Liverpool and their fans have waited for what now seems like eternity for success. From a high-flying, invincible force of 70’s and 80’s to a calm, harmless zephyr of today, the Reds have bathed in different shades of time. The irony is, the club was looking for consistency all this while.
Consistency doesn’t come just by handing over five and ten year contracts to your players and manager. It comes in a package encompassing every individual involved in running the club on a day-to-day basis. You can go as granular as a steward or assistants to the groundsman but you surely must go as high as up as the owners too.
Liverpool recently completed 120 years at Anfield; this period also coincided with the second anniversary of FSG and the club. The owners made an announcement that Liverpool FC will not be relocating away from Anfield to a new stadium but scaffolding around the current home will be erected to help spread its wings. From a fan’s perspective, this news comes embellished in gold no doubt. But what does it mean from the club’s perspective? Longevity. It means a step has been taken forward to consistently keep Liverpool on par with the rest of the pack at the top of the table.
Further ticket sales imply more revenue and that means more spending power for the club. To make this a win-win situation, a capacity of over 60,000 means 15,000 more Liverpool fans making their way through the turnstiles to watch their team in action. Yes, such a plan for a club like Liverpool reeks of consistency. The fanbase and support for the team is unparalleled no matter the troubled waters and building a stadium of bigger capacity will only strengthen the club for success.
This decision of expanding the stadium is also a reflection of the owners’ commitment. Yes, there will still be a little apprehension in the air till the words printed by the press actually turn to reality. The nightmare that Hicks and Gillett put Liverpool through began with the false promise of the ‘spade’ in the ground at Stanley Park. H&G weren’t spared at the end of it all. Hicks was a hated business tycoon in UK as well as parts of US following his adamant rant of squeezing his so called ‘returns’ from Liverpool Football Club. Gillett saw what happened of Hicks and decided to quietly give up his stake and go behind the bushes. Chapter closed.
Following this, FSG were well aware not to treat Liverpool as a toy that a kid desperately wants while window shopping and forgets about it in a matter of minutes. The owners have weighed their options carefully, spoken to various fan bases about the stadium plans and have invested time and effort in negotiating with the government over the best possible solution for Liverpool. No owner would want to endure this if they aren’t serious about being associated with a top club in the most famed sport in the world.
FSG is clearly taking one step at a time in their new found love for football. Now that Liverpool’s stadium plans are officially announced, once the blueprint is out, it is all up to those workers with construction hats on to realize the dream of several thousand fans across the world.
Moving on, this summer was nothing but a disappointment for Liverpool as they couldn’t land all their primary targets as they had wished. As expected, things didn’t go according to plan and now, the club is left with just one recognized striker in Luis Suarez, with new arrival Fabio Borini ruled out of action for nearly three weeks after picking up an injury during international duty.
Having said that, 2012/13 could very well be a see-saw when it comes to transfers for Liverpool. What was lacking in summer has the potential to be made up for in winter. The owners relaxed the wage bill by quite a margin by offloading several players in the summer. With just three key inbounds in the mould of Allen, Sahin and Assaidi, Rodgers is far from done in rebuilding his squad. The season till January will give the manager ample time to assess the weak spots in his team and accordingly plan for reinforcements for the long-term.
The influx of new faces, the promotion of the young ones and the presence of highly skilled and respected veterans in the team are three tributaries that are absolutely essential for Brendan Rodgers if he is to build a squad prepared to fight hard for honours. “Liverpool Football Club is a way of life”, he said. If he is to orchestrate success, then he needs players who will fit into this way of life. If he is given a big transfer kitty this winter, then eyes will be on him to see the choices he makes in the transfer market. So far, there don’t seem to be too many complaints about Rodgers’ buys and one will hope that this trend continues when Liverpool are halfway through the season.
And finally, it is the appointment of Brendan Rodgers. For all the skepticism and to a certain degree, criticism, that was flung at Rodgers’ appointment as manager of Liverpool, the general notion floating around fans now is that Liverpool are playing an increasingly robust, yet fluid, style of football but just the results aren’t complementing the brand on the pitch. Seven games into the Premier League season, focus has shifted from the manager to football on the pitch. This can only be a good thing for Liverpool. More the manager stays under the wraps, the better he is getting at letting his team do the talking for him. Such a situation developing will only give Rodgers more time to focus on the game and strengthen intellect while educating his players on improving the game. Let’s not forget, this job is also a learning curve for Brendan Rodgers himself. After all, he is still 39 years old.
This season, if Rodgers can bring out the desire in the players to climb the rungs of success, if FSG can further solidify their relationship with Liverpool and if players themselves realize that there is a upheaval in the making, then the club will be taking its first steps towards becoming a powerhouse in England and Europe once again.