In what must be an unprecedented move by any English football club Liverpool Football Club are today planning to offer fans the opportunity to grill the club’s owners live on TV.
John W Henry and Tom Werner, joint owners through FSG (or NESV as it used to be called), will sit alongside commercial director Ian Ayre for the official channel’s two-hour show “LFC Now” from 5pm. Supporters can get their questions over by email, Twitter, Facebook or phone.
There are obvious questions that supporters will want to ask, and despite suspicions from some supporters about possible censorship and vetting of questions it’s expected that this would be kept to a minimum by the producers of the show. Understandably there will be some questions that can’t be answered on air and there will be others that might well result in a diplomatic rather than openly honest answer, but other than that, and as long as the question doesn’t effectively repeat earlier questions, it should be possible for any point to be put to the new owners.
Anfield Road asked on Twitter for supporters to list the kinds of question they might ask if they got through tonight.
It seems inevitable that the questions asked the most will relate to Roy Hodgson’s future. However, even if one of the owners has Roy’s P45 in their inside pocket, they’re highly unlikely to give anything other than the usual supportive soundbites that anyone in their position would give. Many replies were to ask the “are you sacking Roy” question, although some were a little more creative in the way they asked it:
@kkunlimited Kevin Kelly @JimBoardman Do you think Roy will be leaving soon!
Also popular were questions asking about the owners’ aims and ambitions for the future. Many of these were tied in with Roy’s position, with reference to comments he’s made about finishing in the top half of the table:
@SP_60 Stevie P @JimBoardman What is an acceptable position for #LFC to finish in the table this season. Is a European place a requirement for Roy? @LFCTV
@_AhuraMazda_ Ahura Mazda @JimBoardman @LFCTV #lfc ure unlikely to make it into Europe next year. Would the club see this as a significant failure?
@hlrmarshall Henry Marshall @jimboardman @lfctv hodgson says we’re a team that “wants to be in the top half”. Do you accept that mediocrity?
@hongeorge George @JimBoardman @LFCTV What’s the target for this season? Are we writing it off?
Others added in their concerns about what a poor finishing position might bring:
@Andrew_Heaton Andy Heaton @JimBoardman @lfctv Will Champions League football or the lack of impact on the future of ‘key’ players or spending?
@brocky74 Matt Brock @JimBoardman @lfctv can we expect to keep hold of Torres, Reina et al when we have a manager with such little vision/expectations
There were also some questions from Liverpool supporters in the US:
@jontask jonathan tasker @JimBoardman @LFC Is there any possibility of getting LFCTV on cable in N. America?
@speker71 Bill Shannon @JimBoardman @LFCTV Nesv’s thoughts on a North American tour for the Reds any time soon.
Recent performances from Barcelona have left many Liverpool fans looking on with sadness at how long it now seems since the Reds were beating them on their own patch and how far away it seems the return of those days will be. Some questions referenced the Spanish giants:
@ClaytonByrne Clayton @JimBoardman @LFCTV other than Liverpool are you actively watching any other footy matches? Have you seen Barcelona recently as an example?
@Karlton81 Karl Thyer @jimboardman @lfctv don’t you think we should adopt the same approach as Barcelona by playing the same formation at every age level?
There is still no information coming out of the club about how the club is actually being run day-to-day. Martin Broughton has now left, Christian Purslow has stepped down into a vague non-executive advisory role and the owners themselves know nothing at all about football – as they would no doubt readily admit. Damien Comolli is now a director – of football strategy – but it’s unclear if he’s Roy’s boss or not. It’s no surprise that questions were asked relating to these issues:
@Hansenisagod Fiona Phelan @JimBoardman @LFCTV Given the owners limited knowledge of football, whose advice are they relying on when making football decisions?
@Slevatron Noel Slevin @JimBoardman @lfctv who is running the club day-to-day? Why are they talking so long to appoint a CEO?
@danremedios Daniel Remedios @JimBoardman @lfctv Update on search for CEO? What more have they learnt about the club? Further developments? Melwood? Marketing?
@grthbll Gareth Bell @JimBoardman @LFCTV Can u clarify Purslow’s role on board&guarantee he has no imput into footballing matters,given his shocking track-record
@SmithyVegas Chris Smith @JimBoardman Are world class players being looked at or youth for the future? who decides roy or commoli?
An important question about the Boston Globe:
@Campione_LFC Jonathan White @JimBoardman @LFCTV Question for NESV. Do you know Alex Beam and have you spoken to him about his defamatory article in the Boston Globe?
Other more general questions included:
@James_Herd James @JimBoardman Do the owners plan to put into action any kind of ticket price restructure, to make going to football accessible? @LFCTV
@Campione_LFC Jonathan White @JimBoardman @LFCTV You recently expressed an interest in the 39th game. Have you crystallised your thinking any further? Where? When? How?
@silentbazz Barry Roberts @jimboardman @lfctv What’s your favourite LFC chant/song?
Some long-term questions:
@Andrew_Heaton Andy Heaton @jimboardman @lfctv You’ve previously mentioned that there will be no money taken out of the club & you’ll look to increase the value of the asset, what is the business rationale behind such thinking?
@FirBob22 William Gaywood @JimBoardman @LFCTV Why are NESV keeping LFC fans in the dark as to their plans for the future?
A number of questions were asked by fans anxious to know what’s happening to the stadium, the project that got us into the Hicks-Gillett mess in the first place:
@Campione_LFC Jonathan White @JimBoardman @LFCTV Question for NESV. Can you rule out ground-sharing with Everton once and for all?
@Julian_Lee76 Julian Lee @JimBoardman @lfctv Have NESV done any work investigating options of building a new ground or redeveloping Anfield? Preference?
@frankinoz funtime @JimBoardman if they are any closer to deciding about new ground/ redevelop anfiel & what capacity are they lookin at!!
@graham_capetown graham jackson @JimBoardman Until clarity on the stadium plans and the proposed funding then the club is just on a downward spiral; we need an answer
@kinelref kinelref @JimBoardman @LFCTV Did aesthetic value of Fenway influence decision to develop and does opportunity to build valued architecture excite?
@rajumaster Raju Master @LFCTV @JimBoardman When can we expect definitive plans/announcements for the new stadium? Are we going to have a new one at all?
And finally some questions of a less serious nature:
@stealthhaggis Stealthhaggis @JimBoardman How’s about: Mr Henry as you’re busy on TV is your wife free for dinner?!
It remains to be seen what the questions are that actually get posed to the owners and Ian Ayre, and of course what their answers are like, but it promises to be a historic piece of sports television in this country.