Despite the continued dearth of silverware, there is little doubt Liverpool are a club moving in the right direction. Back-to-back Champions League participations culminated in a 3-1 loss to threepeaters Real Madrid in May, and after finishing comfortably fourth in consecutive seasons, the Reds are tipped by many to be Manchester City’s principal challenger for the Premier League title this year. Three games in, they’re top of the table with a flawless record.
This sort of success on the pitch doesn’t happen in a vacuum, of course, and the establishment of a coherent recruitment strategy — made possible by a doubling of the club’s commercial revenues in recent years — has resulted in unprecedented success in the transfer market. With expensive failures seemingly a thing of the past, Liverpool broke two transfer records in 2018; making Virgil van Dijk the world’s most expensive defender in January, before Alisson Becker held the title of most expensive goalkeeper for a couple of weeks this summer.
Splurging on individuals only works if you’re not constantly shifting and replacing squad players who haven’t worked out, allowing the team to strengthen through pure addition. Managing director Billy Hogan takes great pride in the club’s work towards fortifying their financial position.
“It’s very different six years on,” Hogan told the Liverpool Echo during an exclusive interview.
“We have moved the club forward quite a bit in that time. Clearly, from a commercial standpoint, which has been my area of responsibility, that’s grown significantly.
“But more importantly and I think what everyone is most proud of is the strategy we’ve had since FSG took ownership, “he continued. “How we built the club in a sustainable way over the long-term to be successful on the pitch. That’s ultimately what this is all about - everyone here wants to win. (...)
“If you go back to when FSG first started looking at Liverpool as an opportunity, people were referring to the club as a sleeping giant. I think that’s something that’s been proven to be true.”
Music to the ears of any Reds fan, that. While the FSG era — beginning during the reign of Roy Hodgson way back in 2010 — has gone through its ups and downs as the owners have learned the ropes of the sport, there can be little argument that the club is on an upwards trajectory in recent seasons, both on and off the pitch. All that remains to be seen is whether the ascent will take the Reds all the way to the summit.