FSG’s Reds in the red?

FSG’s Liverpool may be looking at an extended period of frugality amidst circumstance shrouding the footballing calendar in uncertainty. 

With little known as to what the future holds for football as we know it, Fenway Sports Group’s investment in Liverpool’s squad-depth is set to take a back seat.

Having seemingly withdrawn from the race to acquire the services of heavily linked and internationally-acclaimed striker Timo Werner, the Reds’ owner’s decision to do so has found itself the subject of much indignation in recent days.

With the transfer all but nailed on, fans’ disappointment on losing out to Chelsea in the final furlong is likely stoked by memories of Fernando Torres’s infamous switch from Merseyside to London back in 2011.

Flames have been further fanned by pockets of supporters reverting to previous instances of FSG’s unambitious investment.

Despite costly acquisitions in the forms of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker in recent years, many believe they would never have happened without the prior sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a reported €160 million.

However, there are two sides to every story.

An enlightening series of tweets by Twitter user @WC_LFC_Torres has illuminated the depths to which Liverpool’s finances might plummet over the coming years.

The tweets outline the facts and numbers which justify FSG’s caution in the current climate. One such figure states that, despite a recent post-tax upturn of £29 million, the reductions of matchday, broadcast, commercial and Champions League revenue streams, amid the ongoing threat of COVID-19, will see Liverpool’s previous two years of profit all but eradicated.

With:

  • Fans unable to attend fixtures both home and away, ticket sales are currently sat at nil.
  • Broadcasters, despite their easing of repayment deadlines, are set to recoup a large portion of their license to televise league games due to unplayed fixtures.
  • A lack of football on our screens has seen investors and companies pull out of affiliated and in-ground advertising.
  • Elimination in the round of 16 to Atletico Madrid will see Liverpool earn a much smaller slice of the Champions League prize pool than last year.

– losses may well amount to hundreds of millions.

In tandem with operating expenses such as player wages, contract extensions and staff salaries (to name but a few), these shortcomings would be enough to see other clubs dip into the realms of administration.

And this is where John Henry’s FSG must be given credit.

Jurgen Klopp, John Henry and Liverpool executives
All rights reserved by GettyImages.

Liverpool football club has been moulded into a ‘franchise’ so self-sufficient that it can survive, albeit with some difficulty, such losses as those it is experiencing currently.

While some might look at owners like Roman Abramovic, who regularly and keenly bankrolls his Chelsea to marquee signings, surely our victories feel all the sweeter knowing we’ve done it ‘the right way’.

While a new, shiny toy in the form of an exhilarating number nine is always a breath of fresh air and cause for excitement, instead, take stock.

Liverpool are reigning European and World champions, soon to win their first league title in 30 years with what may yet be the most successful campaign in league history.

FSG’s current Reds are playing football that will be spoken about for generations to come, much like the famed sides of the ’70s and ’80s.

Squad depth and expansion are always key. Perhaps we should capitalise now we’re so far ahead of the competition. But who’s to say why the likes of recent recruit Takumi Minamino and emerging prospects such as Curtis Jones can’t make an impact on a squad already brimming with world-class talent and on the cusp of bringing the title home?

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