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FSG caught between fans' dreams and harsh reality.


TWO words. Six letters. But, this week at least, a phrase that has once more found itself trending on social media due to irked Liverpool supporters.

FSG out. As recently as yesterday evening it was again starting to appear with increasing regularity as Manchester United gazumped neighbours City to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

FSG out.

Earlier in the week, Real Madrid lodged a mega offer for Paris Saint- Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, who it is claimed has now set his heart on a move to the Spanish capital.

FSG out. And then came suggestions Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is wanted by PSG should Mbappe depart.

FSG out. All this excitement, all this seeming drama, and all the while Liverpool fans - and particularly those who invest as much emotion in the transfer window as they do matters on the field - watch as their club does nothing.

Not that Liverpool would ever have been realistically interested in signing Ronaldo, a 36-year-old whose powers are on the wane and whose United affiliations would have made the move a non-starter.

That isn't quite the same case with Mbappe or Haaland. Both have been heavily linked with Liverpool - Jurgen Klopp public with his admiration - and there has always been a suspicion a deal, while difficult, wouldn't be entirely impossible.

But if their respective transfers ultimately come to fruition - and there remain significant hurdles for either to happen - it's almost certain they will never end up playing for the Reds.

When it comes to flexing financial muscle, Liverpool under Fenway Sports Group cannot compete with the transfer market leaders.

There is the state-owned duo of

Manchester City and PSG. The relentless money machine of Manchester United. And the national institution of Real Madrid.

Barcelona may have financial issues at present but, as with Real, they won't be allowed to linger for too long. Chelsea, who visit Anfield this evening as European champions, are arguably knocking on the door for a place in that elite group.

And that's it. Liverpool are second tier, albeit hardly paupers.

They will never be as politically important to their country or region, in terms of sheer size and clout, as Real or Barcelona. And it's unlikely supporters, burned by the experience under Tom Hicks and George Gillett, will ever want the club to fall into the hands of a group of questionable background.

FSG it is, then, at least for the foreseeable. And almost 11 years into their Anfield tenure, the owners' transfer policy is set in stone. Klopp knew when he took over in October 2015 and matters have barely changed since.

Sure, there will be frustration at an inability to ideally strengthen the squad - and the Reds boss hinted at as much during his press conference yesterday - but the approach has already helped conquer all once before. The hope is it can again.

Of course, there's a very good argument that, on present form at least, Liverpool possess a player greater than any of those already mentioned in this article.

The potentially dizzying merrygo-round of Europe's most soughtafter talents makes finding an agreement with Mohamed Salah over a new long-term contract even more pressing.

Replacing Salah will be no easy task whenever it happens. But having to find like-for-like in the next 18 months will, if the other transfers follow their touted paths, be virtually impossible.

Not that Liverpool shouldn't be looking to at least ease the burden on the Egyptian and his fellow forwards.

The nagging doubt is that while the Reds are right to retain the core of an undoubtedly exciting and hugely-talented squad, bringing in one more attacker can offer a different option Klopp doesn't already possess, an option that can tilt fine margins in Liverpool's favour.

Finding one with the desired profile, though, is no straightforward task. And with three days until the window shuts, it doesn't look likely this summer. Detractors of the Liverpool owners won't be shy in letting their disapproval be known.

Brace yourselves, FSG.


Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland; inset, Reds owner John W Henry
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Aug 28, 2021
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