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The owners of Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), have made some solid decisions for the direction of the club in recent times.

They have hired a manager in Jurgen Klopp, who looks to have revitalised the Reds after a period of instability.

Have FSG lowered Liverpool fans' expectations of success?The distinguished former Borussia Dortmund boss has been tied down to a long term contract, which will see him remain at Anfield until 2022. Klopp’s impact has been immediate, guiding Liverpool to two cup finals after being in the job for less than a season.

FSG have made some smart footballing moves that seem to be in the best interest moving forward, but it is important to assess their influence since taking over from the much maligned previous ownership of George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who left the club on its proverbial knees in 2010.

Many will claim that FSG has saved Liverpool – and it is difficult to disagree. They prevented the club from going into administration and have offered stability alongside assurance. They have, in a short period of time, built up a strong rapport with the red faithful, who have become loyal to their American owners. One will scarcely find a supporter of the club who is not grateful of what they have achieved, but it is important to look at the bigger picture.

If there is one thing the fans of this great football club have discovered in the years that FSG have been involved, it is that they are first and foremost in the profit-building business. These owners, who had previously partnered with Fulham in the Premier League, saw a wounded giant when Gillett and Hicks were on the way out and would have considered the vast potential for growth.

There are questions as to whether the owners have any plans whatsoever in restoring Liverpool to their former greatness. The giants of football in the modern era are not selling their best players just to make a steady profit.

Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Fernando Torres are prime examples of what FSG are trying to achieve. These names, who were brought to Anfield and delivered so much, have since been moved on for large fees. This does not seem to be the appropriate strategy of an ownership group desperate to achieve immediate greatness on the pitch.

It is has been rumoured that FSG are preparing to move the club on soon. Those at the top of the organisation are not fools though, they are businessmen who will wait for the right time and the right buyer to ensure they gain the profit they set out for.

Simply put, FSG are running a business, not a football club. While there has been some positive progress made recently, most notably with the appointment of Jurgen Klopp, the decisions made within the footballing department over the past six years have been less than satisfactory and the results, in particular the lack of success in competition, back up that sentiment.

Liverpool have only managed one Champions League qualification since 2010. Yes, just one, which is simply not good enough for a club with such a rich history in the competition. The worst part about that statistic is that the supporters seem to be content with it.

Klopp’s forays into the transfer market have thus far looked solid, but it is impossible to say the same about about the previous managership. People can say it is the manager’s job to sign players, but when you employ managers who are seemingly not up to scratch, in addition with the infamous transfer committee that FSG have introduced, then it is a recipe for disaster.

The disappointment some of the supporters have shown following the acceptance of a £13 million bid from Stoke City for Joe Allen is evidence of the lack of ambition that has festered itself through their halls. Back in Liverpool’s more successful years, no-one would have bat an eye to such a transfer. Allen would have been deemed a squad player at best, and now fans are fuming over social media because he has been sold.

It is also important to remember the decision not to sack Brendan Rodgers following the 6-1 demolition at the hands of Stoke City on the final day of 2014-15. They then entrusted him in the transfer window with vast resources, only to sack him a couple of months into the next season.

FSG have managed to lower their own expectations as the years have gone by. Whenever you speak to a Liverpool supporter you hear lines such as ‘we can’t compete with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United’.

Why is that? Liverpool are not short of finances. They are one of the top ten richest clubs in the world, yet people think they cannot compete with these other teams.

If Klopp had not been appointed who honestly knows what this club would be set for. He is a beacon of hope at this juncture and the only appointment to have excited the Liverpool faithful in the past six years.

These owners have brainwashed the fanbase to the point that they will settle for average league finishes. Liverpool, as one of England’s greatest ever teams, should be challenging for league titles and playing in the illustrious Champions League year in, year out. Yet, each season, the club set out on a journey to compete for a spot in the top four and seldom get close.

FSG’s time thus far has been nothing more than a failure, but they have managed the expectations of the supporters astutely, so much so that they have become unaware of the potential their club has.

Defending them means defending mediocrity. Liverpool supporters deserve to be ambitious, but their owners will not allow for it. If FSG are to have any success in a footballing sense, then it ultimately is down to Klopp to make it happen.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Lachlan Ballingall, Twitter: @L_Ballingall
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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