Liverpools Plunge To Shame: Are The Reds' Going The Leed's Way?
It was a picture perfect moment for struggling Wigan as they secured a shocking 1-0 win against struggling Liverpool to move clear from the relegation zone thanks to a Hugo Rodallega goal.
In contrast, the picture was a symbol of Liverpool's plunge to shame this season.
None of the so-called football pundits could have forecasted this for a team that had narrowly missed winning the English Premier League just last season.
The team with the best record last season has already lost nine games this season. The Reds' have been dumped from the Champions League also. They are fighting for the Europa League where they lost again to minnows Lille 1-0.
The season can get worse than this if the team does not get their confidence back.
A drop from the top six in the league will render them unable to play for the Champions League as well as the Europa League.
This will not be good news for the owners as it will result in loss of a valuable financial boost. The way the finances for the 18 times first division winners are going it looks that they may have to sell some star players for gathering finances whilst they go into administration.
The Reds' current season does have a stark similarity with that of Leeds United who after a successful season plunged downwards thereafter resulting in them getting relegated.
Leeds had also some top class players and they were never below the top five in the First Division. They also made it to the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League 2001, where they lost to Valencia. But then the club lost out the fourth place to Newcastle.
The club failed to repay the huge loans it had taken for signing new players with huge fees.
The club started selling their star players.
Rio Ferdinand was the first to go. Following him Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Bowyer, Nigel Martyn, Robbie Fowler, Robbie Keane, and Harry Kewell also left. But still there was lack of funds. A bunch of managers came but no one could turn the fortune for the "The Peacocks".
In the 2003-04 season, Leeds United were relegated from the top flight after 14 years.
The next season saw further slumps and in the 2006-07 season they were relegated to the third division. Leeds thereafter clambered back to second division are now presently fourth in League One.
The Reds' fortunes and conditions have an uncomfortable similarity with that of Leeds. They have consistently been within the Top Four except a single season. They have been European Champions.
The Reds lost out on the Premier League last season narrowly.
But this season they have seen a change in their fortunes. The owners and the club are in neck high debt. They have no means to make refunds. They had to sell their star player Alonso to Real Madrid for making any new signings.
The club has seen a slump in their form unlike in the last decade. They have lost to clubs small and big.
Liverpool are presently ranked 6th in the Premier League. The clubs ranked below them have one or two games in hand. If luck does not turn around in their favor, the Reds' fans may even see their club at 7th or 8th position.
Liverpool have virtually no chance of becoming fourth. With that they will lose a Champions League spot and more importantly "presently necessary funds".
A few freak losses like the one to Wigan last week may even see them ranked 8th and miss the Uefa Cup.
That will be similar to Leeds losing their fourth spot to Newcastle and their subsequent plunge to further shames. Without a ticket for the Champions League or Uefa Cup, the club may be forced to sell their star players for some funds.
The clubs has debts of £350 millions along with annual interest of £30 millions. Unless the present owners of the Reds sell the the club to some wealthy interested client, Liverpool may face severe problems similar to that of Leeds.
Hope the Reds' fans do not have to see that day.
But just like Leeds transformed from one of the best clubs in Europe to a third division club due to financial implosion, the mighty Reds' may also face similar threats if the owners do not find out an appropriate escape clause from the imminent financial collapse.
For that Liverpool need to win their rest matches of the season, as well as progress through the Uefa Cup overcoming the 1-0 deficit to Lille. The end of this season may see one of the Top Four get dragged to the ground.
Only the summer will give us the answer.
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