Liverpool owners FSG face key transfer decision amid danger of slipping behind rivals

The Reds were one of 12 founding members of the European Super League and while a backlash from fans swiftly defeated those proposals, the club must now tackle financial concerns

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowKlopp discusses contact with van Dijk amid injury concernByColin MillarDigital Sports Writer

  • 04:00, 11 Sep 2021
  • Updated07:22, 11 Sep 2021
  • |
  • comments

Liverpool fans endured a summer of frustration due to the club’s inaction in the transfer window.

.

No signings arrived at Anfield over the summer months following May’s confirmation of a deal to sign central defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

The inactivity could be held in sharp contrast to their key Premier League rivals as Manchester City and Chelsea secured the two British record transfer deals with their signings of Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku respectively.

Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, while Arsenal spent more in transfer fees than any other club in European football.

Liverpool owner John Henry faces key decisions on the club's future
(

Image:
PA)

There was heavy spending too at Tottenham, whose main piece of business was their successful attempt to retain star striker and captain Harry Kane.

This weekend’s visit to Leeds United is a reminder of April’s trip to Elland Road – the only Premier League match staged during confirmation of the European Super League.

The ambitious plans were scrapped within 48 hours of their launch on the Sunday night, with the Reds partaking in the only completed match in which they and the other members of the so-called Premier League ‘big six’ signed up to the proposals.

Every club had different motivations for signing up to the plans but underpinning all of the pull factors was a legacy of secured and lasting revenue streams – an aspect that has been at the heart of FSG’s ownership of Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp in full agreement over "farcical" situation

Trent Alexander-Arnold's midfield switch bluntly dismissed by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

As detailed by the football economic analyst Swiss Ramble, the Reds were hit harder than most clubs in this respect by Covid – losing an estimated £152million in revenue.

This came at the worst possible time for Liverpool, whose £326million wage bill was second only to Manchester City in England and, as the blogger highlights, was a remarkable £197million higher than it had been a decade ago.

FSG’s successes at Anfield have largely come about by a combination of manager Jurgen Klopp’s brilliance alongside a savvy off-field operation of identifying the right players and selling peripheral squad players for big profits.

Yet Covid compressed their selling market – meaning the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi could not be moved on – and coupled with an absence of fans and matchday revenue, left a big hole in Liverpool’s pockets when they were trying to afford an increasing wage bill.

Jurgen Klopp claims Arsene Wenger and FIFA went back on agreement amid Brazil FA row

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool left in the dark over FIFA decision – "What's going on?"

The wealth of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City has changed the landscape of European football, with Barcelona and Inter among those to fall foul of their attempts to keep pace.

Liverpool are hugely unlikely to meet a similar fate of either club – being forced to sell players and make huge dents to their wage bill – largely due to the Premier League TV deal, but that has left them with a decision to make.

Amid multiple long-term contract renewals for the first-team squad, FSG appear to have accepted that they will not recoup transfer fees for many of their starting players.

Should Liverpool increase their transfer market spending? Comment below

Liverpool face further FIFA sanctions with three banned for Leeds game

Jamie Carragher and Peter Schmeichel clash over Cristiano Ronaldo's impact on Man Utd

The departure of Georginio Wijnaldum as a free agent this summer will have hurt and an absence of incoming fees gives the transfer committee increasingly little wriggle room to out-manoeuvre rivals to deals.

Liverpool’s owners are now running out of options for future decisions as they try to devise a plan to keep the club competitive at the elite end of football – something that a Super League would have guaranteed.

Cashing in on star players appears unfeasible and selling the club remains unlikely, but Sunday’s visit to Leeds will serve as a reminder to the owners that they must act on a Plan B now or face decline led by inaction.

Most Read

  • Don’t Miss

  • Follow MirrorFacebookTwitter

    Comment MORE ON Super LeaguePremier LeagueLiverpool FCFenway Sports GroupJohn W. Henry

    Who do Liverpool need to sign to re-claim the title? Keep up with all the Reds news with our free daily newsletter

    Sign upInvalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow me See ourPrivacy NoticeMost Read