Premier League - Liverpool owner defends transfer work
Liverpool owner John W Henry has written an open letter to the club's fans in which he admits he was "disappointed" not to add to the squad on transfer deadline day while defending the club's summer operations, pinning the blame for financial pressures on "the errors of previous regimes".
Liverpool fans were angered on Friday when the club loaned Andy Carroll to West Ham yet failed to bring in a replacement, with long-term attacking target Clint Dempsey joining Tottenham in a permanent deal.
Carroll's departure left Liverpool with just two senior forwards in Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini, and the club's frustration deepened on Sunday when they were defeated 2-0 at home by Arsenal to ensure their worst start to a season since 1962-63.
"I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window," said Henry in an open letter. "But that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved.
"They pushed hard in the final days of the transfer window on a number of forward targets and it is unfortunate that on this occasion we were unable to conclude acceptable deals to bring those targets in.
"But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future - Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi - could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future."
It is reported Liverpool were unable to match the offer made by Spurs for Dempsey and though manager Brendan Rodgers clearly felt there was money to spend, and said he fully expected a replacement for Carroll to be purchased, Henry says the club are still paying for mistakes made in the past that have reined in their ambitions.
Tom Hicks and George Gillett's reign left the club in financial peril while the last manager appointed by FSG, Kenny Dalglish, and director of football Damien Comolli spent over £100 million on players who have largely made little impact.
Henry says FSG are willing to accept blame for their part in Liverpool's current predicament, but will not again put the future of the club at risk in order to chase short-term reward.
"We are still in the process of reversing the errors of previous regimes," he said. "It will not happen overnight. It has been compounded by our own mistakes in a difficult first two years of ownership. It has been a harsh education, but make no mistake, the club is healthier today than when we took over.
"Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years. Our emphasis will be on developing our own players using the skills of an increasingly impressive coaching team.
"Much thought and investment already have gone into developing a self-sustaining pool of youngsters imbued in the club's traditions.
"That ethos is to win. We will invest to succeed. But we will not mortgage the future with risky spending."