When F.S.G. (or as they were known then The New England Sports Ventures) wrestled the club out of the hands of Tom Hicks and George Gillett we were all ecstatic. Not only did we get rid of the H&G cancer that was killing our club but we had owners with a plan they could execute. They had a system that seemed to have worked in baseball with the Boston Red Sox and they were going to implement it with Liverpool F.C. Yes I bought into it, I read the book and even saw the movie. “Give it a shot” I said, I could have never been more wrong.
The whole “Money Balls” concept was all based on statistics, buying players with potential but “were not sexy”. FSG promised to reduce the wage bill, this wasn’t too hard for them to do as they started playing tough ball with agents and focused on young players. Right after the purchase, John W. Henry was being grilled by Liverpool fans in a Q&A session on LFCTV. The question that stood out (to me) was how Liverpool was going to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea who were spending like there was no tomorrow. Henry asked for patience and claimed that they had a five year plan to return Liverpool back to greatness.
Well here we are just a few months off the five year anniversary and I don’t see a Premier League title, I don’t see Liverpool playing in the Champions League, all we got in the last five years was a League Cup and a bunch of lousy shirts. Don’t get me wrong, F.S.G. have done some great things in the commercial department and in that area they did bring the the club into the 21st century, they also kept their promise with the stadium. However in the department that matters most (Football) they have failed miserably.
I remember every transfer window being nervous on which player the bigger clubs might pinch from Liverpool, this is not happening this transfer window and ironically it is actually quite sad. With the exception of Luis Suarez (although he was signed by F.S.G. the process of recruiting him had already begun way before they bought the club) they haven’t sold a single player that they signed for a decent profit. I don’t see clubs knocking on our door wanting to sign any of the players signed by F.S.G. (Skrtel & Sterling were both at L.F.C. before F.S.G. took over). Again don’t get me wrong, they have signed a few quality players such as Phillipe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge (as long as he is not injured), Jordan Henderson, Jordon Ibe, Adam Lallana and Emre Can however with the exception of Coutinho I can’t see the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona wanting to sign the others. I am saying this not because I want the La Liga giants to poach our players but to prove a point that the big European clubs are not interested in our players which easily proves that we nowhere close to par with them. I wonder what the gambling options on football transfers by Liverpool are? Maybe this sportsbook can shed some light.
What is really interesting is that when it comes to salaries The Boston Red Sox currently rank 4th in the Major League and as individual players the highest paid Boston Red Sox player (Henley Ramirez) is at Number 28 in the salary rankings. Is this what they want with Liverpool F.C.? To get the best in football you have to pay for the best and is this what we are going to get? The 28th best player in the Premier League?
What do we need? We need players who are strong mentally, seasoned professionals who can mentor the younger players and bring them up to the next level. Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger were such players but now they are gone. As Arsenal fans can tell you, “You don’t win trophies with just kids”, you get close but it is never enough, you need a little more. If our 6-1 loss at Stoke wasn’t a wake up call I don’t know what else could be.