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.