Liverpool’s owners,the Fenway Sports Group, have always been a controversial topic with loyal fans.
The club for so long refused to allocate funds to strengthen the team which fans claim is a reason why they weren’t in contention for major honours.
Since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, the club has spent big money as a result of the German’s initial success as they backed their man.
However, the latest report has shown that the Reds’ owners are way down the list when it comes to clubs that have received the most funding from their owners in the last 10 years.
What the report tells us:
Liverpool, under the ownership of their American owners, have not received backing their club deserves – that seems to be the bottom line of this report from Swiss Ramble.
The current owners, who joined in 2010, had to deal with the fallout from the Hicks and Gillett era which stunted their growth for years until the arrival of Jurgen Klopp. What can be said is the owners, over the 12 years since they arrived, have seen their £330m purchase price rise to a current market value of around £3.7B.
Liverpool have hired roles such as a specialist throw-in coach, Sports Psychologist and former sportsmen to help them negotiate tough, pressure environments which have translated to a mental improvement in the Liverpool squad. This was an example of how FSG got it right – even when pundits and former players laughed it off at the beginning.
Jürgen Klopp was reportedly adament to keep Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool and wanted him to be apart of his future plans.
FSG then decided not to extend his contract.
🏳️-[David Ornstein] pic.twitter.com/oiR60KuBSD
— The Anfield Alert 🔔 (@TheAnfieldAlert) July 19, 2021
Typical of American owners, who see clubs as a money-making machine, the club operated mostly on a ‘sell to buy’ approach in the market. The sale of Philippe Coutinho for £142M to Barcelona allowed the Reds to fund the big-money signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
That has been the only real example of big spending in recent years until the huge money signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica for £85M this summer – a signing that has pressure on it from the very start because of the reluctance to spend big in the FSG era. The re-signing of Mohamed Salah was crucial to keeping the fans onside – a deal that dragged on for 12 months.
In the last 10 years, the owners have only spent £32M more than West Ham’s owners David Sullivan and David Gold – owners who have been notoriously criticised by the Hammers’ fans for lack of investment. Perhaps they’ll change their ways or perhaps they’ll continue in the same vein as the club’s value grows.
Are fans right to demand more?
The fans calling for more spending is perhaps counter-intuitive; the owners have spent a lot of money in recent years and the hiring of Michael Edwards and now Julian Ward to get the most out of their sales has seen them recoup a lot of money on top of that.
Spending £85M on Nunez is a sign that perhaps, with the club at its highest value since 2010, they can afford to ‘remove the handbrake’ when it’s necessary.
Especially considering the success Klopp has delivered with signings worth around the £30-40M mark – he’s earnt the right to ask for big-money signings. But it’s also worth mentioning that these signings won’t always work and it needed a true managerial great to make it work.
Gary Neville on FSG:
“Liverpool fans don’t see it now because of where they are but once Klopp leaves and the money they’re spending means they finish 4th or 5th, which is where they should be, Liverpool fans won’t be happy with their owners.” [Sky] pic.twitter.com/lXLLlvmUkd
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) March 30, 2022
One player who could fall into that category is Jude Bellingham – a player linked with Liverpool for next summer and someone who would cost in excess of £103M.
The owners would surely realise the income potential from the effect a signing like Bellingham would have on and off the pitch and may very well ‘green light’ the signing.
After all, it has been reported that the £103m price tag will not put off the Reds from chasing their high-profile transfer target.