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Discussion Starter #1
Question by Paul Symons: Is there a deadline date at which a decision has to be made, either yes or no, on the building of a new stadium?

Rick Parry: There's no fixed date. It is pressing and it is something we've wanted to get on with for a number of years, particularly since we've had planning permission. Having said that, we've been here for nearly a hundred years and survived. It's such a big decision and it's absolutely critical that we get it right.

Jessica Taylor: Are you still hopeful we will build a new stadium?

Yes, we are hopeful and we're still convinced that it makes sense in terms of taking the club to the next level and in generating more revenues to help us improve the team still further. It is something we are still committed to.

Paul Norman: What contingency plans have been made if, due to spiralling costs, the new stadium becomes unaffordable?

To be honest that's not something we're commenting on yet. We're focusing efforts on making sure it is doable. Clearly there are alternatives but at the moment the focus is on getting this one right.

Chris Keens: At the recent AGM Steve Morgan raised concerns over the club's finances and stressed that he believed the club's actual debt was nearer £70 million. Considering we spread transfer fees over five years in some cases, is he technically correct in his assessment?

Yes, he is technically correct, but what was overlooked was that we have a corresponding asset on the balance sheet as well. When you use credit to buy players you're obviously offsetting the debt with the value of the players you're putting on the balance sheet. If we're spreading payments over a number of years then we still owe the money but it only gives part of the story.

Paul Norman: We are continually being told that you are seeking new investment into the club, but two years down the line there appears to be no movement. Do you think you or the club have failed in any way?

No, not yet. It's been frustrating for us and we make no secrets about that. We'd like to have got it done sooner but when you're Liverpool then you have to be incredibly careful that you get it right. It's not about selling the family silver and walking away. At the end of the day we're all trustees really and making sure the club's future is in safe hands is of paramount importance. Along the way we have picked up the Champions League so it hasn't been a wasted couple of years.

Greg Callaghan: If the right investor appeared on the scene and he clearly ticked all the boxes you're looking for, would you recommend their proposal to the football club's board even if it meant that you would no longer have a role at Liverpool FC?
Yes,absolutely. I can say hand on heart that in discussions with a number of investors I have made it clear that my position now and in the future is not the issue. It's doing what's right for Liverpool which is the issue.

Johnny Wood: Chelsea have received a lot of bad press for supposedly 'buying success' since Roman Abramovic took over the club. If a similar individual with similar wealth offered to buy Liverpool, would you consider this a good thing?

You do need to invest money to achieve success in football. It's always been the case but perhaps it's more marked now than ever before. We're passionate for success but I'm not sure that for Liverpool it is literally success at any price. I think that we have to be confident that whoever takes Liverpool forward has the right motives, but at the end of the day the right motives are securing success on the pitch and continuing to win trophies. That's what people want to see most of all.

Ray McDermott: If I won enough money on the lottery could I, in theory, become the Chairman?

It would have to be a big lottery win, but in theory anything is possible.

Sachin Dukhanti: Can you understand the frustrations of fans who see Manchester United being linked with a new £60m shirt deal with a gambling firm and Chelsea recently signing a lucrative deal with Samsung while Liverpool have to stick with Carlsberg because we can't attract another sponsor?

I don't think we only remained with Carlsberg because we were unable to attract another sponsor. We've been in a very successful partnership with Carlsberg for fourteen years now which has been good for us and good for them. There are perfectly sensible reasons for staying with them but at the same time, looking into the future, it's not necessarily a relationship that will be there forever. We continue to explore what else the market holds.

Darren Jones: How significant is the announcement that Adidas will be the club's new kit sponsor and will the new deal be significantly more lucrative than the current Reebok agreement?

We're delighted to be with Adidas. We were with them for a good number of years across the eighties and early nineties and we're pleased to be with them again. In reality though, for the time being at least, all they are doing is taking over the existing Reebok deal. The money is identical for the next three years. There'll be no difference at all.

Afe Louis: Do you have any plans to target the African market as it is a continent that is fast becoming a producer of world class footballers?

We target every market where there are top players. For us, it's a case of getting the very best players for Liverpool irrespective of where they come from.

Andrew Brett: Excluding Istanbul, what is the best match you have been to as a Liverpool fan?

It's very difficult to exclude Istanbul. Possibly the UEFA Cup final in Dortmund in 2001. We do seem to specialise in doing things the hard way in European finals. Another game that sticks in my mind maybe most of all was our win over Birmingham during our first visit to Cardiff. It was my first trophy since I came to the club so it will always be special for that reason.
There were also the Chelsea and Juventus home games last season, the match against Roma when Gerard Houllier came back as well. Fortunately we're still involved in a lot of tremendous occasions.

Simon Turner: What was the greatest turnaround in events - coming back from 3-nil down in Istanbul or persuading Steven Gerrard to stay at the club just 12 hours after he admitted that he had to leave?

That's a difficult one to answer. Maybe because I had more of an input then I would say keeping Steven. I was helplessly passive in Istanbul but at least I had some involvement in the other one.

John Devlin: I personally think that you have been one of the best signings Liverpool have made. Does it make a change to receive some praise for once?

It does make a change, a nice change as well, so thank you for that.

Jason Reynolds: When, if ever, will Liverpool Football Club revert to our old club badge as 95% of the fans prefer the old club badge of just the "Liverbird" withthe LFC initials beneath?

We do use the old badge on certain items, but having given a commitment to the HFSG that the eternal flame will always appear we're not contemplating changing the existing crest.

Vijay Raghvani: Many people have the impression we haven't really capitalised on our European cup success. What is your opinion on this? Have we exhausted all commercial benefits of the win?

I don't agree with that assertion. We've seen benefits on a number of fronts. For us, though, it's not about one-offs and capitalising, it's about sustained success and building blocks. That's of much more relevance from our point of view. The quest for trophies and raising our level permanently is of much more importance.

Sarah Parker: Do you feel in a no-win situation when on the one hand fans criticise the club for not being aggressive enough commercially and on the other hand fans moan that they are being exploited by the club?

Yes. That's always something that you have to wrestle with as you try to get the balance right. The way we like to approach it at Liverpool is to try to remember what the values of the club are and what the values of our supporters are but at the same time recognising that if we're to compete on the pitch then we have to be successful off it. You're always treading a fine line and to an extent you get criticised whatever you do but what we're always trying to do is find where that balance is and try to steer a middle course. If we get equally criticised by both then maybe we're getting it right.

Liz Carter: Is there a policy of making more tickets available to out-of-towners and foreign supporters than local fans because the clubknow they will undoubtedly come and spend more money in the club shop and museum?

No, categorically not. No.

Dave Rainger: I would like to ask about some of the things you said about the Liverpool fans regarding our so-called baiting of Alan Smith & Gary Neville.Yes, there were some daft songs relating to Smith but as soon as it became apparent how serious the injury was, he was applauded off by all. Do you think that would have happened at Old Trafford?

I don't know, it's hard to say. The ovation he got when he was carried off was tremendous and it was gratifying to see that our fans were magnificent at the Benfica game and that was commented on by the people from Portugal. At the same time I think we have to be grown up enough to hold our hands up when we get it wrong.

Damien Maher: Ireland has a huge fan base and a fan base that often spends thousands on making the trip over to see Liverpool play. I understand it is important for commercial reasons to go to Asia and America to further develop the brand but many Irish fans feel they have been neglected in the club's pursuit of new money?

I think the difference is that many of the Irish fans can come here. It's a lot more difficult for people from Asia or America to travel more regularly to see us. We have the same issue with Scandinavia which is a place we went to for many years because we are so popular over there. It's very difficult to get the balance right when we have supporters in every territory but we do have an obligation I think to explore a little bit further afield.

Greg Norton: Considering many of the players will be at the World Cup, will the pre-season your this summer be closer to home than recent years?

Yes. It's going to be a very compressed summer. It's not just because of the World Cup but also because we've had a long season and our players are going to be tired. We have tobe very careful with our pre-season preparationsand the priorityis going to be making sure the players are in peak condition for the start of the season. There certainly won't be any Far Eastern trips this year.
It's too early to say what we will be doing because we may have early Champions League commitments which won't be known until the endofthe season. The main emphasis is going to be giving the players involved in the World Cup a decent three week break.
Chris Hughes: Given the number of 17 and 18 year old players that have been brought into Liverpool from other clubs over the last 12 months, is it fair to say the Academy is failing?

No, I don't think it's failing. These things go in cycles and our standards are extremely high and so we have to be looking for potential first team players. I remain a huge supporter of the Academy and the work it's doing and I always have been. All clubs are finding that as the standards get higher then you have to look further afield for players. You would always wish that two or three would come through in any year but it doesn't always work that way and it depends on what talent is around at the time. As I said, these things go in cycles and not in a nice smooth progression.

Graham Agg: With Inter Milan and Real Madrid supposedly sniffing around Rafael Benitez, who will only have three years left of his contract in the summer, why not send out a message of intent to the rest of Europe by offering him a newfive-year deal to stay at the club?

All I'll say at the moment is we are wanting to hang on to Rafa. We are delighted with the job he has done for us. What Rafa wants to do is win trophies and be sure that the club matches his ambition, which we do.

Will Ashton:Are we in danger of losing a genuinely talented young manager, because of the boards failure to raise the investment needed to allow Mr Benitez to compete in the transfer market at the highest level?

Clearly we are working to raise the investment and we are confident that will be in place. We're confident we can demonstrate to Rafa that our ambition matches his own.

Dennis Rowan: Despite going out of the Champions League earlier than many would have expected, will there still be funds in place to finance the players we need to take us to the next level and challenge Chelsea next season?

We're always trying to make funds available for the manager, that's always been a Liverpool policy. Clearly the distance you go in the Champions League does have a bearing on how much is available and it's silly to pretend otherwise. We're confident we can give Rafa the backing he needs.

Rhiannon Collins: Liverpool seem to operate a policy of never paying over the odds for a player. Considering all footballers are over-valued, are you happy to see Liverpool stick to their morals while all the other clubs snap up the best players - even at inflated prices?

I'm not sure we'd claim we've always been successful with our buys. There are one or two who, in hindsight, we might have wished to pay a little bit less for. We've recognised over the last few years that's it's just a fact of life that we can't compete with Chelsea in terms of cash. It's foolish to pretend otherwise. The way for us to compete is to be smarter, cleverer and work harder. We do believe we can compete, if we felt we could never be competitive thenI think we'd all give up. There are ways to compete with them.They can only field eleven players at any one time but our strategy has to be a little bit different.

Nikhil Advani: With the World Cup coming up, will you be tempted to move for potential targets before the tournament starts in case their value soars during the competition?

You don't tend to scout the World Cup for players. Often the odd one comes through who surprises people but by and large you know who the top players are before the competition starts and clearly you always want to get deals done as soon as possible to give you some certainty.

Steve Brown: If David Moores, one of the richest men in the country, is supposedly the biggest Liverpool fan in the world why doesn't he dip into his vast amount of financial resources and give Rafa the transfer budget he so clearly needs?

I think there's a fairly substantial misunderstanding of David's finances in that one. I'm sure if he had unlimited resources then they would be at Rafa's disposal. David has never been anything less than one hundred per cent committed to making sure this club is successful. That's what he lives for as much as any fan.

Mike Bailey: Following the Real Madrid President's departure, there have been rumours that David Beckham may now consider his long term future at Real Madrid. Would Liverpool be interested in bringing Beckham to Anfield?

We have a policy of never commenting on any particular player or any particular target so I'm not going to comment either negatively or positively on that one.

Steph Tang: Do you personally think that Rafa will renew Robbie Fowler's contract in the summer?
At this stage let's just wait and see how the season pans out. We've been delighted with Robbie's commitment, it's terrific to have him back. He's working really hard in training but we'll just have to wait and see what the end of the season brings.

Simon Breed: Everyone knows that the one player who could make a major difference to our team is Michael Owen. What did you make of Steven Gerrard's comments at the weekend that the only reason Michael isn't at the club now is because of Liverpool and not Michael himself?

I'm not going to go into the detail in that. Michael's a Newcastle player, the deal to bring him here didn't happen and it's as simple as that. There was enough analysis at the time without stoking it still further.

Steve Cooper: Although new signings are Rafa's decisions, would you personally like to see Michael in a Liverpool shirt again next season?

Again, I think it would be completely disrespectful both to Michael and his current club to comment on that.

Ian Jackson: You have been the subject of much criticism over the decision to play on April 15th but are you actually taking the blame for a decision Rafa has made to protect his players from a fixture pile up when the manager knows he's judged on results only?

It's not a decision to be layed at the door of any individual or any one club. It's beena combination ofdifferent factors, driven by the fixture pile-up which was a result of a compressed season designed to give players in the World Cup a shorter season. This is an issue we were aware of right at the start of the season and that's why we contacted the Hillsborough Families' Support group last Juneand they said that, sadly, one day it might be an inevitability that we'd have to play on April 15th. When we were progressing in the FA Cup and the Champions League the problem of finding a new date got bigger. Now we are out of Europe, there may be some scope to look once again but it's not just our fixtures to consider, it's Blackburn's as well and this is their home fixture at the end of the day. We are aware of the significance of the day, contrary to what some people suggest, and, as I said at the AGM the solution we came up with was the best of a very bad range at that time. Even at this stage, if there's a chance to revisit it then I'm prepared to do that.

Rickard Sandahl: I would like to know why Bradford can decide that they will never play football on the anniversary of the fire, but we can agree to play on the 15th April?

I'm only aware that this had been suggested this year. I'm not aware that the idea of a blanket ban on ever playing on that date has ever been discussed. Without any disrespect to Bradford in any way, shape or form it's a little bit more complicated at our level, particularly given UEFA commitments. No doubt at some point in the future the anniversary will fall on a Champions League date and UEFA are not known for their flexibility in terms of when games are played. The one policy we've always stuck to and managed to adhere to is never to play at Anfield on that date. That's the most significant thing. We will always use our very best endeavours to avoid playing on that date but to say we will simply refuse and that it will never happen is unrealistic.

Alison Thomas: What are your key ambitions for the next 18-24 months at Liverpool?Winning something else. The only thing we think about is winning trophies or, as Rafa would say, the only thing we think about is winning games because when you win games then the trophies tend to follow. It's all about continuing to improve, continuing to keep Rafa happy by bringing better players in. We can't stand still, we always want to do better.​
Great Article, we should do a lot more on Liverpoolfc.tv's articles. I'll open a thread :D

28,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
interesting comments about the stadium, it seems we have no deadline :frustrat:, even though we have all the permission, the plans, the construction firm and the location set. Even the finance is set, but I can see the board's thinking, looking for additional funding is too help us compete and not financially limit our spending on transfers while the stadium is being built. :)

28,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

While the league title remains the trophy most keenly sought at Anfield, cup football has proven rather more than just a distraction in recent years.

Even in the glory days, three cup finals in two seasons would rarely have been bettered. Include the 'showpiece' finals, and it's five, with the European Super Cup and the World Club Championship. And of course, it's six, if you include the youth team, who lifted the FA Youth Cup.

The FA Cup has been somewhat denigrated in recent times, but it has felt important again in the last few seasons. Most neutrals felt Saturday's was one of the best semi-finals seen in a long time, and agreed the best team on the day won. Irrespective of who awaited the Reds if victorious, Saturday's game felt like the 'real' final.

That's a danger to Liverpool: that in some ways the hard work already seems completed, with Manchester United and Chelsea dispatched. West Ham, who are proving a great success this season, will have a nice time as underdogs at Cardiff, and unlike in Istanbul, the pressure will be on the Reds. But last year's final in Turkey will stand our players in good stead: while under less pressure to win that time, the nerves will have been immense. The Reds have the big-game experience, and are less likely to freeze.

When I started adding the weekend's events to the chapter on the FA Cup in my forthcoming book, I noticed something quite interesting. In my previous book I'd defended the attacks against Rafa after the Reds lost at Burnley last season, which bordered on xenophobic from some quarters. Apparently he neither understood nor respected the traditions of English football.

And yet, looking back now over his two years in charge, he has had an unusually difficult run in domestic cup competitions: not one opponent from below the Championship in two seasons and four cup runs encompassing 14 games: Millwall, Middlesborough, Spurs, Watford (twice), Chelsea, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Luton Town, Portsmouth, Manchester United, Birmingham, Chelsea again, and now West Ham.

With the exception of one of the two legs of the League Cup semi-final against Watford, all of the Championship teams have been met only at their ground. These have all been difficult matches; an away cup tie at a Championship side is as difficult as a lot of Premiership away games.

You can usually expect at least one relatively easy game per season in each domestic cup competition; as an example, in the treble season five years ago, the Reds faced Stoke City away in the League Cup, and Rotherham at home in the FA Cup. This season, when Liverpool were facing Manchester United in the 5th round in February, Chelsea had a home tie against lowly Colchester.

And yet, for all the difficult ties in the last two years, Liverpool have won 77% of domestic cup games in that time. Across all competitions, Benítez is getting the team's win-ratio higher and higher. In European competition it remains extremely impressive.

Meanwhile, if the Reds win the last three Premiership games then the season's league win-rate will rise above the record-breaking 1987/88 side, leaving only the incredible 1978/79 team more successful in terms of percentage of games won, with 30 wins from 42 games (71.4%).


Going into the game in Manchester, Chelsea's four wide players presented the one area where I felt they clearly had more quality in their squad. And yet not one of Joe Cole, Damien Duff, Arjen Robben and Shaun Wright-Phillips even started the game. Instead they tried to pack the centre of the park, where the Reds are always at their strongest.

It meant Xabi Alonso didn't have much time on the ball, but he didn't need a lot in order to spread play out to Harry Kewell, the game's outstanding performer, who had Geremi on a skewer: twisted, turned, and thoroughly roasted. By lining up in such a narrow formation, it gave Alonso an outlet. Steven Gerrard, deservedly voted the PFA Player of the Year, could also find space on the right flank.

Despite this victory, Chelsea are still the better team. For £300m, you'd expect that. But the gap is narrowing, and after a slow start by the Reds this season, it's narrowing at pace. Benítez has transformed Liverpool easily as much as Mourinho has transformed Chelsea. And Rafa did not have a fortune at his disposal, nor did he inherit such a big squad.

Since arriving, Mourinho has added 16 points to Chelsea's total of 79, the amount accrued the year before he was appointed; he will do well to better last season's 95 points this time around, but if they finish with the 97 points possible, hats off to them. If so, that'll mean 18 points added to the total before he became manager.

This season, Benítez has already added 13 points to the total amassed by the team he inherited (Gérard Houllier's team got 60 points in 2004), and could yet make it 22. In his first season Rafa won the Champions League with a mixed bag of players, and made the Carling Cup final with a bunch of kids and reserves. This year he's taken Liverpool to third, behind the two clubs who have significantly outspent the Reds, and made the FA Cup final.

Meanwhile, the youth team won their FA Cup on Friday night. Maybe this doesn't sound like a Benítez achievement – and it isn't down only to him, obviously – but four key players over the two legs were Jack Hobbs, Godwin Antwi, Paul Anderson and Miki Roque, whose goal proved decisive. All four were signed by Rafa. Anderson was sensational in the first leg, while Hobbs and Antwi were like two giant oaks in the second (except oaks with legs, and tremendous footballing ability).

So while Mourinho has done a great job – and he has, you cannot dispute that, even if he's had a lot of money on his side – it's been no better than that done by Benítez. While Chelsea would probably not want to swap their man for anyone, Liverpool fans would say the same of Benítez.

Both have achieved equal success in the game; on the evidence of their reactions after defeat, only one is humble. A bit of tough talking in the days before a game is one thing – it's all part of the build-up – but once the game finishes you shake hands and show respect.

On Saturday Mourinho moaned that every decision went against Chelsea. His team never lose, do they? It's always the officials. He called Liverpool a "very defensive team" in his post-match interview. I think he's confusing a team with a great defence for a defensive team; until Liverpool's best attacking player, Harry Kewell, limped off, Liverpool were creating chances aplenty and were the only attacking force in the game after the first few minutes.

Chelsea had a great early chance, when Didier Drogba side-footed wide with just Pepe Reina to beat. At no stage in the move was Drogba onside, but the flag did not go up. Had Drogba scored, that would have proved the worst decision of the game.

The Reds then won a free-kick 19 yards from goal for John Terry's high foot on Luis Garcia. While it may have been fractionally harsh, it was still a fairly dangerous challenge, and the defender forced the referee into a judgement call. Terry's studs were showing as he jabbed his full weight into the challenge.

It was argued by many pundits that he had to go for the ball and that the size of Luis Garcia made it look worse than it actually was, but Crouch had only just been penalised by the touchline for a high foot on Terry; if Crouch was not excused for being taller than Terry, Terry could not be let off for being taller than the little Spaniard. Luis Garcia's boot was raised too, but not quite as high, and nor were his studs showing. Had Luis Garcia chosen to chest that ball, he'd have six stud marks on his midriff.

From the resulting free-kick, Riise yet again demonstrated that, when confronted by a wall, placement beats power, as he curled a shot into the bottom corner. It was the first of two inch-perfect strikes. Luis Garcia's fantastic second half goal, which Carlo Cudicini felt was mis-hit, proved that yet again he is the man for the big occasion.

From that point on, it was some belated wing play by Chelsea that caused a few problems, but mostly it was Route One stuff.

A lot of the bad blood goes back to earlier in the season when Mourinho accused Liverpool of being a long-ball team, and yet his side resorted to aimless punts yet again; only this time there was no Robert Huth up front. There's nothing wrong with going direct; both Liverpool and Chelsea utilise the long ball, but both have tricky players to feed off it, wingers to go by people, and passers to also play through teams. Both teams have a lot of variety to their play. But let's not be hypocritical, Jose.

Liverpool have now won eight games in a row, scoring 24 goals and conceding just four. Mourinho's take was that "Liverpool are winning a lot of matches – I cannot say playing very well". I think he just damages his credibility with such statements. Journalists in the press conference laughed when he suggested Essien and Ferreira were his team's two best performers, as he sought to defend playing them out of position. Meanwhile, his needless suggestion that Liverpool stand no chance of winning the league next season is actually most welcome: a nice motivational tool.

While the gap between Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premiership remains a hefty 15 points, Liverpool need only repeat this result in both league games next season to virtually wipe it out. Easier said than done. But it's just two games. Let's not forget that Chelsea also finished 2nd to Liverpool in the Champions League group stages: one league table where the Reds came out on top.

Whether or not the Reds can win the league next season remains to be seen, but what's certain is that the team will be more than ready to make a serious challenge. Chelsea will strengthen yet again, but it'll be a Liverpool team much closer to its manager's ideal.

Maybe Liverpool had the most scope for improvement, but it is the Reds taking the greatest strides at the moment.


:thumbsup: One of the best articles i've read, PT writes some good stuff :star:


574 Posts
arfy05 said:

:thumbsup: One of the best articles i've read, PT writes some good stuff :star:

good article. thanks for posting it :thumbsup:

28,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Turn the clock back - we’ve got to move onJun 9 2007

by Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo

NARCOTIC experts will be required to maintain a careful watch over Melwood and Anfield for the next two months.

It’s rumoured a consignment of chill pills are heading this way. How badly they’re needed. The tetchiness epidemic has spread since the end of the season.

While those charged with running our clubs talk about working tirelessly to make the signings to compete for the Premiership, the manager and supporters anxiously wait news of the delivery of promises.

Pre-season often feels like nothing more than a series of cut and paste jobs of interviews and stories which have been read many summers before.

Liverpool are undoubtedly at another crossroads.

If they don’t act to strengthen the squad with world class players, you can predict how the next 12 months will go.

The trend at this time of the year is to review how the last campaign has gone. Instead, how about a preview of what we can expect in the next few months if the proverbial fingers don’t come out?

June/ July: Liverpool continue to pursue several top-class targets, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the deals happen, while manager Rafa Benitez’s mood switches from deeply frustrated to content depending on the levels of reassurance following phone calls from the owners. Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o are spotted touring the club museum. Harry Kewell picks up a niggling injury. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

August: Concerns are raised about why Liverpool have jetted to Hong Kong a week before a crucial Champions League qualifier. Meanwhile, as the transfer deadline approaches Benitez is still waiting for the arrival of a key player. He ends up working until midnight on August 31 trying to negotiate a deal, but it doesn’t happen.

Elsewhere, it goes unnoticed in the small print regarding Champions League ticket allocation that fans must have attended at least four reserve games at Wrexham’s Racecourse in order to qualify for a cup final seat should the Reds get that far. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

September: After a slow start to the Premiership campaign, the first in a series of articles appears complaining that the previous summer was a ‘missed opportunity’ as Liverpool already trail Manchester United and Chelsea by ten points. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

October: Rafa Benitez is condemned for playing an under-strength team in the Carling Cup. The Daily Mail describes the club’s performance as ‘the worst in 40 years’ and asks what Benitez has ever done other than win the Champions League and the FA Cup in his first two seasons. Two days later the Reds beat Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

November: Liverpool qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a game to spare prompting UEFA spokesman William Gaillard to describe this year’s competition as undoubtedly the worst ever, listing 25 incidents of poor ball control in the last three weeks. Gaillard is sacked by Michel Platini and replaced with someone who’ll be less insulting about Liverpool. Neville Neville says he’s deeply honoured to accept the job. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

December: Tom Hicks tells Liverpool fans they’ll be ‘very excited’ by the signings the club will be making when the January transfer window opens. Benitez signs an Eastern European on a pre-contract Bosman deal ahead of next season, but doesn’t make much fuss about it because he ain’t much good. Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o are spotted touring the club museum. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

January: Liverpool sign a full back for £2.5m. He’ll be sold in January, 2009 for the same price. Fans demanding new faces are urged to be more patient. Benitez works until midnight on January 31 trying to sign his prime target but negotiations stall. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

February: Real Madrid sack their manager and make an official approach for Benitez.

The Liverpool boss is known to be increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress and funds. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

March: The FA Cup and Champions League continues to offer hope Liverpool will win silverware this season. After another heroic European night at Anfield, the 12th man of The Kop is praised as being the difference. UEFA announces a generous 10,000 tickets each for this year’s finalists. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

April: Liverpool secure their top four place, qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Harry Kewell makes his return from injury. A team bonding session in La Manga ends in acrimony when a stray golfer hits John Arne Riise with a football. Executive box holders are assured they won’t be put into a ballot for cup final tickets because they’ve paid £40,000 more than season ticket holders for priority so are therefore proven to be more loyal.

May: Tom Hicks tells Liverpool fans they’ll be ‘very excited’ by the signings the club will be making in the summer. Benitez announces with deepest regret he’ll be joining Real Madrid. A Liverpool website asks the club whether it is possible to hoist aloft a Kop mosaic during the final home game, but instead of organising an emotional farewell to Benitez they choose to thank former director Terry Smith for his long service to the club. A key council meeting is held to discuss Liverpool’s new stadium plans.

June: Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o can’t even be bothered to visit the club museum. It emerges Liverpool’s new stadium plans are considered out of date and a fresh planning application will be made. It’s now scheduled to open in 2015. Liverpool fans are told to be patient as they yearn for new signings.

“There’s a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes,” says a club statement.

A nightmare prediction of the 2007/08 campaign? Or an abbreviation of sorts of the last 12 months?

Either way, we all need a holiday to let a season’s cynicism to drip out. See you in a few weeks.

Depressing, but funny and probably statement of the truth Article by Bascombe.

only post Articles and interviews here, not bloody transfer rumours and bollocks.

2,669 Posts
Lucas Leiva said:
He's a tit.
Agreed. He makes the odd good point, but it's amazing how he always seems to be defending previous articles and how wildly inaccurate they always turn out to be.

The fact that he writes for the 'official' website says a lot.
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