Pressure Growing on FSG?
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The transfer window isn’t officially open but the daggers are already out for Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group. Three weeks. That’s all it took for the mood to go from euphoric after a fourth placed finish in the Premier League meant the club were just two positive results away from a place in the Champions League group stages.
There was a bit of relief thrown in there for good measure after it looked as though the Reds may come undone in the second half on the season and miss out in Europe’s elite competition. The final feeling after the 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on the final day of the season was hope. Hope that a Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool side with Champions League football in tow would be enough to convince some of the best in the world to join the German managers revolution at Anfield.
Three weeks, as cliche as it sounds, is a long time in football.
Once the seed of doubt is planted it’s hard to stop it flourishing – just ask Anakin Skywalker. The bitterness is all consuming, and all powerful.
It stems from FSG implying that money would not be no object this summer. Yet here we are, just into the second week of June, and the reports are already claiming the Reds are ‘baulking’ at rumoured fees.
Paul Joyce claimed Klopp will look to spend big in the summer and the Reds boss will have the ‘largest transfer kitty in the club’s history’ to spend. The Liverpool Echo backed these reports up by revealing the club could spend as much as £200 million in the summer transfer window.
New chief executive officer Peter Moore attempted to temper the expectations of the fanbase recently by basically saying just because our rivals will spend big doesn’t mean we will. It’s about wise investment. He’s right, of course, but it’s hard to forget about reports suggesting Klopp had a £200 million warchest.
For Liverpool fans it once again feels like a bad case of deja vu. As hard as it is try to ignore the Virgil van Dijk debacle for a moment. If reports are to be believed the club have shown an interest in Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins, started negotiations with Roma for the signature of Mohamed Salah and bid for Lazio centre-back Stefan De Vrij.
In all three transfer situations Liverpool have tried to ‘lowball’ the selling party. Which isn’t the smartest idea when,
for the most part, it’s a sellers market.
The selling club can name whatever fee they desire and if the buying club wants the player they have to pay it. If the buying club think there’s a better value for money alternative out there then they risk getting an inferior player. After all, if he was better he would have been first on the list, right?
It’s not like going shopping for say, a TV. If you want a 42 inch tv then you can just go shopping and find the best deal. At the end of the day a 42 inch tv is a 42 inch tv no matter where or who you buy it from.
However, if you’re into gaming or watching films then you want a tv with better specs. It’s no longer just a 42 inch tv. You need the screen size and the requirements to ensure you get the best picture for your needs. There’s always layers to it and the more specifics you put in the more your options become limited.
There’s genuinely no other market in the world like the football one, there’s so many layers to player identification. It literally comes down to the finer details. You have to take into account the personality of the player, the home life situation of a player, the impact you think he would have on the squad both on and off the pitch. If he’s top of your wish list then it’s for a reason and you should be prepared to pay the going rate in what’s quickly becoming an inflated market.
Martins has a €50 million release clause and Portuguese clubs are notoriously difficult to haggle meaning, if you’re showing an interest in the winger, you must be prepared to pay the release clause. However, reports suggest Liverpool don’t even want to part with €40 million for him.
The Salah situation isn’t quite as clear. Different outlets are reporting different valuations but the one constant is Liverpool won’t pay what Roma want for the attacker. The Serie A side don’t have to sell the Egyptian either, they have other assets they can cash in on. It’s the second time the Reds have refused to go all in on the winger having tried to negotiate his signing back in 2014 but missing out to Chelsea after dithering.
Liverpool aren’t in the same category as Manchester United when it comes to spending but how can they spend more on Ivan Perisic than we’re reportedly prepared to spend on Salah?
According to Sky Italia, Lazio rejected a £17 million bid from Liverpool with the Serie A side valuing the Dutch centre-back at closer to £30 million. The Reds are basically going in 50% under his valuation. He’s been named as an alternative to van Dijk, who would have cost us anywhere between £40-60 million. If he’s second on the list after the Southampton captain then he must be rated fairly highly. A bid of £17 million seems offensive when you look at it like that.
The owners take the flack for the recruitment team they hired for not acting like a big club. It’s those in charge of the purse strings who ultimately make the decisions on player transfers. If they feel a player isn’t worth the quoted fee then they aren’t going to pay it. It’s as simple as that.
From a business point of view they may have a point, but from a fan point of view it’s the club yet again failing to walk the walk having talked the talk. The owners promised to back the manager but it appears anything over £35 million makes them feel a little light headed.
Klopp delivered and now it’s time for FSG to as well.