Torres Sells his soul as Liverpool look to move on

Hurt, anger and bitterness are three things that every Kopite around the world is feeling this week. Every football fan has been in this position. The player you loved suddenly decides it’s time to move on but never has English football seen a more treacherous move by a footballer. It is unclear why Fernando Torres decided to sell his soul this week and trade a lifetime of worship and praise for a club who hasn’t got the aura or history that Liverpool Football Club possesses. It’s easy to argue that Chelsea have got the more chance of immediate silverware and European Glory are higher but is that really the case?

When Fernando Torres handed in a written transfer request late on Friday evening because the club weren’t matching his ambition it came as a shock to everyone. It is very understandable that he could be unhappy with the current state of the club. Everyone was still recovering from the traumatic experience of the stewardship under former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett where the clubs fall from grace is about as big as you can get without losing your top flight status. But, much maligned pair are no longer in the boardroom at Anfield. Instead, the future was beginning to look bright under the new owners ‘The Fenway Sports Group’  who only 4 weeks earlier had replaced a failing manager with a club legend. The club was also on the verge of signing Ajax striker Luis Suarez for £22.8m. How’s that for lack of ambition?

On the other hand, ‘El Nino’ was looking to join a team who had fallen along the wayside in the premier league in recent months, 3 wins in 10 and 1 away win in 4 months. Chelsea’s title bid is almost as good as gone. They are in the Champions League, but surely Torres owed it to Liverpool, who stood by him when he struggled through different hamstring and groin injuries,another year’s service to see if club was beginning a new lease of life? It is plain to see that Liverpool Football Club are trying very hard to get back to the top.  Many will question Torres’s judgment on that one.

Of course, the timing of his decision to leave also has to be questioned. Three days before a Transfer window is not the time to be handing in a transfer request. It put the Kenny Dalglish in an ominous position as he was facing the awkward position of being without a recognised ‘number 9’ in his squad. There was no messing about, though. The club were quick to realise that the chances of Torres leaving the club were high, so with no hesitation Dalglish and Co went back into the transfer market and bought Newcastle star, Andy Carroll for £35m. It was a very bold move. Of course, that is an extortionate figure to be paying for a 21 year old, but there were certain factors that dictated this move. The football club was left with no alternative but to spend the money. It is certainly a far cry from the dark days all of the money recouped from a transfer would used to pay off the interest on repayments that crippled Liverpool’s finances for so long.  That was not the only enquiry made on deadline day, there were numerous offers made for other players on deadline day, such as Ashley Young, Charlie Adam and most surprisingly of all Micah Richards. The ambition is there, with this spending set to continue in the summer.

Andy Carroll at his Unveiling in Liverpool

Chelsea’s recent form isn’t the only cause for concern in West London. Most of their key players are reaching the end of their career, Terry, Drogba and Lampard have shown in recent months that they might be coming into the twilight of their respective careers. Big money will have to spent to revive Chelsea. Even though they have just spent around £71M in one day, the new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules that will be soon coming into force could harm their prospects. These new rules mean that every football club must break even in all football activities. Over the space of four years, a loss will be allowed, but the margin will be reduced. Over the next 3 seasons the margin will be reduced to €45m, then over another 3 years the margin will be reduced to €30m then to €15m and then finally to zero. The implications for this are that a club doesn’t comply with these regulations will not be allowed to compete in European competition. And with Chelsea posting a loss on £70m last year they will have to tighten their belts if they are to meet these requirements.

It is my opinion that this is the wrong move for Fernando Torres. There is no guarantee that Chelsea will have more success in the next few years. The last player to leave Liverpool football club to search of more medals and trophies was Michael Owen. His football career has not really moved on since. Plagued by injuries, idolised by the fans and then stuck two fingers up to those who loved him, does it sound familiar? It does to me.  Liverpool will move on, better players have gone before Torres, which subsequently led to European and Domestic domination. Liverpool will forget about Fernando Torres, long before Fernando Torres forgets about Liverpool.


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