Recently we have been critical of FSG for certain things – and until progress is made on the stadium and a senior figure is appointed to run the club, we will continue to take a critical view of their leadership at the football club – however, their refusal to repeat their past mistakes should not be one of them.
Following reports earlier this week that Southampton were set to outbid Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho, some supporters criticised the decision not to meet Inter’s valuation – with Liverpool sticking to their valuation.
Of course, reports now suggest that Liverpool will indeed win the race for Coutinho but that isn’t the point here.
The point is, that Liverpool supporters – rather than criticising FSG – should applaud the club for their stance in offering a maximum for a player and sticking to it. Not just with valuation but also with regards wages.
Remember in the summer some criticism was directed at FSG for not ‘coughing up’ and signing Gylfi Sigurdsson? He’s hardly been a revelation at Spurs so far. Started just 6 League games but been involved in 32 (mostly as sub) and scored just 3 goals.
Then there was the Clint Dempsey saga. Of course, there were other complications with this – namely Fulham not wishing to sell to Liverpool, and Liverpool being desperate for a new forward after off-loading Andy Carroll. But again, Dempsey hasn’t impressed so much.
Which would you prefer; LFC to have splashed out £14m plus on Sigurdsson and Dempsey, plus wages of around £5m per year on the two; or see talents like Raheem Sterling and Suso emerge into the first-team and signing long-term deals at the club after seeing the door to the first-team open rather than closed by constant new signings.
Not to mention, Liverpool no longer being recognised as a club who will gladly pay over the odds for a player.
FSG have seemingly learned their lesson, albeit the hard – and expensive – way. “Value for money” is now key to the FSG transfer policy, they have learnt from the Carroll, Downing et al.
It also appears that the owners and management are now aligned and agreed on the new strategy – Rodgers too is happy not to pay over the odds and instead play the longer game and build for the future.
Take Daniel Sturridge for instance. Liverpool could have paid £16m for him in the summer, instead they refused to be rushed and pay more than what they valued him at and picked him up for £12m six months later. And on lower wages.
Fair enough, we could have done with Sturridge in the summer but it’s important that a club sticks to it’s strategy and isn’t going to be forced into overspending – look where that got us before.
If you want an indication of the value for money, take Liverpool’s pursuit of Tom Ince (LFC value him at £6m) and compare it with Man United‘s imminent deal for Wilfried Zaha (£15m).
Both are the same age. Neither have played in the Premier League. This season, Zaha has 5 goals, 4 assists (in 27 appearances), while Ince has 13 goals, 10 assists (in 26 appearances).
Liverpool, and FSG, are proving that they won’t make the same mistakes again. They won’t be bullied into paying more than what they believe is value for money. The same goes with Coutinho.
FSG are happy to walk away, as they have shown with Sigurddson and Dempsey. They refuse to enter a bidding war, which they did with Phil Jones before he went to Man United. Lessons learned.
Some criticisms of FSG’s policy and tenure are merited, but their failure to no longer pay over the odds and pursue value for money should be admired.
With thanks to @Karlton81 for his input.