John Henry and Tom Werner have very quickly achieving something I thought to be impossible.
They are convincing a section of the Liverpool fans that they are at least as bad, and possibly worse, than Hicks and Gillett.
I’m not saying this perception is true. I certainly hope it isn’t, but FSG certainly aren’t doing themselves any favours if they want to convince the supporters that they are sincere.
They came in saying all the right things, but two years (almost) further on, the first team squad is thinner than ever; the club has made its worst ever start to a Premier League season; and there is still no sign of the issue of a stadium being resolved.
The farce of the transfer window has left the squad looking very thin – much more weakness than strength in depth. The club has lost Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy, Carroll, Adam, and Spearing from the first team squad and gained just one player who is recognisably top four Premiership quality in Joe Allen.
The farce of the Andy Carroll loan deal is quite beyond belief. How does a club allow one of its two recognised strikers go when it has not finalised a deal to replace him?
Was this incompetence on the part of Ian Ayres, or was it a matter of the owners not being prepared to sanction a necessary bid for a replacement?
The worrying thing is it looks increasingly like it was the second of these. It looks more and more like a situation where the operational and football management of the club is controlled from across the Atlantic
John Henry’s ‘open letter’ to the fans was almost an insult. It was platitudes about the future, not an explanation of how Liverpool Football Club has been placed in the position of being the butt of the humour and scorn of rival fans as it has to scramble around looking for a halfway decent player who is out of contract.
Yes, Dalglish and Damien Comolli between them spent a lot of money on substandard players. But it was FSG who appointed them to run the club affairs.
By all reports, John Henry and Tom Werner were angry about how badly the money had been spent, but the responsibility for this lies ultimately not with ‘King Kenny’ or Comolli, but with the people who put them in post i.e. FSG.
And, increasingly, Liverpool fans are asking about the truth of what they are being told. Tom Werner claims that Brendan Rodgers was the only person offered the manager’s job. However, Roberto Martinez has stated, clearly, that he received an offer; and everyone who knows him testifies that he is one of the most honest men in football.
Liverpool fans might wonder if he was actually offered the job but said ‘no’ because he was not prepared to accept having all transfer dealings scrutinised, and possibly vetoed, by owners who actually understand little about the game.
image: © kong niffe