed in the period of time where due to ownership issues, we had no money to spend on transfers. We had to sell in order to buy, and paying a free player an extra £20k a week for 4 years instead of a £15m player was the more viable option.

    In Poulsen’s case, that signing can never be defended!

  4. Agree with the general sentiment of the article, Brian, but I think you’re being a little harsh on Aquilani and Insua. Both were forced out by Hodgson and I’d certainly welcome both of them back into the first team this season with open arms. Whether Insua is the answer to our left-sided problems long term is a question open to debate but he’s solid and reliable and would provide a good foil for Downing with his overlapping runs. Aquilani is absolute class and I think it would be a massive shame if he isn’t given the chance to perform and is shipped on. He offers a completely different range and expression of passing to any other player we have at the club and I think he fits the mould of the squad Kenny is putting together perfectly.

    Unfortunately the previous owners/manager have left us with several expensive relics such as Jovanovic, Jones, Poulson, Degen and El Zhar. I’m sure they know the score and will hopefully do the decent thing and move on but can you honestly say you’d take a huge pay cut to move on from a club like Liverpool?

    @sam I don’t think I’ve read anything so narrow-minded in quite a long time. Some of the figures and assumptions you make are laughable and your assessment of Aquilani is most disappointing – straight from the “Messi would struggle on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke” cliche bin.


  5. “their”, not “there” when it’s belonging to someone.

    “Their defence”
    “Their contract”


  6. I think the whole situation is so different from 12 months ago is so different. Certain players were previously able to dictate to the club.

    The situation now is that the club are not really under any financial pressure, therefore the real decision any fringe player on big wages need to make is how his career is going to be affected by staying at Anfield with little prospect of making the team regularly. The situation for Aquilani is that his international career is potentially at stake if he struggles in the Prem next year, for other players like Ngog, El Zhar, Jovanovic will find their future prospects badly damaged, no club is likely to give anything like an attractive contract to players who have “failed”.

    I guess the big change is that the onus in now on the fringe players to decide what they want to do for their careers and decide if money now means more than a more successful career overall, because the club are not really too worried if they stay as they will at least help provide a level of competition within the squad.

  7. if suarez does not start the new season because eof his coppa america?

    if gerrard does not make it, having had most of the pre season still not fully into a fitness programme,?

    if reina does not make it because of his double hernia!!! thats is a huge concern to me.


  8. aquaman is class.. he just needs to be physically strong…!! thts it..
    cole and puolsen both must be offloaded.. look at jovanovic, he leaves the club with pride…. these guys are pests especially poulsen who is not even showing the quality of a 15 year old..

    1. Ahem… If Suarez is not playing because “eof” HIS copa America, who is the Suarez in your line-up?

      1. Lol you replied to the wrong comment. :P

        And he could be thinking of Jeffrén Suárez, even though he is referred to by his first name and I think he is more of a winger (although can play as a forward).

        I doubt he meant him though, but still.

  9. jesus sam take a chillaxative lol!

    for me its as follows

    100 % sell regardless of fee: el zhar, brad jones, poulson, degen, jovanovic

    maybes if fee is reasonable: joe cole (steve clark thinks he still might have something to give, plus he is a wise old head has won things so could help teach that winning mind set to the younger players), david ngog (hasn’t been good enough for me however is still young and will score some goals so could be kept as a last resort)

    sell if replacements can be bought: insua (next seasons left back if none other can be bought; alternating with aurelio when fit of course), soto (we need a 4th choice CB and he is very good in the air; though limited as a footballer)

    keep: aquilani (roy forced him out, showed signs of promise at the end of his first season with us, has mentioned that he has improved defensively since going on loan in italy and has looked a very classy player in pre-season) raul (still has alot to offer the squad thanks to his versitility, however i don’t think he is a brillant player just a good one, that purple patch of goalscoring was great but he didn’t come close to scoring after that,)

    thats all lol

  10. I agree with Degen, Poulson, Jovanovic + Cole. As for the rest I think you are being harsh at best and delusional at worst.

  11. Doni
    Kelly Carragher Agger Johnson

    Meireles Adam
    Suarez Downing

    That team looks good to me if no more signings. And if gerrard and reina injured for a few weeks into the season.

    And then once they are back from injury can slot in with midfielders like adam/aquilani and gerrard/meireles alternating throughout the season. Kuyt/Carroll alternating the striker role and Henderson playing on the right throughout the season, think the cm role wouldn’t suit him just yet as he has 4 players ahead of him.

    1. Why, who would your team be then with the players available now. Carroll will be a definate starter up front. Suarez will play behind him and with downing on the left wing and gerrard and Adam in cm with Lucas as well, and alternating cm’s meireles, adam, gerrard, lucas, henderson if aquilani is loaned out to fiorentina and our defence almost the same as last season with kelly on the right if no lb is signed because johnson would play there cause better then insua and a fit agger next to carragher and reina in goals. I can’t see many other options available with the players we have now.

  12. Yeah I am sorry but you are very narrow minded and obviously have very little idea of what a good player is and whether they are fit to where our shirt.

    Also whilst you are at it , sort out your grasp of English – it’s not grate is it ;-)

  13. aquilani is great is he, then tell me why even with the price that we are looking for around 10 million, there is not one clear taker!!.

    Tell me why the juventus sporting director just didnt want him then! he must be great then …. dear me

    buttom line insua, degen, el zhar, poulsen, jovanovic, soto, cole are just not the type of player we need if we really think we can get back into the top 4.

    aquilani has some of these loved up fans around his finger, what has he doen, please tell me?

    think the guy needs to take his mouthy agent with him and call it a day, jesus, id rather have a hard working loyal player at the club who would run through brick walls for liverpool, give me spearing over aquilani any day of the week.

    Hate everything that aquaman stand for, please tell me why would shoul so much faith in this guy?

    dear me ….. bye the way rick insua great is he not? er -m not at all he has played no premiership football in over a year and you want him as a option at left back – dear me….

    And Tom h, who the hell are you to tell me about players, aquilani will bottle the tackle all day long and i know that because i just do.

    take a look at the guy, he had a good pre season game,, big deal – so what. if you want to talk about football be my guest but i know more about the game then you will ever know, you call youreslf a lfc fan and yet you kiss aquilanis bum when he has done next to naff all,, your a disgrace,, you have to earn the right to play for liverpool.

    1. @Sam: I am a football fan first then Liverpool and you don’t know **** about football. I’ve read your posts before and you sound like a 10 year old with the signings you think we will get. If you do know a good deal about football then you’re too biased towards Liverpool to realize where we sit, which isn’t a bad thing but it has clouded your vision. At the current moment, what exactly sets us apart from the likes of Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, etc? Our history and that’s it. History, unfortunately, doesn’t matter when signing players. We possibly have a bright future but until then we must use the likes of Aquilani and Insua. Neither are my first choice but they serve the purpose of being ready to play in case a first team member is injured, which any fan of LFC knows happens all to often. The others you mentioned we can get rid of but this isn’t a video game, not all teams will come running for our players when there are better players available.

      @Brian: Good post, however, remember many players may not want to leave as they are settled in the city of Liverpool. They have families and homes here so that may lead to a desire to stay. The worst thing I’ve seen from Liverpool fans lately is that everyone is looking at the glass half empty instead of half full. They say our signings are horrible, they say we need more signings, and to an extent, I agree. We do need to be patient and let the people who were hired to do their jobs do their job. As a lawyer, it is one of my least favorite things when clients come in and try to tell me what to do. So I make my best effort not to do they same, as should yall. The season hasn’t even started and there is still another month and half left in the transfer window so relax.

    2. Having a taker for Aqua at $10m has nothing to do with “great”. Was he “great” two years ago … after all, he had a taker in 2009, didn’t he?

      Transfers aren’t just a price issue. Expensive doesn’t mean good, cheap doesn’t mean bad.

      So would your argument extend to Andy Carrol? What has he done in his six months here? Should Chelsea sell Torres? Should Argentina drop Messi?

      Bottom line is that your problem isn’t Aqua. It’s YOU. Once you leave the decisions to Kenny, and realize that he has more football sense on one finger than you ever will, it’ll be fine.

      You just need to realize that you’re simply a supporter … you’re not the manager and you never will be … so support the club, support their decisions, and support the uniform. Anything past that … just leave it to the pros.

    3. regarding insua, he was loaned out to lighten the wage bill. Hodgson did rate him as a player. Rafa also thought he was a very good player. During the season before last he was being praised by a huge number of fans and pundits alike. If you look up his stats for that season it is clear that he performed very successfully for the club given his age. I’m not saying he should defo be first choice simply that it is something that he potentially has something to contribute to the up coming season.

      You are ignorant and narrow minded. You yourself are a disgrace to LFC and its fans for that attitude.

      1. I think insua has potential like the rest of the young players on lfc’s books like Robinson, Flanaghan, Kelly. But the defender out of those I think is currently good enough to be considered a starting place is Kelly. The others have shown potential but are not ready I believe. I really hope Liverpool sign a quality left back before the season starts. It’s important to have an experienced left back if they want to surprise everyone and fight for the title this season.

        A back up young and hungry forward wouldn’t hurt either as I don’t believe ngog is good enough to fill in for carroll, kuyt and suarez if there are injuries.

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