Free Friday & LFC News, Media and Transfer Roundup – March 3rd, 2023
No More Tierney, Liverpool 2.0 & Pessimistic Prevailing Moods in 1985/86
Free Friday will cover our work across The Tomkins Times’ Substack network, with it running via an opt-in or opt-out newsletter on The Main Hub (where almost all of the community commenting takes place), but covering TTT’s four sub-Substacks, or spokes.
Also make sure you check out Daniel Zambartas’ media round-up, which will be added to best of TTT from the previous week.
Best Comment of the Week
It’s like a mini My Day at the Match from TTT’s first couple this week, as Jennifer looks back at the victory over Wolves on Wednesday.
We had an exciting time of it today. We spent ages travelling through jams and as we approached the car park up Priory Road the car in front of us wasn’t indicating. Mick said that if you have a big car like that you don’t need to indicate. Then it turned into the car park and when it went through, the man scanning car park passes apologised for the delay saying, ‘ it was Carragher in front of you and people wanted pictures.’ After Carragher’s recent VVD remarks I wondered about having a little constructive chat with him, but fearful that he might spit I decided against it.
We raced up the stairs to go to the ‘facilities’, but there was a woman standing outside the gents which was being cleaned for some reason. She explained that it would be open in ten minutes and that the nearest gents was down the stairs. Mick was not happy so I asked if there was anyone in the ladies and then we both went in there while she kept guard. How very bold of us!
Now the game. Paul is quite right about Tierney. He dished out a yellow for a very minor first foul by Bajcetic and then appeared to overcompensate by doing the same to Wolves. The disallowed goal was a complete circus. Wolves players haranguing him, he gives a yellow card, then decides on VAR and promptly overturns the goal. I wasn’t in a position to see but it was clear that Nevez thought Tierney was His Best Friend in All the World as he was in his ear all the time.
I thought a number of our players were so much improved. Fabinho, VVD, Elliott, TAA all upped their game. Alisson had a nervy moment when he played about and didn’t clear his lines convincingly but he got away with it and his distribution was very effective. It is u fair to be overcritical of the first half as so many players were not used to each other it seemed..
In the early moments the Wolves left back went down about a metre from the side line. He remained there, holding up the game for what seemed an age before leaving and being substituted. Without appearing callous, it struck me that they could have given him a gentle shove and rolled him out of the way so that the game could continue! I do wish they would sort out the injury protocols . His was genuine but often towards the end of a game it is often stopped for cramp. That isn’t an injury, is it?
The result was well-deserved as we were clearly the better team and what was particularly pleasing was that the high energy levels of the team didn’t drop even in the late stages when one or two must have been tiring.
A very odd ending. We left fairly soon and headed down towards the Stanley Park gates to get to the car park. We walked past the Arkles and as we approached the gates there was a real bottleneck. Very unusually, there were people going in both directions - in and out of the gates, which take about four people abreast. There was absolutely no pushing or shoving despite there being no crowd management. There were two groups of police - about five or six in each - inside and outside the gate, standing chatting to one side. Then we saw that the majority who were coming out past us were Wolves fans.. As I said, it was very crowded, but there was absolutely no trouble at all. I have never seen this before. I just hope the police don’t expect the same behaviour on Sunday when we win!
TTT Main Hub
First up is Paul’s analysis post-Crystal Palace and the bore draw on Saturday evening at Selhurst Park.
TTT stalwart for over a dozen years and champion BBC quizzer Andrew Beasley asked on here this morning:
"What is this team, then, as I have no idea anymore?"
As I said to Andrew in reply, the problem is seeing this as one team.
Because it's not.
As such, I thought I'd expand on it, to make it clearer for all, in this free read (maybe the last freebie for a while.)
I'm not quite sure why the "team" are all lumped in as one right now, when I've clearly pointed out how, within a mixed squad, there are at least two Liverpool teams:
– One that is more than good enough, and would be challenging for the title in normal circumstances;
– And when too many of those players are absent, one that is old, slow and creaking. (And where injuries can mean less impact from the bench, too.)
Until after the Brighton debacle, it seemed hard to work out where Jürgen Klopp saw the team going; after that, changes made it clear to me that his ideal XI now would underpin Liverpool 2.0, and he has made it clear that the squad needs support until the end of the season, but then changes will be made. To me, that will mostly be about two new midfielders.
Yesterday, however, was Liverpool's oldest league XI of the season, touching 30. Hence, when I saw the lineup, I felt it was too weak. Too old, too slow.
But also, what else could be done?
Next up, with the games coming thick and fast in the last fortnight, is the bumper post-match analysis after the well deserved victory of Wolves.
Before praising what the Reds had to do to overcome a ref (whose assistant on VAR is the other official I have severe concerns about, based on data), I want to run a few stats past you.
Liverpool – no league penalty in the last 32 league games (going back to the start of April last season, which Fabinho scored against Watford) – were again given the referee they get the most – Paul Tierney – who, now in 24 games, has never given Liverpool a single penalty.
And yet in 26 and 22 games as ref for the two Manchester clubs, he has given City six and United six. If you're from Manchester, come and get your penalties! If you're Liverpool? Piss off!
When he refs Liverpool, their win rate massively drops. When he refs Man City, they almost always win (even more than usual). For both Manchester clubs, results improve from normal when he does them.
Is being from Wigan a problem for this ref who has "done" Liverpool five times this season?
This is the ref that could see with his VAR the foul by Jota, but not Jota being pushed first, which took him into the Wolves defender; just as he couldn't see Jota being sideswiped at Spurs last season, with the force of a 10-ton truck.
The ref who, as a VAR, has never given Liverpool a single subjective decision (only offsides – at least he can draw the lines), but several soft subjective calls against, to rule out goals.
The ref who today, after a ludicrous early booking for Stefan Bajcetic, booked Fabinho for being on the receiving end of a launched two-footed tackle, and also said play-on after a scissors follow-through on Jota just because the Wolves centre-back won the ball.
He's also sent off more Liverpool players than opposition players, despite Liverpool winning the fair play award every season. Basically, if he does Liverpool games, place your bets on the opposition, as he tips the odds.
Win-rates if Tierney does your games, in sample sizes of over 20 each, prior to tonight:
Manchester City 88.5% (better than normal)
Manchester United 63.6% (better than normal)
Liverpool 50.0% (way worse than normal)
I don't want to see refs harassed or abused, but their data should be analysed, their performances judged, before they waltz off with £200,000-a-year or more in some cases. They need to be accountable. Some refs should not be in the job, or officiating for certain teams, if they cannot be objectively fair.
This Red Planet
After the over-reaction to the Reds’ defeat against Real Madrid at Anfield last week I took a walk through the vagaries and pitfalls of analysing a football match.
Chris looks back at the double winning season - post-Heysel - under Sir Kenny Dalglish in his first season as manager.
This is how I described that post-Heysel close season in 1985, in my book about the tragedy, “From Where I Was Standing”:
We [also] talked about the prospects for Liverpool Football Club and its supporters, about what effect Heysel was going to have on us as Liverpool supporters. The prevailing mood was, perhaps unsurprisingly, very pessimistic. A lengthy ban from European football was inevitable, depriving the club not only of a significant source of its income but of its prestige and a major source of its inspiration. The club’s top players would eventually be lured away for European football with other clubs, and quality replacements would be difficult to attract for the same reason (at this point, the decision to ban not only Liverpool but all English clubs had not yet been announced). Attendances, already reduced by the absence of those who had vowed post-Heysel never to watch football again, would drop further with the exodus of top players, declining playing standards, a growing inability to compete and the missing glitter and incentive of European involvement. The heart, it seemed, had been ripped out of the club. There was no alternative, it seemed, to an inescapable spiral of decline. It felt as though the one casualty of Heysel that we did actually know was Liverpool Football Club itself. In that immediate aftermath it felt as though it its reputation lay mangled and bloodstained amidst the rubble of Z block.
There was a more positive counter-argument. A new manager, Kop idol Kenny Dalglish, had been appointed post-Heysel after the devastated incumbent, Joe Fagan, stood down. Would not the team and its new manager need our support like never before? Would we desert the club in its hour of greatest need, or unite behind them? Wouldn’t staying away just be handing victory to the hooligans, the media, the government, the Liverpool-haters?
But we could see only gloom. The whole business of following Liverpool Football Club had changed. Where once we had swaggered, we would now have to slink. Where once we felt pride, now we would have to contend with guilt and shame. We would – had already - faced abuse and hatred. Almost overnight, the club and we, its followers, had descended from much that’s good about football and football supporters to become synonymous with all that was wrong with it, at home and abroad.
Ultimately, and with the help of a few beers, we decided that we must still be there for the opening game of the coming season, our first competitive match post-Heysel and what would surely be one of the most testing of occasions. In fact, attendances at Anfield actually increased after Heysel, as if it had proved a rallying point. Our fears on the playing front also proved groundless, as the very next season saw Liverpool win the league championship/FA Cup double for the first time in the club’s history, and were only denied it twice more by the last game of two more seasons, in 1988 by losing the FA Cup Final to Wimbledon, and in 1989 by losing the league title to Arsenal with only seconds left, playing a quality of football that even we had rarely encountered before. In all the club went on to win the league three times and the FA Cup twice in the next five seasons after Heysel. At home at least, normal service was resumed. But Heysel’s wound bit deep. It was only another, statistically greater disaster, this time resulting in the tragic deaths of 96 of our own supporters at Hillsborough less than four years later, that pushed the pain of Heysel out of our collective psyche.
The Zen Den
Paul’s TZD piece ‘Two New Players To Make Reds the Tallest Premier League Side; Average Age of the XI Just 25’ is a look at the potential of the Reds’ squad - with only a couple of new signings - to drastically bring down the average age as well as become the tallest team in the division.
The rumour mill has Liverpool heavily linked with Ryan Gravenberch of late, and also suggests that how the Reds finish the season will have little influence on Jude Bellingham's decision.
If I were Bellingham, as noted before, I'd look at how the team is ready for him, and how he will help elevate it. I'd have already decided to go to Liverpool, given the vibe at the club.
He would look at Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson, his close friends and the latter a mentor; at Jürgen Klopp, who will be the one manager above all others any player would choose to play for, and whose phone calls you would take, day and night; and you'd look at Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Mo Salah, Darwin Núñez, Cody Gakpo, Luis Díaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino, Ibrahima Konaté, Thiago, Andy Robertson and a good half a dozen others, and even youngsters like Stefan Bajcetic and Harvey Elliott, and think: this is a team going places.
Crucially, most of it has already been places; even more if you include what Díaz and Konaté brought to last season.
Indeed, how weird that Díaz and Konaté are not league and Champions League winners with the Reds, but Dejan Lovren and Xherdan Shaqiri were. Still, Díaz and Konaté won trophies last season, and gained incredible experience along the way.
The Transfer Hub
Mizgan’s weekly analysis focused on the early performances of new signing Cody Gakpo and how he’s adapted and flourished in the Firmino role.
Gakpo came into his own and looked comfortable playing in that position in the latest two league encounters against Everton and Newcastle United. Although it was great to see him score a goal in both the games, the overall performances shone bright.
Even in the first half against Real Madrid the Dutchman was active in the final third, linking up play with the midfield and pressing high. It was a shame that things fell apart after the break and he became detached with the team as no one was able to pass the ball forward with any accuracy.
His numbers versus the European champions read as - four tackles (three won, more than anyone in the Liverpool midfield), six of the seven ground duels won, one key pass, 75% pass accuracy, two passes into the final third and three ball recoveries.
Daniel Zambartas’ Liverpool News, Media & Transfer Round-Up
Klopp on Wolves victory
“I thought the whole story of the game is an important one for us to take. I think we did a lot of good stuff in the first half, played the way we had to play. We didn’t create that many clear-cut chances, the best one was probably the header from Harvey which he missed. In the first half there were a few minutes where we looked in a bit of a rush because it didn’t happen yet, but we calmed down again and found the football patience again and played in the right way.
“Second half, around the disallowed goal already we increased the pressure and these kind of things. Direction was good, a couple of really good situations. I think you all saw the [disallowed] goal now a couple of times back and when you see it in slow-motion you see the contact then, but I still think it was a goal, but that’s not important anymore. Especially, players don’t have a replay and for them it’s a clear goal of course. Then you have to react. I was not worried but of course then you watch it, how the boys react – and the reaction was really good.
“I really think the centre-halves and Fabinho together, how they covered that area, how they denied the counter-attacks, how they defended into midfield, which is very important against a team who play with one striker, I thought they did really well. In possession, we looked pretty good in a lot of moments, with Harvey, Stefan in the half-spaces, that worked well. Up front, we grew into the game; it’s not a game where immediately you create plenty of chances but we grew into the game, all the boys were really involved in all the dangerous stuff, worked extremely hard defensively as well.”
On Darwin Nunez: “Everybody can see he [Nunez] is just a handful, just a proper threat. Again, the [disallowed] goal he scored was a super reaction, a super finish. The runs he had, one again down the line; in the end cross doesn’t arrive but [it was] pretty similar to the Everton goal, if you want. Using his speed in both directions, offensively and defensively. He is really good. He is still a young boy and I think everyone can see he will get there, there is no doubt about it, but he is already for us super-important.”
Virgil van Dijk on Wolves victory
“An important win, so it’s time to recover and focus on the next one,” Van Dijk told Premier League Productions post-match.
“Of course [we had to be patient]. I think we see the games we played against them this season, they have been quite tough and today it wasn’t any different so we had to be patient and wait for the moment.
“We had a couple of chances before but in the end, a good performance, clean sheet again, so that’s something to build on.
“Winning is the most important thing at this stage, especially in the situation we are. We try to fight each and every game and that’s what we did today and [it was] obviously a good performance and a well-deserved three points.
“I think we need a big atmosphere on Sunday [against United]. I think today obviously it was quite nervous and hopefully on Sunday we can get everyone in their best – including us, because we obviously have to do the hard work on the pitch against an in-form Man United.
“So, we will recover now and we will be ready for Sunday of course.”
Diogo Jota interview
“It was just over four months since I played Man City at home, that was my last game, so I had to admit it felt strange - I was not used to playing Premier League anymore.
“But I felt good during the game [against Place], I had a couple of chances in the box and around, I just need to get my certainty back and I think that will come with more minutes and hopefully [I can] help the team with goals and assists.
“I had a strange calf injury. They said to me they hadn’t seen it before, most of the people, so we needed to ask for the help of some specialists as well to try to get over it, and of course to give it a bit more time because of the complexity and just to be safe.
“It was very hard, a long time. The results, to be honest, didn’t help as well so it was very frustrating to see things happening and not be able to help in any way, well, apart from the dressing room talks but [not] on the field.
“But it’s over now, I am back and I want to finish the season available to start with and then obviously if I can help, even better.
“We play at a high level, we play at a high intensity as well, so I think it’s good to have competition. Everyone feels on their toes. We know that we can give our all because maybe we don’t have to play the full game, because we have other options and I think that gives everyone better momentum and a better feeling about the games. Now we have still a lot to play for in my opinion.
“It’s been a very hard season, mentally for me especially, and of course on the field with the results we have had, nothing is going our way- let’s say it like that. But we need to try to do something and there is still a lot to play for - there is a place to fight for in the league and to give next season already a better shape because we all know how important it is to be involved in the Champions League. So, I think that’s crucial that this season we try to do our best to be there.
Sadio Mane hopeful for the remainder of Liverpool’s season
“Liverpool will be back," Mane told Bild. "I'm convinced they will overcome this situation. They had many injuries and tough tests, but Jürgen Klopp is definitely the right man.
"He will lead Liverpool back up, from this season - the players love him."
Andy Jones in the Athletic analyses Trent’s struggles this season
“Trent plays all the games,” Klopp said after the recent draw at Crystal Palace, and he was not exaggerating.
“Alexander-Arnold sits third on most minutes played by Liverpool players since the start of the 2017-18 season.
“Liverpool actively sought a right-back in the summer to better manage Alexander-Arnold’s minutes, with Calvin Ramsay signed from Aberdeen, but his first season at Anfield could not have panned out worse as he has suffered multiple injuries, the latest ruling him out for the rest of the campaign.
“The result is that Alexander-Arnold has featured in all 23 of Liverpool’s Premier League games this season, starting 20, with only Mohamed Salah (2,957) and Alisson (2,880) eclipsing his 2,451 minutes in all competitions.
“For all of the questions surrounding his defending, his two mistakes against Crystal Palace were the first two ‘errors’, as defined by Opta, leading to an opposition shot of the season and he did not make any in 2021-22.
“The right centre-back position has been a revolving door for Liverpool this season. Matip’s selection against Palace was the 13th time he had played next to Alexander-Arnold. Gomez has started there 11 times, Ibrahima Konate four times and Nathaniel Phillips once.
“The most consecutive games Alexander-Arnold has had the same partner is five alongside Gomez in August and September.
“Not only have there been consistent changes in personnel, which prevent a partnership from finding any rhythm, but the performances from those right centre-backs have been inconsistent, too.
“According to FBref, his expected assists per 90 (0.25) has dropped substantially from last season’s 0.4 per 90, suggesting the quality of his chances created has dipped slightly, but it is actually not dissimilar to previous seasons.
“Compared to Premier League defenders, only Kieran Trippier has created more chances (70) and more ‘big chances’ (18) than Alexander-Arnold (42 and 14). The Liverpool right-back tops the defender charts of the most chances created from open play (27).
“For big chances created, he ranks fourth of all outfield players, with Kevin De Bruyne (24) and Bruno Fernandes (17) also ahead of him.
“Alexander-Arnold averaged 2.6 passes to Mane per 90 minutes, but is only averaging 1.2 per 90 with Nunez.”
Paul Joyce damning statistic
(From printed newspaper)
“Not recruiting an alternative midfielder has become an issue for a team that has lacked intensity and staying power. Stefan Bajcetic is the only Liverpool player to score after the 50th minute in any of the past 13 league games.”
(Does not include Wolves game)
The Athletic on why Liverpool fans should remain positive
“Liverpool have 16 league matches left and only two are away to teams who are currently in the top half of the table.
“Their first-leg defeat to Real Madrid has effectively ended their European hopes for the season. This will leave the Premier League as their only target for the rest of the season.
“Their fixture schedule will ease, which will help prevent fitness and injury concerns while allowing them to spend more time on the training pitch to correct issues. It should also allow Klopp to select his best 11 for every game without having to think about prioritising certain matches.
“Liverpool have been here before, virtually in the same situation. In 2020-21, they also went out to Real Madrid in the Champions League, although at a slightly later stage (the quarter-finals), allowing full attention to turn to the league.
“Liverpool’s injury list is finally improving. The return of Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino has been a boost in attack.
“Luis Diaz has been back running but is yet to return to squad training. There is an outside chance he makes Liverpool’s away trip to Real Madrid on March 15.
“Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk’s return to the back line means Liverpool have their first-choice defender back. Ibrahima Konate is also now back in full training.
“Stefan Bajcetic’s rise from academy centre-back to Liverpool midfield regular is another cause for optimism. The 18-year-old has emerged at a time when Liverpool needed someone to.
“Bajcetic has been brilliant, but he has a lot of lessons to learn after the game against Real Madrid and playing against Modric,” says former Liverpool left-back Stephen Warnock. “You look at the last goal when Modric runs away from him and you are thinking just take him down. Modric would have done.
“I thought he complicated his game a little bit more than he has in recent weeks. It was almost like he was trying to show how good of a player he is. The rise he’s had has been incredible though.”
Andy Hunter in the Guardian on positives after Liverpool win
“Salah has hit the 20-goal landmark in each of his six seasons at Liverpool and was a menace to Julen Lopetegui’s side throughout. Klopp will also draw encouragement from his team’s defensive improvement ahead of Manchester United’s visit on Sunday.
“Since losing 3-0 at Molineux early last month, Liverpool have kept four successive clean sheets in the Premier League and welcomed back Ibrahima Konaté here following a month out with a hamstring injury. Victory lifted Liverpool to sixth and six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.
“The energy of Stefan Bajcetic and Harvey Elliott also told against the Wolves midfield while Klopp’s decision to switch Núñez and Diogo Jota, to centre-forward and left of the attack respectively, sparked improvement on the half-hour.”
Van Dijk named in FIFPRO Team of the Year
“Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been named in the 2022 FIFA FIFPRO The Best Men's World XI following a spectacular year.
“Van Dijk is the only Liverpool player to be named in the 11 and was presented the trophy at an exclusive event in the French capital, Paris. The defender was alongside Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Casemiro on Monday night to pick up the award.
"First and foremost proud, grateful, blessed, I can say a couple of things but those are the feelings that I have," said Van Dijk.
“It was an interesting year, we played all of the games and were competing for all trophies until the last game of the season. Very close, unfortunately couldn't get it done but I am very proud to be apart of this football club.
"I'm grateful and this is the biggest recognition you can get, voted for by your peers, by the players you play with and know what you go with day in, day out and play the same level. I’m proud."
Best Men's XI: Thibaut Courtois, Achraf Hakimi, Joao Cancelo, Virgil van Dijk, Kevin de Bruyne, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland.
LFC announces financial results for year to May 31, 2022
Summary of the financial period:
Covers the first full season post-pandemic
Media revenue fell by £5m to £261m
Matchday revenue rose by £83m to £86m
Commercial revenue rose by £29m to £247m
Administrative costs rose by £69m to £545m
Overall revenue rose by £107m to £594m
Profit before tax was £7.5m
This reporting period covers a season when Liverpool played in every club game possible, 63 matches in total.
The reported media revenue however did reduce by £5m as a result of the Premier League extending the 2019-20 season with additional games played beyond the previous reporting period, as a result of the pandemic.
The pandemic period also impacted the reported matchday revenue with a significant increase of £83m which is a result of going from no supporters in the previous season to full capacities in this reporting period.
Commercial revenue increased by £29m, with strong growth in partnerships and the reopening of non-matchday operations with the global retail stores and stadium tours and museum centre. A total of eight new partnerships were signed throughout the reporting period, including Sonos, Kodansha, Vistaprint and Wasabi. One partnership was renewed, football simulation game partner EA SPORTS.
Andy Hughes, LFC’s managing director, said: “Some of the numbers in these latest accounts look slightly skewed as a result of the previous reporting period being impacted by the global pandemic. However, the underlying strength of our financial position remains strong and we continue to operate a sustainable club which is our main objective from a financial perspective.
“It was really great having supporters back at Anfield and returning to some sort of normality after a really challenging period for everyone.
“The cost of running a football club does continue to rise. But we maintain our position of growing this club with significant investment with new and existing players signing contracts and the construction of the new Anfield Road Stand which we look forward to coming on stream in the summer. In the last five years we have invested over £250m in infrastructure and created world-class facilities for our players, staff and supporters.”
David Powell in the Echo summarises accounts
“Liverpool have returned to profit for the first time since the 2018/19 financial year as the club grew revenues to a record £594m..
“Wages rose to £366m, up £54m from £314m in the previous season. Seven new players were signed, including Luis Diaz and Fabio Carvalho, while extensions were handed to 22 players including Jordan Henderson, Harvey Elliott, Ibrahima Konate, Andy Robertson, Alisson Becker, Stefan Bajcetic and Diogo Jota. Mohamed Salah’s contract renewal occurred outside the 2021/22 reporting period.
“Commercial revenue at the club was up £29m to £247m thanks to a series of new partnerships including firms such as Wasabi and VistaPrint, [as well as] the continued impact of the Nike kit deal.
“Media revenues dropped by £5m year-on-year to £261m due to the previous financial year having included extra games in the reporting period owing to the pausing of the 2019/20 season because of the pandemic.
“Liverpool have been toiling with an increase in costs, meaning that even though the club played in every possible game that it could during the 2021/22 season, winning two cups, finishing second in the Premier League and reaching the final of the Champions League, a profit of just £7.5m has been booked.”
James Pearce on LFC’s accounts
“Liverpool’s media revenue actually fell by £5million to £261m. However, that figure was still bigger than any of their Premier League rivals as Klopp’s side went the distance in all four competitions, playing 63 games during the course of a marathon season.
“Matchday revenue was up by £83million to £86m as Anfield returned to full capacity following the lifting of crowd restrictions designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. That puts Liverpool third in the top flight for matchday earnings, behind only Tottenham Hotspur (£106m) and Manchester United (£107m).
“Liverpool are third domestically in terms of commercial revenue behind Manchester United (£262million) and Manchester City (£316m).
“Liverpool’s wage bill rocketed to £366m – an increase of nearly 17 per cent on the previous 12 months. That was the main reason why total administrative costs rose by £69m to £545m.”
Paul Joyce in the Times om LFC’s accounts
“Liverpool made a profit before tax of only £7.5 million during the 12-month period in which they came close to a historic Quadruple, highlighting the rising costs involved in running a football club.
“Despite a 63-match season in which Jürgen Klopp’s side fulfilled every possible fixture — lifting the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, reaching the final of the Champions League and taking the Premier League title race down to the wire — progress did not prove to be a money-spinner.
“However, it remains the club’s intention to support Klopp in the transfer market after a difficult 2022-23 campaign that has shone a light on the need for reinforcements in a number of positions. In addition, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), Liverpool’s owner, is seeking outside investment.”
Arthur Melo returning to action
“Arthur Melo made his Liverpool injury return on Saturday to help his side’s under-21 team record a 7-1 win over Leicester City.
“He also started for Liverpool Under-21s in their 1-0 EFL Trophy defeat by League Two strugglers Rochdale on September 20.
“Arthur, who had to undergo surgery on his thigh in October, played the full 90 minutes for Liverpool’s Under-21s as two-goal hero Ben Doak stole the show.
“The Brazilian has been cut from Liverpool’s Champions League squad for the knockout stages with Klopp opting to make three changes ahead of their two-legged last-16 showdown with Real Madrid. They lost the first leg at Anfield 5-2.
“Liverpool paid Juventus a loan fee of £4million to secure Arthur’s services for this season and they have the option to buy him for around £33million next summer.
LFC transfer news
Borussia Dortmund and Naby Keita's former club RB Leipzig are interested in signing the Guinea midfielder, 28, when his Liverpool contract expires this summer. (Bild - in German)
Alexis Mac Allister's father and agent was a club guest at a recent Liverpool game as the Reds eye Brighton's Argentina midfielder, 24, as well as Chelsea's England forward Mason Mount, 24, and Borussia Dortmund's England midfielder Jude Bellingham, 19. (Football Transfers)
Mohamed Salah's agent has dismissed speculation the forward could leave Liverpool in the summer if they do not qualify for the Champions League. (Goal)
Meanwhile, the Reds are closely monitoring Chelsea's talks with France midfielder N'Golo Kante, 31, over an extension to his current deal, which expires this summer. (Football Insider)
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