Liverpool’s recruitment team has been praised for their smart work and the repetition of that approach throughout the club has been highlighted.
The Reds have gone from strength to strength on the pitch under Jurgen Klopp, through both improvement of individual players and far more impressive work in the transfer market.
Michael Edwards and his staff have been singled out by club managing director Billy Hogan, who spoke of the club’s progress over the past few years at a press conference to announce details of the Reds’ pre-season trip Stateside in the summer.
Liverpool’s recent successes in the market include Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but the work to get the team to this point has been going on even longer.
- Oct 2010: NESV new owners of Liverpool
- Mar 2011: New corporate name FSG officially taken
- Feb 2012: League Cup won, the first trophy under the new ownership
- May 2012: Billy Hogan joins Liverpool as chief commercial officer
- Oct 2015: Jurgen Klopp appointed first-team manager
- Nov 2016: Michael Edwards appointed sporting director
- Feb 2017: Hogan assumes managing director role
- Jun 2017: Transfer record broken to sign Mo Salah
- Jan 2018: Transfer record broken to sign Virgil van Dijk
All told, the Reds have spent around £400 million in the transfer market under Jurgen Klopp—though excellent recruitment means many of those signed have turned out to be great value for the team, while others sold along the way means the net spend lies at only around £120m.
It has been a long process, acknowledges Hogan, to get the team to this point—but a clear upward trajectory is also replicated throughout the club with investment in key areas.
“The team is a much different team from a player perspective [to when we started], and Jurgen and his team, and how we’ve operated as an organisation is different,” Hogan said.
“When the team came here in 2012, we were still very early in the process, from an operations standpoint and changing the business itself.
“Thinking about the investment that needed to be made in the stadium, which we’ve completed with the Main Stand being redeveloped, the commercial side and investing in the team. Quite a bit has changed.
“It’s been a strategy over the course of nine years, really led on the football side by Jurgen and Michael Edwards and Mike Gordon. As it relates to recruitment they’ve done an incredible job and, obviously, from a coaching perspective the team is performing really well.”
As far as the fans go, while there is an appreciation that off-field matters are necessary to fuel on-pitch success, it’s the results and performances of the team where the greatest interest lies.
Hogan says it’s a virtuous circle and the club works to that end, wanting to get to the top to enable the team to stay there.
“Success breeds success.
“The team and the way they’re performing on the pitch, obviously, it’s terrific from the perspective of our supporters, the team, the club. All our commercial partners are (pleased) with the increased marketing exposure.
“John Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon, the ownership at Fenway, has been about operating the properties in a sustainable way and that’s what we’re doing.”
There’s no question that the spending, on all levels, from Liverpool has been excellent over the last few years.
And the net result of that might just turn out to be another piece of silverware or two come the end of the season.