We are a funny stage of the footballing calendar, the limbo period between the end of the season and the start of a major international tournament. The last game of note was England v Japan. It was a poor game and I’m pretty sure all eleven players would have rather have not been there, and just wanted to get onto the main business of the World Cup.
With Liverpool it’s similar, of course the circumstances are different however you want to clear a few hurdles, get a few issues out of the way before getting on to the stuff that you are really there for. It’s clear that the club is in limbo, on the verge of change all I want is for everything to be sorted and to move on. Naive in the extreme, these things take time but there you go I’m a fan and impatient to see things sorted.
I guess that is why I was disappointed with Tom Hicks recent announcement that the sale of the club might not happen until the autumn. Again, probably naively, I was hoping that we’d line up for the opening game of the season with a new kit and new team, new owners and who knows the odd new player or five! Meanwhile in the background would be intrusive but reassuring sound of digging in Stanley Park! A preposterous and absurd notion but there you go I should have learnt by now that things aren’t so simple.
I think the broad assumption was that this summer would the time the club changes hands. Presumably these things would take time to sort anyway however, perhaps this further complicated by the Americans rumoured asking price which is significantly higher than the money they paid for the club. Is this realistic in today’s climate and taking into account what they have bought to the club? Perhaps prospective buyers will take more wooing or maybe we should concentrating on Hicks and Gillett, who have recently commentated on the effect this has had them personally, and trying to encourage them to drop their asking price?
It’s debatable if this would speed up the process and my worry is the impact this could have on the team. If reports are true then will we start the season in the same state of uncertainty that we ended it? So inevitably when the World Cup is over and players thoughts turn to their future will the uncertainty surrounding the club play its part in any decision to leave the club or for that matter, join the club? Tom Hicks has said that we will have a “significant” transfer budget this summer. This is rumours to be around £15m to £20m plus anything through sales of players – sound familiar and hardly a war chest that will get legs shaking across the Premiership. It will be difficult enough as it is trying to attract top quality players when we’re not in the Champions League let alone asking them to join a team were the future, immediate as well as the long term, is uncertain?
Take for example Steven Gerrard how will he feel? He has spent all his life a one club. Jose Mourinho has indicated that he would be more than willing to take him to Real Madrid? Other clubs have also shown an interest. Will this, and the temptation combination of wanting to try something new before he hangs up his boots, cause him to consider a move? Perhaps any indecision or uncertainty will be tipped by the situation that Liverpool hasn’t sorted things out. Gerrard has already gone on record that he doesn’t want to discuss his Liverpool future whilst the World Cup is on. If it wasn’t an issue then why didn’t he just say so?
What of Yossi Benayoun? If Rafa stays he stays. If Rafa goes he goes or so it would seem. Equally we’ve been told that Torres’ future at Anfield is secure and that he won’t need to be sold. However if more payers leave, especially Gerrard, will the Spaniard be tempted to instigate a move where he can basically name his price and his terms.
Sadly the future is still uncertain and it is likely to remain so for some time?