FSG In, FSG Out, but what about Jurgen Klopp?

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In what has been a turbulent summer for Liverpool fans up until this point, one thing remains reasonably consistent: speculation about FSG. FSG this, FSG that. FSG in, FSG out. FSG are to blame if we don’t sign Van Dijk and Keita, FSG don’t want us to sign Van Dijk and Keita, FSG will have proven themselves, it’s time for FSG to step up. And amongst all of this, it’s not clear who FSG is actually supposed to mean. Is it Michael Edwards? Is it Tom Werner? Is it John Henry? Or is it Jürgen Klopp?

There seems to be an odd break between Klopp, the footballing man, and FSG the entity, the businessmen. And this break seems to be divorced from the reality of the situation, which is that Klopp has a very real and very powerful say on transfers. He has a very close relationship with Edwards and whilst he may not himself be a negotiating businessman, he nevertheless has as much of a say in transfers as anyone at the club. Moreover, whilst Klopp is an employee of FSG, and one who is certainly a football man and not a business man, Klopp is as much an employee of FSG as Edwards is, and their goals are aligned.

So why are Liverpool fans so reluctant, on the whole, to blame our manager for any perceived transfer failings? When Liverpool were forced to apologise for tapping up Virgil Van Dijk, who was it that was responsible for that tapping up? Who was it who had transgressed in such a public, almost arrogant manner? Whilst we may never know exactly who leaked it to the press that Van Dijk was only interested in a move to Anfield, do we honestly believe that they wouldn’t have had Klopp’s blessing, should that have been a tactical move on the club’s part?

Klopp himself has picked Liverpool’s two main targets, and they are both exceptional targets, but does that mean that if we fail to get those targets he is blameless? Almost certainly not, although given the public and increasingly petulant nature of RB Leipzig’s attempts to hold onto Naby Keita, it seems unfair to blame anyone in Liverpool’s camp at all should that transfer collapse. Contrary to what some people on Twitter think, transfers aren’t as simple as throwing £80m at a player or walking away inside a week with no need for the basics such as “negotiation”.

So what happens if Liverpool don’t sign Van Dijk and Keita? Well then what happens after that will well and truly be on Jürgen Klopp’s shoulders. Whether or not Klopp has alternatives to these players lined up remains to be seen, but there are plenty of rumblings to suggest that he does not. If Liverpool begin the season and end the transfer window with Dejan Lovren still at the heart of our defence then that will be on Klopp and Klopp alone. Klopp has made the decision to go for Van Dijk, Klopp has tapped up Van Dijk, and if we cannot secure Van Dijk’s services as a result, then it is up to Klopp to find a replacement.

Klopp has stated that he has the final word on transfers, so why are we so quick to absolve him of any blame where transfers are concerned? Some will argue he is lying to protect FSG, others will say that FSG aren’t trying hard enough and of course, there is a fair point to be made that it’s simply not good enough if Klopp names two big targets, has FSG’s backing and yet the club fail to get either target.

None of this is attempting to absolve FSG of any blame. The Van Dijk apology is a mess that Edwards and his team need to take at least partial responsibility for. If the Keita deal also collapses then Liverpool have spent a lot of time and effort investing in a player that it’s always been reported wasn’t for sale.

But our manager picks the targets. He must have contingency targets. He must take responsibility for his role in the tapping up scandal. And ultimately, it is Jürgen Klopp who has to bear the brunt of the impact that the decisions this summer will have. He is the one who needs this squad to come together. This is Klopp’s second full season as Liverpool manager and he needs to start delivering.

Personally, I have every confidence that Liverpool will get at least one big deal over the line this summer, and that there will be absolutely no need to castigate FSG, Edwards or Klopp, but the point that’s worth bearing in mind is that if things do go wrong, people will be quick to point the finger at FSG. Will they be so quick to point the finger at Jürgen Klopp?

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  1. Klopp will only bring in players who he feels will develop the team/squad. If it turns out that the owning team will not sell those players, there’s little he or FSG can do about it. FSG and Klopp have created an aura that means these TOP players want to come to our club. If the 3rd party in the triangle will not deal the situation becomes difficult, drawn out and maybe impossible.

    It’s easy for us on the outside to see a simple picture of how it should go, but we know almost nothing. We get upset by media reports and feel the need to blame and get angry. I want both major signings, however, if we don’t I would rather support and point to the fact we have several players fully fit who are returning after missing big parts of last season.
    It gets boring when “supporters” feel they know better and become negative and derogatory. Embrace the improvements since “the other Americans” and support the club rather than feeling the need to attach blame. Sometimes, we don’t always get what we want!!

  2. I hate whinges, how’s about….
    Sack klopp and save £10m a year and for a world class manager employ who instead?
    Force FSG out after increasing the clubs value to nearly a billion quid and get the club sold to who?
    Sell coutinho for £100m and replace him with who?
    If clubs won’t sell even when your throwing stupidly large amounts of money at them then there is nothing you can do….simples

  3. I am sick of people saying all sort of CRAPS about the LFC owners. The Manager himself said it that the owner has approved that he allowed to buy any player/s that deemed to buy at any price as we can see what’s is being playing out with Keita and Van Dam and others. what more can any one do?. Take a look at Chelsea and other premier clubs are going through the same shit. So go to HELL those who like to criticise and leave LFC alone.

  4. Klopps real problem is Emre. He’s important to our team. We have the money to pay him. If he signs then we’re straight. If he refuses and we sell him then something is wrong. If he goes on a free then we’ve botched the whole thing top to bottom.

  5. Klopps second choice CB is Dejan Lovren…simple…he believes he can coach him..can’t you even understand that…!

  6. This is the worst article that I have read on AI, which I think is usually characterised by thoughtful, well-researched, informative articles. This rubbish is the worst breed of speculative negativity.

    Why do FSG provoke such contempt? I think that their governance of the football club has been excellent. They have invested heavily when asked – it’s not their fault that either money spent (Carrol and Benteke) had been ill-advised, or that the current parent clubs won’t sell Keita/VVD.

    If any owners are to be blamed, why not apply vituperative comment at the Moore family, who had Europe’s most successful club, and the world’s biggest club, in their ownership for many years without harvesting the commercial potential that should have made Liverpool’s position unassailable in perpetuity. Instead we have to smart at the buying potential of upstarts like Man Ure, Man City, and Chelsea.

  7. Agree with article. No reasonable fan could argue that this squad cannot be improved upon. It is grossly negligent to not invest and address the clear weaknesses. The argument that selling clubs don’t want to sell is wrong – every player has his price (otherwise there would be no transfer market!). Pull your finger out FSG and pay up what’s right

  8. I am sick of the people blaming the owner for every damn thing that goes wrong with our transfer business, despite Klopp repeated saying that the owner has allowed him to go for any PLAYER/s at any cost. Yet some people still has onus to complain. LFC has now put in THREE BIDS for Kieta and his club don’t want to sell 70+ millions pounds to me is too fucking over the TOP. Van Dyak wasn’t finished yet so we can keep our minds at rest.


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