DOMINIC KING: Be careful what you wish for as FSG has Liverpool up for sale

Who next? On a day when Liverpool insisted it was business as usual, only one question was asked by the fans – and it had nothing to do with the start of their Carabao Cup defence.

Fenway Sports Group claims they are looking for new investments and there is no drama about the statement they made Monday, but the reality is significantly different. One day in the future the landscape around Anfield will change and who says it will get better?

The FSG would not win popularity contests. Fans of other English clubs loathe them for the fingerprints they left all over the crime scene, also known as the European Super League, while some Liverpool supporters will be glad they’re gone for their approach to transfers.

FSG, led by John W Henry (above), has put Liverpool up for sale after 12 years at the helm

FSG, led by John W Henry (above), has put Liverpool up for sale after 12 years at the helm

FSG, led by John W Henry (above), has put Liverpool up for sale after 12 years at the helm

But what makes anyone believe that the regime that follows will somehow be a force for good and be universally popular? It’s just not realistic. Whatever your take on FSG, it’s impossible not to appreciate what they’ve done for Liverpool.

“What I want to say is that I always knew that the owners were acting in the best interests of the club,” said Pep Lijnders, Jurgen Klopp’s assistant. ‘They always did. And I think they always tried, at least. This relationship is very important to us – and will remain so.

“Your statement was very clear. How did it distract us? To be honest that’s what I like about our club – we’re so focused. There was a little discussion, a chat between Jürgen and me, and then we started focusing on a big game that was coming up.

It was admirable that Lijnders – as always in front of the cameras in this competition – tried to keep his eyes on the challenge Derby County will offer tonight, but the only issue that needed to be addressed was what to do from here will happen.

Liverpool have won every available trophy under the FSG, including the Champions League

Liverpool have won every available trophy under the FSG, including the Champions League

Liverpool have won every available trophy under the FSG, including the Champions League

The information memorandum distributed to potential buyers last month was theoretically a fishing exercise, but FSG has thrown their line into a very small pool and there’s no indication when they’ll get any bite.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, has told the Daily Telegraph he has no interest in bidding for Liverpool but why should he? He might have the funds, but how would it fare on the Kop if they were sold to someone whose Manchester United inclinations are known? There is no prospect of anyone from Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Abu Dhabi coming to the table, while RedBird Capital – FSG’s investors – have only recently bought AC Milan so they would be prevented by UEFA from buying two clubs from the champions own league.

It’s a complex situation made all the more complicated by the fact that every potential investor is looking to Liverpool and wondering how they’re going to get their money back given what FSG has accomplished in their 12 years at the helm.

“They are good owners and I will explain some reasons for that,” said Lijnders. “First, they have retained one of the best managers in the world for more than seven years. That says a lot. Second, they tied the best players in the world. Then more importantly I think we have a stable academy.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already ruled himself out of the Liverpool purchase race

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already ruled himself out of the Liverpool purchase race

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already ruled himself out of the Liverpool purchase race

“They have invested in the academy, they have invested where we are now, one of the best training grounds in the world. Then of course the main grandstand (Anfield), the new grandstand (Anfield Road). You made many good decisions. If they weren’t good owners, we wouldn’t be sitting here.”

Still, some argue they should do more, that they should have pushed the boat out for signings when it mattered. It’s always said that Liverpool’s net spend is relatively low, but is being known as the club that spends the most money really the most important thing?

It’s nonsense to say they didn’t support Klopp. They would have spent £60million on Aurelien Tchouameni in the summer if the France international hadn’t been keen to join Real Madrid and they’ve always worked to a plan.

“If you buy a lot, young players don’t have a chance,” warned Lijnders. “But it’s also about what kind of player you buy. If you look at our past few years, signing Luis Diaz last winter was a massive signing and necessary, it was “water in the desert.” Darwin Nunez will be a good signing. A real striker, a guy we didn’t have.

“Then you have Calvin Ramsay, Fabio Carvalho, young players coming in. Then before that Ibou Konate and Diogo Jota.

“These are all signings that are hits. We cannot afford to buy and not be right. You can’t be “left, right, left, right” – you always want to be right. And the most important thing was to keep our best players because our team is a machine. If you don’t tie them up, they’ll leave.

“It’s a balance. Do people want to see three or four more players? Of course. Everyone wants to see that in the outside world. But we prefer to have the right thing and really work and give the youngsters time to complement and innovate the team and make it younger and younger.

“People see transfers as the only thing, but building a club and having a long-term relationship has a lot more to it than just transfers. It is even more important to tie Jurgen Klopp for more than seven years.

Once again it got you thinking. By and large, the FSG did everything right. The next one will be the most important of all.

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/dominic-king-be-careful-what-you-wish-for-as-fsg-put-liverpool-up-for-sale/ DOMINIC KING: Be careful what you wish for as FSG has Liverpool up for sale

Brian Ashcraft

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