This means more money
As long ago as September, the Mirror were reporting that ‘Liverpool’s financial hit during the coronavirus pandemic will reach nine figures’, and that’s when we all thought fans might be back in grounds by now. And then last month they ran a headline of ‘Liverpool set for huge financial blow as impact of coronavirus hits Reds hard’.
And yet Brian Reade of the Daily Mirror – a Liverpool fan writing ‘at the heart of football’ – writes a long column bemoaning the club’s owners for not spending money despite the club losing millions every single week. This is a club who tried to furlough their staff because of their dire financial straits. And now you claim that the owners of a club whose wage bill is among the highest in Europe ‘look way off their game’?
Apparently ‘champions who harbour serious ambitions about retaining their title pull out all the stops to have another top-class defender on the training ground by the first week of January’? Even in a time of financial crisis? Is that irrelevant when ‘this means more’?
‘Telling the manager to plug the gaping hole for six months with raw kids and his two best midfield players, who are needed further up the pitch, was not the leadership you would expect at a club that sees itself as one of the biggest in the world.’
‘One of the biggest’ but not the richest, Brian. The latest Forbes list puts them below four other Premier League clubs as well as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. What is key is that none of those clubs spent significantly in January barring Manchester United, who had arranged the £37m move for Amad Diallo last summer.
As Deloitte put it in February: ‘Amid the uncertain market created by the COVID-19 pandemic the January 2021 transfer window saw significantly reduced activity across Europe as clubs exercised caution, according to analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.’
But sod ‘caution’ because Liverpool should have spent?
‘To limp out of the title race so early and so submissively when they had a chance to find a solution to rebalancing the squad by New Year’s Day shows a negligence and lack of ambition that is worrying.’
So now it’s ‘negligent’ not to spend money when the club is losing money? Really?
‘The owners have to think like a big club in the modern era and heavily invest again in the squad.’
But big clubs in this particular modern era are not heavily investing in their squads because there is no money to invest. Presumably Reade thinks that John Henry and co should spend their own personal fortunes on new Liverpool players despite making it clear from the beginning that they were interested in ‘sustainable’ growth.
He then writes that ‘the spending gap between FSG and their rivals these past five transfer windows’ is stark. Why five? Because six would take in the £160m-plus summer that saw Liverpool sign Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri. And seven would take in a world-record move for Virgil van Dijk.
There is no doubt that Liverpool have not spent considerable amounts of money over the last two years but they have won the Champions League and Premier League over that period. That is the culmination of ten years of ownership which has seen FSG write off the club’s debts, turn horrendous losses into profits and attract one of the world’s best football managers while also investing heavily off the pitch.
Or as Reade puts it:
‘Fenway Sports Group have been decent owners. They hired Klopp, broke world records for Van Dijk and Alisson, rebuilt the stadium and training ground and brought the English title back to Anfield.’
And that makes them ‘decent’? He should try supporting pretty much any other club.
I just know that something good is gonna happen
We are told by The Sun‘s back page that ‘LIVERPOOL’S message to Bayern Munich is: Mo Salah is not for sale.’
We are also told that his ‘£200,000-a-week Anfield contract does not run out until 2023’ and that ‘last month Salah, 28, insisted he wants to be a Liverpool player for the rest of his career’.
Which is odd because the back page of The Sun told us just three weeks ago that those exact same quotes were a ‘hint’ that ‘Liverpool are in danger of losing him unless talks start on a new contract’. Indeed, those quotes were ‘an extra cloud over the club’.
Never has a cloud been so reassuring.
Let the hilarity commence
One rule of football journalism in the 2020s: Everything slightly odd or unusual in football is ‘hilarious’. Always ‘hilarious’. Never ‘mildly amusing’, always ‘hilarious’.
Hence we get to this point – as perfectly illustrated by The Sun website:
‘Hilarious footage captures Carlo Ancelotti more interested blowing on his hot coffee as Everton score winner vs Spurs’
It’s literally a man blowing on his hot drink while the ninth goal is scored in the 97th minute of a game that will last at least 120 minutes. At that point Ancelotti had no idea it was the ‘winner’ because Everton had already thrown away two leads. And it’s definitely not sodding ‘hilarious’.
This is not okay
‘Football news’ in 2021: A woman died but ‘phwoar’. pic.twitter.com/ce499aank7
— Football365 (@F365) February 11, 2021
Also pretending to be ‘football news’ on The Sun website, seemingly solely designed for people who do not realise there is actual porn on the internet:
‘Georgina Rodriguez leaves little to imagination in plunging bodysuit for new range as Ronaldo plays for Juventus’
‘Georgina Rodriguez braves snow in skin-tight ski-suit on family day out while Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Juventus’
She fits a f*** of a lot of sexy stuff into 90 minutes.