When compared to what’s going on at European heavyweights like Manchester City and Barcelona right now, Liverpool’s problems don’t appear to be as serious
There’s no sugarcoating it: Liverpool has crumbled this season.
The Reds’ mismanagement of their squad has been brutally exposed, as evidenced by their rapid fall from title contention to a possible Europa League berth (or worse).
Off the field, there has been abrupt upheaval following years of stability, with sporting director Julian Ward announcing his intention to leave at the end of his one and only season, and head of research Ian Graham following him out the door. This occurred as owner FSG considered a sale before shifting its focus to finding a new investor for its ailing regime.
However, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on what has transpired at both domestic and European rivals.
For instance, Manchester City is dealing with a great deal of uncertainty after being accused of breaking more than 100 Premier League financial rules over a nine-year period.
The accusations are serious, and if proven true, they could result in sanctions like a points deduction, a transfer ban, or even relegation.
Fabio Paratici, managing director of football for Spurs, was recently required to take an immediate leave of absence after the Italian government’s two-and-a-half-year ban was made global.
The 50-year-old is implicated after Paratici’s former team, Juventus, was found guilty of false accounting by an Italian court, though it should be noted that he has already appealed.
After Antonio Conte was fired last month as a result of his extraordinary press conference outburst, the Italian had been in charge of leading Spurs’ search for a new manager. His remarks did nothing but reinforce the impression that the club is mired in a never-ending cycle of failure.
Chelsea, a team in London, has also fired its manager. There is a perception that the Todd Boehly administration has quickly descended into chaos following a haphazard $750 million (£600 million/€687 million) spending spree over the past few months.
In the biggest transfer window in football history, Thomas Tuchel received spectacular support, but he was fired after only six Premier League games. Chelsea then made the decision to support his successor Graham Potter for the long haul, but despite making another record-breaking investment in January, his tenure was so appalling that it was necessary to end it after seven months.
Chelsea must now make a fire sale during the summer transfer window in order to balance its books and stay out of financial trouble (via The Times).
The greatest player in football history is being hailed by Paris Saint-Germain supporters outside of the Premier League, even though he may be set to leave after two ultimately forgettable seasons.
As the Champions League trophy continues to elude the Qatari-backed project, some believe Christophe Galtier will be fired in the summer (via The Athletic Football Podcast). There, too, the phrase “endless cycle” could be used.
More gravely, Barcelona, the team attempting to re-sign Lionel Messi, is currently the subject of a UEFA investigation after being accused of corruption in connection with payments made to the vice-president of the refereeing committee for Spanish football.
Barcelona disputes any wrongdoing, but depending on its findings, UEFA might impose a ban.
Gavi, one of the brightest prospects in world football, is currently set to leave the club for nothing after the registration of his new contract was denied due to alleged violations of salary cap regulations. Those money issues simply won’t go away.
And finally, let’s go back to the scandal at Juventus mentioned earlier. Even after a 15-point Serie A deduction earlier this year, Juventus’ problems might not be over.
The Bianconeri contests the ruling and has already filed an appeal, but once more, the results of UEFA’s investigation could result in their exclusion from current or upcoming European competitions.
You could argue that everything above helps put Liverpool’s problems in perspective. Despite all the legitimate criticisms that can be leveled, there is a growing sense that European football is on the verge of a seismic upheaval, with potential crisis events at many of the top clubs. However, FSG’s tenure has not been marred by any such scandals.
Even though this season has been terrible, order at Anfield could easily be restored with the right hires, investments, and decisions made in the upcoming months.
On the field, the situation could improve and the team may once again be in the running for the top awards.
The effects of what’s happening elsewhere, however, could very well be much more significant and