5 Sept 2015

Transfer Travesties: How Liverpool lost £46.4m on catastrophic double-deal. Worst transfers ever?

In the summer of 2013, Liverpool sold Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing for a combined total of £21m, which amounted to an incredible £34m loss in just two years. This is an astounding figure, and is indicative of the transfer negligence that continues to haunt the club, but a closer look at the figures reveals an even more damaging financial reality.

The ruinous purchase of Andy Carroll is undoubtedly one of the worst transfers ever perpetrated by a Liverpool manager, and to this day, it's impossible to understand the thought-process behind the decision to splurge £35m on a player of such (glaringly obvious) limited ability.

Add Downing into the equation - a player who went an entire season without a single league goal or assist - and the catastrophic mismanagement of the club's transfer funds is even more painfully clear.

Consider the following:

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£3m per goal? £7290 for every minute of pitch time? 61% combined loss on original transfer fees? Whatever way you slice it, Liverpool made a staggering financial loss on Downing and Carroll, and in my view, the following were culpable (in order of blameworthiness):


The group were new to British football, and they clearly trusted the judgment of Dalglish and Comolli. After all, if they couldn't trust one of game's greatest and most experienced legends, who could they trust?

However, this doesn't absolve FSG of overall responsibility. Henry et al made the funds available, and signed the cheques, and even without knowledge of football, anyone with rudimentary insight or intelligence should've seen the sheer folly in spending £35m on an unproven striker with only 6 months top-flight experience.

Kenny Dalglish

The King will always be a Liverpool legend, but the sad truth is that during his second spell in charge, he made some lamentable mistakes in the transfer market.

I still find it incredible (and tragically ironic) that Dalglish - one of the biggest proponents of the 'Liverpool Way' of playing football - brought to Anfield a player who represents the utter antithesis of that approach.

I also can't understand how Dalglish could've legitimately believed that a lolloping, technically bereft lummox like Carroll could've taken Liverpool forward. Prior to the transfer, Dalglish must've surely seen this widely available scouting footage of Carroll?

 photo ball-horse.gif

Damien Comolli

The Frenchman identified transfer targets, but he had no power to actually make decisions and/or individually sign anyone. FSG and Dalglish ultimately made the decisions, which is why they must take the lion's share of the blame for this particular transfer catastrophe.

It's not just the financial loss that stings; it's the loss of utility to the club. If the £55m outlay on Downing and Carroll had been spent *wisely* (i.e. on 2-3 players capable of making a consistent impact), then it's probable that the Reds would've performed better in the league.

Did Liverpool learn anything from these epic transfer crimes? Of course not! The club is still wasting money hand over foot, and by the end of Rodgers' reign, it's possible that he'll go down in history as the most wasteful manager in LFC history.

No matter how much money he wastes, though, it's doubtful that Rodgers will make a worse transfer than Andy Carroll.

Verdict: Catastrophic Transfer Fail

Author: Jaimie K


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