I learned today from a fellow statto Red Dan Kennett that Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Alberto Aquilani, Joe Cole, Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt account for a whopping 25% of Liverpool’s total wage bill.
That’s a hell of a large investment considering the following facts about the season just ended:
- Aquilani and Cole spent the entire season on loan in Europe;
- Gerrard suffered from multiple injuries;
- Carragher is now the third choice centre-back behind Agger and Skrtel;
- Kuyt only completed ninety minutes on ten occasions in the league;
- Maxi played less minutes than sixteen of the club’s outfield players.
So how much time did this costly sextet actually spend on the pitch in the Premier League during 2011/12?
- Kuyt: 2104 minutes (58.5% of the available time);
- Carragher: 1822 minutes (50.6%);
- Gerrard: 1292 minutes (35.9%);
- Maxi: 813 minutes (22.6%);
- Aquilani & Cole: 0 minutes.
Therefore, Liverpool only got 6031 minutes (or essentially sixty-seven 90 minute appearances, just 29% of what those six players could’ve played) from 25% of the wage bill.
Some of those low appearance figures (especially in the case of Maxi) will be down to Kenny’s selection choices, but the club got very little benefit from a quarter of it’s wage expenditure. The money that this group was paid should be reflected in results on the pitch, but it clearly wasn’t this season.
That Liverpool’s Champions League-level expenditure on these six players only produced eleven goals and four assists in the Premier League in 2011/12 is a damning indictment of the financial mismanagement that plagued Anfield prior to the arrival of the Fenway Sports Group, and that’s before you get to them having to write off £35m on an unbuilt stadium.
Whilst I was disappointed to see Dirk Kuyt leave from a footballing point of view, his wages could probably pay for two younger players to boost the squad, so it made a lot of sense financially. The same goes for Maxi, who is expected to leave, but whose footballing nous would’ve aided a struggling Reds side on more than one occasion last season, and for all the question marks surrounding them, Aquilani and Cole would surely have provided alternatives worth trying when the team needed a boost.
One thing is clear; John W Henry and co. are not going to greenlight such expenditure in the future whilst Liverpool remain outside the Champions League, so however many of the remaining five of these six players line up for the Reds next season, they need to deliver far more than they have done in 2011/12.