When NESV finalised their take-over of Liverpool, sighs of relief were audible across Merseyside as the black cloud that was the ownership of George Gillett and Tom Hicks passed over, and Anfield was once again bathed in sunlight. But new Liverpool owner John W Henry is not one to paper over cracks and has announced that it is very unlikely Liverpool will spend big money come January.
Speaking to fan website Red and White Kop, Henry said;
“The club has gone through a very difficult period and the period has not ended. We saw a certain team on the field against Chelsea last week that showed what they can do. We also know how competitive the EPL is this year. There are no guaranteed matches any longer for any club. This club can be better. Blaming the manager or any one particular player is simply wrong. This club needs to play up to their potential every match. If they don’t, they won’t win.
“That said, we have work to do and must invest in this club to improve it on the field. Can that be successfully done in January? A number of people I’ve talked with doubt it. Most people seem to think it will be the summer before we can really begin to improve. So the players – all 11 each week – have to be on the same page every match and have to live up to the history and respect this club has engendered – no matter what.”
But is Henry right not to seek an immediate overhaul? In my opinion, yes. NESV have the long term interests of the club in mind when they make statements and take decisions like John Henry has here. There is no quick fix to the problems at Liverpool football club and NESV have spent most of their time in charge putting out fires. For every one that is seemingly put out (victory against Chelsea) another springs up from nowhere (defeat at Stoke), and Henry and his cohorts have to get these problems under control first, both on and off the pitch.
The rebuilding of a football club takes time and as Henry himself notes;
“…Our philosophy in football will be based on the long-term”
So while it seems this season Liverpool won’t be mounting a late surge for the title, or even the Champions League places, by retaining their key assets and looking to build a legacy at the club, NESV and John Henry may well begin to aid Liverpool in sustained silverware challenges in the not-too-distant future.