The Future Of Liverpool Football Club: Golden Skies or Continued Storms?
Despair. Anguish. Confusion. Disappointment. Pain.
Few better words could be used to sum up the season that was 2009/2010 for Liverpool Football Club.
The faces of the players themselves in their farewell lap after the dismal and tired performance against Chelsea, told the story of the season that was.
One look at any of Jamie Carragher, Stevie Gerrard and Fernando Torres, showed not only the agony of the pains of the long and unsuccessfull season, but the discontent and dismay with the ongoings surrounding the club.
I am also now deeply saddened and convinced that Torres has now made his mind up that his future lies elsewhere.
From the desolate, dejected figure he cut watching the game, to the sullen body language and reluctance to even really look towards the fans he is so revered and adored by during the farewell lap, suggests his loyalty could be tested this summer, and his mind really is all over the place regarding his future.
I don't think Torres wants to leave Liverpool, but at the same time knows that he needs to be on the biggest stage challenging for honours, as was his reasoning for leaving Aletico in the first place.
Hoever, it will hurt to see this wonderful player lining up against LFC, in particular if it is in either blue of Manchester City or Chelsea, as opposed to infront of his adoring Kop.
Then there is the question of the future of poor Steven Gerrard.
You have to feel a great deal of sorrow and angst for this passionate and loyal club servant.
It was only this week I started reading his autobiography once more, to reconfirm to myself how much the club does mean to him and whilst once again this devotion and loyalty was confirmed, the temptation to move on after another disappointing season, despite last years promise, may be too much for him to resist. And who could really blame him after all he has done over the years.
So who is to blame for this mess?
Tom Hicks and George Gillett are the most obvious and worthy candidates, and while my genuine hatred for these two blood-sucking and money grabbing parasites is as passionate as any other true supporter, they are just the main culprits in a saddening plight and regression.
The Premier League itself, has almost sold its soul in recent years, by allowing the demise of clubs such as Liverpool and Portsmouth and the bankrolled rise of Manchester City and Chelsea through wayward foreign ownership.
How saddening it is to see Manchester City tops, once only worn by the most loyal of fans, as prevalent as that of Liverpool, Arsenal or Man United, as more and more glory hunting fans, jump on to the City bandwagon.
While my hat goes off to those ardent and essentially lucky fans that have been there from the beginning with their clubs, and have earnt the right to rejoice in this new found wealth (a feeling that unfortunately has alluded LFC fans ) it is hard to not remain envious and fed up with the ability clubs like City have now got, to buy their way to the top.
This alone, is the reality of why David Moores sold the club in the first place, this is why these Tom and George were even considered, this is why all the promises of snoogy doogy and 60 days until shovels began, seemed all so wonderful—this is what we were entitled too, to finally be of the financial stature and pulling of the other clubs, but alas whilst the sign may forever read-this is Anfield—this is what Anfield has become.
Yes, Rafa and the players must shoulder some of the blame and yes the argument will arise as to how much Rafa has spent, and his unquestionable poor acquisitions, but when he should have had money available to make amends for these poor buys.
He was unable to do so and the bargain buying, free transfer signing dealings that have become synonymous with his name, have had little success in working out (Think Degen, Voronin etc . )
One only has to look at Robinho, Shevchencko and Veron, big money flops who have come and gone at their respective clubs (with each costing nearly 10 Million more than our record signing!) and how their quick replacement with other high quality and expensive talent has eased the pressure of their original purchase and massive fees.
Has Rafa been able to do the same? Plain and simple. No.
(If he had this opportunity, I am sure a quality CM would have been bought in January, and much the same as Robinho's return to Brazil, Mr Alberto Aquilani, may have earnt himself a loan move back to Italy if this was the case)
Whilst it is unknown as to who will actually be taking the field in the red kit next season, the mutterings and murmurs coming through the press and the club, is that it will not be competing for the David Villa or Silva's of the world, nor for the next player to explode on to the world stage in South Africa in six weeks.
This is what Rafa should have been afforded the ability to do, this is what it seemed Rafa thought he was going to be able to do. Most importantly this is what Liverpool Football Club needs to be able to do, if we are going to be able to challenge for the honours we should be in years to come.
This being said however, as mentioned, Rafa too is at fault for some of his decision making throughout the year and in his previous transfer dealings, and if he does move on to Juve, the criticisms aimed at this are merited and he too MUST shoulder some of the blame for this shocking and poor season.
There is no doubt how different the season could have been if both Xabi Alonso hadn't felt undervalued by Rafa, or even Gareth Barry had been purchased two years ago, or if Keane, Crouch or Bellamy weren't moved on to balance the books and Aquilani, Torres and Johnson hadn't spent as much time on the treatment table.
However, the reality is, no matter how much all will want to forget the season that was, the potential of irreparable damage and scarring that this season will leave it in its wake is immense.
Liverpool Football Club needs an offseason of soul searching and change, and reflection and overhaul from the academy through to the boardroom, the management through to the backroom staff, or it faces an devastating regression to a midtable club if drastic changes are not made in the coming months.
The loss of players, pride and prestige, both during this season and in its aftermath has the potential to cause damage to club for seasons to come, and more years of disappointment for underserving fans.
So what are the possiblities?
Maybe DIC or another cashed up investor will come back in and buy the club? If the Sheikh is the fan he claims to be, then surely he will not stand for this intolerance any longer.
It is fair to assume that any other devoted supporter (as he claims to be, ) with the wealth available to resolve the current situation, would do so immediately.
The problem is, however, that not only is this unlikely to happen, but any potential owner, player or manager at the moment, is well aware of the situation of at Liverpool FC, and the name alone is not enough to hide the huge mess spawned from Tom and George.
There is no doubt that next season we will demand more as fans and will all hope that this awful year merely was a blimp in our proud history, after all this is Liverpool Football Club. But even the most ardent of fans cannot help but worry that this in fact could really be the beginning of a sad decline into mid table mediocrity and a descent down from the top where we belong.
This summer really is the most pivotal in the clubs history. The storm can subside, and the golden sky can once again prepare to cover the fields of Anfield Road, or, the rain can continue to pelt down heavily on the institution that is LFC, unfairly, on those who deserve it the least, the fantastic fans.
To Tom and George, I sincerely hope you one day realise what you have done and it afflicts you the same pain that you have on all those that never walk alone, and that wealth you greedily acquire from selling our beautiful club is unfairly taken away from you too.
Until then however, the least you can do, is sell the club to the right buyer for the right price, and give some form of hope back to those that matter and care the most — the fans, so we can begin to pick up the pieces of this rubble and mockery you have made of our beautiful club and walk on with an unwavering hope in our hearts.
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