'arry Joins Our Blog Roundtable on Liverpool

Redknapp: Hicks and Gillett have done nothing wrong - Barclays Premier League - ESPN Soccernet

OK, he probably has no idea who we are but in the comments found on the other side of the link above, 'arry provides some interesting fodder for the notion that the owners weren't at fault for Liverpool's current plight. 

"The whole Liverpool debate raging at present basically centres around a team of top-level players that is not performing at its best - a temporary problem. It's as if the world is caving in at Anfield right now when, really, the only issue is a lack of confidence among the squad - but it will soon turn around.

"In all of this, I have utmost sympathy for the Reds' owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

"All they seem to have done is plough a fortune into the place and they stand to lose a fortune when they sell it. But, for all that, all they get is grief week-in, week-out.

"It's not their fault the expensive players who have been brought in are not performing as they
should be. The Liverpool team is full of world-class talent and some costly flops.

"Hicks and Gillett wrote cheques for star striker Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt, a member of Holland's World Cup final squad. Alberto Aquilani cost £20 million and has been a disaster - but is that the owners' fault?"
It is hard to argue that Hicks and Gillett have overseen some serious spending under their watch.  You can add Joe Cole to the list for his salary even if there was no transfer fee involved.  If you add Torres, Kuyt, Glen Johnson, JCole, Aquilani, Jovanovic, Kyriagos, Konchesky, and Maxi to what was already a solid team with some solid defenders (Agger, Carra, Skertl), a very good goalkeeper in Reina, a superstar midfield dynamo in Gerrard you SHOULD expect that the results on the field will be good.  Compare that above list to the spending done by ManYoo, Chelsea, and Arsenal in the Hicks/Gillett years and I'm guessing you'll find that they certainly did their part as far as putting money into the team. 

Were there sins committed and mistakes made? Sure.  If you object to the debt that they saddled the club with then I completely understand but that has little to do with the product on the field.  If you think they undermined Rafa by talking to Klinsmann then I can understand that but again, that doesn't explain the deterioration of the play on the field. 

At the end, Hicks and Gillett have made themselves targets through their actions in the boardroom and their statements in the media but they spent their money trusting in a manager who won the Champions League.  They got the players he wanted and they haven't delivered the goods (on a pretty regular basis) and now Liverpool are paying the price on the pitch. 

I think the move to John Henry/NESV is a good one because he seems to have a better sense of how to hire the right people to run the front office of a sports franchise and then he generally keeps himself out of the limelight.  That said, I don't expect that he'll be a magical tonic for a few years worth of poor choices in the transfer market. 

Anyway, I thought the quotes from Redknapp were interesting and in true "Blogger Roundtable" fashion, I had to add my two cents in on top of it.

As someone noted somewhere on the web today - thank goodness for LIV (and baseball playoffs, the NFL, and Roy Halladay) because otherwise this would be an incredibly boring international break right about now.

Cheers - Neal


  1. Anonymous6:36 PM

    And the start of the NHL....

  2. halladay is a sicko!!!

  3. Anonymous12:58 AM

    and lincecum

  4. Hey Neal, Jeremy, guys & gals,

    Fantasy greetings to y'all!

    How would you rate my potential team for week 8:
    Krul / Bale, Kompany, Steinsson / Adam, Nani, VDV, Barton, Fabregas / Obinna, Odemwingie.

    Many thanks in advance for your EXPECTED insight...

    Best regards!

  5. kevil104:49 AM

    not being pedantic or anything...but Kuyt was actually a David Moores signing..he funded most of it out of his own back pocket... at the start of the 2006/2007 season..

    TH and GG only came in in the middle to end of the 2007 season and agree have overseen big spending but besides Tores and Mascherano really...Aqualani was a trade more or less with Alonso...which in reality the Americans pocketed the difference of 10m....same goes for Macherano where they have also benefited by buying Poulsen and Mereles for 50% of the sale price of Mascherano......Johnson was acquired more or less from selling Crouch to Portsmouth...Robbie Keane was a big money signing but in reality we sold him back to Tottenham for only a minor loss...

    the likes of Agger, Reina were all signed before TH and GG tookover...so the argument is flawed...

    money was spent...yes...but money was always recouped either in the same window or 1 season later....its a markets game and unlike Harry's spurs we dont keep buying Attacking midfielders for fun cause LFC doesnt have the cash!

    but I agree with harry on the bit about the team not performing to its potential...its sad to watch

  6. It's funny 'Arry says that yesterday and today we find that Liverpool will go into administration (and be deducted 9 points) if they are NOT sold because of their 280m in debts. I agree the players should burden the blame for performance on the pitch, but when you "plough a fortune" into a team that you don't have, that's terrible ownership. but I guess that's what a lot of teams do, it's just their gamble usually pays off on the field.

  7. @Tayo - EXPECTED? what's up with that?

  8. from back in February, but interesting:

  9. Liverpools net spend on players over the H&G era is the third highest in the league I believe (although I can't remember where I read it, think it was the telegraph), after Chelsea and City. Whatever their debt situation they aren't in the top 4 but struggling financially: they are stuggling on both counts largely (in my and apparently Harry's opinion) due to Rafa's policy of good players and playing them out of position/not getting them to play well (Bellamy anyone?) and of buying lots of average players. When you spend £20m+ on the LW position and have Riera and Babel to show for it you are struggling. For all the moaning about H&G (and I understand that the debt is a serious issue) the problems on the field are not due to a lack of investment on their part.

  10. @ Kevil: those two players cost £50m though, right? that is a massive outlay. You are also forgetting the parade of average players that were then sold at a loss. At one point Liverpool had 50-60 players on their books. How much was Babel, Riera, Arbeloa, Leiva, Plessi, Itandje, Gulacse, Dossena, Weijl, Cavalieri, Jones, Wilson...Johnson was £18m - £7m more than crouch was sold for (and plenty more than the player is worth), £6-8m was lost on Robbie Keane... Lots of money has been wasted, and how much of that is the fault of H&G?

  11. Josh - I agree, I don't blame H&G for the problems on the field. I think we're in a ridiculous era where everytime a team does poorly, everyone blames the manager. Everything is so manager focused, when the problems are on the field, not always on the sidelines.

    But when owners run their business in such a way that their debts put the team at risk of administration and docked points, that's a big deal and one that they deserve all the blame for. 9 points will be catastrophic for them, but then again, for a team with such high expectations, if the players perform poorly (as they have) 3 losses in matches they were expected to win is 9 points right there..

  12. H&G aren't managers, but you get what I'm saying...

  13. kevil1012:59 PM

    @josh...the players you all mention were traded up for similar players....Josemi (bought for 2m sold for 2m) for Kromkamp (bought for 2m sold for 2m) for Arbeloa (bought for 2m sold for 4m?)...Alonso (bought for 10m, sold for 30m) for Aqualani (bought for 19m)....Keane was bought (19m) and sold (16m) for more or less...Bellamy (bought for 6m and sold for 8m) was sold to trade up to Torres ((21m)....Crouch (bought for 11m, sold for 15m?) for Macherano (bought for 17m and sold for 30m) at the time...so assuming that there is always a budget of 10m summer transfer in cash...you can see that there really isnt much of an argument when they say rafa spent a lot of money...because in reality...he had to trade up consistently....supplementing it with meager funds....yes there were some duds...but financially the impacts were more or less netted off..5m-10m losses but nothing as dramatic as they make out in the press...i would say spurs spend more and waste more...