Date: 3rd July 2011 at 12:00pm
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Liverpool owner John W Henry commented on twitter about the club’s transfer strategy:

“Speculation on players shouldn’t include those of a certain age. We are not going to be successful by merely filling short-term needs at LFC. Everything in sports is overpriced now – especially the cost of winning. But you make your choices based on a plan. Some things happen early and some late. The important thing is that things happen. Sometimes what you avoid is important.”

Comments about the club not buying players of a “certain age” is unsurprising, considering it was apparent from very early on that FSG subscribed to the “Moneyball” approach. The appointment of Damien Comolli very shortly after the takeover of the club was all but confirmation of this strategy.

This rumoured strategy was further reinforced by the signing of 20 year old Jordan Henderson and the genuine interest in 19 year old Phil Jones and 18 year old Connor Wickham. Questions remain however over how effective the approach will be.

As Henry mentions in his twitter messages, everything in football and in sports in general are “overpriced now,” and he no doubt was referring to some of the transfers fees being paid by Liverpool as well as other clubs. What Moneyball effectively boils down though in its most basic conception is the aim to get “value for money.” Younger players maybe overpriced but their value in the future will only go up while those in the latter stages of their careers will only depreciate in value. It makes financial sense to invest in younger players.

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17 responses to “Does John W Henry have the right plan for Liverpool?”

  1. fergo says:

    john henry has put out guide lines, everyone knows you cant win anything at all at the top level with a team of 17 year olds, i think there has to be a plan and i personally wont have anything to say until the transfer window is closed OR john henry has been proved wrong, im sick of negative people writing about my club,

  2. James says:

    Well said Fergo. I cant understand why people are going at the owners and KK the way they are. Since when did we become so impatient? As KK said, they are working on deals. Still a long time to go before the window shuts. I think its a good thing the Liverpool keep the business in house. Its people reading too much into all these tabloid stories and getting carried away. Just sit back, let Kenny do his thing and it will all be alright!

  3. Paul says:

    I agree that we need to build for the future but what is this certain age, we still need experience and you only get this with age.

    England internationals the likes of Cahill and Downing would be fantastic additions as well as some of Europes top young lads. The thing is England internationals don’t come cheap as we’re finding out.

    Clearly the wage bill need cutting and this is primarily why the owners wanna bring in young ones. Cole and Rodreguez are being paid £100,000 and £90,000 a week which is rediculous. Kiri’s finished and a few of the others are simply not good enough.

    We’re not gonna start signing the players we need till we’ve got rid of the hangers on and this is why things are moving slowly. Henry wants the squad trimming along with his wage bill but the problem is moving these guys on, nobody else would pay Cole £100,000 a week so he could just see his contract out.

  4. Tony says:

    Im certainly behind the strategy absolutely!!!!. My only concern is Comolli, sorry to to go on lads. J W Henry is a top business man and sports fan himself, im of the opinion that we will now switch to European targets, due to the value. The prices of British players is a joke, although im very happy with Henderson (5th most creative player), in the Prem last season!!!!!
    The sad thing is, without money you have no chance of any success. Im disappointed how much Chelsea changed football with the Russian money, this triggered the chaos we see now!. Football now is greed and debts are rising in the game, yet greed dictates even more spending…’s lunacy!!!!

  5. magnumopus says:

    When it comes down to it we don’t have a choice because the club will buy who they want and we will find out their choices… so why listen to the unreliable media when Kenny said he will tell us when something has been arranged? I don’t remember Kenny or Henry asking me or you or any fan who we wanted to buy… when they do then and only then will I get excited. Until then, I wait impatiently to know who we have signed.

  6. Frank says:

    It’s far too soon to be asking questions about FSG. We have already seen a big improvement on the previous regime in terms of money spent. Breaking the clubs transfer twice on January should tell you something about their intentions and ambitions. The method of buying the best available young players is the way to go. Barcelona are a great example of young players growing up together in the academy to become stars in the first team. Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Busquets all came through that set up. With the Financial Fair Play rules coming into effect soon, LFC simply have to go the same route.

  7. Simon says:

    I believe that we can be successful under the new owners and management, and I totally trust KK’s judgement.

    But a couple of points to note,
    1 – Young players values do not always go up! Ryan Babel, anyone. Having potential is one thing, fulfilling it is another thing all together.

    2 – Whilst having young players for the future is good, filling a squad with youth is not a guaranteed recipe for long term success, what have Arsenal won over the past few years? There is a need for youth mixed with experience, and in my opinion moving on anyone over the age of around 28 would be a massive mistake! But I don’t think the owners will start moving on all our older players.

    There is a worry that with this “moneyball” strategy we could become a selling club, buying in young players, developing their talent and then selling them on for a profit. But again I hope and believe that this won’t be the case.

    Whoever is bought in this window I will support, and with the King at the helm, I look forward to next season with great enthusiasm!


  8. Kenny says:

    One of the biggest failures of the club this summer has been the failure to show any momentum about either a new stadium or redeveloping Anfield. In contrast major renovations have been going on at Old Trafford since the end of last season on the 22nd of May. United are looking towards increasing their capacity to 95000. The current Anfield is so small that it could be lowered lock stock and barrel down inside Old Trafford. It is time for LFC fans to wake up to the fact that because of the stubborn residents in the houses around Anfield that despite receiving more then generous offers to sell to the club will not ever move, LFC and Everton need to copy the two Milan clubs and share a brand new stadium. This stadium would need to be at least 75000 in capacity with plenty of room outside it like Old Trafford to allow the option of further development. LFC on their own cannot afford top new players as well as a proper new stadium and equally they cannot afford to keep playing in a stadium as small as the current Anfield, forget any sentiment about Anfield, it is time for commonsense about groundsharing to be the way forward.

  9. Mike Dubai says:

    Henry is a muppet. Unfortunately for LFC so is Damien Commoli and these are the 2 people at the heart of our transfer plans this summer, and not King Kenny. Its ok saying we are buying for the future and going for primarily young English talent, but then when you spend 20M on a relatively unproven player like Henderson and miss out on a massive talent like Phil Jones for 4M less is tragic but the lad wanted to play for Manure so fair enough…but why are we going for midfielders in the first place? And why are we letting our best player last year in Mireiles go on the cheap and we bring back Aqualani coz we are pushing for 14M? That really makes no sense. Step one is get rid of the riff raff at no money if we have to but the likes of: Konchesky, Jovanovic, Poulsen, Cole, Ngog etc MUST be offloaded and at no cost if we have to! Furthermore, bring in a QUALITY left back…how we are letting a top 4 player with top Champs League experience in Clichy get away at 7M to Man City when we can guarantee him a starting place and he favoured a move to us is illogical. Add to that the average players we have been linked with: Milner, Downing, Enrique and Adam…these are players who will solidify our position as top 6 but not help us challenge for the league title and the Champions League. I have been a fan since 1975 and am happy we got rid of Tom and Jerry but am very unhappy at the current state of our transfer dealings and plans… YNWA!

  10. Chambers says:

    Reading this lot of comments is DEPRESSING!

  11. Kenny says:

    It is ridiculous to be signing yet another substandard leftback when the club already has more then enough players to fill that role for the paltry 38 games next season. Fans need to stop pressurizing the club to waste money on positions like leftback for this coming season. All this does is to create problems down the line when that leftback flops but is on a huge wage that no other club would be stupid enough to pay him and LFC take another financial hit. Chris Mavinga has been on loan to Genk in Belgium, he deserves a chance too this coming season. If any fan thinks that paying the likes of Clichy 90 grand a week is good business for LFC then they are seriously deluded. LFC have had some disastrous leftbacks in the last few years such as Dossena and Konchesky. Insua was an average player to begin with, he never had a clue defensively and was never fast enough. LFC have Kelly,Johnson,Flanagan,Robinson,Mavinga and Aurelio who can all rotate for the leftback position in the paltry 38 games of the Premier League this coming season. The only reason Clichy was keen to join was because of the huge wage increase he would have got, then City came along and increased it further. Arsenal fans themselves do not rate Clichy.

  12. Towson Tom says:

    I think that whilst age will have some bearing on decisions made regarding signings I think the players abillity will be the deciding factor. However, I do think you can draw a line between a players value and his age (many 28+ year olds are outrageously priced considering their short future – one injury and you could lose him for half of his contract). The most important thing regarding the stadium is to get it right, and if that takes time then so be it.

  13. Kenny says:

    The stadium situation comes down to affordability and not time. LFC will not have the financial power on their own to build a 75000 new stadium or even a 60000 one. The only option is groundsharing with Everton because the stubborn residents refusing to move from the Anfield area have wasted the club’s time for the last 40 years.

  14. Pete Gill says:

    These new yanks have hoodwinked the scousers as much as hick and gillete did.

    Sell Torres and Babel use that money to buy Carrol and Suarez

    Use the premier league prize money to buy henderson (lol) and other crap.

    Dont invest a penny of your own money.

    Dont build a new stadium.

    21 years……

  15. maljay says:

    So sad and depressed to read the comments here. wise up. LFC was neglected in terms of player investment for years. The club has to plan long-term. There is no quick fix. We are buying players to try to catch up with teams who have stronger squads, and are in a posotion to soend more than us now. We are not in a position to go and spend huge sums on big names. And anyway, no CL next year means we won’t get them. The only strategy is to bring in young, promising guys; mix them withe experience we have, such as Garrard, and give them time.

    In the meantime, I’m convinced there has been a huge amount of work gone into attracting funds for a new stadium. And calling the owner a ‘muppet’ says more about the lack of understanding of the writer than John Henry.Yes, get rid of riff-raff, but the problem is that we were landed with players like Konchesky and Poulson by the incompetence of Hodsgon and Puslow. The new owners are not loaded down with Russian mafia money or that of an oil rich playboy. They have to plan longer-term. I’d be very surpised if LFC get Champions League next season – just look at the money Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea and Man City have to spend on squads already far stronger! Either get sense, or stop pretending you have any ideas what you are talking about.

  16. Kenny says:

    Maljay, you are totally overrating the quality of those other teams. Arsenal and Spurs will struggle to make the top 4 this season. City like Spurs last season will be distracted by the Champions League. Despite Villas Boas, Chelsea’s squad is too small and getting old. United will be more interested in winning the Champions League next season knowing that Barcelona as the holders will not retain it. The 28 games against the other 14 teams can yield 84 points. Break even in the games against the top 5 and you will finish top.

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