By Kevin Koczwara
News coming from Liverpool’s home base, Anfield, hasn’t usually been the most uplifting news for a few years now. Owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks took on an investment too big for their bite that only got worse after the global economy tanked. Investors have come and gone in droves. Players have been upset by management and have been rumored to move during each transfer window with a lack of potential transfers moving to Anfield being slim.
This summer Rafa Benetiz was asked to leave his post at the club and then signed on to take over Jose Mourinho’s vacant post at Inter Milan, which are some heavy and big shoes to fill. The club was in flux and there seemed to be no end to transfer rumors for their talisman players (Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres), a shortage of cash, again, and a real limited supply of eligible, affordable, and qualified managers in the market to replace Benetiz — who really did need to go after he alienated much of the squad.
Good news has started to come out of Anfield after the appointment of “Fulhman’s greatest manager” Roy Hodgson last month. Joe Cole signed to the club, Danny Wilson came over from Rangers for a good price, and other players pledged their allegiance to the club and manager.
Some of the biggest news to come out of the Merseyside club in some time was the good word from Fernando Torres; he is happy at Liverpool and will stay on with the club, for now at least.
“I am really happy to be back, really happy to stay with all my team-mates. My commitment and loyalty to the club and to the fans is the same as it was on my first day when I signed,” said Torres to Sky Sports on Tuesday.
The World Cup winner has been impressed by what the new Liverpool manager is up to on the Merseyside.
“I really appreciated the fact that Roy came out to see me while I was on my holidays. He told me about his plans for the club and what he wanted from me and I appreciated that. I hope he will be the right man to reach the targets of Liverpool Football Club and I am really looking forward to working with him.”
Liverpool Closing on Sale
Roy Hodgson may soon be inheriting some new funding in the next month to use in the transfer window if the sale of Liverpool finally happens. Gillett and Hicks have been trying to sell the club almost since they bought the club in 2007 at a high.
The club won the Champions League in dramatic fashion over AC Milan in 2005 and continued winning dramatically in cup finals by beating West Ham in 2007 in the FA Cup.
With promise of new investors backing the club Rafa Benitez thought he was being handed a whole new transfer kiddy when in reality it was just the opposite.
After Hicks and Gillett bought the club they immediately struggled to pay off their debt and had to put a hold on the proposed stadium.
Now it looks like Chinese investor Jianhua “Kenny” Huang is working on a deal to takeover the English club and begin making it the biggest in China and the world. Huang has his fingers in a few other professional sporting teams around the world and has started a pretty impressive empire — kind of like Gillett and Hicks had before buying the English club.
Huang’s group of investors hopes to take over the club as soon as possible for little more than Gillett and Hicks’s mound of debt, which could be the roadblock in his path. If he does broker a deal to buy the club, then he needs Torres to be apart of it.
If Torres were to leave the club before any sale by Gillett and Hicks then the owners could be in real trouble because the club’s value will plummet faster than a skydiver.
Insua Moves to Fiorentina Falls Through
Liverpool were without a left-back for the past few weeks, but now they have their two regulars back on board. Fabio Aurelio signed on as a free agent with Liverpool after not being resigned as his contract expired at the end of last season.
New manager Roy Hodgson got a look at the perpetually injured Brazilian and decided to re-sign him because he was fit and there was a lack of potential talent in the transfer market.
Now it looks like another South American left back will be calling Anfield home again as well.
Emiliano Insua’s move to Fiorentina has been a saga with no end in sight for much of the summer, but the deal is now dead as player and club couldn’t agree on personal terms. Fiorentina were on the lookout for the 21-year-old Argentine because of his cheap price and potential.
Insua was Benitez’s first choice at left back last season because of injuries, but looked to be on his way out of the English game so Hodgson would have some more money in the transfer market to spend on some new blood around Melwood, Liverpool’s training grounds.
Now Hodgson has his choice of two left backs still with a lot to prove and plenty of question marks, but sometimes having question marks around players is better than not having anyone there at all.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.