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Liverpool's Transfer Committee May or May Not Exist This Summer, and May Not Have Last Summer, Either

Say what?

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"Wait, you weren't a committee buy?"
"Wait, you weren't a committee buy?"
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Is there any entity at Liverpool FC more reviled by fans than the club's transfer committee? Put together by FSG to perform the same functions as the non-existent Director of Football role Brendan Rodgers refused to work with upon being hired, the committee has taken the lion's share of the criticism when it comes to the club's transfer dealings, causing speculation that there might be major changes in its future.

The Telegraph report that FSG have revived their desire to have a Director of Football position in place to help Brendan Rodgers make recruitment decisions. This in turn has lead the Telegraph to speculate — perhaps wildly — that at best the committee will be revamped on some level, and at worst that it will be disbanded all together.

But the idea that the transfer committee is entirely to blame seems an odd one, given that many of last summer's transfer failings (or "failings", depending on your perspective) were distinctly Rodgers' choices. Mario Balotelli is popularly used as a scapegoat for everything that's wrong with the transfer committee, but the trio of recruits from Southampton were Rodgers' preferred targets in a summer that saw the club spend significant amounts of money and then some to make sure they landed both the opinion-splitting Adam Lallana and the widely regarded misstep Dejan Lovren.

In a webchat behind the Times' pay wall, journalist Tony Evans confirmed that the whole process of identifying and recruiting targets by the transfer committee was bypassed by Rodgers so that the manager could put his own players on the short list of club targets. When Ian Ayre laid out the process two years ago, Rodgers' responsibility was to identify key roles that needed to be filled, with the committee (at the time comprising Ayre, head of analysis Michael Edwards, head of recruitment Dave Fallows, and a first-team manager) then compiling lists of players who had the qualities Rodgers was looking for.

Certainly last summer's recruitment wasn’t 100% up to Rodgers nor was it 100% up to the committee, as the various signings bear out one way or another. That Rodgers was able to put his own players on the lists and then prioritize them for purchase does at least speak to there being a diminished authority for the transfer committee, something that may not provide comfort for those worried about Rodgers' personal preferences impacting the transfer budget significantly this summer.

With Rodgers looking to have earned his stay on Merseyside until at least the start of next season, questions will continue to be asked about his history in the transfer market. Whether this summer's recruitment strategies will evolve from last year's hodge podge approach remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: no matter which players are targeted or by whom, Liverpool need to have a very, very successful summer.

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