Profit is the only thing that ‘means more’ to John Henry and FSG

“This means more.”

The defiant mantra may carry meaning to the fans, players, coaching staff and everyone involved in the day-to-day running of Liverpool FC.

But at corporate level, it’s a disingenuous empty slogan designed with the sole intention of driving revenue.

That has been laid bare by the club’s shameful involvement in the European Super League.

Within 48 hours of Liverpool announcing themselves as one of the 12 founding members of Florentino Perez’s ugly brainchild, they were forced into a humiliating climbdown.

Along with the rest of English football’s so-called ‘big six’, principal owner John Henry released a humbled, grovelling apology, admitting in no uncertain terms that he and the board had got it wrong.

“I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours,” he said.

“It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.”

Sometimes, though, admitting your mistakes and taking responsibility is not enough.

The idea that Henry simply didn’t know the Super League concept would be badly received is insulting. Even before it was announced, Jurgen Klopp was on record as opposing the idea, while Liverpool fans take pride in their long and historic association with the Champions League. It doesn’t take a genius to surmise that pulling out in favour of an elitist closed-shop would spark fury.

Had the owners bothered to consult Klopp, any of his players, or the fans who keep the club running, the whole mess could have been easily side-stepped. But they chose not to, because they knew what the answers would be.

Henry and FSG took a chance. They knew that there would be a revolt against the Super League, and that it would upset a significant amount of those below them in the food chain.

But they gambled on being able to ride it out, because the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was too tempting. Their greed got the better of them in the most transparent way possible.

*unless there is profit to be made.

It isn’t for the first time either. The owners, who claim to have the club’s best intentions at heart, caused a mass walkout at Anfield in 2016 when they attempted to charge £77 for tickets to the main stand.

Years later, they shamelessly attempted to copyright the name of the city, and were forced into another humbling climbdown when they tried to furlough staff at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

John Henry has shown blatant disregard for Liverpool players and fansJohn Henry has shown blatant disregard for Liverpool players and fans
John Henry has shown blatant disregard for the players and fans | Michael Regan/Getty Images

John Henry and FSG do understand what Liverpool is all about. But they don’t particularly care.

And that is immeasurably worse than acting in ignorance.

If it does mean more, Liverpool’s owners need to start showing it by thinking before they act. Otherwise, the long and glorious association between LFC and FSG will soon be coming to a messy end.

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