Reds’ days of ‘risky spending’ over, says Henry

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
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Liverpool’s principal owner John Henry admits they have made mistakes during nearly two years at Anfield but insists they will never re-visit the errors of the past.

And the American remains fully committed to the plan Fenway Sports Group have identified to take the club forward, even if that means short-term pain for longer-term gain.

Having rescued Liverpool from the brink of administration after the calamitous reign of previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, whose highly-leveraged purchase in 2007 left the club with crippling loan payments, Henry said there would be no quick-fix from FSG.

“We are still in the process of reversing the errors of previous regimes,” he said.

“It will not happen overnight. It has been compounded by our own mistakes in a difficult first two years of ownership.

“It has been a harsh education, but make no mistake, the club is healthier today than when we took over.

“We will build and grow from within, buy prudently and cleverly and never again waste resources on inflated transfer fees and unrealistic wages.

“We have no fear of spending and competing with the very best but we will not overpay for players.

“We will never place this club in the precarious position that we found it in when we took over at Anfield. This club should never again run up debts that threaten its existence. We will invest to succeed but we will not mortgage the future with risky spending.”

Friday’s closure of the transfer window brought criticism from disgruntled fans – still waiting for a decision on a new stadium – after Brendan Rodgers’s failure to secure a striker to replace misfit Andy Carroll, who was loaned out to West Ham 24 hours earlier.

It left the Reds looking well short up front as they lack an out-and-out striker, their two main forwards being Luis Suarez, who has yet to prove he can score consistently, and the inexperienced Fabio Borini.

Rodgers had hoped to complete a late deal for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey but they were priced out of a move for the 29-year-old as Tottenham snatched him away from their grasp.

Henry added in an open letter to supporters: “No one should doubt our commitment to the club.

“In Brendan Rodgers we have a talented young manager and we have valued highly his judgment about the make-up of the squad.

“This is a work in progress. It will take time for Brendan to instil his philosophy into the squad and build exactly what he needs for the long term.”