Let’s Talk Business

There’s a snowball slowing rolling it’s way towards Anfield and the closer it gets the bigger the snowball gets. The news is out, everyone is talking about it. Numbers are being mentioned and fans are drooling at the thoughts of their beloved Liverpool is set to become the planets richest football club.

FSG have tried to deny it, the CEO of the Chinese consortium has tried to deny but media outlets world wide are reporting it. It seems that the deal is done, the only thing holding it up is valuation. Last season Liverpool for the first time in their history were valued at over a billion pounds by Forbes and currently sit in the top twenty of the worlds richest clubs. As a Liverpool fan I never thought I would see this day.

When FSG bought the club five years ago, Liverpool were in dire straits. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were days away from applying for a winding up order for the club. The owners at the time Tom Hicks and George Gillet had run the club in to the ground. They made outrageous claims in regards to building a new stadium but they didn’t understand the dynamic of running a football club in the Premier League. They didn’t seem to grasp that in order to be successful they would have to pump money in to the club to buy players that would make the club successful, that managers could only do so much, that it was the players who would bring success. They had no long term goal. They seemed to live day to day with the club and that’s no way to run a business.

FSG, a successful American company, the owners of one of Americas biggest baseball franchises The Boston Red Sox, knew how to run a business. They had turned the fortunes of an ailing baseball team around through hard work and determination and after buying Liverpool for a bargain price of £300 million applied the same business plan to Liverpool. Out went the deadwood players – those who were sitting on high wages but not really doing anything for the team, out went a manager who was massively unpopular with the fan base. They brought back Kenny Dalglish to manage the team, hoping he could recreate the success he had the first time he managed Liverpool, they invested in the team, not buying superstars but buying young hungry players who would do one of two things, 

  1. make the team successful for a long period of time or 
  2. be sold at a profit that could be reinvested back in to the playing squad.

FSG came up with a plan for Anfield, explored all the options when it came to redevelopment and decided upon the most cost effective and less invasive option for not only Liverpool as a club but the area surrounding Anfield. Initially everything was going to plan, the young players brought in were showing promise, Dalglish has gotten Liverpool to a League Cup Final which he won’t, the first piece of silverware since 2006. The fans were rejuvenated. 

The Kop was a wall of noise for every home game and FSG were the toast of Merseyside. Unlike Hicks and Gillet, FSG and John W Henry had the foresight to see things were changing in the Premier League and being the business men, they were moved with the times. They axed Kenny Dalglish, and brought in a young hungry manager who had worked with young players in the past, a manager who seemed to be able to talk the talk, a modern manager who had modern ideas and a modern way of managing a team. That man Brendan Rodgers proved to be an instant success at Liverpool, with some fans comparing him to the great Bill Shankly.

As things slowly got better on the pitch, off the pitch, wheels were starting to turn. Slowly at first as FSG had decided that a new stadium was out of the question and redeveloping Anfield was a much more viable plan. As last season drew to a close, work began on a new Main Stand at Anfield. A main stand that would not only fit in more fans but that would also incorporate new corporate boxes, which would bring more money in to the club.

With all that is going on with Liverpool it comes as no surprise to me that there is interest in buying the club. Liverpool are now as attractive off the pitch as they are on it to suitable investors. If Everbright do come in and buy the club, and all indications are that they will especially as they are now prepared to pay the £1 billion asking price that FSG are demanding, although personally I think the club will be sold for nearer £1.2 billion the future is a lot more brighter for Liverpool. If Jürgen Klopp can recreate the success he has had at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund then Liverpool might just get back to the pinnacle of European and world football and the twenty odd years Sir Alex Ferguson spent trying to knock Liverpool of its perch would have been all in vain. 

Written by @TheMoanyOne

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