A mini-crisis. A title wobble. Cataclysmic shift in momentum. All possibilities as Liverpool travelled down to Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
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Football fans all over the world now understand that the round ball game is about money and business. It’s a sad reality, but the market is only going to reach new heights down the line.
Yes, every football club needs to balance their books and make some sort of revenue in order to sustain the club as well as following the financial fair play rules. However, a prestigious club such as Liverpool should be telling themselves that now is the time to take a stand against the big boys across Europe.
Philippe Coutinho is the most productive player that Jürgen Klopp has at his disposal. His skill and technique is why Barcelona are willing to fork out $120 million for the Brazilian’s services. The 25-year-old has given so much joy whenever he has stepped onto Anfield.
From Coutinho’s point of view, to replace Neymar and slot into the front three with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is an opportunity that comes and goes. If he wants to challenge himself and win trophies, then it only makes sense for him. Along with that, he’ll also be learning from the best player in the world.
For Liverpool, this transfer makes absolutely no sense. The Fenway Sports Group have done well to build the club where they are today, so surely the main objective is to push one step further and win the Premier League.
Reports suggest that Coutinho wants to do everything possible to force an exit. If that is the case, the owners must tie him down and do everything they can to keep such a talent instead of letting him throw the toys out of the cot and get his way.
Inter Milan are a perfect example for Liverpool to follow. With Jose Mourinho admitting that they couldn’t lure Ivan Perisic to Manchester, it was because Inter’s Chinese owners made a stand and stated their goal to keep their best players. The Italian giants have proven it is possible.
Where is the ambition of the club? How will Liverpool replace Coutinho? Is business more important than glory and trophies? These are all valid questions that will be at the back of the minds of supporters who will feel as though they are taking a step backwards.
Ask any Liverpool supporter what they would prefer more, and they would say trophies over money without a doubt. They pay their season tickets and television subscriptions so that they are able to enjoy success over the long run.
If the Fenway Sports Group want to sell their best players and look after their bank account, then what is the point of turning up?
Many clubs around the world have no choice but to sell their best players because they are struggling financially, but Liverpool are not in that position which is what would make me furious if I were a Liverpool fan.
There is no question that football is a business and that money is playing a bigger part than ever. But, even though these two points are true, unfortunately, you don’t win a trophy for being involved in the highest transfer fee, it’s about what happens on the pitch.
It would be a real shame for a club of the size of Liverpool to capitulate and have to start all over again from scratch to build a new team.
I’m worried for them this upcoming season, and if they do happen to be tempted by the money and sell Coutinho, I find it hard to see them finishing in the top six.
You’re better than this, Liverpool.