Date: 2nd February 2011 at 12:10pm
Written by:

My fellow Liverpool fan, Angelo mentioned in a previous post about how Liverpool has been “rebuilding” since the late 80’s. That right there is the truth. Our lack of success has been the result of this total lack of planning for the future and a lack of continuity in execution.

Any organisation with an intention to be a going concern must plan for the future. By plan I do not mean scribble on a piece of paper what you want for breakfast tomorrow. To be successful into the future you need a plan that looks years ahead – out towards the horizon. It takes into consideration the market conditions, competition funds available etc. Once such a plan is in place it becomes the custody of the Board of Directors. Their duty as custodians is to install a capable executive management to implement the plan and to continuously review the plan in order to make sure it remains relevant to the constantly changing conditions of their industry.

Liverpool FC for 20 odd years has been unable to do this one thing!

Under the Moore’s regime we had stability of ownership but no vision for the future. At the dawn of the premier league era Liverpool was in pole position to make the most of the new enlarged market. We were the most successful team with the largest global following. A lack of vision from the top saw us fail to recognise the scale of the Premier League market and therefore not enlarge our capital base to be able to compete. When it was time to spend we just could not rely on the pockets of one family of former industrialist to fund the changes needed. We needed to build a world class stadium and buy the best players in the world to appeal to the new market. The Man United’s of the world listed on the stock exchange and were able to draw on a massive pool of investors to give them the money to build themselves up to the scale required. Liverpool looked on in disgust at the loss of football tradition. We missed out big time! As a parting gift after Moores gave us the Americans Part I!

Hicks and Gillett will go down as one of the biggest disasters to ever strike Liverpool Football Club. Fury builds up in me as I ponder these two buffoons. It should have been obvious from their business model that this was a disaster. Geared finance with a view to moving the asset for a profit based on value appreciation of the entire industry. It’s like the housing bubble. If you were credit worthy you could get a loan and buy a house that if you give it a couple of years would have given you a nice tidy profit. All you had to do was survive the mortgage repayments in the meantime. Hicks and Gillett = Epic Fail. They will be forever the example of why you shouldn’t invest at the top of the cycle! To add to the uselessness they fire Rafa!

I mention Rafa here because in the preceding 20 years he stands out as the only manager to have a solid long term plan for the team. His plan was all encompassing, covering a revamp of every facet of the club from the Academy, fitness staff, scouting system. Planning at this level is not the manager’s job! Why didn’t the board have such a plan in their hands? A club stuck in the 1980’s as Liverpool has been needs a plan that touches everything! It’s shocking that no such plan existed.

We cannot afford to be a club that is constantly reshaping itself. The only way to do this is to plan at board level with a long horizon. This needs to be backed up by continuity at both board level and football manager. We definitely cannot afford to be changing owners and managers at the same time. A prolonged period of stability is what we desperately need.

We risk disappearing as did many family owned mega co-orporations of the 60s and 70s if we cannot reinvent ourselves to be competitive at the new scale required.

P.S. based on my above argument I am a bit weary of Jose Murinho coming to Liverpool next season. I think there is a strong likelihood of this happening but it scares me. Jose has shown that he is a CV filler. He’s not going to come to Liverpool to structure a plan for a decade of success. He wants to come in win a league title and leave. To do that he’ll buy in players and leave us with a massive wage bill when he leaves. We need to be more ambitious than just a season of happiness and a lifetime of debt!


10 responses to “Why have Liverpool failed?”

  1. Sherief Razzaque says:

    G’day mate,
    Agree that Parry & Moores were ultra-conservative in their thinking, or, in Parry’s case, had zero business sense.

    H&G, while diastrous, did appoint Ian Ayre, who got us some of the biggest sponsorship deals any club has enjoyed. If anything, this was their true success, a fact overshadowed by their legion of failures.

    Before Rafa there was Houllier, who tried to implement the blueprint for success he enjoyed with France as Director of Football, but the man/plan wasn’t up to the task.

    As for Benitez, sacking Rafa was the right thing to do, unpopular as it may be to his many fans and apologists. He’d run his course and was anything but stable, and like you commented about Mourinho, Benitez did, in fact, leave us a huge squad, inflated wage bill and several sub-standard players.

    Hodgson too, was a mistake, though thankfully, a shortlived one.

    Kenny and NESV may be the first indication of the golden sky we’re all waiting for, certainly among the cast of thousands at Liverpool Football Club in the last 20 years.

    • Kava says:

      In defence of Rafa he left us with a great and revamped youth system of which we will soon be seeing the results, with the likes of Pacheco, Suso, Conor Coady, David Amoo and so on. Out of all our recent managers he was the most forward looking.

      • Sherief says:

        At this moment, that remains conjecture. Rafa’s belief was that our production line was poor and decided to clean house by axing Heighway, who’d brought Gerrard, Fowler, Carra, Owen, Macca and others through, because he disagreed with Rafa’s plans and philosophies, chief among which would be squeezing local lads out. Can’t blame Heighway for standing up for the locals. I commend it, but new manager’s prerogative.

        Up til now, we’re advised that our youth are promising, but they’ve yet to come on lile Rafael at United or some of Arsenal’s kids.

        Watching our play, I honestly believed young, flair players would be wasted in our system under the pragmatic Benitez.

        Then one day, he gets rid of the very coaches he appointed, Piet Hamberg et al. Something like 16 sackings in a day.

        Segura and Borell seem to be steadying the ship, so Rafa has had his triumphs.

        • MoKo says:

          I think Rafa’s reign was the most progressive we’ve had since the Frist Coming of King Kenny.

          The revamp of the Academy is surely his greatest legacy. But also the rrvamp of the reserves from a holding squad for average to poor senior players into an extension of the youth development structure was also commendable. In Houllier’s days you could easily find an former starter playing in the reserves.

          He is also responsible for building a new global scoouting network. This was one area where Liverpool had really remained back in the 90s.

          It’s unfair to compare our youth player with those at Man U and Arsenal simpliy because we don’t invest as much at that level.

          And the fact that Rafa was prepared to get rid of recruits (players and coaches) who don’t live up to expectations is a strength. Why should we carry anyone who’s not up to it?

  2. Ron says:

    I lay a lot of blame on Rick Parry especially with the way he handled transfers. There are many players we could have signed during his reign and Parry was slow to react in the market to sign them.

    The pace John Henry and Comolli have moved in this transfer window has been impressive and if they can do the same come the summer then we will be in good shape.

    I am still not sure if Henry wants Dalglish to stay there for the long term. It will be interesting to see how the season goes and if the King will still be in charge come next season. If he is then we know we going to have a long term plan under King Kenny and the Fenway Sports Group which could be just what we need.

    I agree with Moko that we should have had plans in place for a new stadium or extending Anfield to a greater capacity a long time ago instead of now. If we had a 60000 + seater stadium now, I can bet you we would not be in the trouble we are in now.

    • MoKo says:

      Houllier claims to have scouted Ronaldo and almost signed Figo.

      The one that irks me the most is the failed signinig of Vidic!
      He was at the airport/on a plane on his way to sign with Liverpool when he got the call from SAF. Ended up landing in Manchester and not Liverpool and we ended up with Srktel!

  3. stan howard says:

    the reasons for our recent failure are simple stupid greedy moores, a stupid appointment of a manager (by none football businessmen with no idea of what lfc are about and the disgusting non trying torres. torres owes us nothing but the effort he never put in and the respect he never showed us. he cost us more points than he won us this season. oh and the same businesssman set up the torres move with torres behind the clubs back.

  4. Nick says:

    Now that…is what i call a fantastically written and thought out piece!!! Bravo!!! JW Henry needs to read and heed this…..

  5. Thais says:

    Ekkert skrítið þótt þessu sé neitað. Liverpool má ekki ræða við hann fyrr en í janúar ef menn eru að spá í free tsnfraer næsta sumar. Vel getur reyndar verið að verið sé að reyna að semja við Real Madrid um knock down price í janúar og þá á eftir að semja við leikmanninn.Allavega segir þessi yfirlýsing hans mér lítið um það hvort eitthvað sé að gerast í málinu. 0