Welcome to the new manager

The latest worst-kept-secret in football was officially let out of the bag this morning when Liverpool FC announced the appointment of Roy Hodgson as the club’s new manager.

Graffiti near the ground expressed the views of many fans, comparing temporary managing director Christian Purslow to a certain part of female anatomy and suggesting he was trying to turn the club into his very own plaything. Purslow FC read the first part, the second part sounded like the surname of a certain former German international who is currently chairman of Kaiserslautern.

A hell of a lot of supporters just did not want this to happen and are extremely angry that it did. And before the small-minded few rush in to condemn that statement, it must be pointed out that this anger is not aimed at Hodgson. It must also be pointed out that loyalty to his predecessor Rafael Benítez is not the reason for that anger. After all, many of Rafa’s most vociferous critics were aghast at the appointment.

But he has now been appointed and that changes things. We at this site wish him luck and sincerely hope he proves all our fears were unfounded.

We are entitled to voice our concerns, and it’s better to voice them before the club commits to another expensive contract. After all it’s little over a year since Christian Purslow was “involved in securing” Rafael Benítez for five more years in Purslow’s “first week at the club” (according to Purslow, but disputed by others in the Anfield boardroom).

If Purslow negotiated this contract in a similar way, and has the same view on whether or not to stick to verbal promises and how to deal with any uncomfortable truths slipping out it might turn out to be expensive again. Hodgson would cost £9m to sack if he had similar terms, and chances are Purslow would want him sacked if Roy started to let it be known that he wasn’t told the truth about his budget or which parts of it would end up lost forever in the black hole known as “the player account”.

It’s also worth noting that it would cost the same kind of money to get rid of him should the club finally find some new owners, and that alone suggests that the club have seen absolutely nothing to suggest that such a development is anywhere near close.

From this point onwards we want to see Roy Hodgson working with and for the fans, showing the doubters (including this site) that they were wrong – but perhaps most of all showing all of us that he’s going to do his absolute best in what no fan would describe as easy circumstances. That said, the squad hasn’t yet had wholesale changes made to it since it finished second the season before last, so if he’s able to fix the right things he will have a winning squad in his hands almost from the off.

From this point onwards it’s the people above the manager we need to concentrate on.

Co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett – admit defeat and move on. Time to retire perhaps?

Chairman Martin Broughton – be honest about where we are up to in this sales process and on top of that do your duty as Chairman and sort out the head of the “management team”. It’s time he was moved on.

Temporary MD Christian Purslow – it’s not your club, it’s not your plaything, it’s not even your field of expertise. Go back to your world of leveraged buyouts and schoolboy football teams and let the club get someone in who actually has a clue.

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson: welcome to Anfield mate – now show us what you can do.

16 thoughts on “Welcome to the new manager”

  1. You do realise that Purslow doesn’t care about you or anyone who reads this site? He doesn’t care about the fans. Neither does Gerrard. Footballers and people in football don’t care about the fans – the sooner you realise this the sooner you can get on with your life.

  2. Jim, I’d still like to know who you wanted to manage the club.

    For example, you’ve not named anyone in the last 2 posts but have claimed a lot of fans were aghast at Roy Hodgson’s appointment.

    Who are these people and why are they so upset that Purslow has given Hodgson the nod?

    Were you hoping the Americans would have gone before the appointment of a new manager?

    All I’m getting is your anger re the board situation, which I can understand, but I can’t see it’s relevance to who rudders the ship.

  3. “No matter how hard we try – Hodgson is not wanted at Anfield”

    …followed by…

    “Welcome to the new manager”

    Had to laugh. Anyway, perhaps this is Purslow’s get out clause when Gerrard leaves for Madrid and Torres for Barca – he can blame the new manager. Perish the thought!

  4. And Jim in the same manner in which you state that the club is not the play thing of Purslow, the names of Shankly and Paisley are not the play things of certain members of fans who wish to use them to meet their own ends.

    I will re post what I have posted in the other thread here and remind you Jim that you also do not represent every LFC fan.

    “I think some fans need to have a bit more humility and be honoursed that Roy decided to come to LFC and not have the attitude that he should he honoured that we offered him the job.

    There are a lot of people who will quote Shankly and Paisley as great managers who we should use as a bench mark, but they would be turning in their graves at the complete pompus attitude some fans seem to have with regards to Roy.”

  5. An interesting press conference.

    Hodgson definitely speaks well and comes across as an intelligent well educated man but that means diddly if he cant win us football games.

    He deserves a fair crack of the whip and the fans need to get behind him but the jury is definitely out on this one.

    The most interesting moments from the press conference were when questions were fired at Martin Broughton. And his words should be remembered by the fans.

    He claims the club wont be selling Torres and Gerrard, he claims that any money from player sales will be re-invested in the squad. I will believe it when i see it.

    What i found very interesting was Broughtons comments on the takeover. He didnt confirm or deny the Abu Dhabi rumours when asked but did confirm the first round of bids for the club would take place in mid July. Is there a link there between the two or is it still wishful thinking?

    Lastly Broughton also claims to have complete control over how much the club is sold for and who it is sold to. He claims Hicks and Gillett cant intervene, again I think that would have to be believed to be seen.

  6. I dont know if Hodgson is the answer to our problems ( on the pitch ) but in my opinion Benitez certainly wasnt. For me he’d lost the team a long time ago.

    I wish Hodgson every success and hope every LFC fan supports him and gives him a chance.
    Let’s also hope the idiots upstairs support Hodgson too, with actions & not just words….

  7. I don’t see the appointment of Roy as anything else than a real sign that our club is in dire straights.

    King Kenny wasn’t given the job because he won’t tow the party line, just as Rafa wouldn’t. He would demand more from the current owners in terms of funds and commitment because he really wants to see the club succeed, when all they want to do is the bare minimum until they get the big pay day which will never come at the price they’re asking.

    Roy has agreed to keep his mouth shut and do his job, and he will, but this is not a step forward for our club. I don’t see Roy taking us back to the Champions League. If anything it is hoped that we will stay around mid-table until the club can be sold.

  8. @dogmanstar

    Yesterday’s piece reflected yesterday’s mood and the mood of people leading up to yesterday. I’ve not asked every Liverpool fan, obviously, but certainly almost everyone I’d spoken to or seen/heard the views of either didn’t want him or were talking about supporting him out of duty.

    Although I personally believe Hodgson’s is the only name seriously considered (they knocked Kenny back without a thought too) there were still a number of obstacles to him signing – not least of which was his former boss, Al Fayed.

    And until all of those obstacles had been overcome I really didn’t see why there was any need to support something I genuinely wasn’t happy with.

    One day we might explain more about certain things we heard and some of the details behind some of the claims made in various places over the past few weeks and months, but for now it’s not our place to go into details. When the dust settles some of the situations that angered us may not seem so bad, others will stand out as being exactly the kind of stories that really need to be told.

    The best part of Roy Hodgson’s press conference today, from my initial interpretation of it, was that he wants separation from himself and that board room, or the issues in the board room. I hope that is how it proceeds from now on, but with truth where the manager is concerned.

    If someone from the board room sees fit to come up with a figure for what was spent on transfers I hope it’s the truth this time. I don’t want Hodgson to find the supporters were told he’d had a £20m budget when he’d actually made a £20m profit. And I hope Hodgson just puts them straight, on the record, on the spot, no wriggling room for anyone.

    Hodgson has inherited a very good squad and as long as he doesn’t do a Souness with it he could actually make just the right tweaks to get it into the place it should be. This is his chance to come up with tactics for teams who want CL football rather than teams who want to survive first and maybe scrape into Europe second.

    Also what I hope happens is that Hodgson finds it easier to explain decisions where the media are asking loaded questions and the more gullible supporters are falling for whatever the more malicious parts of our support have been putting out. Chances are that during Roy’s 3 year contract he’ll have to sit down and tell Carra that his performances aren’t good enough any more to be an automatic first choice. He should be able to make that decision for footballing reasons, not political ones. Imagine the situation if Rafa had stayed and the day came he had to do that. Too many spite-filled activists would have ensured it was far more of a big deal than it needed to be.

    I also hope that he finds the moles in the squad and at Melwood – if there still are any – and turfs them out. And when he’s done that we’ll then know the people spreading rumours are not worth listening to.

    Last season got to a point where it was ridiculous. One journalist admitted (privately) that he made stuff up that he knew would discredit Rafa, made a guess about how a player might feel or what might have been said and then presented it as fact. In his case he was making it up himself, but because he had links to certain players in the past some people thought it was true.

    He’ll do the same this season if he needs a story and has no other way of getting one – and that where the need for turfing out the moles comes in. I’m sure Hodgson will find a way to weed them out though, and that is one of his plus points.

    I really didn’t want Paul Ince, former Manc, to join LFC all those years ago. I complained then too, until he actually signed. After that he was a red and he had my support as long as he earned it.

    If we we’re linked with Danny Murphy tomorrow you’d probably hear my complaints about it, but if he did come back I’d have to support him.

    Hodgson’s our boss now and I will fight to be as open-minded about him as I can. I was impressed with some of what he said in the press conference and there’s no doubting his passion or what this job means to him. In fact I found myself worrying during the press conference that he might say something that would be swooped on and used to attack him, especially when he was trying to find the right words (he chose mantra in the end) to say what “YNWA” was.

    People say he’s a decent man and nothing I’ve seen today goes against that.

    What I’m more concerned about is what the board do next. He’s not asked them about a budget, and I’m glad really because it means he’s prepared to do his best with the resources he gets – I just hope he’s honest about targets when he does get told about his budget. But the board have to let him make those kinds of statements without fear of the sack, they shouldn’t be using him to pretend they’ve spent loads when they’ve done nothing of the sort. And when they do give him a budget they have to stick to it – or own up in public that they didn’t.

    The best move Roy Hodgson seemed to make today was to give the impression (maybe it was just me) that he, the players and the fans were separate from the board and the owners, but that he wasn’t interested in getting involved in the board or owner politics. If that’s how he intends it to be then that’s one hell of a way to start.

  9. Jim, do you have any opinions on the statement today by Martin Broughton, that he is “hopeful ” the club will be sold before the end of the summer.
    He is quoted as saying there have been a number of expressions of interest and bidding will start in mid July.

  10. Roger,

    It was an interesting statement (and he goes into it in more detail here: http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/exclusive-chairman-q-and-a)

    My only opinion on it is that like anything put up for sale, the club is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. 2 years ago I’d say Tom Hicks thought he could ride the storm and then one way or other make the profit when the markets recovered. George Gillett’s intentions seem to have been the same. But the bank was getting heavy with them and maybe they finally realised this was as good a time as any to get out.

    I think (I’ll have to check) that the £600-£800m figure from Hicks came from him saying he’d get 3-4 times what he put into LFC in the first place. So if you say £200m as a rounded version of the purchase price that’s what you get. But what did he actually mean by what he put in? To start with he put nothing in, at the moment he’s put half of around £130m in – but that’s as a loan from the Cayman parent anyway.

    As it stands people say the club is valued at £350m tops, with a question mark over what the value is of the [b]potential[/b] of a new stadium (and that still needs to be paid for). As it stands, £350m pays off the debts the club currently has (including their “loan”), so anything over that is a profit for them.

    The best bid might not be the highest bid – but are they obliged to accept the best bid? That’s one question I’d like someone to answer. If not, who knows how long it will take?

    (The whole August thing could also be a ploy to make sure Real Madrid don’t think they’ll get Gerrard on the cheap!)

  11. Not very impressed with the interview at all. Roy may be a nice guy but who takes a job as a football manager and doesn’t discuss transfer budget. He’s distancing himself from the guy’s at the top so the fans don’t associate him with them, but he is their man. He’s a puppet put in place by a crooked regime and i’ll give it to Febuary before it all falls apart.

  12. Well I WAS impressed with Roy Hodgson and (fool that I am) I was heartened to hear the following from Martin Broughton. Perhaps there are grounds for optimism after 3 disastrous years. (Please):-

    Broughton – appointed by Barclays Capital – confirmed Hicks and Gillett could not veto a sale and no acceptable figure had been set to sell.
    “The process is well under way. The owners have stepped aside, stepped down. I’m overseeing the process and Barclays Capital are running the process,” he added.
    “The owners can’t block the sale of the club. I read all too frequently numbers being floated about in the media, normally associated with Tom Hicks’ name. I would like to make it clear there is no number. There is no base line.
    “This is a willing buyer, willing seller auction. We will do a deal with what we consider to be the best bidder.
    “The best bidder may not be the highest bidder. It’s about more than just money.
    “It’s about stadium development, the team and the whole piece.
    “Once we’ve been through the process, the best bidder gets it.”

    Now shoot me down Jim.

  13. Jofrad i’m glad to hear the good news that a clearly missed, so when SOS and shareliverpoolfc put in a £350M offer Broughton will accept?
    I hope so but i think you’re either on the payrole or living in dreamland.
    On the subject of the fans buying the club we have been pipped to the post by Stirling Albion who are now fan owned. Congratulations and best of luck, they are the first rain drops in the storm to come.

  14. i would have lked Rafa still to be our boss, but he is not. so Roy will be supported by me as he is now our new man at the helm,
    but i feel until the two wanks have gone then it will be a hard old job for anyone to run the football side.

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