Friday, 29 December 2017

Reaction to Van Dijk






So to be honest, I wasn't expecting Liverpool to do anything in the January Transfer Window. I had expected Emre Can to leave and possibly Coutinho as well but didn't expect the news that came up recently. Having taken myself off social media for a while, I still managed to have people mail me of the news. Of course anything on the internet can be made up so you always look to the reliable sources. It was true. Virgil Van Dijk is finally joining Liverpool in the new year. Hes there on his instagram with a Liverpool jersey and I am pinching myself.

Is he an improvement on what we have already? Yes. Is the price tag questionable? Time will tell. Although with today's market very few footballers are worth that.  Is this the answer to all our problems? Hate to burst people’s bubble but no. 

I switched on to a fairly well known Liverpool YouTube live feed where they were reporting the news and giving their reaction. I switched off fairly quickly. The auld “where are the FSGOUT crowd now” seemed to be a common theme. Rather than celebrating together some were still looking to create a divide. Like as if this was bad news for any Liverpool supporter or that one side should be happier than the other. These were the same people who talked bout Klopp not wanting to spend huge money and the “FSG model” and not buying our way to success like city,  Chelsea and united. That in their eyes would be cheating. If you want a sugar daddy, you are a plastic... right?  These were the same people who laughed at the money spent on Pogba. But to hell with that now, that didn’t seem to matter now because Fenway finally did come to pay and we finally got Van Dijk. Those opposing these owners have always wanted proper investment in the team and on the stadium, while those supporting the owners talked of “we won’t buy our way to success”, “Klopp had built a squad at Dortmund hardly spending any money”, “They are adhering to financial fair play”. Suddenly none of their own arguments mattered but yet lets have a cheap dig at "FSG OUT". 

We saw in the summer the ridiculous amounts of money spent on the likes of Neymar and Mbappé and how the price tags of some of the most sought after players has reached a new level. It’s getting out of hand. Whether we like it or not, this is what football is becoming and with the revenue from commercial and TV deals ever increasing, it doesn’t look like stopping. This in my very opinion has forced FSG’s hand to dig deep. There could be a number of ways of looking at this. The Americans stand to gain a lot of money from the TV deal and have plans on selling Coutihno for a large amount either in January or the Summer. I don’t think I’m too far off the mark with thinking that. 

Either way, yes, this is a great signing and a surprise to me and many others I would imagine. This is a step in the right direction and could be seen as a show of intent (about f**king time), or it could be another false flag. It would be naive of us to think one signing clears up everything else and the 7 years of under achieving. You can be sure that if we spend that on a central defender, that the United's, the City’s and the Chelsea’s of the league will have no problem forking out that and more on players. They have been doing it for quiet some time already. It’s football nowadays. It now demands that amount of money spent on one top player. I think many would agree we have a lot more to do in improving the squad than our rivals. Bringing in players like Mané and Salah and now Van Dijk is one thing, but keeping the key players we have is another thing. With that said I for one look forward to seeing Van Dijk in a Liverpool jersey and wish him the very best. 
 




Sunday, 24 December 2017

Billy Hogan " Need more revenue from ticketing"... ticket U-turn me arse






Do not dismiss the recent remarks made by Liverpool managing director Billy Hogan. All the talk of liaising with the fans and working together is bullshit. They know the fans stance on this. They knew when they tried to flog the £77 ticket. In my opinion the £77 ticket was a façade, a scam and was there to soften the blow for end of game categorisation which would see a larger amount of tickets increase.

"The price of everything in football is going up" Hogan says. You don't say. So is the money you guys are making. What a great time to be an owner of a football club. All the commercial revenue and TV deal money sky rocketing out of the stratosphere. This is why they keep rejecting Amanda Staveley. So why is Hogan hinting at needing more revenue from ticketing?

Hogan was speaking at a recent meeting with senior club officials discussing ticketing with "invited" supporters at a fans forum earlier this month.

"So we have to look at all areas of revenue to continue to compete, but in case of ticketing the goal is to work together with this group collaboratively to find ways to address the issue and ANY INCREASE does not necessarily need to come from general admission tickets". He went on to say "There has to be more revenue from ticketing". I look forward to what Spirit Of Shankly have got to say about all of this.

Some of the FSG supporters are supporting the comments made by Hogan deeming this necessary for us to compete with the big clubs. While they claim they don't want a sugar daddy owner, it seems they have no problem with coughing up more as a fan. Is there no give and take in this relationship?

Few weeks back we saw Glazer, Henry and Kroenke all went for a lovely meal, discussing the TV money no doubt. Like flies swarming over a hot stinking shit.  Earlier this week it was reported how Premier League clubs are seeking to improve on the staggering £5.14bn current domestic television deal when the next round of bidding for rights takes place.

We remember Henry's comments made shortly after the Main Stand had reopened that "Further expansion of Anfield was in doubt due to ticket prices.

Meanwhile FSG have been dragging their knuckles on committing to "phase 2" of the expansion of Anfield.  My response to Hogan and FSG, is if you want more revenue from ticketing, get more seats... expand. The demand is there for a bigger and better Anfield and one expansion of the Main Stand is going to cater for this.

And again my questions to everyone who supports this club... does Liverpool deserve better and do the fans deserve better?

Other interesting views on the subject
https://www.thisisanfield.com/2017/12/liverpool-fc-mercy-footballs-modernising-processes/
KopTalk - "There has to be more revenue from ticketing"



Saturday, 16 December 2017

Is the juice worth the squeeze




Is The Juice Worth the Squeeze? The Argument on FSG.


For a long time, I have been part of a disheartened Liverpool fan base, Disheartened with Gillett and Hicks and not impressed with the current owners FSG. Troubles with finances, troubles on and off the pitch. It’s consumed me as a supporter so much so that the football has played second fiddle for a long long time. We have settled for the bare minimum and thanked Henry and co for it. They have been left off far too many times and delivered on very little. Indirect comments made that others would have bounced on and held them accountable for. Completely immune from criticism on the basis of a fictitious and unfortunately the wide belief that they saved us. In my opinion, to support this club is to truly care for it and not just for 90 minutes of a game and to be tuned in and not naïve and accept little or nothing from our current owners. But more on that later. 


The FSG OUT label


I hate the term/label “FSG OUT" because it sets us apart from the rest of the fan base, it tars everyone who wants the best for the club and believe we wont achieve this with the current owners as clueless plastics who will blame everything on  and off the pitch on FSG. To want us to achieve is deemed as a plastic fan. And even when logic suggests that all that is simply untrue, it still does not stop those who are besotted, obsessed and have it in for people like myself, in believing it to be true. Whether you like it or not, I am a Liverpool fan and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

The Divide within the fan base


As a fan base we have seen many divides, even within those opposing Fenway Sports Group. I have never seen as big of a divide as there is now. On a personal front, I have found it to be soul destroying and demoralizing in entering into conversation or debate over Henry, Werner and their buddies with those who think they can do no wrong. It has brought out the very worst in people and yes, that includes myself too. My approach to those on social media has been questionable at best and has sometimes questioned the sincerity in anything that I have put out there on YouTube, on our podcast and on Twitter. I am man enough to say I have been naive when it has come to all this and how I would be questioned, misquoted by any of my reactions to those on social media. Neither facts or logic have prevailed. It has usually resorted to the worst of the worst getting personal and trying to instigate a reaction from you that you will later regret. I took that bait so did others and we have been played off each other. People got personal and mentioned my family before I ever did. As much as they were wrong, I was wrong too. No excuses and I am sorry for this.


Trip to Liverpool/Break away from social media.


The last 2 months, I have taken a break from everything social media as I felt its been more anti-social than anything else. I took my father away for a weekend to see a match and became a fan again of the football and less about the politics that has ruined football in general. It was a much needed break and I haven't been in Liverpool in a while. I was amazed of how the city has developed and grown since I was last over. It is an amazing city and don’t believe there’s anywhere like it. I was in the heart of the Kop where a stranger, a fellow Liverpool fan, regardless of where my dad and I were from, helped him up off his chair each time he wanted to stand up.  Singing at the top of our lungs "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the "Fields of Anfield Road" along with the rest of our fans, was quite possibly one of the most emotional part of my recent visit to Liverpool. I didn't feel alienated from the fan base which I have quite often felt on social media. There was no bullshit over nationality and your right as a Liverpool fan or right to declare yourself a Liverpool fan. There was no bullshit over someone questioning your loyalty as a Liverpool fan. There was absolutely no bullshit at all. And there's the difference between reality and (anti-)social media. No one stopped me walking into the Kop and asked for my passport to see my nationality. No one questioned my loyalty nor did I question theirs.

No one wants FSG to fail

Of course, I would have preferred that the owners who took over the mess from Gillett and Hicks had been the right ones and I would have preferred that they would be as passionate about Liverpool as I have been and our fan base have been but I don't believe that to be the case and even though I have given them plenty of opportunity to redeem themselves, and they have had plenty of time to do so, I don't believe that a leopard changes their spots. They are waiting for the new TV money deal and they are only interested in the money they will eventually make when they sell this great club. I have no doubt in my mind that we as a group have been right and have been dead on the money about John W. Henry and FSG. 

Let Common Sense prevail


The question remains, was the juice worth the squeeze? We were only pointing out what we thought most fans knew already. The answer is it hasn't been worth it. Was it worth all the hassle and the social media nonsense? Nope. Despite what the cretins on social media may suggest, I have had more stress from doing this than anything. I can wholeheartedly understand why a Liverpool fan wouldn't want to get involved in any FSG out movement (if you can call it a movement) with all the hassle people have been getting for it.

Was the juice worth the squeeze for those opposing anyone anti-FSG and their methods they have used in challenging people opposing FSG? Nope. I have yet to talk to someone and have them present to me anything logical or relevant where I have come out of the conversation, thinking that person has a point. I think we all came out of those conversations dumber and wondering why we wasted our time. Could these people not have their say without resorting to personal insults? I have some respect (not much) for those who don’t hide behind an alias or a make up profile to voice their disdain for me or anyone who agrees with me about the owners. Those usually using a fake identity or someone else’s are somebody who exhibits sadistic type behavior behind the veil of internet anonymity where they have unfettered access to an online playground wherein they can act upon these dark tendencies without the normal restrictions that real world face to face social environments prevent. I’d imagine these people are very unhappy in themselves but if their anonymity was taken away,  I pose the same question, was the juice worth the squeeze? I doubt they would want to test that.  I doubt very much that they can say or anyone looking at them say that the time and effort they put in was all worth it. Highly unlikely. The people that hide their identities have a lot more to hide than those who don't and have a lot more to lose. Lets say if these people did shut me up permanently if that's what they are trying to achieve here, what would it achieve when others are turning on FSG too? In the grander scheme of things, I will be a small cog in a big wheel. In this group I was part of a team. It was never a one man show. So in either case, whatever side of the argument you are on, and in whatever way you have presented your side of things, I believe none of it was worth the effort of the arguments and bickering online. The latest nonsense is people posting up peoples addresses and photos of their house and trying to effect their livelihood, What's that about? What are you trying to achieve by that? Validating your point of view by being a dick? If you cannot have a conversation about football and back what you believe to be true with some facts and figures and resort to that, you don't belong in a football stadium and you need to avoid conversations that would demand some sort of intellect and maturity. Shit gone crazy. It is extremely hard to keep your composure when dealing with that carry on. If you react to it, you are in danger of behaving like them. Another reason why I needed to step away from all of this. That's social media for ya. 

Now back to Liverpool. I don't want to go against the fan base and I think if there is to be any protests of any kind against these owners, then the majority of Liverpool fans need to approve of it and support it. I think the only way the majority of the fan base will go against FSG is if it hits the fans pockets and they have another PR Blunder. At that stage it maybe too late to do anything. With talks of Staveley and co being close to a Newcastle United takeover, I feel it would be a lost opportunity for this club. I believe she cares enough about Liverpool to want the proper owners at this club rather than a Chelsea season ticket holder having Liverpool's fate in his hands and handing the club to a bottom of the barrel deal. From my visit to Anfield, yes, the Main Stand is amazing. Outside the main stand is amazing. The new Liverpool store is amazing. However, the rest of the stadium is completely overlooked and over shadowed and not to the standard of a top 4 premier league club. While the football of late has been brilliant and Mohamed Salah has been certainly been the signing of the year, do we have any faith in the committee to do the right thing in the upcoming transfer windows and in keeping our key players and bringing in the right players? Do we have faith in the owners to do right for this club? Certainly up till now we have no reason to put such faith in them. Too much has gone on with this crowd that would suggest that they cannot be trusted. We have learned from very early on through the emails that were going back and forth to FSG shown in the court documents that they are only in this for themselves.  

As for this group Fenway We Come Not To Pay and myself and my involvement in "FSG OUT", I am perfectly happy sitting back for the time being and being a Liverpool fan. I am not sure I want to waste my time and energy getting involvement in anymore crap online, egos and dealing with all that again. I would be perfectly willing to partake and get involved in a protest against these owners as long as it was done properly and had the right people involved and a good amount involved in it otherwise I don't see much point in rehashing over the same things and doing it on social media. I'm not here for my ego or for anyone else's

Common Ground

In closing, what every Liverpool fan, whether its local or worldwide need to ask themselves is this;
  • Does Liverpool Football Club deserve better?
  • Do the fans deserve better?
If the answer to both questions is yes, then we should all want more from these current owners and in failing to get that, get owners that will better represent the club and us the fans. It is that simple. We as fans have the right to hold these owners accountable and maybe a plane over Anfield wasn't a great idea and maybe a one man protest didn't have the desired effect but the worst thing I could think of is not doing anything at all.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Chat with Jay McKenna


Anyone who will have followed this group, should know at this stage, I am a passionate Liverpool fan who wants the very best for the club and has good intentions. I don't beat around the bush, I say it how I see it and don't apologies for it. I don't wear rose tinted goggles. Some will take me up incorrectly, and class me as a charlatan or a Manc or a plastic. I will admit I have got it wrong and in this case I have with Jay McKenna and Spirit Of Shankly.  I haven't done any favors for my group Fenway We Come Not To Pay, the admins, past or present or this "FSGOUT" campaign. Sometimes the passion for the cause gets me in trouble and I am man enough to admit that.

Last night, Jay and I got to speak to each other finally on our podcast. He brought up some extremely good points and revealed a couple of things that were a bit of a surprise. He was candid and open and answered everything that we put to him. Throughout this podcast, it was done in a civil and mannerly way. He addressed any misconceptions that there may be about himself and Spirit Of Shankly.

At the risk of misquoting Jay or being accused of it, I would advise all interested in this topic to listen to this podcast/YouTube video and see what he has to say.

Chat with Jay McKenna

If we are concerned about the well being of the club and concerned about the way this club is going under this current ownership, then we have to do this united as Liverpool supporters, as a whole. A difference of opinion should not divide us. These owners and the previous owners have done that enough. Its time we got our act together.

As of now, I recommend those who are anti-FSG to join the Spirit Of Shankly as I have just done so now. The only way this campaign evolves is to have our voices heard outside and especially outside of social media. This now needs to be done in a civil mature manner if we want this taken seriously.


http://www.spiritofshankly.com/join








Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Summer Transfer Review 2017



So lets put the Pro FSG, FSG out nonsense aside for a second and review this window as fairly and realistically as possible. This window, media hyped it to being the biggest transfer kitty ever and that it would break records. ITK's got their clickbait ready and there were likes, shares and retweets with the speculation that this window was going to be different to any other we have seen. They were in their element. People hanging on their every word. Updates at 10:30, press conferences called for noon. We now have champions league football, we now have the extra revenue from the Main Stand and the TV money and we now have Klopp. Surely there could be no reason why we couldn't land our top targets?

The general view of a transfer window is to improve on the squad, strengthen the positions that need strengthening, get rid of the deadwood and progress from last season. I think all of us can at least agree that the back 5 was of some concern to every Liverpool fan. Has this window changed all that? In short, no. With Sakho finally ending his turbulent relationship with Klopp and making a permanent move to Crystal Palace for £26 million, it would have been crucial for us to sign a defender or two. Why didn't we?

We had been told the money was there. We fecked around over Salah for nearly a month. Eventually we got him. A target of ours since 2012, we finally get this player who performed very well for Roma the season before. A more developed player since his days at FC Basel and Chelsea.

There was one name on every Liverpool supporters/fans lips and that was Virgil Van Dijk. He had been a target of ours for a while and we had all been convinced that he was going to sign for Liverpool and end our defensive woes this summer. Immediately after Southampton accused us of tapping, we folded too quickly and offered an apology to Southampton and their fans and announced that we would withdraw any interest for the player. We thought this would not be the last of it and would force Van Dijk's hand to hand in a transfer request. Even when he did that and stated he wanted to move to Liverpool, we left him high and dry. We acted like he was the only centre back out there and yet there was absolutely no sense of urgency to put in a bid. According to Chris Bascombe, we had assured the Southampton hierarchy that we would only put in a bid for Van Dijk if they invited us to. That is some lame ass shit and a very weak hand to play in a very aggressive transfer market. Rumors had it CEO and twitter tweeter Peter Moore and John W. Henry had come over to ask questions of Edwards and also to speak to the Premier league. Later it was discovered that they were looking to get a bigger slice of the pie in the TV money.

With the signings of Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson, our window never seemed to gain momentum. Sure these young players have potential but are they first team ready or just squad players? We were led to believe that a revitalized Moreno was like a new signing to us and Milner playing in his natural position was too.

RB Leipzig played hardball for the majority of the season in our pursuit in Naby Keita. The money being talked about this player was huge and we soon saw that this would be a common trend this summer window with Neymar going from Barcelona to PSG for under £200 million. In my opinion we spent far too long messing about over this and questions were already raised about Mike Edwards negotiation skills.

For the rest of the season we were fighting off the advances of Barcelona and their pursuit in Coutinho. All seemed lost when the player himself handed in his request to leave the club. Suddenly it wasn't about signing players but about keeping this fella.

It seemed in the dying hours of what was left of this window, we made one last ditch effort to be seen to be interested in bringing in someone. We had agreed to sign Naby Keita... NEXT YEAR. That's great but lets focus on this season yeah? Talks of Van Dijk resurfaced but we didn't get that "open invite" from Southampton strangely enough. There were talks of us signing Thomas Lemar right from under Arsenals noses. That eventually saw neither team get him but Lemar had stated he wanted to play for us as well. To add salt to the wounds of Arsenal, we signed Oxlade Chamberlain. He turned down Chelsea, and more money to sign for less money but sign for the club hes supported as a child, Liverpool FC. While I welcome any player that puts a club before money, I do not know where this player will fit in.

While it is refreshing to hear that according to the football observatory that Mohamed Salah was the best value signing of the summer, this does nothing for our defensive woes. I think next summer every Liverpool fan is resigned to the fact that we will give in to the advances of Barcelona and be losing Philippe Coutinho. Its what we do with that money we receive for him that concerns me. In the meantime we have a player that does not want to be at Anfield and defensive issues still a worry at the club. With more games this season, with champions league football, could we see these players tire out a lot quicker than last season or will Klopp apply a rotational system?

Critics and fans alike feel that this window has been a led down.

Courtesy of @5timesco
Courtesy of @TheLFCPoll
Courtesy of @empireofthekop
So as you can see, from polls that are neither Pro FSG or Anti FSG, majority of fans are unhappy. The big question is who is to blame? We can all speculate as to whose responsible but these transfer issues have been here before Klopp and have been an issue since FSG have taken over the club. 

For me, this window failed to excite and failed to strengthen Liverpool's major weakness the past couple of years. Carragher, Redknapp, Nicol, Aldridge, Fowler have all called out the owners over this. Some will see keeping Coutinho has a success and therefore the window has been a success but I feel that this could also lead to problems throughout the season for us.

In our podcast I discussed with DJ Selecta Skills this summers window. Check it out, subscribe and give it a like.









Saturday, 12 August 2017

Klopp opens can of worms




After the opening match of the new season for us ending in stalemate at Vicarage Road, its safe to say, same shit different year. Former Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann tweeted; "If you score 3 goals away to Watford and don't come away with a win then we best get prepared for another long season". And indeed Hamann is right... as is Nicol, as is John Aldridge, Jamie Carragher and Redknapp. But enough about that... tell us again how FSG saved us. Love that story.

This summer had been talked about as being the summer to break all records. Little did we know it was the same fucking record we play every year hearing of players linked with us and then how we been let down again and haven't signed enough to improve our squad and position from last season. If after 7 years you don't know what the problems are at this club, then you are part of the problems.

Players are not interested in sponsors on their sleeve, sponsors in the ground, sponsors on their chest. Some may not even give a damn about moving from Melwood to Kirkby. They may not even be all that excited over redeveloped of Anfield and surrounding areas. If you are to keep players of the same caliber of Philippe Coutinho then you need to have a common ground, their ambitions need to be the same. If not, you lose them. Calling Coutinho a traitor or a rat doesn't make him so. Would you stick in a job where you couldn't progress in? We need to look at ourselves.

Klopp has been adamant that Coutinho is going nowhere. With FSG's statement over the Brazilians future and shortly followed by Philippe handing in a transfer request, I don't think we can hope he will stay for an extra year. Jurgen has been heavily criticized over the summer and some of the statements hes made about Moreno during pre-season and not needing a centre back. Some wondered if he was becoming FSG's yes man. I think the statement he made after today's draw put any thought of that to rest.

When speaking about the situation with Coutinho, he stated the following;

"I have bosses yeah? And if bosses decide for example, just in general, we sell a player or we don't sell him, then I have to accept it. If we don't sell him then I'm not involved anymore. I'm responsible for all the players. I've to work with the players I have."

You can watch the full Post Match Conference here This is Anfield

Sounds a little like Rafa when Benitez was told off by Gillett and Hicks when he wanted to sign a few players. The "I'm just a coach, I have to do with what I have" comment. Remember that?

Hicks has told Benítez 'to quit talking about new players

While I fully expect the FSG PR puppets and biased media to brush over this and not give it a moments thought, Klopp is saying a lot more about his position at the club than he is Coutinho's. The biggest mistake we could make is ignoring it.  Klopp's comments show that he has the same restraints as the managers before him under FSG and show us that there is a bigger problem at this club.








Thursday, 27 July 2017

"We don't want to be like Chelsea, United or City" - Dispelling a Myth




"We don’t’ want to be like Chelsea, United or City” – Dispelling a Myth


Across social media as a Liverpool fan, I constantly see the phrase “we don’t’ want to be like Chelsea, United or City” and I am sure that you have seen it many times yourself. But what does this actually mean? Is it that we don’t want to be winning trophies and titles like these clubs? Or is it that we don’t want to be spending large amounts of money on players and wages known as “buying the league”? I’m inclined to think it’s the latter with Pogba’s incredible £89million fee being the go-to statistic. However, in modern football, it is very clear that both winning trophies and spending large amounts of money on top quality players are very intrinsically linked.

Lets look at this in a fundamental way. Very generally speaking, if you have the best players in your squad then you are going to win most of your games and therefore win trophies and be successful. I completely understand there are many more factors to this such as the manager and their system (as we saw with Chelsea from last season to this season) as well as other anomalies (Leicester last season), but generally I believe having the best players means you win more. If this weren’t true, then teams would be finishing in very different positions in the league every season. Instead we see general trends for teams’ league positions e.g. Arsenal finishing in the top 4, Sunderland being near relegation, Stoke being mid-table etc. This applies to the other leagues across Europe such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus etc. all finishing at the top of their leagues almost every year. Quite clearly, they all have the best players.

So what is Liverpool’s trend? In the last seven years, we have finished 8th twice, 7th twice, 6th twice and 2nd once. We have also won one League Cup in this period. Our trend is to be outside of the top 4, just above mid-table and not winning many trophies. Lets look at Chelsea, City and United. Chelsea have won the title twice, (look likely to win it again this season), finished in the top four five times and have won five *other major trophies. City have won the title twice, finished in the top four six times and won three other major trophies. United have also won the league twice, finished in the top four five times and have won three major trophies (including this years League Cup). This illustrates the clear gulf in class between the three mentioned clubs and Liverpool FC.

We are not a successful club at present - not even close. Achieving top four this season was the absolute minimum requirement and this is looking more unlikely to happen as weeks go by. Liverpool do not have the squad depth or the quality of players to be able to properly compete and be successful. United’s recent League Cup win stands testament to this. Indeed they were massively helped out by a very poor decision ruling out Southampton’s perfectly legitimate goal. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic – an experienced, world class, top quality player scored two goals and won them that trophy. Is there a single player at Liverpool we can call experienced, world class and top quality? Let me help you out here; no.

This is the type of player we need for us to win trophies, be successful and consistently finish in the top four. Worryingly, we are failing to attract this kind of top talent to come and play for Liverpool. Not offering the required wages and transfer fees to obtain these players is what I believe is the difference between Liverpool and the three named clubs. Lallana has recently signed a new deal worth £110,000 making him one of our top owners. On the other hand, Ibrahimovic and Pogba of United are earning over £200,000, double that of one of our top earners. Costa and Hazard of Chelsea are also near the £200,000 mark. Aguero and Toure at City are just over £200,000 as well. Plus, many of the first team players at these clubs are earning £100-£200,000 such as De Bruyne, Courtouis, Kante and Mkhitaryan to name a few. These are the top players that make the difference in football matches yet our team doesn’t seem to possess anyone of this ilk. Since May 2015, FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules have been “eased” (aka not enforced) meaning that these high wages and transfer fees have not negatively affected these clubs. People may argue about debt, particularly at Man United, but I don’t see this affecting the club negatively in terms of trophies and success.

Something else I see a lot of on social media is the notion that Liverpool don’t want players who are on big wages as they are “just after the money” or “don’t have the right mentality”. Let me ask you this; do you see Eden Hazard’s £200,000 a week wages affecting his football on the pitch? It is a completely nonsensical argument. Apply this to all of the players I have named above and I think you will come to the same conclusion. All top players in the world are on huge wages: Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Neymar Bale etc and this does not seem to be affecting their abilities as footballers. I am also not saying that having high wages makes you a great player such as Graziano Pelle and others in China. But it is quite clear to me that having top players and a great team will lead to success and to attract those players we need to be offering top wages and transfer fees. It is the unfortunate reality of modern football; we need to either adapt to it or continue on our path of mediocrity. Modern football will not adapt itself to accommodate Liverpool FC.

To conclude, I think it is an absolute nonsense that people say, “we don’t want to be like City, United or Chelsea”. These clubs are successful in terms of winning trophies and have world class players in their squads; neither of which can be applied to Liverpool. Who in their right mind as a Liverpool fan wouldn’t want that?! We have changed managers, players, backroom staff, CEO’s and much more in the last seven years. One thing that has stayed the same is the owners, FSG, and their current regime. For us to progress and be successful it seems there must be a drastic change either in this regime or with FSG themselves.




*Other major trophies: F.A. Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League




Sources:


http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/worlds-highest-paid-footballers-cristiano-9511170





Monday, 24 July 2017

Something not quite right at Liverpool


Some of us were in euphoria and tears as we got 4th spot. Liverpool FC were back and with a chance of competing in next seasons Champions League. There was a media frenzy and we were all led to believe that this summer would see record amount of signings, record transfer fees and that Liverpool were finally going to get the investment they had been calling out to bolster our squad. Pro FSG accuse FSG Out of wanting rich oil barons and we are told to support Chelski and City and that they don't want to buy the league... yet none of them had one objection to the rumors that this summer was gonna be big.

£100 million warchest... no no... wait a minute... £150 million warchest... nope... try again, lets make it £200 million of a warchest. With the extra revenue generated from the Main Stand, the TV money and the profit made in the last 2 consecutive windows, even those within the FSGOUT brigade thought, maybe, just maybe we would all have something to cheer about. May 21st, when Liverpool beat relegated Middlesborough to secure 4th spot and the Champions league August's final qualifying round, Klopp announced "the work is pretty much done" when asked about the transfer window. This was music to all our ears. The work is pretty much done... really?

This wouldn't be the first time a Liverpool manager said something and was let down by the powers that be. And questions have to be asked... WHAT THE F**K IS GOING ON AT LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB?

Van Dijk

Has to be said, this was our main target and we fast to kick that target to the curb when Southampton accused Liverpool of tapping. Liverpool put out a statement apparently without Klopp realizing this or being told about it where they issued our an apology to Southampton and their fans for any offense caused and that we would withdraw any interest in the player. Not a mention of the Liverpool fans. Not a mention of the disappointment we must of felt, the egg in the face when we thought we were signing this player.  Peter Moore was said to meet the Premier League with Henry with regards to the issue with Southampton but was later discovered they wanted a bigger slice of the pie with regards to TV money. Good to see they have their priorities straight.

The only way we were going to get Van Dijk was if the player put in a transfer request. We were totally at the mercy of the player and were sitting ducks waiting by the telephone to see if Van Dijk had handed in a request and we got a call saying "come get me."

In the last couple of days, he has advised Southampton that he wants to leave the club. And the message to come from us... "We will buy Virgil Van Dijk but only if Southampton want us to." No matter what way you want to word it... that is our stance at the moment. Van Dijk has said he wants to move to Liverpool and we are faffing about again. Its embarrassing and no doubt there will be some twists and turns before the window closes on this one. No matter who he follows on instagram, its not going to get him any closer to wearing a Liverpool jersey. Some work is required to get this deal over the line. Are we capable of that?

Naby Keita

No body puts Naby in the corner. Another one of our main targets. The negotiations resemble something out of Father Ted and Mrs Doyle trying to convince you to have a cup of tea. In fairness to Mrs Doyle, I think has better negotiation skills than Mike Edwards whose still licking his wounds from the Van Dijk tapping fiasco. "Ah go on... NOOOO... Go on, Go on, Go on, Nooooooooooo"
Rumors suggest RB Leipzig have said Naby Keita is not for sale and have rejected two bids already from Liverpool. Its believed another bid has been made but RB Leipzig have said that hes staying and that its a matter of principal. I hope our owners will think of this if a bid from Barcelona comes in for Coutinho.

The actual signings

30th May, it was announced Dominic Solanke had agreed to join Liverpool on the expiration of his contract with Chelsea for a compensation fee to be set by a tribunal as hes a homegrown player under the age of 24. Hes a talented young lad but God help him with the pressure that comes with wearing a Liverpool jersey and the fact he may not yet be first team ready. A player for the future.

In 2014, yet again Liverpool refused to pay the extra few million to sign this gentleman up from FC Basel and ended up at Chelsea. He joined them for a fee reported to be in the region of £11 million. June 22nd, Mohamed Salah agrees to move to Liverpool for an initial fee of €42 million from Roma. Salah most definitely will feature in the first team and will be a very very exciting player for Liverpool.

Just last week we signed Hull City left back Andy Robertson for a reported fee of £10 million. Klopp believes the Scottish international has the ability to get even better whilst playing for us this coming season.  The arrival of Robertson leaves some doubt as to whether he will be our back up left back behind Milner and Moreno.

We have 6 weeks

Robbie Fowler believes we need to spend at least £200 million to progress from where we ended up last season and with other clubs around us improving and strengthening their squad, the pressure is really on for us to pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat. I think it is safe to say, with the 3 signings we have made, only one of them is going to be a regular in the first 11. So I revert back to Klopp's statement after the Middlesborough game. "The work is almost done." Proof is in the pudding and it does not look from the outside looking in that the work was almost done, was anywhere near done, and not only that, but there doesn't seem to be a plan B.

All the ITK's and the FSG PR pushers can tell me there's a big week ahead of us all they like but there is something not quite right at Liverpool.

As a Liverpool fan, the success I want to see is on the pitch. I couldn't care less of sponsorship deals and commercial deals. While it makes the club better financially, it does not seem to benefit us on the pitch. We have two problems in my eyes. If its not the money, its the negotiations and either way, the book stops at FSG, not Klopp. After all, he said the work was almost done. So someone is not holding up their end of the bargain. Someone is letting the side down. Does this look like a club that has the work done already in the transfer window? Do you honestly feel that between now and the end of the window, we will bring in players that will be first team ready and make a positive impact on our season?

If we do not show ambition and show some aggression in this transfer window, we may not lose Philippe Coutinho this season, but you can be sure January or next summer we will. We cannot expect these players to wait about for the owners to realize this is a Football club and not their cash cow. These players are motivated by money and silverware. Look at Torres and Suarez who left Liverpool and want they have achieved since leaving Liverpool.

Some don't want to buy success and that is fine but lets just aim to be better. Liverpool used to set the bar of excellence, now we are getting beaten with it over the head.



Naby Next Year?


This Summer window have seen Liverpool FC have more knock backs than I had looking to take someone out for my debs. Our pursuit of Naby Keita is similar to asking your best mate to ask the one you fancied to go out with you. RB Leipzig have been the controlling parents that have always closed the door on your face when you came to the doorstep with a bunch of flowers.

While it is rumored that Keita wants the move to Liverpool, Leipzig have turned down our advances and turned down 2 bids for the 21 year old Guinea midfielder both rumored to be £57 million and £66 million.

Liverpool look resigned to the fact they will not get Keita this summer but Naby next year?!! Apparently there is a £48 million release clause in his contract effective next year. The German side have issued a hands off our Naby this year, saying he is 110% staying put for the moment and that it is a matter of principle.

Many fans will read into the training ground bust up that Naby had with his fellow team mate Diego Demme in Austria today. German newspaper Blind reported Keita made a brutal tackle on Demme resulting in the training session to be called off. Blind have speculated that this is Naby showing his frustration at his current situation and not being able to join Liverpool, however video footage did show that Keita had been floored in a tackle that angered the Guinea midfielder and resulted in his tackle in retaliation.

Either way, we have 6 weeks to bring in reinforcements and we don't have much time if at all any to pursue this guy any further. Robbie Fowler stated that Liverpool need to spend at least £200 million this window otherwise he fears we will not progress from last season. With other clubs making some additions to their squad, Liverpool need to get their shit together.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Ultimate Guide to FSG



To some the writing is very much on the wall. The facts are there for people to find for themselves, however there are those who are misled by biased media and those afraid to question this ownership in the fear of being ridiculed and classed as a "plastic fan".

The real issue at Liverpool Football Club is not just the ownership, but it is the media protecting them, its the fans with low expectations and settling for Henry, Werner and Co as they don't know of alternatives and the fear of it going back to the days of Gillett and Hicks. Its scare tactics like this that the PR machine thrive on. Where would Liverpool FC be if it hadn't been for FSG?

The expectations have been managed so well that FSG don't need to explain themselves anymore. There's no need for an open letter. The excuses are made for them.

The facts, as I said, are easy for anyone to research. These facts blow out of the water any argument in support of Fenway Sports Group.

The Court Documents

This very much sets the tone and gives the fans an idea of what to expect of what was then named New England Sports Venture. The court documents dispels any assumption that FSG were the only option and doesn't exactly paint them in the Superman light as they are being portrayed by some of the fan base and media. FSG didn't see a distress signal from across the pond that Liverpool Football Club were in trouble. Henry didn't put on his cape, round off the rest of FSG like the Avengers or The Justice League and fly off to save us. Liverpool FC were on the cheap, they wouldn't be this cheap ever again. They saw massive potential of making a lot of money.

In emails to and from Henry and members of FSG, the words "steal", "exploit" were mentioned. You can warp the interpretation of how it was worded and try and twist the context in which it was used in all you like, but there is ABSOLUTELY no question at all that FSG saw this as an opportunity to steal a franchise, cut costs, exploit a club in trouble and branch out on their brand worldwide.

FSG DID NOT SAVE LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB. The deadline was not set by RBS. It was set by Martin Broughton. Administration was something Broughton had asked the Premier League about and there was nothing to suggest that Liverpool would have gone into administration had FSG not taken us over. Had we gone into administration we would have finished one place below where we actually finished. Henry even considered letting Liverpool take a point reduction. A lot of the fan base and media run to FSG's defense and make them immune from any criticism whatsoever by saying "They saved us." This is simply not true.

The court case itself in the New York Supreme Court has been played down by certain parts of the media, but puts question marks over how Liverpool FC was sold and over whether there was some underhanded behavior seeing other bidders like Peter Lim ignored as RBS and Broughton favoured and pushed FSG's bid over the line. It had been said by Christian Purslow that FSG's bid was bottom of the barrel deal. Again this has been played down by the media after we published screenshots of the emails sent to and from John W. Henry. There was even a character assassination on Peter Lim who is now the unpopular owner of Valencia. He wouldn't have been too popular when he hired Gary and Phil Neville.

In the emails, it also shows that before even stepping inside Anfield, FSG had no intention whatsoever in building a new stadium and were happy to build a few corporate seats onto Anfield. While no one wants to leave Anfield, it seems from the start they were cutting costs and looking to reap the profits and benefits of their investment regardless of whether it benefited the club or the fan base in the long run.


Their Track Record.

If the court documents didn't prove their intentions, their track record certainly does. Before reviewing their time at Liverpool so far, the keywords used under their tenure are "moneyball", "financial fair play", "resale value" "PR" , "Transfer Committee", "potential".

We can bring up their success at Boston RedSox and harp on about that, but very little mention made anywhere with regards to Werner and the San Diego Padres and the fire sale of 1993.

You can read all about it in Hardball Times, where they describe Werner, a TV executive who was ill prepared for the reality of baseball and goes into details of such disastrous PR stunts like Rosanne Barr singing the national anthem and the fire sale of 93 where they offloaded the high earners, brought in young, cheap and potential stars which saw the manager resign and replaced with a young inexperienced manager... sound familiar?



PR Blunders

Where do we start? There's been plenty of them. Jen Chang became Head of Communications in the Summer of 2011. His time at Liverpool was short lived and the first real blunder for FSG when Change was forced out in November 2012. His position at the club had been under scrutiny since allegations that he threatened a Liverpool supporter who had set up a high profile blog posing as a journalist @duncanjenkinsFC.

The club had to issue out an apology to Fulham when FSG affiliated website prematurely announced the signing of then transfer target Clint Demspey, FSG then refused to pay the asking price and saw Dempsey signing for Spurs instead.

The ticket price fiasco and walk out on 77 last year. The open letter and apology to the fans which didn't seem so sincere after months later Henry did an interview in New York where he said it would be unlikely that there would be further expansion of Anfield due to ticket prices. Wail till the price freeze comes off.

We have been banned from signing academy players after being found guilty of an illegal approach to a prospective youth signing at Stoke City. We have also been accused of falsifying documents at the heart of tapped-up schoolboy case.

Then you have the apology to Southampton and their fans when we were accused of approaching Virgil Van Dijk and ending our interest in the defender.

Comolli And Rodgers

Former Director of football strategy at Liverpool Damien Comolli has on several occasions let the cat out of the bag and exposed FSG and their MoneyBall restrictions on the club. Comolli had stated that the owners set transfer restrictions on the club, demanding that new signings had to be under 21 and a set budget of £8.5 million per player.

Former manager Brendan Rodgers stated in an interview on Goals on Sunday on Sky Sports the restrictions the manager was under, with the transfer committee and their policies which for a while was hidden behind the smokescreen of Financial Fair Play before those rules had been relaxed.  Rodgers also stated in an interview with BT Sport, the freedom he has as Celtic manager in recruiting the players he wants even despite not having the financial pull of the Premier League.

Again, people can dismiss this as sour grapes due to how they left the club but with the facts and track record of failed signings throughout the 7 years, its all stacking up against FSG and this cannot be ignored or dismissed any longer.

The Misleading Media.

While the Main Stand is fantastic and a much needed improvement, there are questions over the information put out there in the media. First, this was an interest free loan. Then it's a 1.24% interest loan. This is not funded from cash reserves nor is it an interest free loan. No matter what way this is worded, FSG have given this loan to Liverpool to fund the Main Stand which essentially is a debt that the club has which will be paid off by us or added to the value of the club should FSG sell it off. The  expansion of the Main Stand is not geared towards the average fan and more focused on high value corporate seating. This is also why FSG are stalling on further expansion of Anfield, in particular Anfield Road. Ayre mentioned that it would not be financially viable. Henry, as stated earlier mentioned that further expansion was in doubt due to the ticket price issues. It was believed that FSG only had till August this year before the planning permission on Anfield road expired, and had been reported in some media that that was the case up until recently. We emailed Liverpool City Council to get some clarity. The response was "The outline planning permission for the redevelopment of Anfield Road Stand expires on 24th August 2019, that means by that date LFC will have to either renew the outline planning consent for a further time period or submit a Reserved Matters application for determination which would include all details pertaining to redevelopment of this stand."

You would think with all the commercial and sponsorship deals on top of the TV money that this would help fund the Main Stand and go a long way to further expand Anfield.

Moving from Melwood

While the decision to move from Melwood to Kirkby was a decision long overdue, its also deemed by certain media as another feather in FSG's hat and showing that they are investing back in to the club. However, very little has been said about FSG's plans for the Melwood site and plans to build more houses have come with a lot of objection from the West Derby Society as it would put a lot of pressure on the infrastructure there. You can be sure the £50 million put in, will fast be recouped from the sale of the Melwood site not to forget the endless possibilities of commercial deals and sponsorship deals coming from Kirkby. Profit Profit Profit.




The Financial Reports

But that's not the only thing the media have misled us over. The financial report just released in March 2017. Its a nice twist of the facts and words to suit and please the fans. The media suggest that Liverpool's wage bill is higher than other premier league teams. That is not completely untrue in terms of the overall wage bill, but its not the playing and coaching staff that accounts for the biggest share of the outgoings.

The figures being reported say that Liverpool paid £208.25 million in wages during the 2015/2016 season. Manchester City's was £198 million while Arsenal was £195 million. So whats the problem I hear you say? Well nothing if you didn't delve a bit deeper.

Total Sportek paint a different story entirely. Based on figures provided by them, it puts things very much into perspective.

Weekly Players Wage Bill

  1. Manchester City   £2.61 million
  2. Manchester Utd    £2.52 million
  3. Chelsea                 £1.92 million
  4. Arsenal                 £1.76 million
  5. Liverpool FC        £1.53 million

Annual Player Wage Bill

  1.  Manchester City   £135.72 million
  2.  Manchester Utd.   £131.04 million
  3.  Chelsea                 £99.89 million
  4. Arsenal                  £91.78 million
  5.  Liverpool FC        £79.35 million
So based on these figures listed, the balance of the wages for the club is £128.9 million. Klopp's annual salary comes in at £7.5 million per year.

So what are we not being told? There's not much mention of the number of administration and commercial staff at the club in comparison to our rivals. These figures are accurate based on annual accounts of the respective clubs.

Administration/Commercial Staff Per Club

  1.  Liverpool  - 500
  2. Arsenal       - 364
  3. Man Utd     - 206
  4. Chelsea      - 206
  5. Man City   - 170
  6. Spurs         -  133
And no doubt we will be adding to this with the inclusion of the "Supporters liaison group" headed by Tony Barrett in future financial reports. We have said this time and time again, FSG are only interested in the business side of this and these figures clearly prove that. While we have offloaded the high earners of the club, FSG have increased the staffing numbers by 14% in the 2015/2016 season, while the actual number of playing and coaching staff fell during the same period from 145 to 139. Where are their priorities? Aren't we a football club after all? Think about this when we are low balling potential targets into joining the club and missing out on targets because we weren't willing to pay the wage. Questions have to be asked as to why we need so many administration/commercial staff. 


The Transfer Committee

Never has a club had so much scrutiny over their methods and policies of negotiating with clubs, transfer targets and negotiating new contracts with their own players than Liverpool Football Club. Football analysts, critics, writers, former Liverpool players, pundits have all criticized Liverpool for their failed policies. The list of players that could have been Liverpool players is incredible.  Here's a list of just a few that we missed out on under FSG and their transfer policies.

  1. Gotze
  2. Konoplyanka
  3. Willian
  4. Costa
  5. Reus
  6. Douglas Costa
  7. Pulisic
  8. Salah in 2014
  9. Hazard
  10. Eriksen
  11. Sigurdsson
  12. Mustafi
  13. Draxler
  14. Brandt
  15. Sané
  16. Xhaka
  17. Texeira
  18. Sessegnon
  19. Remy
  20. Hector
  21. Dahoud
  22. Zielinski
  23. Dempsey
  24. Mkhitaryan
  25. Keita (Balde)
  26. De Vrij
  27. Chilwell
  28. Berahino
  29. Alli
  30. Alexis Sanchez
Under FSG, we have developed a very bad reputation with our wheeling and dealing. Dnipro Kiev had very little compliments to make when we spent two January windows faffing about in the pursuit of Yeven Konoplyanka. Neither were Shakhtar Donestk when we were constantly bidding under the asking price for Alex Teixeira, a player who wanted to join Liverpool. Many fans have blamed previous manager Brendan Rodgers for not having the pulling power in bringing some of these top players to the club. While we have seen some shake ups and change of positions, the problems still remain, we should look at the transfer committee while Rodgers was at Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers First Team Manager 2012 - 2015

Ian Ayre explained that Rodgers had a team of people that go out and do an inordinate amount of analysis work to establish who the best players in that position. It was of the opinion that Rodgers would brief his team on the positions to fill, the scouting team then provide recommendations and the committee collectively value the player accordingly, in terms of value and also wages.
Rodgers interviews on Goals on Sunday after he left Liverpool revealed if the player he wanted wasn't on the list, he had to pick what the committee had selected otherwise he was left with no one. In other words, Rodgers did not have the final say.


Dave Fallows Head Of Recruitment

Fallows role at Liverpool was similar to the one he had at Manchester City. He was a key part of City's staff where his roles was "Football Scouting and Recruitment Coordinator" involved assigning scouts, filtering reports, preparing recommendations and presentations on the club's targets, and compiling a database of scouted players. Fallows works alongside chief scout Barry Hunter.

Michael Edwards Head Of Performance and Analysis (Now Sporting Director)

Edwards was the least well-known of the committee. He was appointed at the club by Damien Comolli having worked alongside him at Spurs where he was head of performance analysis. He's known as the MoneyBall Guy or the Laptop guru and in 2017, he had taken up the role of Sporting Director and overseen most of Ian Ayres responsibilities when he left for Germany earlier this year.

Ian Ayre (Former) Managing Director

He became managing director in March 2011 and when Comolli was sacked in 2012, he was given extra responsibility. He was in charge of negotiation deals with clubs and potential targets. Despite a lot of criticism within the fan base, FSG promoted him as Chief Executive in 2014. He was criticized heavily for his role in the proposed increase in ticket prices despite the boosts in commercial revenue. He stepped down earlier this year for a very brief stint in Germany as 1860 Munich managing director. He left his position when Munich was relegated. Michael Edwards took a lot of Ayres duties as sporting director while Former EA Sports Peter Moore was appointed the new CEO this year, who looks after the commercial side of things.  

If our managers and even players are measured on the level of success or lack thereof, then so should this committee. The common misconception is that FSG have changed their policies since Jurgen Klopp arrived. We seem to direct the blame on everything but the ones who should shoulder it. "Its the players fault". "They are only interested in money". "It's modern day football's fault." "We will do it the Liverpool way"... "we won't buy success." Modern day football is not going to change for Liverpool Football Club. We have to see who the common denominator are here. FSG and their policies remain. We have to speculate to accumulate. There are people tat will argue that FSG have invested in the club. However due to CIES Football Observatory report done in November 2016, it shows that Liverpool are the ultimate selling club after raking £384 million in transfers.





















OVERALL


  • 2 Top 4 finishes in 7 years
  • 1 Trophy in 7 years
  • Profit in 2 consecutive transfer windows
  • 4 managers in 7 years
  • Sell to Buy Policy/Failed Transfer policies
  • Buying players with intention of getting better resale value
  • PR blunders
  • Lack of depth in the squad
  • £165 million in debt (loan on Main Stand)
  • Debt will rise to £215 million with move to Kirkby (Gillett and Hicks debt was £237m)
  • FSG have only beefed up their investment and added to value of club
  • Lied over loan for Main Stand
  • "Turning fans into customers" That's what they think of you.
  • Ticket Price Fiasco
I could go on. Those who supported these owners believe its being a loyal fan. Those who support these owners support them as they are scared of what could have been under Gillett and Hicks and afraid of the unknown as they don't know what the other alternatives are. All the more reason for fan representation at board level. There are those who believe FSG are our saviours. I think after 7 years, we all should be a little wiser to them. No doubt, these owners will continue to make more mistakes. Keep an open mind. Question everything apart each others loyalty. 


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

New Website Launch

Fenway We Come Not To Pay new website to officially launch on August 1st 2017. Thanking all supporter for their patience.