Tottenham and Liverpool are facing very similar fates this summer. Both sides are paying for past transfer mistakes, by being stuck with a plethora of highly paid players on their books that they simply can’t get rid of.
Liverpool have spent a lot of money over the last decade or so, and are now left with a big squad of players that they can’t shift. A number of players were bought for large sums of money and have failed to live up to their fees. Other players were brought in on free transfers, with Liverpool paying out huge signing on fees. Players like Joe Cole, Philip Degen, and Milan Jovanovic have shown little to nothing to justify their huge wages. Their wage bill is worrying, especially with Uefa’s financial fair play rules coming into action next year.
Liverpool are paying the price for a history of mismanaged transfer funding, unwise spending and player contracts that made little long-term sense. The number of expensive failures far outnumber the good players brought in and this affected standards and perfomance at the club. Given their performance over the last few years and the current financial position of the club, you would think they would act smarter and safer in the transfer market, yet they have again gone out and spent big money over the summer. Although it appears that their transfer strategy has changed, with them at least spending money on younger players who might have some selling on value in the future, although probably not at a profit, considering the money they are spending.
Liverpool have faced the task this summer of trying to move on some of this deadwood at the club, such as Cole, Degen, Brad Jones and the others who are draining the wage bill. The sales of these players would free up money which could have benefitted their summer spending even further.
They have managed to move on Paul Konchesky for a fraction of what they paid for him and they have moved Jovanovic on for free. Is it best for the reds to just cut their losses and move players like Cole on? They aren’t contributing, are draining the club of funds and there is no one willing to match their massive wage demands, so it is difficult to see how they would shift many of these players other than letting them move on for free.
Liverpool have paid the price for poor judgement in the transfer market and not producing enough players from their academy in recent years. Also the policy of giving older players long and expensive contracts is simply not a viable option in today’s market. This should be addressed under the new regime.
Tottenham are also suffering a similar fate, they have been left with scores of players who are contributing little to the side, but again they simply cannot shift. They are stuck with a large group of players such as David Bentley and Robbie Keane, who are beyond an age where they can improve, and are on such high wages that they can’t get rid of them. Tottenham also seem unwilling to cut their losses and accept lower fees, they seem to be holding out to try and recoup their original investments, which they just aren’t going to get. Moving on the likes of Bentley, Bassong, Hutton, Jenas and others for a smaller amount than what they are holding out for, would still free up a nice total amount to buy a couple of good players who would actually add something to the side, rather than just drain it of resources.
Both Liverpool and Tottenham are paying for past failings in the transfer market, shelling out millions on the wages of fringe players, or players out on loan, who contribute little to the side. As they have preferred to pay for quantity over quality, they are now stuck with ageing players, with no other club willing to take them off their hands. As well as affecting their budgets, the situation is also holding back the progression of young players with so many players in the squad ahead of them, they are stopped from coming through the ranks. It seems the time has come for Liverpool and Spurs to admit their past transfer failings, cut their losses on the deadwood and change their policy for the future.
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