Damon Savenelli weighs in on the debate raging around Liverpool’s questionable owners Fenway Sports Group.
Ah, Fenway Sports Group. The group that seems to take the blame for every crisis at Liverpool Football Club. In the past, I have not really expressed my viewpoints on FSG or the way they run our club, but here it is.
If you are a Liverpool fan and a regular Twitter user, you will have observed the absolute meltdown that has taken place on Twitter after losses to the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea, etc. The one common denominator being that most people use FSG as a scapegoat and put the blame entirely on our owners.
I admit, under FSG Liverpool have been far belowe what is expected. Aside from the 2013/14 campaign where we nearly won the league, the Reds have not really achieved anything noteworthy. Now, I am not one to take sides on most debates, and the same goes for this debate. I do not agree with the FSG out clan but I also do not believe that they have done a stellar job.
When I think of FSG I think of one word.
I know, it might not even be considered a word but that is how I feel about FSG, just meh. I feel as though that under Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool have settled for sub-par. Sub-par signings, sub-par performances, sub-par managers, sub-par everything. The two major positives that have come under FSG were the signings of both Luis Suarez and Jürgen Klopp.
For the majority of FSG’s reign, it seems as though our managers have settled for signing average players from average clubs. Including the likes of Fabio Borini and Luis Alberto, just to name a few. For all I know, these signings could have been Brendan Rodgers’s ideal and most sought after signings.
The problem is that as supporters, we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. FSG could be limiting how much managers are allowed to spend, or poor signings could be the result of poor ambition from poor managers. We just do not know.
That is why it is impossible for me to take a side on this argument.
Furthermore, with all due respect to past managers, Klopp is the first real world class manager that we have had since Rafa. Klopp has only had three transfer windows and thus far it seems as though money has never been an issue, with the German spending big on the likes of Sadio Mané and Georginio Wijnaldum. If money were an issue and FSG were limiting Klopp’s funds then I would definitely be a part of the FSG out brigade. As the ninth richest club in Europe, FSG should be giving Klopp whatever he wants. Which brings me to my next point.
Under FSG, Liverpool have sky rocketed to the ninth richest club in all of Europe. Under FSG, Liverpool raked in an annual revenue of €391 million. We have also seen the club become the eighth most valuable club in all of Europe, surpassing the €1 billion mark in the past year. We have seen snippets of that money spent recently, with a brand new main stand put in place just last summer.
It certainly seems as though FSG have supported Klopp and given him the necessary funds. We have seen big name players turn our club down simply due to the fact that they do not want to play for Liverpool, not because we have not offered enough.
Hopefully, we can finish off this season strong and go on to make some big signings in the summer. If FSG continue to support Klopp and Liverpool begin to rise up the ladder of football supremacy, then I will support FSG. But if they begin to limit Klopp’s funds or refuse to improve our facilities or stadium, then I will not support them.
If we make big money signings and they are flops or our quality of football is poor then we must not blame FSG but Klopp and the coaching staff as a whole.
The next year is going to be a very important time for not only FSG but Liverpool Football Club as a whole. We will hopefully continue to improve and grow our football club. If not, then we as fans will assess our position and will need to determine who is to blame.