John W Henry's Letter to the fans

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Post by mr-r34 Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:09 am

Liverpool Football Club's principal owner John W Henry has written the following open letter to supporters:


I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window, but that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved. They pushed hard in the final days of the transfer window on a number of forward targets and it is unfortunate that on this occasion we were unable to conclude acceptable deals to bring those targets in.

But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future - Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi - could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future.

Nor should anyone minimise the importance of keeping our best players during this window. We successfully retained Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Luis Suarez. We greatly appreciate their faith and belief in the club. And we successfully negotiated new, long-term contracts with Luis and with Martin.

No one should doubt our commitment to the club. In Brendan Rodgers we have a talented young manager and we have valued highly his judgement about the make-up of the squad. This is a work in progress. It will take time for Brendan to instill his philosophy into the squad and build exactly what he needs for the long term.

The transfer policy was not about cutting costs. It was - and will be in the future - about getting maximum value for what is spent so that we can build quality and depth. We are avowed proponents of UEFA's Financial Fair Play agenda that was this week reiterated by Mr Platini - something we heartily applaud. We must comply with Financial Fair Play guidelines that ensure spending is tied to income. We have been successful in improving the commercial side of the club and the monies generated going forward will give us greater spending power in the coming years.

We are still in the process of reversing the errors of previous regimes. It will not happen overnight. It has been compounded by our own mistakes in a difficult first two years of ownership. It has been a harsh education, but make no mistake, the club is healthier today than when we took over.

Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years. Our emphasis will be on developing our own players using the skills of an increasingly impressive coaching team. Much thought and investment already have gone into developing a self-sustaining pool of youngsters imbued in the club's traditions.

That ethos is to win. We will invest to succeed. But we will not mortgage the future with risky spending.

After almost two years at Anfield, we are close to having the system we need in place. The transfer window may not have been perfect but we are not just looking at the next 16 weeks until we can buy again: we are looking at the next 16 years and beyond. These are the first steps in restoring one of the world's great clubs to its proper status.

It will not be easy, it will not be perfect, but there is a clear vision at work.

We will build and grow from within, buy prudently and cleverly and never again waste resources on inflated transfer fees and unrealistic wages. We have no fear of spending and competing with the very best but we will not overpay for players.

We will never place this club in the precarious position that we found it in when we took over at Anfield. This club should never again run up debts that threaten its existence.

Most of all, we want to win. That ambition drives every decision. It is the Liverpool way. We can and will generate the revenues to achieve that aim. There will be short-term setbacks from time to time, but we believe we have the right people in place to bring more glory to Anfield.

Finally, I can say with authority that our ownership is not about profit. Contrary to popular opinion, owners rarely get involved in sports in order to generate cash. They generally get involved with a club in order to compete and work for the benefit of their club. It's often difficult. In our case we work every day in order to generate revenues to improve the club. We have only one driving ambition at Liverpool and that is the quest to win the Premier League playing the kind of football our supporters want to see. That will only occur if we do absolutely the right things to build the club in a way that makes sense for supporters, for us and for those who will follow us. We will deliver what every long-term supporter of Liverpool Football Club aches for.

JOHN W HENRY

Thoughts , opinion's, rants?
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Post by Art Morte Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:54 pm

That could have been written by Daniel Levy of Tottenham.
But generally speaking I agree of FSG's financial policy, but question their other decision-making.
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Post by donttreadonred Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:53 pm

Art Morte wrote:That could have been written by Daniel Levy of Tottenham.
But generally speaking I agree of FSG's financial policy, but question their other decision-making.
Completely agree. The idea of building towards the future is very sound. However, I would argue that in this situation, we were presented with a player (Dempsey) that had the ability to offer goals to a club desperately needing them. Moreover, it was a "cut-price" deal. I don't think it a significant risk to invest 6 mil in this situation. FFS, we spent 20 mil on a 27 year-old Downing last season, who was never likely to produce like Deuce. Granted, that probably factored into the decision in a more negative light.

Honestly, if that is the case, it should have been made readily apparent that we wouldn't seriously pursue Dempsey so we could shift our focus to another target, such as Sturridge/Walcott/Aubameyang/whoever. My problem is that we apparently honed in on one target and then failed to commit to the pursuit of that target. That is what angers me. The policy is well and good, but we had 3 months to clarify it. It should never have come down to a deadline day holdout. Something broke down, and I'm inclined to look towards the top of the ladder this time.
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Post by stevieg8 Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:10 pm

donttreadonred wrote:
Art Morte wrote:That could have been written by Daniel Levy of Tottenham.
But generally speaking I agree of FSG's financial policy, but question their other decision-making.
Completely agree. The idea of building towards the future is very sound. However, I would argue that in this situation, we were presented with a player (Dempsey) that had the ability to offer goals to a club desperately needing them. Moreover, it was a "cut-price" deal. I don't think it a significant risk to invest 6 mil in this situation. FFS, we spent 20 mil on a 27 year-old Downing last season, who was never likely to produce like Deuce. Granted, that probably factored into the decision in a more negative light.

Honestly, if that is the case, it should have been made readily apparent that we wouldn't seriously pursue Dempsey so we could shift our focus to another target, such as Sturridge/Walcott/Aubameyang/whoever. My problem is that we apparently honed in on one target and then failed to commit to the pursuit of that target. That is what angers me. The policy is well and good, but we had 3 months to clarify it. It should never have come down to a deadline day holdout. Something broke down, and I'm inclined to look towards the top of the ladder this time.

Everything I've read said that Fulham was uninterested in doing business with us and were demanding a higher price from us than from everyone else. It also says FSG bid the 6 million. So I'm a little confused as to why you think they weren't willing to invest that much...
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Post by Guest Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:13 pm

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Post by Art Morte Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:41 pm

I second what StevieG (feels weird calling you that btw lol) said, I heard we offered £6m but since Fulham were pissed off with us they demanded £7m from us and £6m from other clubs. In that case I'd've done the same, tell them no thanks. But someone made a major howler in not securing another striker when this deal fell apart.

Could even be that Chelsea moved the goalposts on Sturridge deal when they noticed we might not land Dempsey, trying to make our life more difficult. In fact, that would have been the right thing to do, imo.
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Post by RedOranje Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Fulham lost two of their main midfielders this summer (Murphy, Dembele).

Adam went for £4m, yes? We offered him plus £4m for Dempsey. We also (according to reports) offered Henderson plus cash. Henderson, given his age, international appearances, and general ability is almost certainly worth as much as if not more than Dempsey. AND he's a versatile midfielder.


So we offered more than £6m in both those deals, (£8m and up depending on valuation) and in both cases offered a player that Fulham definitely needed at the time. All indications are that Fulham simply were not interested in doing business with us unless it was at a fairly ridiculous price (in the 10s of millions) and that they (successfully) played brinksmanship. Had Spuds not gotten involved Dempsey would probably have ended up joining us for £8-9m in the 11th hour. As it was, Spurs made their move and offered Fulham exactly the type of outlet they were looking for after Dempsey rejected Aston Villa. Shit situation, but our mistake was not having other back-up options lined up, rather than not meeting Fulham's asking price.
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Post by McAgger Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:08 pm

Mr. Henry should understand that the fans aren't questioning the transfer policy, but in fact the stupidity of letting go of Andy Carroll and leaving the club with only 2 recognized strikers. Not many fans (not even on RAWK) have voiced their dislike of the players we have signed, in fact we all agree that it's best we buy young and with potential than overspend on average Joe's (e.i. Downing, Adam).

Fine we understand that the deal fell through with Fulham because we didn't want to pay over the odds for a 29 year old. So why did wait till the end of the window to address an issue that every one knew has been the weakest link in the first team??? And why did we not hold on to Andy until we knew for sure a replacement was coming?? It's questions like these that boggle our minds, not the owners' desire and ambitions.
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Post by RedOranje Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:32 pm

Why are people attacking the owners about it, though? Henry wasn't personally doing negotiations and he wasn't the one who failed to line up back-up deals in case the Dempsey one fell through. Are people upset that the club weren't held for ransom again (spending 10-15m on a player available at half that to other clubs)?

His letter is meant to address other claims, i.e. that the owners are only interested in stabilising the club then turning it over for a profit, that they aren't working on stadium plans, that they haven't and won't invest in the club on the footballing side. That's what he's written about, not the specific issues that we ran into on Friday. Maybe that's what people wanted/expected him to address, but given that he wasn't directly involved in transfers it's probably best that he doesn't address those issues in public, and instead looks into them within the club.
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Post by Fahim89 Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:51 am


Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool position undermined by FSG over Dempsey

When the former Swansea manager took over, he thought he had established that he was 'in charge of football matters' but the events of the transfer window suggest otherwise


Andy Hunter
Andy Hunter
guardian.co.uk, Monday 3 September 2012 22.34 BST


Brendan Rodgers the Liverpool manager
Brendan Rodgers has food for thought after Liverpool's poor start to the season and the transfer window. Photograph: Matt West/BPI/Corbis

Arguably the greater concern for Brendan Rodgers in his thwarted pursuit of Clint Dempsey was not the lack of money shown by Liverpool's owners but their lack of trust. Its absence before the third Premier League game of Rodgers's reign as manager is the principal reason the Anfield soap opera has started even earlier this season.

When Rodgers was unveiled as Kenny Dalglish's successor on 1 June he had successfully, after three rounds of talks with John W Henry and Tom Werner, ensured he would be a manager left to manage. So he thought. Plans for a sporting director had been shelved, there would be no ominous figure such as Louis van Gaal for the rising young coach to contend with and he "would be in charge of football matters".

Prophetically, in light of Friday's non-event of a transfer deadline day at Liverpool, he elaborated on that optimistic day: "I am better when I have control. I am not a power freak. But my point is that I need to feel that I can manage in terms of the team and I have a direct, clear line through to the owners. Once that becomes hazed and grey, for me there is a problem." It was hardly the radical overhaul of English football management that Fenway Sports Group had envisaged for Liverpool but a sensible compromise by owners wanting a clean slate under Rodgers nonetheless.

Fast forward to last Thursday night. The Liverpool manager has let Andy Carroll join West Ham United on loan with no replacement secured and, having negotiated a passage into the Europa League group stage with an aggregate victory over Hearts, makes a late-night phone-call to Boston to outline the case for Dempsey again. Rodgers was well aware of FSG's preference, to use the contents of Henry's letter of appeasement to Liverpool supporters, for "a self-sustaining pool of youngsters imbued in the club's traditions" and not "expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years". He was also conscious of the owners' fears, having squandered a fortune on Carroll, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam under Dalglish and Damien Comolli. Hence, for example, his refusal to bow to Gylfi Sigurdsson's wage demands before the Icelandic midfielder ended up at White Hart Lane.

But having slashed the wage bill and recouped roughly a third of his £29m transfer spend through transfer and loan fees, and with only Luis Suárez and Fabio Borini left as a strike force, he had reason to believe FSG would deliver a 29-year-old scorer of 23 goals last season who was desperate to join Liverpool. They responded by offering Fulham less than the fee already agreed with Aston Villa – whether it was £3m as Fulham claim or Liverpool's £4m, it was still less than Villa's £5m plus add-ons – and undermined Rodgers' judgment at a stroke. It once again raises the question of who is advising FSG?

Given that Henry's first appointment as principal owner was Comolli, whom he quickly promoted to director of football, it is clear the advice has been questionable from the start of FSG's reign almost two years ago. "There are operational things we need to sort out," said Rodgers after Sunday's defeat by Arsenal.

The club's transfer dealings this summer were not helped by Manchester City placing Dave Fallows on gardening leave once he had accepted the job of Liverpool's head of scouting and recruitment and some suspect FSG pays more heed to the data provided by the head of analytics, Michael Edwards, than the opinions of the club's manager.

Henry's open letter reads like a check list of the criticisms received on Twitter since Friday and demonstrated the acute sensitivity of the Liverpool hierarchy. The rift between owners and manager is not irreparable far from it, but taking flak via social media in Boston is nothing compared with what could befall Rodgers on the touchline at Anfield should Friday's inaction take its toll.

A must read for all as it makes a lot of sense Thumbs up
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Post by RedOranje Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:06 am

That article's built on nonsense, actually... very little (if any sense to it). By most (if not all) accounts of those close to FSG the funds were provided but misappropriated by someone within the club hierarchy on the European side of the pond. Henry and the owners had provided funds for the signing of a striker. However there was a disconnect or miscommunication within Anfield and Ayre/Rodgers shut up shop once Spurs came in for Dempsey, rather than upping the bid or pursuing other targets. FSG are (supposedly) furious over this and doing an internal investigation. Sahin's deal was apparently meant to be done using the money saved from wages of those sold/loaned (rather than funds provided by FSG), so it was his arrival that meant it was necessary to loan Carroll to get another forward (spending cash before we had it, in a since put Rodgers in a pinch).

There is a clause in Carroll's loan that allows the club to call him back in January if necessary as well, according to FSR.
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Post by Fahim89 Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:14 am

RedOranje wrote:There is a clause in Carroll's loan that allows the club to call him back in January if necessary as well, according to FSR.

Come January many other alternatives open up apart from Carroll. . . but the issue that might be alarming would be what to do before January. . . :facepalm:
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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:07 am

Don't see why JWH has to justify anything; though our scouting network/management should of done a lot better. Before the loaning out of Carroll, I had us at a succesful transfer window. Now not so much. Sure, we reduced A LOT off the wage bill for players that had no future here, but we really do lack depth AND quality in the final third.

Firstly, we should of had alternative targets after Dempsey (dodged a bullet there imo) and secondly, it was just stupid to loan out a 35m striker when there was NO player directly coming in. It's going to be a long 6 months.
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Post by McAgger Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:28 am

Did you guys hear about Henry's purchase of the Boston Globe last week, what do you think?

I know it won't affect us in any way but still worth a discussion.
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Post by stevieg8 Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:06 am

They've been a mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office for sometime, "sources inside the club" and stuff along those lines, so in that sense not much will be changing. It's a logical expansion of his business just because of the nature of his assets (sports teams and another media outlet), but I don't see him being heavily involved from a content point of view.
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