26 Oct 2010

EXCLUSIVE - Liverpool FC Gross/Net spend figures: 1990-2010 *Never published before*

How much money has Liverpool FC spent on transfers during the Premier League era? For the first time ever, either online or offline, here are the club's gross/net transfer figures from 1990 until 2010.

NOTES

* The figures include all transfers up to and including Roy Hodgson's activity in the transfer market.

* The figures (bar Hodgson's transfers and Ferguson's transfers since July 2009) have been compiled from the club's official financial accounts, i.e. a factual, irrefutable source. The club accounts are inalienable; there is a legal duty to provide accurate, correct figures on a yearly basis. Thus, any other figures in the press/on other websites that do not match these figures are WRONG.

For the purposes of this article, I've used the official LFC.tv website for Hodgson's figures and the official Man United website for Ferguson's 2009-10 transfers. Obviously, both are reliable sources.

* Adjustment for inflation is not necessary here. I am merely presenting the facts; I am not making a comparison between managers, or with today's monetary values. Inflation does not change the totals spent by each manager, or the amount paid out by the club for transfers at any given time, or the percentage of the total spent by each manager.


LIVERPOOL FC TRANSFER SPENDING: 1990-2010


Liverpool FC Transfer Spending 1990-2010

KEY POINTS

* Gerard Houllier has a higher % net spend that Rafa Benitez. According to the Net Spend Cult, this means that Houllier actually had more money to spend that Benitez (!). Any intelligent person can see that such an argument has no credibility at all. (Benitez Gross spend = £289m. Houllier Gross spend = £147.2m. On what deluded plain must someone exist to argue that £147m is greater than £289m?!)

* Benitez has recouped the most money in players sales of all LFC's managers in the last 20 years.

* Available transfer funds have (inevitably) increased with each new manager.

* Since 1990, 54% of LFC's transfer funds have been spent by Benitez.

* Luckily, Graeme Souness only got his hands on 4% of the total transfer money provided to managers over the last 20 years :-)

Before the inveitable griping about Benitez: this is NOT an attack on him (!). My point about net spend above has nothing to do with him per se; I'm merely trying to illustrate what I perceive to be the ridiculous nature of the Net Spend Cult's main argument.

Jaimie Kanwar


113 comments:

  1. What you need to do to make a more accurate analysis of the figures isto take into account inflation, eg £1 in 1990 has a greater value than £1 in 2010. 

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  2. Okay - why don't you do that then if you want to see it so much?

    Whatever I do, there will always be someone saying 'but it would be more accurate if you did X, Y and Z', and it usually stems from the fact that the figures presented do not conform to expectations.  If these figures ticked all your boxes then you wouldn't be suggesting a more 'accurate' analysis.

    This is not an analysis per se anyway - it is merely a presentation of the figures.

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  3. So why did you bother doing it at all?

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  4. Obviously. to present the figures.   It is important that fans have access to accurate information.  Guesswork and supposition just doesn't cut it.

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  5. you REALY REALY nead to read this article b4 make a fool of yourself further more :

    http://tomkinstimes.com/2010/02/tpi©-the-complete-guide-to-football-inflation/

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  6. Well i thought this site was "critical realism" so i dunno what your problem is. I am just suggesting a method that would make your work have some sort of meaning.  As it stands without inflation it makes the percentages useless.

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  7. Hi Jaimie.

    "Gerard Houllier has a higher % net spend that Rafa Benitez. According to the <span>Net Spend Cult</span>, this means that Houllier actually had more money to spend that Benitez (!)."

    If you don't agree with the net spend arguement then maybe you could agree on this: Houllier transfers cost LFC 79.75 million, Rafa's transfers cost the club 50.2 Million. In the same period Rafa made a huge amount of money for the club in CL revenue (would love to see a comparison on this with houllier!) I'm only comparing Houllier and Rafa because I'm not sure how relevant it is (although interesting) to compare him to Evans/Souness due to inflation and the insanity that has become the transfer market!

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  8. No - it makes the percentages useless *in your opinion*.

    The percentages are not useless; inflation has absolutely nothing to do with discerning what % of the overall total was spent by each manager.  LFC's total gross spend as recored in the accounts is 528m.  Inflation does not change the figures spent by each manager.

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  9. Very interesting, Jamie. Any chance of doing the same for Man U. and Arsenal?

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  10. Very disengenous Jaimie as your comments above show. To claim 'This is not an analysis per se anyway - it is merely a presentation of the figures' after providing analysis which somehow criticises those that claim using a simle financial logic that net profit/loss is more imortant argument than gross is somehow 'deluded' is completely ridiculous. It is also completely disengenious if not downright misleading to claim that anyone who reasonably considers variables that all right thinking 'analysts' financial or otherwise would consider is somehow pushing a Benitez barrow. 

    - inflation and relative cost of inputs (players) increases over time makes straight comparisons over a 20 year period absurd.
    - how about a relative trophy cost? Souness' 1992 FA cup win with 4% total spend may indeed be our most successful manager...

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  11. Very interesting, Jamie. Any chance of doing the same for Man U. and Arsenal?

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  12. Very disengenous Jaimie as your comments above show. To claim 'This is not an analysis per se anyway - it is merely a presentation of the figures' after providing analysis which somehow criticises those that claim - using a simple financial logic that net profit/loss is more imortant than gross is somehow 'deluded' is completely ridiculous. It is also completely disengenious if not downright misleading to claim that anyone who reasonably considers variables that all right thinking 'analysts' financial or otherwise would consider is somehow pushing a Benitez barrow.   
     
    - inflation and relative cost of inputs (players) increases over time makes straight comparisons over a 20 year period absurd.  
    - how about a relative trophy cost? Souness' 1992 FA cup win with 4% total spend may indeed be our most successful manager...<span></span>

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  13. Very interesting, Jamie. Any chance of doing the same for Man U. and Arsenal?

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  14. Do you really not understand the point being made when net spend is mentioned? It's quite simple. Consider the following example:

    Manager X has a squad of 21 players. Let's say they are worth a total of 100 million. He sells the entire squad for their market value and buys a new squad, spending 110 million. His squad is now worth 110 million. 

    Manager Y has a squad of 21 players. Lets say they are worth 100 million. He sells his 3 worst players who, due to form and injury problems, are only worth 1 million combined. He buys an additional 3 players, spending 110 million. His squad is now worth 209 million.

    Both managers have spent the same amount of money. It is none the less quite obvious that manager Y has a better squad, at least in terms of monetary value. The difference between the two squads and the spending pattern of the managers X and Y is that manager Y has shown a greater NET SPEND overall. 

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  15. Hi Steven - yes, it's fair to say Houllier's transfers cost the club more; however, this does not change the fact that Benitez spent a hell of a lot more.

    Houllier also made the club money in revenue; the treble season, plus the CL season in 2001-2.

    What you also neglect to mention is that Benitez took over a team that had excellent European and CL experience, and that had qualified for the CL.  Houllier took over a team that had only been allowed back into European competition for 7 years (after the heysel Ban).  It takes time to get up to the requireed level to compete in Europe, and Houllier is the manager who got Liverpool to that level again, and Benitez benefited from that.

    Also, CL places were not available to 3rd and 4th place teams until 2002, 4 years into Houllier's reign.  This meant Liverpool would've also qualified for the CL in 199-2000, and 2001-2002, which would've given Liverpool additional revenue from the CL.

    The point I'm making here is Benitez had more opportunity to gain CL revenue than Houllier because Liverpool had an easier chance of qualifying for the CL.

    Benitez qualified for the CL 4 times in 6 years.

    If Houllier had the advantage of the 3rd 4th place change, he would've also qualified 4 times out of 6 (99-00 | 00-01 | 01-02 | 03-04.

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  16. It is not me that claims Net spend is all important.  The net spend cult always argue that net spend is the most important aspect of judging a manager's traqnsfer market effectiveness.

    The net spend cult regularly argues (very often on this site) that higher net spend = more money spent on transfers.

    I used the Houlier/Benitez comparison to illustrate the ridiculousness of such a thought process.  Why don't you address the point: Houllier has a higher net spend than Benitez - does that mean he spent more money than Benitez?

    According to the net spend cult, Houllier spent more money!  It's mind-bogglingly stupid to think that way if you ask me.  When all is said and done, 289m of the club's money did - as a matter of irrefutable fact - pass from Liverpool to other clubs for the services of players.

    And it's not about Benitez - anyone who used the net spend argument (in the way the NSC uses it)  for any team/Manager is just plain wrong (IMO)

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  17. I'll be doing comparisons with Man United and Arsenal (1990-2010) very soon.

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  18. Sorry, but that argument has no merit.  First, it's completely unrealistc.  How likely is it that a manager would sell his entire squad?!  It's never happened.

    Second, value of a squad is completely subjective.  There's no accurater way to quantify squad value; it's all guesswork and supposition.

    Third, your example doesn't make sense.  How much was the original sqaud bought for (i.e. gross amount).  There is a difference between gross and squad value.  breaking it down:

    Manager X

    Squad worth: 100m
    Purchases: 110m
    Sales: 100m
    Net spend: 10m
    New squad worth: 110m

    Manager Y

    Squad worth: 100m
    Purchases: 110m
    Sales: 1m
    net spend: 109m
    New squad worth: 209m

    What exactly are you trying to prove?

    Is manager X a genius in the transfer market because he only has a net spend of 10m (compared to the 109, net spend of manager Y)?!

    This is precisely my point: The Net spend cult would argue that manager X performed better in the transfer market just because the net spend is lower.

    They would also argue that Manager Y has spent MORE money than manager X, again purely based on the fact the Manager Y has a higher net spend.

    This is the idiocy of the moronic net spend argument.

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  19. The point is that:

    1. Both managers started in the same position with the same squad value. Of course monetary value does not always equal player quality but it is very often the case that better players cost more money. 
    2. Both managers spent exactly the same amount of money
    3. Manager Y has ended up with a squad that is better 
    4. A better (more expensive) squad usually means better performances on the pitch. Chelsea and Manchester City are the two most recent examples of this
    5. The only difference between the two managers in the example is net spend

    So, very simply: 
    Greater Net Spend => Better Squad => More success

    Of course "=>" is not a rule, it's a trend that has to contend with many variables but I would suggest that history does overall show that, other factors being more of less equal, the above equation holds true. 

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  20. We need a yo uth system that will bring a steady flow of players into the first eleven. We cannot match the spending power of Man City but the question is will Man City win anything of note with all this money - I seriously do not think so. Look at how Ferguson only spent 7 million on Hernandez and already the guy has scored 5 goals. Their are players of huge potential all over the world but it takes a manager with real savvy to spot them. Look at how poor Adebayor and Jo have been at City despite an outlay of 43 million combined. I would fully approve of NESV refusing to pay huge transfer fees in January.  All the waste at all levels of the club needs to be sorted. The promising guys in the youths and reserves like Suso, Ngog, Silva, Sterling, Wisdom, Coady, Robinson, Flanagan, Ince, Amoo and Pacheco and Wilson are not getting enough game time and will not progress under the current regime. All of these guys need to be fasttracked into the first team this season along with Mavinga and Shelvey. I would get rid of Konchesky, Carragher, Rodriguez, Poulsen, Lucas and Babel in January.

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  21. To clarify the position of "the net spend cult" I suspect they would in fact argue that manager Y has been given more ADDITIONAL funds to spend improving the squad where as manager X has been simply allowed to spend whatever money he can raise from player sales. The implication is that, again, manager Y ends up with a better squad overall. There is nothing outlandish or crazy in that conclusion. 

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  22. Regarding net spend, I can't believe that after all these years you don't understand it!  Money spent - money recouped = extra money put into the team (by the board).  Houllier was given more money during his time at Anfield than Benitez.

    See below for my comments on inflation.

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  23. So, very simply:   
    Greater Net Spend => Better Squad => More success 
    <span></span>
    This is just not true:
    * Houllier had greater net spend that Benitez.  I would personally argue he had a better squad, BUT did his bigger net spend = more success?
    * When Man United won the league 3 years in a row recently, Chelsea had the bigger net spend throughout.  Didn't make a blind bit of difference though, did it?
    * Man City have a bigger net spend than anyone recently - do they have a better squad and more success than united, Chelsea and Arsenal?
    * Real Madrid regularly spend more money than anyone.  Has that translated into league/European success recently?  No.
    * Over the last year, man United have bigger net spend than Chelsea.  Who won the league?
    * Between 2004 and 2009, Chelsea's net spend was 80m.  Liverpool's was 76m. Chelsea won the league twice.  Liverpool failed to win it once.  Is that due to 4m extra on Chelsea's net spend?!

    There are countless examples like this. 
    The net spend cult's argument:
    Lower net spend => Brilliant performance in the transfer market
    Lower net spend => Manager not having enough money to spend.
    Higher net spend = > Means manager has spent more money than someone with lower net spend.
    All three are staggerinlgy ridiculous arguments.
    And it gets even sillier if you consider someone like Arsene Wenger, who has a negative net spend over the last 6 years.  According to the net spend cult, he has not been funded at all.

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  24. It is you who clearly doesn't understand it, as evidenced by the massive (and inaccurate) assumption you make:

    Money spent - money recouped = extra money put into the team (by the board).
    Not all money for transfers comes from money recouped.  That is one of the biggest transfer myths of all time.  In Liverpool's case, this is proved categorically by the accounts.  In 2004-5, 18m was recouped by Benitez. In 2005-6, 42m was spent.  Where did the other 24m come from: thin air?! And there is no proof of how much of the money recouped goes on transfers.
    The accounts also show that Hicks and Gillett made loans to LFC for the specific purpose of buying players. 
    Your interpretation of net spend doesn't reflect the reality, but keep deluding yourself by all means.

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  25. Well said Fraggs.  I agree 100% with this.  The point about net spend is that Benitez often had to sell before he could buy.  (creating a lower net spend, but increasing his gross spend) Quite simply, this meant he was always replacing players and improving the squad in increments rather than improving the squad outright.

    Looking at gross spend on it's own is pointless.  Take it with money received from sales and it's more useful:

    High gross spend and low sales = Chelsea / Man City type club
    Low gross spend and high sales = Portsmouth on their way down
    High gross spend and high sales = Benitez - very active in the market working on a budget
    Low gross spend and low sales  = Man Utd type club - already finished with a good squad that needs minimal improvements OR grass roots club with limited funds and limited assets (players)

    Looking at net spend on it's own simply tells you how much money has been injected into the club by the board - which is the general argument used and the one you wrongly dispute, Jaimie.

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  26. The point about net spend is that Benitez often had to sell before he could buy<span></span>
    And here it is again: the oldest (and lamest) excuse in the book, employed by Benitez apologists to try and mask his poor transfer record.  Where is the PROOF Benitez 'had' to sell to buy?  Tell me: Who did Benitez 'have' to sell to buy the following:
    Torres - 24mKeane - 20mMascherano - 18.6m
    Aquilani - 18mJohnson - 17mBabel - 11.5m
    Come on - answer the question.  We must have sold a sh1tload of players to spend all the money above!
    I have never argued that gross spend shold be considered in isolation; I have only argued that it is more important than net spend in establishing how much money has been made available to the manager to buy players.
    High gross spend and low sales = Chelsea / Man City type club  
    Low gross spend and high sales = Portsmouth on their way down  
    High gross spend and high sales = Benitez - very active in the market working on a budget  
    Low gross spend and low sales  = Man Utd type club - already finished with a good squad that needs minimal improvements OR grass roots club with limited funds and limited assets (players)  

    Gee, don't generalise or anything. 

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  27. Fraggs, well done.

    Also, net spend is a good proxy for the amount of net investment.

    However, both net and gross spend do not consider the timing of the spending.

    Consider this:

    Manager spends 35m on players, and recoups 15m in sales for net spend of 20m.

    That could be done in many ways - and the devil is in the details.

    1. The manager can, early in the transfer window, pay 22m for his top target, and 8m for another target and 5m on another (gross spending 35m).  He then manages to sell a player near the end of the window for 15m - net spend of 20m.  Effectively, this manager had 35m in cash upfront.

    2. Another manager is given 20m cash upfront, plus whatever he can recoup in player sales.  This manager cannot afford to buy his top 22m target until he can sell a player.  The transfer dynamic is very different as he is now "forced" to sell players in order to get his main targets.  Its also hard to extract the greatest transfer value for a player if you can't play a waiting game. Basically, the dynamic of how much cash you can spend, and when you actually have the cash (is it in hand, or self-generated) is a big determinant in addition to gross vs. net spend.

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  28. Rafa did well with what he had if you ask me. We were the number one side in europe for a time, and if one compares the figures with the other top european sides of his time, im sure our spend would be quite a lot lower than theirs. 
    Hodgson is right up there with souness in terms of buying crap, those 2 take the biscuit cause we are/were awful under both of them!

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  29. Yes, and condemning a manager after 4 months in the job is fair and reasonable.

    Poulsen, Konchesky, Jones, Wilson and Meirelles are not crap.  if they are, explain why, though I suspect you're just jumping on the bandwagon du jour. 

    Joe Cole is crap, I'll give you that though.  Total waste of a signing.

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  30. You might want to read the other part of my post, the bit that said "other factors being more or less equal" and "history does show overall". Of course you can find examples that don't fit, that's the nature of any summary formula that deal with statistics. You could find a far greater number of examples that show the formula working exactly as shown, you just wouldn't do that because it doesn't suit your argument. 

    With Chelsea there is no question that from 2003 the equation stands true. They only won league titles after significant net spend. Before Abramovich they were barely pushing for a CL spot. 

    Man City indeed are showing greater success. Not 5 years ago they were 15th in the league, now they're consistently pushing for a CL spot. The difference? Greater net spend. 

    Real Madrid are still a successful football team. When they were beaten by Barca to La Liga title they collected the most number of points in their history. Plus, why would you only say "recently" when referring to Real Madrid? They have a long history of spending money, they also have a long history of winning many many titles. 

    You're sticking with a predictably simplistic definition that success is only measured in trophies. For someone who seems to like stats and figures so much that's a big problem. There is not enough range in a statistic like trophy count (only 1-5 per season) to deal with standard deviation. A much more suitable statistic to measure success by would be wins in a season. You might think this is just my opinion but it is actually just sensible statistical analysis. 

    Lower net spend => Manager not having enough money to spend
    ... staggeringly rediculous ...

    Nothing rediculous about that at all. Any Premier League manager who is given the task of taking a bottom table team and competing at the top of the table will demand a higher net spend. Sunderland and Birmingham have done quite well recently and they've had to spend money (net) to do so. Clubs that haven't matched this net spend have not risen to a similar level. 

    Arsene Wenger who has a negative net spend over the last 6 years ...
    And Arsenal in that time have been reduced to 3rd and 4th in the league as compared to 1st and 2nd the previous 6 years. 

    Really, all you're doing now is picking out odd examples that from some odd angle seem to support your point of view but even those are weak and on proper analysis don't add up at all. I find it hard to believe that you can't see the remarkable simplicity that is: spend more money on better players and the team will be more successful. You're either just being stubborn or you can't put aside your position on Benitez and look at the facts objectively.  

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  31. Raul was not Hodgson's signing. He was Macia's actually. Wilson was Rafa's and the rest are average squad players. Hodgson is not LFC. We need a progressive manager, a young coach, someone who commands respect.
     Codgeson, will never convince me. Awful style of play and waffles far too much.

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  32. Come on - answer the question. We must have sold a sh1tload of players to spend all the money above

    Um, JK, we did. Your own display above has it outlined very clearly. We sold 260 million pounds worth of players, enough to buy that list of players twice over. 

    Your argument about Rafa having to sell is a semantic one and not really relevant. Perhaps it's a poor choice of words by those who make the suggestion but you can't ignore the reality. Why on earth would the manager sell 260 million pounds worth of players if not to fund other purchases? Do you really expect us to believe that he sold those players because they were surplus to his needs? So he sold Crouch and Keane but kept Ngog because ... well, why? I have no doubt that in footballing terms Rafa would have been completely content to keep Robbie on the bench and use him only when needed but that would have meant 20 million quid of striker sitting on the bench, wasted. He sold him so quickly because he knew that the longer he kept the player out of regular first team play, the less the player might be worth on a subsequent sale. Given the manager's ambitions it was clear that having 20 million on the bench was a bad idea so he HAD to sell the player in order to try to use the money better on someone else. 

    It was a point made by Rafa himself many times, I don't really see on what basis you are denying it expect to be absurdly stubborn. He was always told how much EXTRA money was available to spend. He then identified his targets. He would then see that the figures did not add up so some other players would have to sold to fund the incoming transfers. What's so hard to understand about that?

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  33. <span>Why do people insist on making stuff up?</span>
    Raul was not Hodgson's signing. He was Macia's actually.
    You say 'actually' as if it's fact that the rest of us should somehow know (!).  Where is your proof? Don't just say it; back it up.  Hodgson signed Meirelles - that is a fact. Macia did not.

    Wilson was Rafa's
    Who signed Wilson: Benitez or Hodgson?  Hodgson, thus he is Hodgson's signing, whether you like ot or not.

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  34. so according to you Lucas and Johnson are crap but Poulsen and Konchesky are not crap?? i just wanted to make sure thats what your saying?? if thats true then what your saying is that your writing off a 23 year old player thats getting called up for the Brazil national team but are defending the 30 year old Poulsen that was just voted the worst  player on the pitch when his national team played against Portugal. Plus Danny Wilson was a target of Rafa but his signature was only signed after Rafa was let go so really his Rafa's signing as was Shelvey. 

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  35. I like tits. Does anyone else like tits?

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  36. No, it is you who cannot look at things objectively.  Your argument makes no sense.

    Success = trophies.  That is how you measure success at the top end of the table.

    With Chelsea there is no question that from 2003 the equation stands true. They only won league titles after significant net spend. Before Abramovich they were barely pushing for a CL spot.   
    It does not ring true at all.  Chelsea failed to win the title for 3 years in a row despite massive spending, and were beaten to the title by a team with a lower net spend.
    Man City indeed are showing greater success. Not 5 years ago they were 15th in the league, now they're consistently pushing for a CL spot. The difference? Greater net spend.   
    This just proves how your argument has no basis.  You're trying to twist reality to make it fit your tenuous argument.  Despite spending hundreds of millions in the last few years, City's league positions since 2007 are 9th, 10th and 5th.  How in the world can this be classified as *consistently* pushing for a CL spot?!  City's greater net spend has achieved NOTHING.

    And your point about me only focusing on trophies is typical misinformation.  That's not what I'm arguing at all.  When we're talking about the likes of Man U and Chelsea, discussing who wins the league title is legitimate, as is examining why, with a lower net spend, united beat them to the title for 3 years in a row.
    You've stated your equation - why don't you provide some specific, accurate examples of how it is accurate.  You even state:
    You could find a far greater number of examples that show the formula working exactly as shown<span></span>
    Okay.  Where are those examples?
    I won't look for them because I don't agree with your equation.
    And historically it's not accurate either: in late 80s/early 90s, Liverpool had higher gross/net spending than Arsenal, yet Arsenal still stole the title from us twice.
    United had greater net spend than us in the late 80s; who won all the league titles?
    Leeds United had lower transfer spending than Man United in 92'; they still won the league.  Same goes for Blackburn in 1994.

    And the examples keep coming.
    To suggest that winning trophies is not important when considering the impact of transfer spending is just nonsense.

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  37. If we need a connection with Liverpool - I heard Torres's wife has a nice set of tits.

    Yum!

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  38. Its a bit problematic comparing figure over 20 years without adjusting for inflation and exchange rate risk .
    The recent past for example 1euro was worth 67p in August 2007 and that same 1euro was worth 86p in August 2009.
    The moral here is without even adjusting for inflation 22million euro cost of torres was £14.74mln in 08/07 but rose to £18.92 in 08/09. Now Aquilani was bought for 20mln euro in 2009 which was worth £17.2mln a figure thats in fact higher than the Torres fee in pound sterling terms but lower in euro terms. In the business world its called an exchange loss as far as liverpool is concerned given the Torres fee was not paid upfront, it has kept getting inflated in the books to adjust for currency moves because the deal was negotiated in euros
    On the other hand because Aquilani came in when the pound was low as a result of UK debts and quantitative easing which effectively led to the market devaluing the currency. In this case should the pound recover, Liverpool will end up paying less in pound terms. This is not mentioned in most football club books but if you go through books of multi national like BP who trade cross border they will announce the impact of currency on annual operations hence why they hedge their positions to minimise the exchange risk disruption. Liverpool is also affected the same way when they sell in Euros hence inflows will also fluctuate
    http://www.x-rates.com/d/GBP/EUR/hist2009.html you can follow this link for historic rates adjusting the year directly in the address bar for whatever year you want

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  39. Perhaps we could have a "Great WAG tits - player's wages" percentage ratio done.

    I would expect the highly paid players would have a high percentage ratio of great knockers.

    Whereas people like Konchesky or that Greek bloke would have tits like old pairs of socks.

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  40. I think you're 2004-05 figures are misrepresentative as RB's transfer spending.  Two things should be noted here.  (1) Cisse was a £14 million Houllier purchase at the end of the 2003-04 season, which Rafa inherited.  (2) Emile Heskey was also sold by Liverpool that same year just before Rafa came in, for £6.5 million also at the end of the 2003-04 season.

    Thus, it seems to me that GH's spending for 2003-04 season should be higher and RB's 2004-05 spending lower. 

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  41. Even Hodgson seems to have finally come round to the idea that Lucas is a much better player than Poulsen. After all in the last 2 league games, including the 'must win' against Blackburn, Lucas was selected ahead of Poulsen.

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  42. Re the inflation argument.

    While you obviously don't have to take inflation into account, and it's nice to have the raw data there as it is, there is actually not a lot you can tell from this data as it stands.  Any form of comparison, even just between Benitez and Houllier is already skewered due to inflation AND changes in the football market itself.  The £15 million paid for Shearer by Newcastle was heralded around the world as it made Shearer the most expensive footballer on the planet.  Today, Man Utd could buy 5 Shearers and still have change from their Ronaldo sale.  But no one in their right mind would argue that 1 Ronaldo is better than 5 Shearers.

    A better comparison was done by Paul Tomkinson where he compared spending figures and related each player purchase to the most expensive footballer in the world that year.

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  43. Very well said Jaimie, "not all money for transfers comes from money recouped"  We have seen this in effect for the past few years at Liverpool as the money we received from player sales was not put back into the team at all!

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  44. Condemning a manager after 4 months is fair and reasonable if your team is in the relegation zone for more than 2 weeks when this hasn't happened in well over 20 years.  Say what you want about the squad Rafa left behind, it was still better than Hodgson's Fulham. Yet, Hughes's has his Fulham side above Liverpool for the last month.  Apart from that Hodgson is the least tactically adept manager I've ever seen at Liverpool.  This means it is not likely that they will improve further.  Not one player has praises Hodgson for his tactical acumen.  They politely cite his experience (even though it has been that of midtable teams) but not much else.

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  45. Um, JK, we did. Your own display above has it outlined very clearly. We sold 260 million pounds worth of players, enough to buy that list of players twice over.   <span></span>
    Nice try, but it doesn't work that way.  First, Benitez recouped 226m, not 260m. And if he had to sell to buy then answer the question - don't skirt the issue.  Countless people have argued that Benitez 'had' to sell to buy; i..e he was compelled to sell before he could buy.  Who did Benitez 'have' to sell to buy the following: 
    Babel - 11.5mAquilani - 18m
    Johnson - 17m Torres - 24m  
    Keane - 20m  
    Mascherano - 18.6m 
      <span></span>
    I have no doubt that in footballing terms Rafa would have been completely content to keep Robbie on the bench and use him only when needed but that would have meant 20 million quid of striker sitting on the bench, wasted. He sold him so quickly because he knew that the longer he kept the player out of regular first team play, the less the player might be worth on a subsequent sale.
    No, Benitez sold him so quickly because he made a monumental mistake signing him in the first pace.  And if benitez had bought the *right* player to begin with, there wouldn've have been a need to rush and make money back on him.  and that is irrelevant too since Liverpool made an 8m loss on Keane. 8m down the pan.  It's okay though, right?  What's more important is that we got *some* money back. let;s just forget the 8m loss that came about as a result of negligent transfer policy.
    He was always told how much EXTRA money was available to spend. He then identified his targets. He would then see that the figures did not add up so some other players would have to sold to fund the incoming transfers. What's so hard to understand about that
    What's your point?  None of this changes the fact that when Benitez had the money in hand he regularly pi$$ed it against the wall on the wrong players.  That is the point.  The following purchases were a waste of money because the players bought had no specific, consistent positive impact on the team:
    Keane - 20mAquilani - 20mJohnson - 17mBabel - 11.5mDossena - 8mPennant - 6.5mLucas - 6mMorientes - 6.5mKromkamp - 4.5mJosemi - 2mPalletta - 2mLeto - 1.8mNunez - 1.5mCarson - 1m
    That's just over 107m wasted, and that's not all of it.
    Imagine if all that money had been spent on the right players.  That is the point.

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  46. Jaimie said "<span>* Houllier had greater net spend that Benitez.  I would personally argue he had a better squad,..."  Sorry Jaimie, but with that comment you've just discredited everything else you've said.  Do you really think that Bruno Cheyrou, Vladimir Smicer, Djimi Traore, Salif Diao and El Hadji Diouf are better players than what we have now/during Benitez years?  Is Biscan better than Babel?  Kewell better than Cole?  How about Sean Dundee?  Don't get me wrong, Houllier had some great buys too (most notably Hyypia) but he had an awful lot of terrible signings.</span>
    <span><span>
    </span></span>

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  47. Inflation has nothing to do with it!  Stop flogging a dead horse.  If I was doing a comparison then inflation would be a factor.  Inflation does not change the amounts spent in the past.  Why can you and others not see this?  Are the club's accounts suddenly wrong and out of date because inflation is different now?  NO.

    You and anyone else bringing up inflation is just doing so for the same old reason: you want the figures to change so the net spend for Houllier, Evans etc is HIGHER, so it will look better for Benitez.

    It is so transparent.  Why else would people bring up inflation when it is patently obvious that inflation has nothing to do with this article.

    I'll say again: if I was comparing Houllier and Benitez, inflation would be a factor.  I am not.  I have just presented the figures, and given m opinion on them.

    God, the lengths that Benitez's supporters will go to in order to twist reality is really something to behold.

    if anyone else brings up the subject of inflation their post will be deleted.

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  48. "Inflation does not change the figures spent by each manager.<span>" - YES IT DOES</span>
    For example if you spend 30 pounds a week on candy in 1990, and in 2010 you spend 60 punds on candy and you get the exact same amount of candy (this is actually close to the real inflation rate from 1990-2010, inflation rate from 1990-2008 it was 84%). You think youve got an eating dissorder, cos now you spend twice as much as before on candys?
    -Keep in mind that the income does not stay fixed. Ticket prices, shirt sales etc are not the same now as in 1990.
    So a transfer worth 10m in 1990 is worth around 20m today. How does that not change the figures? "as recorded in the accounts" does not change the fact that the statistics are flawed, by more than 30% between 1998 and 2008.
    It's not a matter of an opinion it's a fact and you need to take it in account when measuring currencies between years. (I can just imagine the face of the zimbabwean "rich people" when they recived their first 100 trillion dollar banknote, they must've thought this would be it: flat screens, new car, new house...ofcourse it  was the equivalant of 200 zimbabwean dollars a year earlier. But hey, inflation is just a matter of opinion.)

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  49. Right, so we're back to this again are we? You're going to say that titles are the only thing that matter while I try to explain to you that success for a football team can be measured in any number of more refined ways. No wonder you have such a miserable time as a Liverpool supporter. All the wins and great games we've had over the years must mean nothing to you because we've never won a title. 

    That's the kind of argument that lost the last Real Madrid coach his job despite their most successful league season ever. You see how I use that word? I consider gaining more wins and more points that ever before in your club history a success. You say that they didn't win the title so it was not a success. I imagine if Liverpool amassed 95 points next season and yet lost out to United on the same number of points and a goal difference only 1 better you'd still say it was not a successful season. 

    On that basis we're never going to agree and I have no interest in trying to convince you otherwise. But in the interests of maybe getting you to begin to understand the point I was making I will refine my formula and you can make of it what you will. Remember, in my view, more league wins is the indicator of greater success:

    Greater Net Spend => Better Squad => More league wins

    Again, this is a generalisation. It holds true over a wide range of teams over many years. You'll have your counter examples but the assertion that the concept overall is ludicrous, idiotic or unfounded is just not true. I've already given you examples, you just refuse to acknowledge them. 

    By the way, I see you decided to ignore the Arsenal point I raised. Very clearly when they went from a positive net spend to a negative net spend their league position was worse over the period of six years. You have nothing to say on that?

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  50. IMO, Johnson is and always has been a defensive liability. Lucas is not good enough to be a regular first teamer. Squad player, yes; first teamer, no. The fact he plays for Brazil has nothing to do with how he performs for Liverpool.

    And by the way: get over it.  These are my opinions.  If you can't hack opinions that differ from your own then that's not my problem.

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  51. Right - so the official club accounts are wrong, right?   It's amazing how people refuse to accept facts.  The accounts are not wrong.  YOU are wrong.  And it's yet another blatant attempt by a Rafa fan to desperately try and change the figures in Benitez's favour.

    (1) Cisse was a £14 million Houllier purchase at the end of the 2003-04 season, which Rafa inherited. 

    Cisse was signed before the 2004 accounting deadline; his transfer is in the 2003-4 accounts.

    Emile Heskey was also sold by Liverpool that same year just before Rafa came in, for £6.5 million also at the end of the 2003-04 season.  <span></span>
    <span>Heskey was sold in May 2004, which is - once aain - before the accounting deadline.  His transfer is also accounted for in the 2003-4 accounts.</span>

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  52. By presenting percentages of total inflows and outflows for liverpool managers in the last 20years you seem to be comparing whether intentional or incidental thats the beauty of having an opinion. I merely saw the figures out there so I thought I would make a small point which is not defending any one manager but merely showing that comparing Souness cashflow covering 1992 when the pound crashed and led to the formulation of the Euro concept to even Roy Evans his successor is an exercise fraught with inconsistencies. I cant knock you for your research because in your previous article I suggested you compare liverpool to united from 1990 and even though your response ridiculed my suggestion, you have managed to show how driven you are as far as research is concerned and I salute you. We only interpret the same set of accounts differently which in no way is defending any era of our managers over the last 20 years but pointing out anomalies overlooked in the everyday press.

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  53. Carson was bought for 750K and sold for £3.25M. Lucas is in the Brasilian team as Anderson (Man U apid £17M for Anderson) <span><span></span></span>Sebasti├ín Leto on his way as Liverpool accept £3m offer from ...  Leto bought for £1.8M. Keane bought for 20M and sold for 12M, Aquilani is not sold yet and playing fantastic football @ Juve and you claimed £107M was WASTED? So if you bought a player and sold at a higher price. THAT IS MONEY WASTED.   You need a course in accounting for fools.

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  54. Common sense tells me if you bought a player for 3M and you sold for 5M. That is a profit of 2M, Leto was sold for a higher price than we paid for him, Carson was sold for a profit, Keane was sold at a loss. Lucas we got a bargain considering MAN U bought is mate for 3 times the price and both are equally crap. Aquilani SURELY does have a residual value at the age of 26.  So concluding we wasted £107M on the above list is lazy in thought. I am pretty so sure we ll get more than 5M for Lucas and Man U ll NEVER recieve £17M for Anderson, Carrick or Hargraves.

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  55. Again... Konchesky is not better than Insua. J.Cole is not better than Benayoun, (He is free and we sold Banayoun for 6M - so i can live with than). Poulsen is no better than Lucas and we paid £4.5M. We ll sell Lucas for more than we paid, we ll need to beg another club to take Poulsen off our hands. Raul is good, but we had Aquilani. So why not spend the money on Raul to buy a striker, since we were lacking in that department? It is all about decision making and Roy didnt seem to get it right.

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  56. It's not actually the point at all. You asked:

    Who did Benitez 'have' to sell to buy those players.

    I very clearly pointed out that you're making a semantic argument, playing on the word 'have'. The reality is that Rafa would not have had finances to buy those players had he not sold other players. Are you suggesting otherwise? It's a very simply point: Rafa would not have been able to spend as much as he did had he not recouped costs. You can argue your pedantic interpretation on the word 'had' if you like, the end result is the same. You consistently fail to address this simple fact time and time again, how about you face up to it?

    By the way, if 260 million is wrong then you might want to revise your figures in your article. 18.5 + 36.8 + 54.3 + 40 + 45.2 + 65.8 very clearly is a total of 260.6  

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  57. Thanks for the figures once again
    all make interesting reading.
    to go on about net spend not being relevant, I feel is wrong, while it does not tell the full story and can be skewed in isolation(ManU figures published previously)
    surely the cashflow argument of net spend is valid. i.e not all of the gross spend was available at any one time only chunks of it, this coupled by other "intangible" facts like having to build a squad, not just add superstars to it. If you do try to sign a superstar they have to want to come and wages are a factor.
    Casing point is the only real superstar we have signed in the last few years is Torres(a player who at the time was wanted by top clubs)
    A)he wanted to sign
    B)he supposedly took a wage cut to sign.

    don't get me wrong money was wasted on keane and Aqualani.

    and it may have been better to wait and pay more for a player you want, rather than spend in that particular window.

    back to the Net spend !! you can't argue that money raised by selling "assets" which is not reinvested into "Assets" is not important.

    Also how much of that cash is available at one time and size of squad needed to challenge across all major competitions.

    Personally I would like a balance of superstars solid pros and potential youngsters to make up our squad. hopefully this model is implemented going fwd as we have too many journeymen.

    But the transfer market, like football is not an exact science.

    but makes for interesting debates

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  58. Jamie, why do you think in business your tax is calculated on NET PROFIT and if a house is sold pay capital gains (<span><span> tax charged on capital gains, the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset that was purchased at a lower price). This is why the NET is so important. Net Value is the ADDITIONAL VALUE to the existing squad.  If you sold Gerrard for 10M and bought Lampard for 10M.  YOU REALLY HAVE DONE NOTHING. IF YOU BOUGHT LAMPARD FOR 12M. You squad have been enchanced by addition £2M. GOT IT??
    </span></span>

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  59. far east-not all the way though5:19 am, October 27, 2010

    excellent-detailed, full of data, factual,no crazy assumptions, analysed, a good read-as always

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  60. To compare Ferguson that have been there for 23 yrs to Rafa's 6 year is not very smart, Ferguson have the chance to build an academy, he has probably hired  and fired so many people to get where he is today, Stability is more than extracting accounting figures, You have a quantitative side and a qualitative side (not easily seen). On the quantitative side, hmmm you have done a semi decent job providing numbers, even tho you didnt take the revenue from a larger stadium and £850M debt in to account. You have given us a snap shot but not the whole picture. It is well document, Feguson got the Man U job in 1986 and won nothing till 1992. Rafa won things in his 6 yrs, but does than mean Rafa is a better coach? NO.. not the same circumstances and not the same period. Also as i have stated to you... Some of the reason Rafa wasted money was because, the likes of Alves, Simao, Vidic, Silva, and co werent backed by the board, I have sent you link that proved Liverpool were talking to this players but didnt close the deal but you conviniently ignore it. We all admit Rafa wasted money... I just dont see the logic in comparing a manager of 23 yrs to one of 6 yrs... this lacks logic.

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  61. Just a snippet from May of this year:

    "I have had a couple of meetings with the new (Broughton) to clarify the situation," Benitez said. "We need to know how much money we have, and that also depends on (player) sales."

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  62. Benitez 'success' generated more cash than any other Liverpool manager in History. Where did the money come from to sign Torres, Babel etc in that summer of 2007? erm, we'd just been to two CL finals, winning one. 

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  63. Jaimie you are the most argumentative, arrogant know it all Ive ever witnessed.
    If this site had any sense they would keep you on a shorter leash.

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  64. More evidence that Jamie Kanwar is not as obsessed as many would have you believe.

    Clearly this man has a life.

    Good work!

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  65. Jamie, first of all I appreciate the detail and research you put in your work. However accounts by themselves do not say the complete story, and I will explain why. Lets take recent years as an example RB bough Alonso for approx 12M, he sold him for 25M (I know u posted the exact figures recently) therefore RB made a profit of ~ 13M. On the other hand Diouff was bought by GH for ~ 10M and sold for less......so now please explain to me how the 12M paid for Alonso is more expensive that the 10M spent for Diouff. Net figures are what count!! I will give you another reason...on our books recently we had Crouch, Bellamy, Cisse, Baros.....to be able to buy players like Torres, Alonso etc, we had to sell them, whilst if we had enough money for new transfers, we would have kept them and build a great squad.

     You yourself state "Benitez has recouped the most money in players sales of all LFC's managers in the last 20 years". This means that the players he bought were good, because he made a profit on them. In you accounts you state that RB spent 310.7 and recouped 260.6 in sales. I can add that if we sell Torres, which I hope we don’t, we can expect to earn ~ 50M this means that we would be even in the spent vs recouped. What should be done is an analysis of the squad at the beginning of each managers tenure, and at the end of the tenure, most of which are estimated values, take into account NET transfer dealings in between....then we will know who made a good job!!

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  66. Its gone, its passed away, it doesnt make any difference. Stop wasting everyones time with this nonsense.

    Net spend gross spend Benitez Ferguson white liquid cow all one.

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  67. Jamie, it does seem like you deliberately misstate the claims of the "net spend cult" just to suit your own view.

    Nobody believes a higher net spend means GH spent more money. That's not what net spend means, and you know that.

    A higher net spend means GH was *given* more money to spend, whereas RB had to sell to boost his Gross spend.

    Jamie, you know all this. You're not stupid. But you do yourself no favours by misrepresenting views you don't agree with just to discredit them.

    Personally I think both net and gross figures are valuable indicators of a managers performance, and that you're wrong to entirely rule out one or the other.

    I suspect your refusal to value the net spend argument is based mostly on your obvious dislike of RB. (I base this opinion on the things you write & publish). It's not black & White. You don't have to pick one and entirely dismiss the other. A one sided article makes for good soundbites. But a balanced article makes for good reading.

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  68. Jamie, it does seem like you deliberately misstate the claims of the "net spend cult" just to suit your own view.

    Nobody believes a higher net spend means GH spent more money. That's not what net spend means, and you know that.

    A higher net spend means GH was *given* more money to spend, whereas RB had to sell to boost his Gross spend.

    Jamie, you know all this. You're not stupid. But you do yourself no favours by misrepresenting views you don't agree with just to discredit them.

    Personally I think both net and gross figures are valuable indicators of a managers performance, and that you're wrong to entirely rule out one or the other.

    I suspect your refusal to value the net spend argument is based mostly on your obvious dislike of RB. (I base this opinion on the things you write & publish). It's not black & White. You don't have to pick one and entirely dismiss the other. A one sided article makes for good soundbites. But a balanced article makes for good reading.

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  69. I though I should add something on the like-for-like treatment of transfer spend across a 20-year period.

    General average annual inflation in the UK has been stable at around 4% (meaning a "total inflation" of 80% in 20 years), whereas the football player market has inflated by a "total" of 1450% (using the relative record transfers of David Platt [5.5m in 1991] and Cristiano Ronaldo [80m] as simplistic measures).

    In other words, the inflation in football has been around 18 times that of the "rest of the world", meaning that Kenny Dalglish spent £64.8 in 2010-terms during the 1990-1991 season.

    If someone is willing to take the time to thoroughly crunch the numbers, based for instance on record transfers per year and general inflation per year, even Mr. Kanwar must surely recognize his overlookings.

    I am completely aware that there are strong weaknesses in this analysis, but it holds a lot more water than your arguments, and if done thoroughly, would paint a much more realistic picture of this subject.

    Moreover, gross spend is COMPLETELY uninteresting. Is it really your argument that Liverpool would have had an equally strong squad in both of these two scenarios?
    1. Sell Torres and Gerrard for £80m, and reinvest it all in new players (Gross: £80m; net: £0).
    2. Keep all present players, invest £80m of fresh capital in players (Gross: £80m; net: £80m).

    CLEARLY, scenario 1 leaves Liverpool at a huge disadvantage compared to scenario 2, due to the fact that we have had to fund new players by selling others... Gross spend is thus of no relevance in any of your articles.

    Gross spend WOULD BE interesting if squad value were included in the equation, as such.

    Manager's initial squad value (adjusted for football inflation) + gross spend (adjusted for football inflation per year) - manager's final squad value = value CREATED by the manager.

    This FAIRLY judges the managers based on what is IMPORTANT: to what extent they increased the market value of LFC's players with WHATEVER FUNDS THEY WERE GIVEN.

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  70. I though I should add something on the like-for-like treatment of transfer spend across a 20-year period.  
     
    General average annual inflation in the UK has been stable at around 4% (meaning a "total inflation" of 110% in 20 years - 1.04^20), whereas the football player market has inflated by a "total" of 1450% (using the relative record transfers of David Platt [5.5m in 1991] and Cristiano Ronaldo [80m] as simplistic measures).  
     
    In other words, the inflation in football has been around 13 times that of the "rest of the world", meaning that Kenny Dalglish spent £47.5 in 2010-terms during the 1990-1991 season.  
     
    If someone is willing to take the time to thoroughly crunch the numbers, based for instance on record transfers per year and general inflation per year, even Mr. Kanwar must surely recognize his overlookings.  
     
    I am completely aware that there are strong weaknesses in this analysis, but it holds a lot more water than your arguments, and if done thoroughly, would paint a much more realistic picture of this subject.  
     
    Moreover, gross spend is COMPLETELY uninteresting. Is it really your argument that Liverpool would have had an equally strong squad in both of these two scenarios?  
    1. Sell Torres and Gerrard for £80m, and reinvest it all in new players (Gross: £80m; net: £0).  
    2. Keep all present players, invest £80m of fresh capital in players (Gross: £80m; net: £80m).  
     
    CLEARLY, scenario 1 leaves Liverpool at a huge disadvantage compared to scenario 2, due to the fact that we have had to fund new players by selling others... Gross spend is thus of no relevance in any of your articles.  
     
    Gross spend WOULD BE interesting if squad value were included in the equation, as such.  
     
    Manager's initial squad value (adjusted for football inflation) + gross spend (adjusted for football inflation per year) - manager's final squad value = value CREATED by the manager.  
     
    This FAIRLY judges the managers based on what is IMPORTANT: to what extent they increased the market value of LFC's players with WHATEVER FUNDS THEY WERE GIVEN.<span>
    </span>
    That being said, several other measures are relevant, such as trophies won, revenues created, etc.

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  71. There seems to be a hell of a lot of going around in circles here!  I don't see what there is to argue about with the Benitez gross/net spend situation?  To me the facts suggest rafa had plenty of cash to spend initially then the cash dried up, but he then raised cash by selling to buy.  To me the net spend shows how much disposable income there is.

    Nobody can argue with rafa's earlier signings in the £10M+ bracket (Alonso, Torres, Masch etc (undeniable quality)) but as his reign progressed he seemed to loose his way with the marquee signings (Johnson, Aquilani (yet to prove their worth)).  Rafa still had the money to make the expensive signings (by selling to buy) but his decision making seemed to fail him.

    Undoubtably Rafa was put under more pressure by H & G with less transfer funds but this doesn't excuse his transfer dealings in my opinion, his judgement was out.

    In the £10m- category Rafa made some fantasic signings (Reina, Benayoun, Sissoko) but also some absolute rubbish.

    My main issue with Rafa was he made too many unnecessary changes. E.g Were any of the left backs he brought in for Riise any better than Riise? 

    Also, look at players with talent who failed to shine at Liverpool, were his man management skills up to scratch, could he put an arm around a player if necessary?

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  72. Hi

    Let me start by making some noteworthy comments:

    1) Its clear that you hate Benitez
    2) You spend too much time focusing on his transfer activities
    3) You focus on the LFC history too much

    Grow up, get a job and get off the benefits. Start speaking sense and learn how to add, or at least how to use a calculator

    Signing out

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  73. John - what is the source for your figures?  The media, right?  Exactly.  My source is the club accounts.  You can scour the net till the cows come home for transfer figures but if they do not match what is stated in the accounts they are wrong.

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  74. Fraggs - your zeal at trying to prove me wrong clouds your judgment to the extent that it impairs your ability to be objective.  LOOK AT THE TABLE in the notes section: 2010 includeds HODGSON's figures too.  the 65.8m is money recouped by BOTH Hodgson and Benitez.  Take away the money Hodgson has recouped and Benitez's total is 226m.

    And just because you think I'm making a 'semantic' argument doesn't make it so.  You think that because it serves you to think that.  My argument is perfectly sound and logical:

    1. X says 'Benitez always had to sell to buy'
    2. I say  'Fine: prove he had to sell to buy.  In other words, prove that he was compelled to sell before he could buy.

    3. I provide a list of players bought during his tenure and ask WHO we had to sell to raise the money for them.

    This is a perfectly sound argument, and all you and everyone else has done is dodge it because you cannot answer it.

    As I'm so often told by the net spend cult, transfer spending doesn't take place in one big bulk; it's a yearly thing.  So, on a yearly basis, who did we have to sell to buy the following:

    Who HAD to be sold in 2007 to buy 11.5m Babel?
    Who HAD to be sold in 2009 to buy 18m Aquilani?
    Who HAD to be sold in 2009 to buy 17m Johnson?
    Who HAD to be sold in 2007 to buy 24m  Torres?
    Who HAD to be sold in 2007 to buy 18.6m Mascherano?
    Stop dodging the issue and answer the question.

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  75. In this case, he may have been right.  At the end of his reign, he was not given any more money because HE COLD NOT BE TRUSTED.  I have heard this direct from the horse's mouth.  When not taking any risks handing a manager money they will only be allowed to spend what they recoup.  This happened in his 6th year in charge, but this is NOT representative of his entire reign.

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  76. Yes, the CL would have been a factor.  The majority of the money for Torres, Babel etc came from loans made by H+G, which are specifically highligted in the accounts as money for transfers.

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  77. Fair enough but did the Board tell Benitez this i.e. that he could only spend what he recouped because that would explain his transfer last summer i.e. if he had been told that he would not get any money other than what he recouped through sales then it is unlikely that he would have spent what he did on Johnson and Aqualini when it was clear that the priority was a striker. This is my opinion only but it would seem that perhaps at some point during the summer the board decided that they would not provide funds beyond what he recouped through sales which cleary would have derailed Benitez plans if he was seeking to buy a striker as well.

    If this is the case then this is clearly negligence on the part of the board since once you decide that the manager cannot be trusted with money then he has to go and at this point the board should have started looking for  a new manager. With LFC finishing second and looking to push on the board would have had their pick of new managers looking to take a successful team to the next stage. Instead again in my opinion the board differed to be fair the club was up for sale as well so stability may have been a concern but had they acted decisively the season before last things may well have been different.

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  78. Fair enough but what matters is when the Board told Benitez that he could only spend what he recouped. From what you are saying Jamie it sounds like the board may have taken this decision in the summer after Benitez took us to second in the league because that would explain his transfer last summer i.e. if he had been told that he would not get any money other than what he recouped through sales then it is unlikely that he would have spent what he did on Johnson and Aqualini when it was clear that the priority was a striker.
    If this is the case then this is clearly negligence on the part of the board since once you decide that the manager cannot be trusted with money then he has to go and at this point the board should have started looking for  a new manager. With LFC finishing second and looking to push on the board would have had their pick of new managers looking to take a successful team to the next stage. Instead again in my opinion the board divered (to be fair the club was up for sale as well so stability may have been a concern) and had they acted decisively the season before last things may well have been different.<span> Instead they waited until the summer after a disatrious season just before a world cup when available managers that could take liverpool forward were thin on the ground!

    </span>

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  79. Jamie,this is a good site and you get some great arguments going with all of the above
    guy`s comments, but actually this all boils down to pro Rafa`s (me and most of above) and anti Rafa`s(you and others), in my opinion the team Rafa had on board from its inception,gave me as a life long Liverpool fan more to look forward to than ANYTHING that happened previously,except of course the 70`s and 80`s.I know Rafa had his shortcomings but god his achievements for the club are there for all to see (of course we didnt win the league) but to my mind when you take for instance reffereing decisions that gave Man U more 3 points when they didn`t deserve them they to are reasons why we didn`t win the league 2 seasons ago even YOU can`t blaim Rafa for that,no i was happy to be a Liverpool supporter under Rafa,and i hope we get someone in the future who is as good tactically and will bring us more good football,great site for debate though.

    ReplyDelete
  80. From what you are saying Jamie it sounds like the board may have taken this decision in the summer after Benitez took us to second in the league because that would explain his transfer last summer i.e. if he had been told that he would not get any money other than what he recouped through sales then it is unlikely that he would have spent what he did on Johnson and Aqualini when it was clear that the priority was a striker.

    That's not what I'm saying at all.
    The decision to stop giving Benitez more of the club's money came not in the summer after the 2nd placed finish but a couple of months into the 2009-10 seaoson, when it was clear that Benitez had, once again, wasted the club's money AND had spent it unwisely by not addressing the club's most pressing need: A decent striker.
    This is why he was given no further significant funds for the rest of the year.
    There has opposition on the board from Benitez for a couple of years.  Despite what people might think, Tom Hicks supported Benitez almost till the end; he was the main driving force behind giving him a new 5 year contract.  There was, however, a split with George Gillett, and later with other members of the board, who wanted Benitez gone, and did not want to give him a new contract.
    If there was negligence from the board it was the utter folly of giving Benitez a 5 year contract.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Jamie> Why do you think so many people are fans of Rafa, is it because we are all stupid whilst you are the only intelligent "Liverpool fan" and can see the true picture, or is it because most of us can see what an amazing job Rafa did most of the time with limited resources. I'm not going to try and convince you of Rafa's merits or argue the importance of net spend. You are only choosing to see what you want too.

    ReplyDelete
  82. You really make some bizarre claims Jamie, then sick your head in the sand when anyone counters your argument with reasoned opinion. This 'Net Spend Cult' derogatory insult you throw at anyone who dares to point out that Benitez had reasonable success in the transfer market, all things considered, is pretty childish.

    If you spend £10 of your employers money on an object and sell it for £9, your boss won't be happy because you made him a loss. Similarly, if you  spend his billions but sell for more than you buy, your boss will be a happy camper. Why is this so confusing for you?

    ReplyDelete
  83. I think the fact that there was such a massive turnover of players shows that there was a buy to sell policy with the odd bit of investment here and there. I also think that you are looking at it in an odd way. Using your examples, I don't believe a specific player was sold to generate money for another player per se, but if you look at the patterns of sales you will see that players leave before or after a significant purchase it made. Torres arrives, Bellamy, Cisse and Garcia leave.  Mascherano is signed and Sissoko is sold. Is there a direct correlation between Torres signing and Bellamy, Cisse and Garcia leaving, or with Masch being signed and Sissoko being sold? I believe there is; the books had to be balanced.  Wouldn't it have been better for the team to keep Garcia as well as buying Torres, or to keep even Cisse to add strength to the squad. Or keep Sissoko and Mascherano. That would be proper investment. But the fact that these players are sold tells me that there is a buy to sell policy at LFC.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Been done before & also included an inflation altered version.

    Without including the comparative work whilst not including an inflation marker, then this analysis is fairly pointless.  Actually seen this done by a highly regarded economist in a web article about these kind of things, 12-18 months ago and if I had the time, I'd go look for the link.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Then where did the revenue from the CL victory go - even conservative estimates said it was worth £40m, than add in PL money & sponsorship money from Carlsberg.

     I hope the loan your talking about isn't the one from Kop (Cayman) though, as that was bordering on illegal, was so close to fraud it's unbelievable.  They charged the club compound interest on that, without letting us access the money or pay off the principal, therefore syphoning off more & more money. I have no problems with owners making money from the club though, just want the cub to be well run & spend within our means - something under H & G was impossible. 

    ReplyDelete
  86. Jamie,

    Thanks for responding but if what you are saying is true regarding when the board decided not to give Benitez any more money then i'm confused. As I understand it at the beginning of the summer or just before Benitez would sit down with the board to identify potential targets. Now Benitez has stated that he felt he had the rug pulled from underhim in that last summer he thought he had money to spend on Johnson and Aqualani and buy a striker. However after he had bough Aqualani and Johnson he found out he had no more money for a striker hence the reason for bringing Veronin back from his loan. I cannot believe that Benitez if he knoew he only had a certain amount of money would choose to purchase Johnson for 17m annd Aqualani for 20m - to me that doesn't make sense unless he thought there was more money available. You seem to be implying that he was backed during the last summer but spent the money on two players one of which was injured with no solution to back up Torres.

    To be fair I never suggested that Hicks & Gillette didn't like Benites in fact given his success in the CL and keeping LFC as a top four club until last season he insured that LFC retained its value which was vital for H^G who began to realise that they needed to sell the club. The fact is though that when they decided to not give Benitez any money (if it was in December as you states) then they should have immediately started thinking about his replacement. Irrespective of the five year contract this would have given them time for example to identify suitable replacements like Hiddink before he signed a new contract. It would seem that the board differed and waited until may to make a decision when it was too late to really approach decent calibre managers and this is negligence.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I'm sorry Sean but that is not how it works when it comes to football. What is the point of football transfers?

    A) To buy players who will improve the team, produce better results and increase the team's chance of winning trophies.  Or:

    B) To engage in a pure moneymaking exercise, where your success in the transfer market is dictated by how much profit is made?

    Football is first and foremost about FOOTBALL; not about making money. If you buy for 10 and sell for 9, the context matters.  if you won the league or another trophy then it doesn't make so much difference.  Similarly, it balances out with other transfers over a period of time.  it's not just about the short-term.

    Conversely, if you regularly buy high and sell low - consistently making a loss - then that becomes a problem.

    You seem to make out that the only thing that matters is the money spent.

    What matters the most is:

    * Did the players purchased improve the team?

    * Did they have consistent, positive impact on results?

    * Did they turn out to be value for money.

    in this regards, net spend is completely irrelevant.

    And don't tell me I label anyone who counters my view with reasoned opinion part of the 'net spend cult' - if you're not going to be fair about it then there's no point discussing things with you.

    I only label people part of the net spend cult when they are completely infelxibe on the issue, and repeatedly argue that net spend is the only thing that's important when examining a manager's effectiveness in the transfer market.

    It isn't - and I've provided countless legitimate arguments to illustrate this.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Davey - what has intelligence got to do with it?  Where do I state that I am the only intelligent LFC fan?  I don't.  Why don't you get your head around the idea that I have a different opinion to you?  if you can't hack that then that is your problem.

    I don't dispute many people are fans of Benitez; that's fine.  Equally though, there are many fans who are NOT fans of Benitez.

    Deal with it.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Roddenberry - you really are amazing.  With every post you make up something new that is totally inaccurate.  The loan from kop Cayman was NOT bordering on illegal; it was not fraud, and compond interest was NOT charged. Why do you just lie about stuff like this?  The way the loans were structured is legal, and is standard business practice.

    The loan I am referring to is from Kop Football Ltd.

    And re revenue from the CL - why don't you read the accounts and see where the money went.  Running a football club is an expensive business. How do you think the club pays for the inflated salaries of its players?!  The costs of running Anfield?  Travel expenses for the team?  This is all paid for out of revenue, of which CL money forms a part.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Now Benitez has stated that he felt he had the rug pulled from underhim in that last summer he thought he had money to spend on Johnson and Aqualani and buy a striker. However after he had bough Aqualani and Johnson he found out he had no more money for a striker hence the reason for bringing Veronin back from his loan. 
    You're working under the assumption that everything Benitez says is gospel.  it isn't.  He will say anything in public to manipulate the fanbase round to his way of thinking.
    Benitez DID have money to spend that summer!  He could have bought a striker but instead he wasted 18m on Johnson, a defensive liability who has cost the club time and time again, and Aquilani, an perpetually injured player who was injured when he signed and took over 3 months to make his debut.
    Did anyone twist Benitez's arm to make these signings?
    After those - espeically the Aquilani debacle (and earlier costly transfer mistakes, i.e. Keane, Dossena et al), it became even clearer that Benitez could no longer be trusted with significant transfer funds.
    The fact LFC didn't buy another top class striker is Benitez's fault, not the board's.



    Irrespective of the five year contract this would have given them time for example to identify suitable replacements like Hiddink before he signed a new contract. It would seem that the board differed and waited until may to make a decision when it was too late to really approach decent calibre managers and this is negligence.
    The board did not pursue a marquee name manager because of the takeover.  No top manager is going to come to a club that is on the verge of being sold; can you not appreciate that?  Hodgson was and is a transitional manager; a calm experienced head brought in to look after the team whilst the club was sold, and all the boardroom turmoil was worked out. This is obvious.  Expecting the likes of Hiddink to sign for a club in such a state of indecision is just not reality.
    Now that everything is resolved, we will get the manager the club deserves sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  91. <span>You're working under the assumption that everything Benitez says is gospel.  it isn't.  He will say anything in public to manipulate the fanbase round to his way of thinking.  <span>

    Jamie with all due respect i'm not taking what Benites has said as gospel everyone has their own agenda Benites and the board nobody wants to admit that they made mistakes. The point I am making is to ask if it is logical if you are Benitez to spend youe whole transfer fee of  GBP37m on a midfielder and left back when you know that you need backup to replace a world class striker who needs to be rested now and then? It seems more logical IMO that Benitez thought he had more money and when he realised that he didn't then he had to bring back Vernonin and the squad was obviously weaker.</span></span>

    <span>The board did not pursue a marquee name manager because of the takeover.  No top manager is going to come to a club that is on the verge of being sold; can you not appreciate that?</span>

    Now you're just being hypocritical here aren't you? back in June you were berating prople who were making the point you have just raised and yet you were telling people that LFC woudl be able to quality manager telling them that there were many top managers that would be fighting to manage liverpool and to ignore the doom and gloom. You stated back in  June 06:

    <span>'It is true: LFC *does* have a great future ahead, which is why the manager’s job is still hugely attractive to top managers across the globe. The likes of Hiddink and Rijkaard have turned down the job because they are already contracted to other clubs, not because of some trepidation over taking on the role.'<span>

    </span></span>
    That seemed to be the reality back in June... the fact is that if the board had bitten the bullit and approached mangers back in December it might have been a different story. The fact that the club was being sold would be a positive for a new manager as there would be funds to buy new players and take the team forward.

    <span>Hodgson was and is a transitional manager; a calm experienced head brought in to look after the team whilst the club was sold, and all the boardroom turmoil was worked out. This is obvious.  <span>

    Has anyone told Hodgeson that? because as I recall he signed a three year contract. </span></span><span>There are clearly parallels with Tottenham when the fired Martin Jol and brough in Yuande Ramos who was an unmitigated disaster.</span>

    <span> The fact is that Hodgeson was really the only available viable candidate because the board left it too late to sign a better manager. He is not good enough for Liverpool and the board should not have sanctioned the sacking of Benitez without first having a viable candidate.  If this is not the case then why did Dagliesh the person who was supposed to be in charge of helping the board select a candidate put himself forward for the job (despite having been out of management for 10 yrs)? could it be because he didn't think the available candidates were good enough? </span>

    ReplyDelete
  92. <span><span>You're working under the assumption that everything Benitez says is gospel.  it isn't.  He will say anything in public to manipulate the fanbase round to his way of thinking.  <span>  
     
    Jamie with all due respect i'm not taking what Benitez has said as gospel everyone has their own agenda including Benitez and the board nobody wants to admit that they made mistakes. The point I am making is to ask if it is logical if you are Benitez to spend you're whole transfer fee of  GBP37m on a midfielder and left back when you know that you need backup to replace a world class striker who needs to be rested now and then? Particularly when Benitez signed the wrong striker last season in Keane but then last summer he just forgets that there is a massive hole in the squad were a striker should be...It seems more logical IMO that Benitez thought he had more money and when he realised that he didn't then he had to bring back Vernonin and the squad was obviously weaker.</span></span>  That doesn't negate the signings of Johnson and Aqualini but it suggests that he was labouring under the impression that more money would be provided.
     
    <span>The board did not pursue a marquee name manager because of the takeover.  No top manager is going to come to a club that is on the verge of being sold; can you not appreciate that?</span>  
     
    Now you're just being hypocritical here aren't you? back in June you were berating people who were making the point you have just raised and yet you were telling people that LFC would be able to sign a quality manager telling them that there were many top managers that would be fighting to manage liverpool and to ignore the doom and gloom. You stated back in  June 06:  
     
    <span>'It is true: LFC *does* have a great future ahead, which is why the manager’s job is still hugely attractive to top managers across the globe. The likes of Hiddink and Rijkaard have turned down the job because they are already contracted to other clubs, not because of some trepidation over taking on the role.'<span>  
     
    </span></span> 
    That seemed to be the reality back in June... the fact is that if the board had bitten the bullit and approached mangers back in December it might have been a different story. The fact that the club was being sold would be a positive for a new manager as there would be funds to buy new players and take the team forward.  
     
    <span>Hodgson was and is a transitional manager; a calm experienced head brought in to look after the team whilst the club was sold, and all the boardroom turmoil was worked out. This is obvious.  <span>  
     
    Has anyone told Hodgeson that he a transitional manager because as I recall he signed a three year contract. IMO t</span></span><span>here are clearly parallels with Tottenham who  fired Martin Jol and brough in Yuande Ramos who was an unmitigated disaster.</span>  
     
    <span> The fact is that Hodgeson was really the only available viable candidate because the board left it too late to sign a better manager. He is not good enough for Liverpool and the board should not have sanctioned the sacking of Benitez without first having a viable candidate.  If this is not the case then why did Dagliesh the person who was supposed to be in charge of helping the board select a candidate put himself forward for the job (despite having been out of management for 10 yrs)? could it be because he knew  the available [...]

    ReplyDelete
  93. Fair point that transfers should not an exercise in money making. It’s about building a team, hopefully strong enough in the long run to win titles. I only brought up the net spend analogy to counter claims that gross spend is a more accurate gauge - to which I cannot disagree strongly enough.

    It is disingenuous in the extreme to take the ‘Ronnie Whelan’ approach, i.e. tot up Benitez’ gross spend figures through the years and vocally and persistently tout this £250 million-ish figure as proof of his so called incompetence in the transfer market. For example why would you buy Jermaine Pennent as your right sided midfielder if you had £250 million in your pocket. Why not Ronaldo! Sure the £80 million would barely cause a ripple in the quarter billion...

    You get my drift regarding what I like to call the “Gross Spend Cult”. I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by any further elaboration.

    The point is that Benitez knew his transfer budget was, by your own calculations, around the £10 million mark on average every year. That he managed to shift a squad containing the likes of Traore, Biscan, Le Tallec, Dudek, Kewell etc... for the likes of Reina, Agger, Johnson, Alonso, Mascherano, Torres, Crouch, Bellamy, Arbeloa etc is nothing short of miraculous ...

    BTW, I know not all these players are still there, but they were all bought under the financial restrictions you've already outlined yourself in your analysis.

    Just like all managers, Rafa has many faults. Transfers were not one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi Jaimie,

    When you say these figures include this summer, and come from official sources only, does this mean you are knowingly lying, since there have been no accounts published since this summer which include this summers dealings? Why are you lying anyway?

    Thanks,
    A Red

    ReplyDelete
  95. Why have you deleted my comment from earlier? I did not in any way breach any of your sensorship-criteria...

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hi Jk,

    There's a lot of talk on this thread about transfers so I'd like to ask you a question:  If you were a manager, what percentage of transfer activity would you accept to be a success in order to say that your transfer dealings were a success?

    Cheers,
    Carl

    ReplyDelete
  97. Furthermore,  I believe that 'net' spend represents the 'health' of a football club.  Based on your figures can you justify that Liverpool have been in good health during 'the custodians' period of ownership?

    Do you expect a club such as LFC to be making a profit in the last 4 transfer windows? Jan '09 - Aug '10.  Is this how you win league titles?

    Finally, do you accept that reaching 2 European finals & 2 semi-finals during RB's 6 year managerial reign ensured LFC received more money than winning the EPL could possibly ever do?  Foootball is business - business is money.  A sad state of affairs - yes, alas true.

    Is success as a Liverpool manager is based purely on league positions?  If so, then bye, bye Houllier, Evans and Souness.  Liverpool will never win the league until they are able to financely compete with the likes of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City et al.

    Carl

    ReplyDelete
  98. Liverpool sell Reina, Torres and Gerrard for £100m, and spend the cash on other players = £100m gross spend, £0 net spend.

    Liverpool keep Reina, Torres and Gerrard, and invest £100m of accumulated profits in players = £100m gross spend, £100m net spend.

    You cannot possibly mean that these two cases represent the same amount of money spent on transfers (gross spend), when clearly, the two are night and day. What is better? £100m worth of new players plus keeping our top three players or just £100m worth of new players.

    Gross spend is bound to be high in a club which spends little fresh capital on players (unless you are content with your squad), as it depends on continuous "upgrades" in player staff...

    ReplyDelete
  99. i don't get it - if it was never published before... like ever...

    where did you get the information from???

    ReplyDelete
  100. The total figures for that time period have never been published in the press, either on or offline.  if you read the article it is very clear where I get the figures from.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Jamie, sorry for taking so long to respond to your post. Casting judgement
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    ReplyDelete
  102. "Obviously. to present the figures"
    sorry but  it's no point to do that,
     numbers thay just number,
    u must i think to pot the diffrent   of the value of playrs in the 90's and now/
     keeny cost was 600K if he was playing now it was 70M so there is  big diffrent/
    and the numbers don't tall the all true,
    we can't compre between Rafa and fergi as well becuse  he got  is team for 20 yers and more,
    the Q need to ne how many playrs still paly here and how many left?
    for me  the team not good now, it's rafa blame he buy to many  not good playrs,
    (and sorry about the english)

    ReplyDelete
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