Will the real FSG please stand up

Very few topics divide LFC fans as much as FSG’s ownership. Some (myself included) think they are responsible owners, gradually improving us all the time, while others think they are charlatans who are just looking to milk the Liverpool and Premier League cash cow for all it’s worth so I thought we would take a closer look.

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Let’s start with the big one - the dreaded net spend argument. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to be trawling through the club’s official accounts for the last few years but I got some figures online that may not be 100% accurate but will give us a ballpark figure to work with for the purposes of this article so here goes...

2012  In’s - 30.23m    Out’s - 14.3m    Net - 15.93m

2013  In’s - 65.3m      Out’s - 28.7m    Net - 36.6m

2014  In’s - 116.5m    Out’s - 72.9m    Net - 43.6m

2015  In’s - 88.5m      Out’s - 76.02m  Net - 12.48m

2016  In’s - 69m         Out’s - 86.5m    Net - minus 17.5m

2017  In’s - 88.9m      Out’s - 47.25m  Net - 41.65m

2018  In’s - 248m       Out’s - 155.5m  Net - 92.5m *Current window still open so subject to change.

This means that since 2012 the club has forked out approximately £706.43 million on transfers and recouped approximately £481.17 million leaving the net spend at £225.26 million.

Personally, I’ve never understood the whole net spend argument. As long as funds are made available which they consistently have been under FSG, then if the club can do some good business recovering most of that outlay then more the better as far as I’m concerned. Not if that means selling your best player every year but name me a single one of our top players that have been sold purely for profit by FSG?

The main characters in the argument are Torres, Suarez, Sterling and Coutinho. Every one of them was publicly agitating for a move, putting club and manager in an awkward position. If a player is desperate to go and making a nuisance of himself, you’ve basically got two choices - Banish him to the reserves for the duration of his contract or get as much money for him as possible and invest it back into the team. FSG have always opted for the latter and to be fair, it’s the only option that makes sense. Banishing a player may bring some short term gratification but it’s cutting your nose off to spite your face as nobody benefits.

When making the net spend argument, people always conveniently forget about the money forked out to buy the club in the first place, the new stand, shop etc. Not to mention the 50 million pound redevelopment of our youth complex that has been given the go ahead and the redevelopment of the Anfield road end as well also looks to be forthcoming. These are all seriously expensive projects with the long term in mind but they have still made money available for transfers every year. How that money has been spent is a different argument but it has always been available.

Personally, I think at this point in time, FSG are the best owners in the Premier League. They don’t have the endless amounts of petro-dollars some have, so they have had to do things more gradually than many fans would wish but they promised we’d be financially thriving, have a redeveloped stadium and be competing with Europe’s elite and they have delivered so far in all those promises.

I’ve long said that FSG will have had a ten year plan for success and Klopp a five year plan. So far, both look right on schedule to me and with the future looking nothing but bright for LFC at the moment, is it not time that the many vociferous detractors FSG have had to put up with throughout their tenure, start to realise that they may have been too quick to judge?

All opinion of course, but right now I wouldn’t swap our owners for anyone. We are gradually clawing our way back up the football pyramid and they have done it with dignity and respect for the club and it’s traditions, as well as never endangering the future of the club by making risky financial decisions. Seems like sensible, responsible stewardship to me and long may it last. Now for that League title...
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