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5 priorities for FSG – a summer rebuild and greater clarity

After going from touching distance to all four trophies last season to a million miles from any of them this time around, Liverpool have got plenty of work to do to return to their competitive best.

It has been an underwhelming campaign during an era in which we have become accustomed to greatness.

Premier League campaigns in excess of 90 points have become the norm under Jurgen Klopp and falling significantly below that has felt catastrophic at times.

At their current rate, Liverpool are on course to put 61 points on the board, 31 less than they achieved last season despite a schedule which featured 12 games less.

There is a lot for the club to consider and FSG will once again be at the front and centre as the Reds look to put building blocks in place to get back to the top.

Here are some of the key priorities for Liverpool’s owners to get the club back on track next season.

 

Appoint a new sporting director

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's Sporting Director Julian Ward (L) and Chief Executive Officer Billy Hogan (R) during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is perhaps a cause for concern that Liverpool are still no closer to appointing a successor for Julian Ward, whose upcoming departure was announced all the way back in November.

There has been no shortage of speculation with regards to a replacement for Ward, who only took over the role from Michael Edwards last summer, but as things stand there has been no confirmation of Liverpool’s sporting director beyond this season.

Liverpool’s recruitment from 2017 to 2020 was almost flawless, but since then it has come in for some criticism as the midfield has been allowed to stagnate and the side has seen an over-reliance on players at both ends of the age spectrum.

Getting the sporting director appointment right is a necessity if Liverpool are to enter the next phase of their development in the best shape possible.

Jurgen Klopp has worked miracles for Liverpool since he first stepped through the door in 2015, but he cannot do it alone and needs the right people around him in order to flourish throughout this process.

 

Fund the rebuild

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) amd James Milner (R) look dejected as Manchester United score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s transfer policy under FSG’s stewardship is a topic of heated discussion among the fanbase, to put it lightly.

A self-sustaining strategy has enabled the club to operate in a financially-viable manner but has left plenty of fans frustrated at the lack of activity in recent windows, particularly in the midfield area.

Liverpool have made just one permanent senior midfield signing since 2018, leaving themselves with more work than they’d typically prefer to have in just one summer.

The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Naby Keita are all likely to leave on a free at the end of the season, with Jordan Henderson and Thiago both creeping into their twilight years.

It will not be easy and it almost certainly won’t be cheap, but FSG will need to deliver possibly their biggest summer yet if they are to get the Reds back to where they need to be.

There have been no shortage of midfield links and the time to act is just around the corner.

 

Improve communication

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 13, 2023: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 242nd Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There aren’t many who would try and argue that FSG’s ownership of Liverpool has been perfect, but a number of the high-profile mistakes could have been avoided had there been prior discussion.

The furlough scheme, £77 ticket prices and Super League involvement were all reversed as a result of fan backlash, but the reality is that these situations should not have escalated to that point.

Supporters don’t expect FSG to be present at every home game, far from it, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt to hear from our owners on a more regular basis.

Putting the manager in a position where he has to answer questions on decisions made above him is unacceptable given everything he has achieved, the Jude Bellingham reports from a couple of weeks ago being a strong example.

Talk with us more, explain things more. Perhaps some of the damage that you may have previously thought was irreparable can be soothed and, at the very least, it could prevent further errors.

 

Clarify the investment search

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 26, 2016: Liverpool's owner John W. Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti before the FA Premier League match against Sunderland at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

FSG sent shockwaves across the fanbase when it was reported in November that they were “inviting offers” for sale of the club.

John W Henry and his colleagues have since climbed down from that stance somewhat, insisting that the club is in fact not for sale but that they were actively seeking investment.

It has left fans understandably confused about what lies next for the club, particularly given that investment rumours have been practically non-existent during the last few months.

Deals such as these do not happen overnight, but a degree of transparency with regards to the next steps certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

For now, we are simply left to speculate on the extent of any potential investment and what the timelines are likely to be.

The owners will be acutely aware of the importance attached to any additional funding, but time is always of the essence as far as supporters are concerned.

 

Back the manager

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 9, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Supporting Klopp doesn’t just involve writing cheques in the transfer market.

Appointing the German was arguably the biggest and best decision the owners have made since arriving on Merseyside 12 and a half years ago – having one of the best managers on the planet is something they should never take for granted.

This time last year, the boss put pen to paper on a two-year extension to his contract to keep him at the club until 2026.

It might feel fanciful, but if there is any way in which the owners could persuade Klopp to stay beyond that then they should explore it in a heartbeat.

Things haven’t been easy for Liverpool this season and no player or manager is above criticism, but as long as he has the respect of his team and staff there is no one in world football more suited to this role than him.

If he wants us to spend more money, and he has hinted at it on multiple occasions, then FSG should be moving heaven and earth to do what they can to help.

Likewise, if he is willing to commit more years of his professional years to Anfield then we should be ready to bite his hand off.