The New England Sports Venture is looking to put a stop to Liverpool’s tendency towards wanton spending. Under Rafa’s six year tenure, Liverpool spent £230 million on transfer fees alone (much of which was recovered through sales). Roy Hodgson spent a further £25 million this summer on the likes of Raul Meireles, Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen. Now the NESV are looking to lock up shop at Liverpool and prevent any more wasteful spending.
This policy shall be in place despite the fact that the NESV’s purchase helped to service Liverpool’s hefty debts and clear up about £36 million in revenue a year. The NESV has promised that that these funds were to be immediately injected back into the team and that Roy Hogdson would have a healthy transfer kitty to work with this January and in the summer.
But the NESV won’t be giving free reign to Roy Hodgson (or whoever’s in charge at the time) when it comes to spending season. John Henry, the NESV’s principle backer and now part of the Liverpool boardroom, is keen to emphasise that the Liverpool economic model must adapt and become more sensible: “We have to be smart. We have to be more efficient. When we spend a dollar it has to be wisely. We cannot afford player contracts that do not make long-term sense. We have to be smart, bold, aggressive. It’s a great challenge.”
Every aspect of Liverpool’s spending will be analysed and assessed by the NESV. This includes player salaries and fees. If Liverpool fans were holding their breath in the hope that the January transfer window would see them go after a world-beater, the chances of this seem lessened given the NESV’s current stance. It’s unlikely that Hodgson will be allowed to add any players without first trimming the Liverpool squad – something that most Liverpool fans were expecting anyways.
Is this good or bad news for Liverpool? The first thing to note is that the NESV are very much copying the Arsenal economic model. Whilst this in and of itself may be a good thing, you have to wonder, is Hogdson the right man to implement it? Any success Arsenal have is down to Arsene Wenger’s established genius in terms of finding and establishing incredibly talented young players. Can Hogdson do the same? In terms of the NESV’s business model, you have to feel that Liverpool are in safe hands. Before John Henry took over the Boston Red Sox hadn’t secured a World Series win for 86 years. In the 8 years that Henry’s been behind the reigns, the Red Sox have won the World Series twice and been decent contenders on all other occasions.
You can’t stop clubs spending money on players that turn out to be no good. But the NESV’s policy seems to be a step in the right direction for Liverpool. It’s important to emphasize caution in a transfer market that has become ridiculously inflated. No Liverpool fan wants to see their club spending money they just don’t have. In the long-term, this is great news for the club – even if it’s unlikely that we’ll see the super-signing that many fans want so bad.
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