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Friday Rumblings: Debt, Injuries, and a Testimonial

And rumblings is about as good a term as any.

The biggest news of the day is, and will continue to be, the posting of Liverpool's losses for the year ending July 31, 2009. From the BBC:

Liverpool's parent company posted a huge loss of £54.9m for the year ended on 31 July 2009 as debt interest payments and severance costs hit hard.

The loss was 34% worse than 2008's figure as £40.1m went on servicing the club's £351.4m debt to Royal Bank of Scotland and US firm Wachovia.

Pay-offs to senior staff, including former chief executive Rick Parry, accounted for a further £4.3m.

BBC Sport understands that Parry's severance package was £3m.

If you're Tom Hicks and George Gillett, I'd imagine you're slinking away as anonymously as possible and trying to blend into the wall. Or you're off in another country, naively contemplating the idea of purchasing another club that plays a sport you know little about with the type of history and support that you can't really comprehend. But you're certainly entitled to get pissed at reporters for...reporting.

The sort-of good news to come out of this, if there is any, is noted by the Echo:

Turnover increased over the 12 months by more than £20m to £184.8m, a total largely attributed to increases in television revenue.

Meanwhile, operating profit – nothing to do with player sales, tax and interest – has increased by 10 per cent to £27.4m.

On the surface, then, it seems like Liverpool could eventually be profitable. Of course, that comes after paying off a massive debt, and the interest payments alone are enormous. News on potential investors and selling the club has quieted of late, and I don't know that this is going to help much, but you've got to imagine that at some point there will be somebody that's competent enough (and wealthy enough) to work with the club through such a difficult time. Which, according to the new chairman, will take place in "a matter of months."

As for team news ahead of the weekend, it seems that Glen Johnson's recovery has stalled to the point that he's a question for the weekend. Obviously with Liverpool's seventh place spot cemented there won't be any chances taken, and combined with the fact that he's England's first-choice in South Africa, he's not likely a face we'll see in the starting eleven. As he mentions in the above link, it's been somewhat of an up-and-down year. He started quickly out of the gates, then had a dip in form, then an injury, then he came back like gangbusters, and now to finish with another injury has got to be frustrating. And then he goes and jinxes his future with "I have had so many injuries this season it has been frightening but next season can't be as bad, surely." Great, add right-back to the shopping list.

And obviously Johnson's not the only one injured ahead of the weekend, as Liverpool limp across the finish line in terms of form and fitness. Between those with knocks and those who are definitely out, here's a tentative formation:

Kelly Carragher Skrtel Insua
Johnson Aurelio Rodriguez

All it's missing is another midfielder and a strike partner for Torres. But fear not, there's time in training still left before Sunday. Terrific.

But it's not all doom and gloom for Liverpool, and in what's probably the best news of the week (or season), a testimonial match has been organized by/for Jamie Carragher. The match will take place on September 4th, with an Everton XI lining up to face a Liverpool XI, and all the proceeds from the event will go to Carragher's 23 Foundation. Apparently Carra has had this in the works for awhile, and it sounds like the event will be fitting of the man whom it will celebrate. Big names from Liverpool's past are promised, including Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, and Danny Murphy. Nice way to round out the news week, and hopefully Carra will be able to feature against Hull on Sunday.

Preview up tomorrow, in the meantime enjoy your Friday.

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