Liverpool have transformed what it means to be successful in the modern era with the Premier League title race all-but a formality following the Reds’ record-breaking 2019/20 campaign.
There have been talks of VAR controversy and a lacking of quality from the opposition that have all contributed in Liverpool wrapping up the title by February.
However, for all the bitterness and anguish that surrounds outside parties, there is a far more tangible explanation behind the club’s unprecedented success.
The reality for the rest of the league is that Liverpool are not just the best entity on the pitch, but are just as influential off it as well. The Premier League champions-elect have traded and bought better than anyone else and the Reds are reaping the benefits.
It was just over two years ago that saw Liverpool once again lose their best player to one of Europe’s primed heavyweights with Anfield not the fortress is it today.
Of course, it was Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona in 2018 that threatened to derail the team’s top-four prospects as well as their promising Champions League campaign.
However, despite selling their star man for a gargantuan fee of £142m [BBC Sport], Jurgen Klopp was still able to inspire a top-four finish as well as an extraordinary European run that culminated in a Champions League final.
Whilst supporters were adamant that the history of the club and the size of the fan base would justify Liverpool’s rise back to the pinnacle of Europe’s elite, the reality of the club’s increasing stock was down to far more than just spending their way to success.
FSG were heavily criticised in the early years of their Anfield reign. The American Fenway Sports Group were consistently ridiculed following their decision to allow another one of their star players at the time, Raheem Sterling, to depart the club for bitter rivals Manchester City back in 2015.
Whilst Liverpool’s fortunes on the pitch unsurprisingly took a sour turn having spent poorly whilst simultaneously strengthening one of their main rivals, the past suggests that in-fact Liverpool’s ownership has had to look personally at their previous shortcomings to build the squad that is currently taking the world by storm.
Liverpool failed to invest well in the past, but more importantly, were able to take a good look at themselves whilst raising internal questions that would allow the board to meticulously draw up new plans and ideas.
Whilst Pep Guardiola and City chose to splash out over £140 million on a full-back solution back in 2017, Liverpool chose to look carefully and identify some hidden gems who had shown initial promise in the top-flight.
Having signed Andy Robertson for £8m [BBC Sport] from Hull City, Liverpool then looked to their own academy set-up to identify a long-term option at full-back in the form of Trent Alexander-Arnold. It took City to spend a nine-digit figure to sort out their defensive shortcomings whilst the Reds were able to develop two of the finest full-backs currently in world football for a combined fee of just £8m.
Michael Edwards was finally beginning to emerge a popular figure amongst the Reds fan base and the Liverpool sporting director achieved club-icon status after bringing two of the club’s most transformative signings Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker both in the space of six months.
The Liverpool duo were ready-made additions that were acquired for a combined fee that was still smaller than the amount they had sold Coutinho for back in January 2018. Kopites began to look at Edwards as if he had turned water into wine following the shrewd business that had seen Liverpool once again challenging for Europe’s biggest honours.
Once again the Reds are appearing an unstoppable force. There are many significant factors that have resulted in their gargantuan rise over the years but none as notable as the intelligent work done by the club’s outstanding board of directors.