Thursday 27 October 2016

Liverpool transfer committee's lack of transparency revealed by Brendan Rodgers

Jason Burt

Published 19/01/2016 | 19:08

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been linked with the vacant Celtic job
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been linked with the vacant Celtic job

In September 2012 I wrote a piece stating that a ‘technical committee’ would be created at Liverpool – it would subsequently became popularly known as a ‘transfer committee’ – and one of its primary tasks would be to help the manager sign players.

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It provoked a dismissive response from the then manager Brendan Rodgers. “It’s been in the press, this technical committee or something or other,” he said in a radio interview that same week before claiming that the “something or other” was nothing more than a revamp of the scouting team.

“I’ll then have the final say over who comes in. There’s a lot of stuff been written but the reality is quite simple. Hopefully it stays that way,” Rodgers concluded.

It clearly did not stay like that. Or it was never like that from the start. On Sunday Rodgers gave another interview in which he said of Liverpool transfers: “It was a group decision, really. It was certainly not something I would have the sole or final say on. It’s difficult really.”

It always is difficult - especially when there is a lack of transparency. Rodgers can be forgiven to an extent for toeing the party-line so soon after he had been appointed Liverpool manager although, frankly, it is hard for him to then claim, months after he was sacked, that he never had the “final say” on transfers that he claimed he did. Either he did or did not.

After that story and his interview Rodgers’ position at Liverpool strengthened – he was awarded a new contract; he went close to winning the Premier League. It then weakened to the point of loosening entirely but by now claiming he did not have that “final say” he has run contrary to what he claimed all along: he might not get his first-choice but he would not get a choice he did not want.

It may well be that a large number of the signings Liverpool made while Rodgers was there were players that he was persuaded to accept and that were compromises away from his first-choices. That must have made his job difficult.

That tends to be what happens when things are done by committee – the least worst choice becomes the option rather than necessarily the best choice.

The problem for Rodgers is that he was either not wholly truthful from the start, or he was undermined as the committee went to work. Either way it does not reflect well on him.

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