Re: John Henry's open letter to fans

Posted by Hij on September 3, 2012, 05:11:23 PM

I've extracted this from the locked thread as I think its a terrific post and perhaps a good new starter to a more considered thread on the owners and where Liverpool Football Club is right now. By all means please join the debate but I want to keep this a moderated thread of good ideas, opinions and thoughts. Of course alternating views are welcome but as ever, debate not insult. Thanks. Hinesy

I'm off for now, as fans of Liverpool football club we have been absolutely spoilt and I think it's evidenced here. Clearly some thought that when FSG bought us, they would sweep us to titles after titles in record time and it's not happened. Let's face it, the Premier League has never been so competitive for a long time. The rise of teams around us came around the time of the 3 years of Hicks and Gillett stagnation that we are now trying to turn to around (admittedly with a couple of mistakes with the new regime along the way). 

There is a cause for concern for watching the movements of the owners a lot more closely from now on, but clearly in order to compete without a sugar daddy we need to make savings in areas where we can make them, and then spend the money we generate! And remember the savings don't always appear in the account right away. Unless John Henry has pocketed the "£20m" we have saved on wages, what would the point be of doing that otherwise? It seems to me that many of us are now overly suspicious since the last lot, and perhaps just purchasing a single striker on deadline day would have been the difference between pandemonium and relative calm at the direction the club is going.

They're blamed for the handling of the Suarez case, and there are fair points there too, but there were more people involved in that than Tom Werner and John Henry. I think some of us are very quick to launch an attack on the owners and swing for a scapegoat at the first sign of trouble and if we very quickly tarnish FSG with the same brushes we (rightfully) did with Hicks and Gillett we're in dangerous territory of being the boy that cried wolf ourselves. Constantly having gripes with our owners, whoever they may be and perhaps someone who can do something may not want to touch us.

H+G, Moores, FSG, which would you prefer? For all the clamour for a John Moores figure it was our very own fans who sold our shares (admittedly share holders were lied to) in order to get owners we thought would be better than Moores, because the luscious riches and green grass on the other side was too much to resist. We've been down shit alley because of that. We were days away from administration. We were paying £30m a year on interest payments to fund the fucking bastards for purchasing us in the first place. There was ZERO net spend on players, there was profit making on players and we were sinking. I was crying out for a return to living within our means and building slowly but properly, and to be able to be a club again, to be free of H/G. You don't know what you've got till it's gone? Too right we didn't. Only when we were marching down to Anfield and staying behind after the matches, did we realise what complete and utter bastards had taken us over. And essentially David Moores could probably do similar with us that FSG are doing, and maybe we needed to appreciate that what we had under Moores might not have been the best, but we weren't going to skid off the track, or lose points in the league for administration problems rather than Podoloski and Cazorla goals- we had stability under Moores and we hopefully are on course for stability again, even if we are not quite there yet.

Some might argue that there was profit making this window, but I think that would be unfair, I think it is clear that after three years out of the Champions League we can't afford to be paying £400k or so for Aquilani, Kuyt, Bellamy and Maxi. Barring the colossal fuck up on the last day of the transfer window, I can partly buy into what they are trying to do, I can see it and it seems like they are going down the directions they have told us they are. I don't think they've full on robbed us yet and it's very difficult when we are three games into the season and using an Arsenal defeat to call the owners into question.

Someone raised the point that Rodgers had £10m and spent it on Borini. He had the option to spend it on someone else of course, we cannot miss this important point. The money was provided, if he wanted Dempsey then, or a striker he could have gone for them then, but he clearly decided that Borini was more important, that cannot be FSG's fault.

I believe it was clear on some of the financial graphs that we were leaking money to wages and one of the priorities had to be to get it in order. We knew in our heart of hearts that we weren't going to be challenging for the title this year and that getting into the top four was going to be difficult, so in that case, is now not the best time to be making these decisions and streamlining Liverpool so to get the most out of every £1 we spend, and to make sure that where possible we free up money for future transfer windows by getting rid of over paid, under played players (Cole and Carragher to be up next).

So I can see where FSG are trying to go, and it's too early for me to draw any conclusions 6 months into this "new slate", we surely need to see what develops over time. Because some of our fans in their other breaths are talking about the excellent quality of the players coming through, so maybe it is also time to test that theory and see if they are ready for the step up. Supplementing them in future with real quality.

I think we always knew it was going to be a bumpy next couple of years, the lads on the Anfield Wrap have expressed as much themselves, lads who take a deep, caring interest in our club, more than others perhaps. And maybe that's why we react so badly to the idea of taking a couple of seasons to really iron out the issues, because we've had a shite three years and not only that we're in 2012, where everything happens right now, right away, and there is no delay and we know it's going to hurt as we go through bad results and fall short, and don't get to where we want right away, but it's happened in the past and perhaps we need to grow some balls and stick with it and see how the managers vision develops.

I don't mean to compare Shanky/Rodgers directly, but indirectly it took Shankly 3 years just to get us out of the 2nd Division. He apparently came in with average players in the squad, and great potential in reserves. He changed the way we trained, he decided on a new style of pressing, and winning the ball back. There are similarities but clearly they are not exactly the same, and Shankly was in a class of his own, but no-one could have predicted what would have happened with Shankly's reign 3 months in, and neither can we here, it wouldn't be fair.

We're victims of our own success. When Shankly came in, he was afforded the time to set about his vision, and so he did. Now Rodgers/FSG might not achieve anything near the great man, I'm not professing they definitely will, but it's clear that after they sacked Kenny, they have gone about trying to do something differently, and are effectively only 5-6 months into that plan, so to judge them now is wrong. Maybe Shankly wouldn't have lasted three years if internet forums existed? Everyone hates people saying it, but in this case it's true. It's early doors, we need to see how each of the next three transfer windows develops, how the football on the pitch develops and buy into the project and make our analysis as we go, not after three games.

Else, we just get rid of another pair of owners, who might want their own man and we start from scratch again and again and again. We're not gonna bounce into the top four, and we might need to wait, we were prepared to do this in the past, I wonder if we can be prepared to do this again?

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