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Mino Raiola, you ok hun? Next Liverpool FC CEO!

When I read Mino Raiola’s comments calling Jürgen Klopp a piece of shit, I couldn’t but help wonder if he was butthurt because he hadn’t made as much money as he’d hoped in relation to Mario Balotelli’s exit from Anfield. We’re led to believe that his client waived his right to a pay-off from Anfield and although the player secured lucrative terms at Nice, it makes you wonder if Raiola is bursting a blood vessel because that ‘big’ move to the riches of China never came off. Unlucky that. But the guy’s minted, he’ll get over it. Oh and before you start, no that’s NOT me pictured!

I remember when we signed Balotelli. I had mixed views. One side of me thought ‘We never sign ‘big name’ players any more. This is great!’ but my other side thought ‘Shanks wouldn’t have had this pillock anywhere near Anfield.’ Many fans blame Brendan Rodgers for the signing – then again they blame him for everything that happened between 2012 and 2015 – me, well, I always remember Brendan stating at a pre-season press conference: “I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool.” It didn’t sound like the usual bluff you hear from managers. I received an email from the States confirming this to me at the time. I was told that Balotelli was being forced on Rodgers. I didn’t like the sound of that. That pesky transfer committee! It will be a good day when it’s broken up. You either trust your manager or you don’t. Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have been advised to sack it on the head but so far they’ve resisted. Let’s see what happens when chief executive Ian Ayre is replaced.

We can’t blame Rodgers for Balotelli. In fact the former Liverpool boss tried to suggest earlier this year that the owners forced the deal on him.

“I think the ownership group thought that this could be a player I could develop … they were thinking that maybe he is a £50m player that we can get for £16m. We can bring him in and we can develop him in the way I had developed some of the other players. So, when the owners are wanting you to go down that route and there is no other options, then of course you give it a go.”

While the rest of us were thinking about the player’s baggage and qualities (or lack of them) and wondered if it could work, the powers that be were wondering if there was some future re-sale value to be had. I have to be honest, at the time I was thinking about the potential value of the deal also, not because I had visions of cashing in on him one day but because if it did work out, we might have got a bit of a bargain. Instead we’d have been better off trying to convince Snoogy Doogy to make the switch to Anfield and let’s be honest, he’d probably have done a better job than Balotelli and Rickie Lambert who was brought in after star striker Luis Suarez was sold. You gotta laugh at what these owners have overseen sometimes.

However, what’s clear to me is that the owners are actually very intelligent, switched on people [when it comes to making money]. You can see their qualities. No, I’m being serious, you really can. The way the club is marketed now is amazing. The club is raking it in. We’re financially sound. We’re perfect for a sale (drops to knees, starts praying). You can see this though surely? I can see that these are good businessmen. Where they fail is when it comes to the actual football. I can’t but help think that had these guys been genuine football fans that we’d have made the same progress on the pitch as we have done on the spreadsheets. This is what’s lacking under their reign. Some real football intelligence. Someone who knows the game inside and out. Someone who understands the fans too and how to play them. If FSG intend on hanging around then the next CEO appointment will either make them or break them. Not financially of course because when they leave, they will leave with suitcases aeroplanes stashed with cash. I am convinced that if FSG had a proper football person running the club that it would all fall into place. Michael Gordon and Ian Ayre ‘do a job’ but that’s a saying we have attached to so many Liverpool signings in recent years. “He does a job”, “He’ll do a job” … well bollocks to that! I want the best in every department.

These men are intelligent men in their fields of expertise but come on, the most successful football clubs have shit hot CEO’s. Not ‘make-dos’. Even Rick Parry was an accountant doubling up as a negotiator when he wasn’t kicked back on a sun lounger in the Bahamas. Look, I’m not one of those fans that will knock Ian Ayre for the sake of doing so. I actually have a soft spot for him, because like me, he’s popular with the ladies. Obvs. As for Gordon, I care nothing for him because I know he’s here for business purposes only. At least Ayre is a fan. That’s not an endorsement of his qualities as a football CEO, I just think someone like Ayre wants success for the right reasons where as Gordon wants success for his own pockets, not that Ayre works on a voluntary basis of course. I know he’s not popular but neither am I in some circles. We’re just misunderstood and like I said, the chicks dig us #cuddles.

The best CEO that Liverpool FC have ever had during my time as a fan – and actually caring and knowing who the CEO was (!) – was Peter Robinson AKA Mr Liverpool. The next CEO of Liverpool Football Club could see FSG win their detractors over. I’m sure of this. We need another Mr Liverpool. I’m not a fan of FSG as you know but get this right and it could make all the difference. I’ll even light John’s cigar for him (No homo! That just didn’t sound right when I read it back!). I know who Liverpool have approached for the position (members, see this post | non-members go here) and it ain’t Monchi, although he was sounded out when he tried to resign at Sevilla.

Of course if FSG opt to sell up, the next CEO appointment won’t be much of a concern to them. I know you’ve read lots of stuff suggesting that they will only consider deals for minor investment but I’m told differently. Money talks. Never forget that. The thing is, there’s a lot of money being banked at L4 just now so there’s absolutely no rush on their part to exit, although there are differing opinions within the group as to when that exit should be.

Personally I would rather the investment / takeover speculation ceased. I find it a badly timed distraction at the beginning of the season. I was hoping that the FSG circus had been shut down. Either deal or make a statement of intent about the future. In securing and appointing Jürgen Klopp, FSG showed that they can do some things right. If they plan on staying, then their CEO appointment is going to be even more important.

Right. It’s 2 o’clock. It’s time to sink a few Magners. If you enjoy my editorials, please support KOPTALK® by becoming a member of our VIP website. As a member not only do you get access to our ad-free VIP community that is packed with LFC insight and gossip and the best Liverpool supporters on the web, you also receive a FREE DKB.TV subscription worth £24! No? still not having it? No problem! Then subscribe free to KOPTALK.TV over on YouTube or subscribe free to the KOPTALK® Podcast! Your support wherever it is across the KOPTALK® network is appreciated. Enjoy the weekend! #KopTalkFamily

Duncan Oldham
Duncan Oldham

KOPTALK® editor

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