Liverpool were just two wins away from their first Premier League title when many fans voiced their frustration.
The Reds had been linked with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner all summer when, seemingly out of nowhere, Chelsea stole in and triggered the German’s £52million release clause.
The Londoners , armed with the proceeds from Eden Hazard’s sale to Real Madrid a year prior, had swooped for a player who reportedly had his heart set on a move to Liverpool.
How could FSG let this happen? Why weren’t Liverpool strengthening from a position of strength? And why, after a year without major transfers, weren’t the Reds willing to splash the cash?
Liverpool were simply operating as they always did. The club would not spend beyond their means and not throw cash at a player who wasn’t deemed a certain starter.
They would have to find another way.
The Reds, as they always do, had taken the financial climate into play when considering the deal and decided that, as things stood, they couldn’t afford to splash £52m on Werner. They would have to wait.
Chelsea had no such issues.
Liverpool were worried about the implications of a worldwide pandemic that has pushed Britain into the first recession in 11 years.
And they had every right to be.
Liverpool could be handed a further financial boost by the Premier League after reports emerged that they will be handed £175m in prize money for finishing top of the league, while the Champions League will also help next term.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Nike deal has been a huge hit, with club insiders confirming that the release of the home kit led to huge sales. The Reds will be confident that their new kit deal will make them a lot of money in the years to come.
But it’s not all good news.
There’s no money-spinning summer tour this season, with Liverpool spending part of pre-season in Austria before heading back to Merseyside to prepare for the Community Shield against Arsenal on August 29.
And with plans for the return of fans yet to be confirmed, Liverpool can’t yet count on matchday revenues to supplement their cashflow.
Indeed, like many others, the Reds are feeling the pinch and their frugal approach to the transfer market might not be the most exciting to transfer hungry supporters, but it could safeguard the club in the long-term.
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Football fans only need to look around to see how difficult the financial climate is outside of Liverpool.
Arsenal recently announced plans to make 55 members of staff redundant, as well as pay cuts to players and the management team, after admitting they face “more significant and longer-lasting reductions in our revenue than we all hoped”.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, reports state that Southampton could lose up to £15m after Chinese shirt sponsor LD Sports pulled the plug on their club-record deal on the eve of the new season.
And it’s not just the English top flight, with reports in Spain claiming that Real Madrid are facing severe financial problems due to the impact of the virus.
It is said that Fly Emirates and Adidas are unable to honour financial commitments they had made to the Spanish giants and that the closure of the Santiago Bernabeu, which brings in huge amounts in matchday revenue, as well as hospitality and tourism revenue streams through the stadium tours and museum, has cost the club severely.
And this is just the start.
A number of other teams are likely to feel the financial strain of coronavirus and – aside from those with oil-rich backers such as Chelsea or Man City – will have to cut their cloth accordingly.
Liverpool cannot, and will not, fall back on the wealth of their owners alone and nor should they, their business model has taken them to the summit of world football, after all.
Instead they must be patient and see how the land lies before the transfer window closes in October.
Jurgen Klopp has said as much and he’ll be right behind Liverpool’s plans to ensure they emerge from this crisis in the best position both on and off the pitch.
After all, the club’s reversal of the furlough decision earlier this year was met with great approval from supporters and the club has a duty to continue to protect those that work for them.
That’s the way it should be.
Liverpool remain the envy of their rivals on the pitch and that is the case off it, too. The Reds are closing the financial gap on Manchester United and are once again one of the most marketable sports clubs on the planet.
They did that by making the correct financial decisions and they will continue to do.
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