FSG expected Liverpool to decline, according to reports. It’s all a part of their long-term plan.
This comes from the Mirror. They claim that FSG had a long-term plan in mind when renewing Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool contract.
Notably, part of that plan was an expectation that Liverpool would ‘slide down the table’. They look at success in waves, it seems.
It means Liverpool fall a bit while they rebuild a new team before a second wave of success once they have it together. The decline kicked in quickly, however. Faster than the plan allowed for.
But when they built that plan and had Klopp agree to it, it was with the expectation that there was a period where Liverpool weren’t on top.
What RTK has to say
There are a lot of ways to look at this. It’s an unusual plan at top-level football clubs.
It FSG worked a decline into their plans, it means they also have a strategy to get back to the top. They’ve overseen Liverpool doing that once, of course, and we can believe they’ll do it again.
That does give us hope that things are under control.
We also don’t blame them for not seeing this decline happening so quickly. The injury crisis came out of nowhere and crippled the team. No one saw it coming.
The idea of a planned decline isn’t as bad as it sounds, either. Liverpool don’t have the guaranteed dominance of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain or Juventus.
Those clubs are all guaranteed title challenges, even when they’re bad. The Premier League doesn’t offer that.
Nor do Liverpool have the financial-backing of Manchester City or Chelsea. Two clubs who even when things go badly, they can buy themselves back into contention.
So yes, Liverpool likely will slide down the table as they rebuild the team. Planning for that is smart, rather than frantically spending in an effort to stay relevant. We call that the ‘Manchester United strategy’.
United are a fine example of what happens when you don’t manage an expected decline between teams. You end up switching to a new plan every year and a mess of a team. It can take a decade to get out of that.
Similarly, Arsenal are a warning sign. They took being good for granted every single year, declined slowly, and had no way to recover. Now look at them.
Our biggest issue with this, then, is exactly how far FSG saw Liverpool sliding. Because if it was just down to fourth and retaining Champions League revenue, then we have a problem.
The decline will be worse than that. FSG must be prepared to handle that situation, then, and it may take considerable spending over a few years.
It may even mean tearing up the squad faster than planned.
The planned decline suggests things are flexible and fairly under control. But the rapid fall may end up questioning just how prepared FSG were and how prepared they are to adapt.