Degen deal announced, back-up keeper linked

Liverpool FC have officially confirmed today that Philipp Degen is to join the club when his current contract with Borussia Dortmund runs out at the end of the month.

Degen, in the Swiss squad for Euro 2008, will officially become a Red on July 1st.

Philipp DeganReds boss Rafa Benítez said today of the 25-year-old right-back: “Philipp is still young but has gained great experience from playing in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and on the international stage with Switzerland. He also played in the Champions League during his time with Basel and so is used to top level football.”

He went on:  “He is an offensive player with great energy and a winning mentality. His strength is going forward and I am confident he will be prove to be a quality addition to our squad.”

Some Liverpool fans have been critical of the fact that Liverpool are signing players on free transfers, but Rafa sees the benefits of spreading his budget as far as possible, and no fee doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality: “Sometimes you can find these players on the market. When you find a player like him who costs no money it means you can use money for improving other parts of the squad. He is a good signing, a player of potential, who can help us improve in the wide areas.”

Degen himself said he didn’t need to be asked twice: “When I received the offer from Liverpool, there was no doubt I would accept it. They are one of the biggest clubs in the world and I am looking forward to the challenge of establishing myself there and playing in the best league there is.”

One of the players he’ll be competing with for a place in the Reds line-up is Alvaro Arbeloa, who has just been called up for Spain’s Euro 2008 challenge. He said he was delighted to be involved with his country: “I’m very happy to be here, I’m really excited and I’m determined to do well. I want to fully enjoy this experience and go far in the tournament. It’s important to think that we have to win, although we haven’t won much in Spain. That’s the right mentality. We know that we have to go bit by bit but the objective is to win Euro 2008.”

Meanwhile reports in France have linked Liverpool with a move for a 35-year-old goalkeeper. Ulrich Ramé has just ended the season with Bordeaux, finishing second in the French top flight, and leParisien now say Liverpool have looked at him as cover for Pepe Reina. Liverpool’s previous three French keepers have been Pegguy Arphexad, Patrice Luzi and Charles Itandje, and enthusiasm amongst supporters for this possible signing is likely to be rather low. Hopefully so inside Melwood too.

64 thoughts on “Degen deal announced, back-up keeper linked”

  1. C’on you REDS! – Well to support Torres upfront it’s none other than the little maestro,David Villa.Liverpool should hold on to their key players as such Xabi Alonso,Peter Crouch and Pennant.As for Risse,his days are numbered,period.Wingers,get homegrown,Stephen Downing,Bentley.Gareth Barry would be a nice addition as Deggen and whatishisnameagain?..Last but not least,do not let them Mancs equal the record that every Liverpudlian stand by all their life,where at Anfield,football is a ‘religion’ – YNWA

  2. Here’s an email I thought I would share with you all.

    Close Season? Not for us!
    There may no club football for the next couple of months but that doesn’t mean we won’t carry on developing the ShareLiverpoolFC project as vigorously as we can. Over the coming weeks, a number of significant developments will take place.

    We expect the Financial Services Authority to finally approve the Constitution of the ShareLiverpoolFC Provident Society in the next few days. The Constitution provides a detailed account of the way the Society will operate and how its democratic structure will give ‘fan members’ the voting rights which will determine the running of ShareLiverpoolFC – and the appointment of the Executive Board which will run Liverpool Football Club when we gain a controlling interest.

    We will soon publish a shortened version of the Constitution on the newly built website which will also go live shortly (we will inform you directly when that takes place). The new site will offer much greater flexibility and interactive facilities, with a sophisticated data system behind which will enable us to understand much more about the nearly 40,000 Liverpool fans who have already registered their interest in our project.

    Next week ShareLiverpoolFC will launch in Ireland, taking our message directly to one of our most passionate and supportive territories. A press conference will be held in Dublin on 30 May.

    More Legends to support ShareLiverpoolFC
    We will also be announcing the latest Liverpool FC legends to join the cause. That will be in the press at the end of next week, but you’ll hear it from us here first. Support continues to grow from ordinary fans as well as former players, with over 3000 more people expressing an interest through over the last few weeks. The issues that are driving support for ShareLiverpoolFC will not go away – indeed they will become even more significant as our Club tries to negotiate the vital transfer period, hamstrung by a divided ownership.

    Last week I addressed the All Party Parliamentary Football Group at Westminster, to contribute to its inquiry into “English Football and Its Governance”. Being a subject dear to our hearts, I put forward a number of suggestions to limit the ability of individuals to take-over football clubs, how they are structured financially, and how fans could and should be given a proper role in the running of clubs.

    Ultimately the All Party Parliamentary Football Group is probably aware of most of these issues. As is the government, with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, being a former Chair of Supporters Direct. What it really needs is the political will to act, and stop football clubs being traded as though they were any other commodity instead of vital parts of the community.

    If you want to get your feelings about what’s happening to LFC off your chest, why not write to your MP? In the end, it’s government that can most effectively protect the nation’s football clubs from the outright predations of ‘leveraged buy outs’ (simply borrowing money to buy clubs – and then moving the debt onto the club).

    Recently, the French government blocked Pepsi from buying Danone on the grounds that it was a ‘national strategic asset’. If yoghurt production can be a ‘strategic asset’ in France, why not football in UK?

    We’ll be in touch again soon.

    Rogan Taylor
    On behalf of ShareLiverpoolFC

  3. The French Government is notorious fot its interference with the “Free Market” within France on the lines of Rogan Taylor’s penultimate paragraph. This is against the Treaty of Rome but being French they get away with it. No government of whatever political persuasion in this country would countenance such action I’m afraid, so unfortunately its a dead duck.
    I’m all in favour of ShareLiverpool and good luck to them if they can persuade Tom Hicks to sell them his shares, but I just cannot see it happening.

  4. @midlands-red // May 22, 2008 at 9:37 am

    MR, maybe the way it is going we will just end up supporting Juventus instead with all our players going to them?!

  5. @ Martin

    You could well be right!

    I appreciate we’re caught in a catch-22 on whether to buy the shirt or not – harming Hicks and Gillett against harming the team/Rafa. But for me, I can’t do anything until I hear what’s happening with the future of the club at boardroom level.

    I’m hoping this quiet period is an indication that the main protanganists are negotiating behind the scenes on a solution going forward. Let’s hope so!

  6. Jim, you may have seen this already but it makes interesting reading-

    So 10 months on from the last year end we finally get to see what the state of the clubs finances were at the time of the takeover. It offers us a mixed bag. The headline figures make rather poor reading however there are some positives to show from them. Whether these positives will continue remain to be seen.

    Key Figures

    2007 2006 % Change
    Turnover 133,910 119,499 12%
    Cost of Sales 16,417 12,803 28.2%
    Admin Expenses 143,160 117,324 22%
    Loss Before Tax 21,655 4,931 339%
    Net External Debt 43,868 25,617 71.2%
    Cashflow from Operating Activites 39,996 22,142 80.6%
    Gross Transfer Expenditure 69,972 41,753 67.6%

    They make strong reading don’t they? There are reasons behind these set of results. As you all know 2007 was a difficult year for LFC off the pitch. It started with the saga over who would buy the club. And it ended with the saga of who would buy the club. While in between there was the ray of sunshine that came into all our lives of one Mr Fernando Torres (stop bouncing at the back)


    This is broken down as thus

    2007 2006 % Change
    Media 52,161 49,753 4.8%
    Matchday 38,442 32,654 17.8%
    Commercial 41,794 35,559 17.5%
    Museum & OSC 1,513 1,533 (1.3%)

    As can be seen from above, apart from the Museum & OSC, healthy rises in revenue were enjoyed. The increased Media comes from the advancement to the Final of the European Cup. The matchday turnover increased as a result of 2 extra home games in the european cup knock-out stages compared to the previous season. Commercial increased both as a result of increased bonuses for the final appearance and increased merchandise sales, this was the first year of Adidas supplying the kits/training gear.

    Admin Expenses

    2007 2006 % Change
    Staff Costs 77,589 68,868 12.7%
    Amortisation of Players Registrations 31,121 25,231 23.3%
    Impairment on Players Registrations 2,005 5,250 (61.8%)
    Other Operating Charges 16,991 14,617 16.24%

    As a result of the takeover, and the subsequent redesign of the planned new stadium, a couple of exceptional items went through the clubs accounts. The first was a complete writeoff of all costs that were capitalised to the balance sheet with regards to the original stadium design and it’s associated planning permission. This came to £10,323,000. There was also the direct cost of the takeover. There were professional fees of £2,037,000 incurred aswell as a rather sickening bonus of £564,000 (pre-tax) for Rick Parry. This meant that the results stated are distorted by £13m. Had this not taken place the club would have been looking at a loss of approx £8.7m. Still higher than 2006, but entirely manageable in the short term.

    Staff costs have increased because of two reasons. One is the general increase due to contract renewals during the period. Players signed on higher contracts than those players departing and also because there is an ongoing legal case on employment taxes and a provision has been made for the potential liabilitiy. This is an unknown but may be related to either the VAT issues that Newcastle were having with the HMRC or it maybe related to similar issues Arsenal were having with regards to tax status of players and where they are registered.

    The amortisation of players registrations increased as a result of increased investment in playing staff, while the impairment charge relates to a writedown of the value of Gabriel Palleta prior to his transfer out of the club.

    There was also an amount of £3.8m capitalised to the balance sheet relating to the revised stadium designs.

    Net Debt

    This increased markedly over the year. This was a result of the increased levels of capital expenditure in the reporting period. £54.4m of net capital expenditure occurred while there was only £40m of operating cashflows to pay for it. The £54.4m is made up of £46.1m outflow for transfer fees and £8.3m of expenditure to purchase fixed assets (likely to relate to land purchases and expenditure on the 2nd set of stadium designs).

    There was also an intercompany loan made from Kop Football (Holdings) Limited to LFC. This was used to repay the loan obtained from David Moores for the purchase of Dirk Kuyt.

    After the year end LFC received funds totalling £51.7m to repay existing due borrowings and to provide working capital. This is likely to be in the form of a loan but it has an advantage of clearing the clubs rather sizeable overdraft (£37.7m). Kop Football (Holdings) Limited also paid, on behalf of LFC, £1.3m in relation to the new stadium.

    There is also upto £35m outstanding on transfer fees to other clubs. This is predominantly to european clubs and likely relate to the transfers of Torres and Babel.

    Contingent Assets/Liabilities

    If certain conditions are met the club has potential income of £8.6m and potential expenditure of £7.4m on transfer fees.

    Transfer Expenditure

    The one area that causes the biggest debate. Every year we have fans complaining about the amount of money spent on players and every year they get it wrong, massively. These are the true figures for the last 3 financial years.

    (figures in £000s)
    Financial Year Ending 2007 2006 2005
    Purchases 69,972 41,753 46,106
    Sales 25,946 16,838 13,162
    Net Transfer Activity 44,026 24,915 32,944

    Note, 2007’s Figures include the Dirk Kuyt transfer which took place in August 2006 and came to approx £10m.

    Since the end of the financial year Javier Mascherano Martin Skrtel, Sebastian Leto, Charles Itandje, Emiliano Insua and Damien Plessis have been brought into the club on a permanent basis. All of this excluding Javier Mascherano resulted in transfer fees payable of £10.9m. Add in Mascherano at an estimated minimum of £10m gives a gross outlay of £20.9m since the 31 July 2007. Also Momo Sissoko and Palleta have both left the club, Palleta for £0.5m and Sissoko for a reported £9m. Leaving net spending at approx £11.4m since 31 July 2007.

    The Immediate Future

    The immediate future is now difficult to predict, will we be sold again or won’t we. Will the stadium go ahead or not, can the club afford the debt repayments it may be asked to pay? So many questions so little answers. There is only a limited area of certainty.

    1) The latest Premier League tv deal. This will increase league media revenues by approx £15m, as a result the club is looking at breaking the £150m turnover mark this current financial year.

    2) The increased sponsorship revenue from Carlsberg which adds around £2m a season to existing revenues.

    3) The supporter pet hate, increased ticket prices. These will generate approx £2m to £3m a season to revenues.

    4) This financial year there won’t be the large £10.3m exceptional writeoff, nor will there be the takeover costs (unless something happens in the next 10 weeks)

    These 4 items alone generate a swing of approx £30m in profit, although interest costs and any increased staff costs will not be known for a year.

    From midway this latest financial year LFC also took complete control of Limited. This will double the share of turnover/profit generated from it’s activities.

    Benchmarking against our rivals

    This time I thought I would do a benchmark against our 3 main rivals at the top, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal. I do this because this is another area of mass debate, and low knowledge, to beat the Moores/Parry regime. With this I aim to show how the top 4 compare in the revenue, core costs (player amortisation and wages) and transfer expenditure stakes.

    The figures relate to the season 2006/07 and are taken from the published accounts of all 4 clubs. There is a slight difference in accounting reference dates but I believe these are insignificant. The figures also relate to footballing activity only (arsenal have a property development going on at present, chelsea have the hotel etc)

    (in £000s unless stated)
    Liverpool Manchester United Chelsea Arsenal
    Turnover 133,910 210,081 177,109 176,507
    Media 52,161 61,484 Not Avail 44,312
    Matchday 38,442 92,562 Not Avail 90,613
    Commercial 41,794 56,035 Not Avail 41,582
    Amortisation of Player Registrations 33,126 24,252 69,968 18,782
    Staff Wages 77,589 91,588 122,779 89,703
    Staff Wages as % of Turnover 57.9% 43.6% 69.3% 50.8%
    Gross Transfer Expenditure 69,972 78,998 26,802 17,585
    Net Transfer Expenditure 44,026 61,718 5,202 (1,569)

    As you can see matchday revenue is what I consider the most glaring difference between our performance and that of Arsenal and Manchester United (unfortunately Chelsea didn’t do a segmental report on turnover). We are currently in excess of £50m behind in turnover from matchday revenues. That is a hell of a way to be behind and it is because of one factor. Anfield. It is too small and too poorly equiped for corporates to generate the sort of revnues Arsenal and Manchester United make. It is why a new stadium, from a financial point of view, is a must. The other areas are relatively insignificant. The media is down to positions in the league, the higher you are the more money you get. This then feeds through to the tv money received from UEFA.

    Our commercial v that of Uniteds stems from an approx £4m difference in kit sponsorhip value and the shirt sponsorship being around £9m below that of Uniteds at the time.

    Comparing against Arsenal shows we lack only in matchday revenues, while commercial activity is slightly distorted from Arsenal due to the £3m a year they get for stadium sponsorship that neither us nor Chelsea/Man Utd get.

    You will also see that we only trailed Manchester United in both Gross and Net Transfer Expenditure in the financial year.

    © Tim Moore

  7. @Stephen: I hadn’t seen that actually Stephen, thanks for posting it. Tim’s a top guy and always very level-headed when it comes to translating these things for the rest of us.

    By the way, to all reading this, I’ve opened up the other bit of the site now. I tried emailing some of the regular posters but I found there were some issues with the mails either bouncing or going into spam folders.

    You might find your activation email goes into you spam folder too, so it could be worth checking that if you’ve already registered and not had the email that unlocks it all!

  8. Sorry to detract from the topic of this thread Jim, but I’ve tried registering to the forum you have setup and have not received an email to confirm registartion. Apologies if I’m putting this is the wrong place………

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