Recently by Barry Ringstead


With Old Trafford able to hold 76,000 supporters and Arsenal moving to their new 60,000 seater stadium in 2006 it was difficult to comprehend, or accept, the announcement by Christian Purslow, Liverpool's Managing Director, that the construction of Liverpool's new 60,000 seater stadium in Stanley Park has been delayed until after the global financial situation has stabilized i.e when they're able to borrow the money. Apparently the good news is that the showcase stadium may be completed by 2018, ready for possible World Cup matches should England be successful in their bid to host the tournament. Great to hear the motivation to get the ground completed has nothing to do with the financial well being of Liverpool FC and improving facilities for its supporters but to provide a venue for world cup matches.

We know Gillett & Hick's wont be investing one red cent of their own money into the club so once again the question is what value do these two bring to Liverpool Football Club and how much are they damaging the future success of the club? The efforts of 'ShareLiverpoolFC' and their bid to have the club owned by supporters now becomes even more critical if we are to avoid this kind of mis-management continuing.

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Rafa Benitez was told several weeks ago by the American owners that there was no more money to spend on new players before the transfer window closed on Tuesday. However, I watched the live transfer updates intently as the clock ticked down to the 5 p.m. deadline hoping that it was just a clever ploy to throw other clubs off the scent and that there would indeed be a last minute major signing. Sadly, it was not to be. I really should have known better.

To his credit, Benitez is publicly stating he believes he has the players needed to challenge for the title. But does he really believe this to be true? I doubt it. The current survey on 'Liverpool Banter' asks the question "Is Liverpool's squad strong enough for a title push?" Of the 434 responses, the count at the time of writing, 290 (67%) said "No". When you look at the subs on the bench against Aston Villa for example (Cavalieri, Kelly, Dossena, Ayala, Riera, Voronin & Babel) this concern is totally justified.

There's only one piece of silverware Liverpool fans want to see paraded around Anfield next May and that, as we all know, is the Premiership trophy. Winning the Champions League for a 6th time would be a fantastic acheivment but even that would, in the eyes of most supporters, be deemed a disappointing season, even more so if Man Utd. win the title for a record 19th time. That scenario doesn't bare thinking about.
Not winning the Premiership title will likely mean the end of the road for Rafa as six years of failed Premiership title attempts would raise questions about his ability to translate his obvious talents into bringing home the most coveted prize. I could go on about failed rotation systems, faith in players that just aren't good enough and of course the most likely cause for failure, the two dreadful American owners who have promised so much and have delivered so little.
However, let us hope that this season, even after an uncertain start, brings to an end the 20 year wait and that Rafa shows us all that he has what it takes to win the Premiership title again and again.

September 2009

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