In the aftermath of an unprecedented mass walkout at Anfield on Saturday followed by an all to predictable capitulation against troubled opposition, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group find themselves on a bit of a hot seat. Supporter sentiment has soured noticeably in recent months despite the announcement of Jürgen Klopp's engagement in October of 2015. Now, former manager Brendan Rodgers, in an interview with beIN Sports, has offered his thoughts on the conundrum facing Liverpool's owners.
"A club has to look at it and decide whether they want a business model or a winning model," Rodgers noted. "A winning model would mean trying to get the best players that you possibly can, at whatever age they are, it doesn’t matter."
"Is it about buying a young player, developing and improving them and then selling them on for a much greater fee, or is it about getting the best possible player, irrelevant of what age he is, in order to win," Rodgers asked rhetorically, before suggesting that "the best clubs will have a balance between both."
Rodgers' comments will undoubtedly evoke memories of various disagreements between Liverpool's notorious transfer committee and the former manager, despite his protestations that working within that framework did not cause him distress. Since taking the reins, FSG have been transparent about their desire to simultaneously pursue business objectives and football objectives in their approach to transfers, and there have been occasions where compromises have been made at either end of the spectrum.
It would disingenuous for observers (and especially Rodgers) to suggest that FSG have overly prioritized profit over success in their transfer market dealings given such notable "buy-low-sell-high" youth projects from Rodgers' tenure as Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, and Christian Benteke there for all to see.
Still, Rodgers is not wrong in noting that there is a difficult balance to be struck. If profit and success are the Scylla and Charybdis of modern football, FSG have proven that they are willing to navigate between the two. Or at least to try to. More than five years since they took over, though, it still remains to be seen whether they have the right people at the helm to do so successfully.