Liverpool under FSG have been finding various ways to increase revenue streams to bolster the value of their investment and ensure that the club is competitive in an era when the benefits of commercial activities can be vast. Liverpool were slow to pick up on the growth of the commercial side of football in the 1990s and only began to make serious inroads after NESV (assumed FSG as corporate name virtually three years ago) took over the club midway through October in 2010. Sponsors, tours, and doughnuts will increasingly play a bigger role in Liverpool's success off the pitch.
Later this year, five years of ownership will be celebrated, and there have been some notable accomplishments. Champions League football returned this season, a wage reallocation process was arguably completed last summer, a young and talented squad is in place, a progressive manager accustomed to the demands of the club has been in charge for nearly three seasons, and work on increasing the stadium capacity began in early December. Some fans may feel that Liverpool are falling behind and need to catch up, but there is much already being done that will benefit Liverpool on the pitch. This latest news is further evidence of Liverpool's global reach and popularity.
Often stadium tours are looked at as merely business by local fans and nothing more, but that grossly underestimates the passion of Liverpool fans worldwide who rarely get a chance to see their club live. This idea that "real fans" are local ones is rubbish; many Liverpool fans beyond the British Isles are passionate, knowledgeable, loyal, and desperate for success. A lot of people have responsibilities, families, jobs, personal struggles, and just life to contend with instead of travelling to Liverpool or a different part of England to watch a domestic game. European games may offer a better opportunity for some fans, but those quite far away will find it difficult at times. Times are tough for lots of people, so such snobbery doesn't exactly fit the idea that Liverpool is a different kind of club supported by folk who are genuine and subscribe to the idea that one will never walk alone.
Liverpool will play one game in Adelaide against Adelaide United that is purported to bring in £5 million alone and the other game in Brisbane against Brisbane Roar is projected to be worth a similar fee. The fee, according to the report in the Liverpool Echo, for the game in Adelaide breaks down as £800,000 for appearing by the South Australian Government, all gate receipts believed to amount to £3 million, and merchandising that should reach the £1.2 million mark. Total £5 million. That's just from one match, and the first match in Brisbane could bring even more cash for Merseyside's finest. The Queensland State Government paid for Liverpool to arrive in Brisbane first for the tour in July, so perhaps £1 million may be the fee instead of £800,000, maybe more.
Will the money boost transfers or help with the running of the club? Whatever happens with the money, Liverpool will benefit along with passionate Reds, some of whom will be watching their beloved club for the first time. There's good business and heart in this news. It seems these types of tours will become part of Liverpool's regular schedule, and players will get to sample the significance of the club worldwide, maybe even surprise them. Maybe such tours will help Liverpool snare one of those Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Willian, Alexis Sánchez or Diego Costa types one day.