By Richard Parks
There is no excuse for Liverpool now.
With the coffers swelled by a further £150million of TV money, the club’s owners FSG must give the green light for sporting director Michael Edwards to spend big and transform the team to Jurgen Klopp’s exact specifications.
If Edwards and his recruitment team, in alliance with Klopp and the board, get things as right this summer as they did in the previous two windows, they can lead the team to the holy grail of a first Premier League title in 28 years.
The club are certainly swimming in money.
The Times have crunched the numbers and claim in their Game section (14 May, page four) the Merseysiders have earned the third-highest sum of broadcasting revenue in the top flight this season as a result of 28 of their matches being shown on Sky Sports and BT Sports, culminating in Sunday’s televised 4-0 win against Brighton.
Liverpool have earned £82million as a base TV fee, £33.9million for the number of their Premier League games screened and a further £33.8million for finishing in fourth place in the table.
The figures, which amount to £149.6million in total, are compiled from official Premier League distribution data.
Even for a club of the prestige and commercial might of Liverpool, Premier League TV money is vital to their financial health, and demonstrates why so much store is put in a high Premier League finish.
The Merseyside giants posted a £39million profit in their recently-published financial results and the £150million windfall will go a long way to contributing to another tasty set of results for the current season.
It provides nearly half of the club’s revenue, which amounted to £364million for the 2016-17 season, although that sum is likely to be well north of £400million in 2017-18 as a result of the stunning run to the Champions League final.
Little wonder money men John W Henry and company are so thrilled with Klopp, who deserves huge credit for building a swashbuckling team that broadcasters are so keen to regularly screen.
The task now is to build upon such a hugely encouraging season that could go down in folklore as the club target their sixth Champions League crown in Kiev on 26 May.
Tweaks are needed to a team that has delivered some stunning Premier League performances this season, but also struggled to eke out wins against tightly-organised defences.
Naby Keita will join from RB Leipzig to bolster the midfield, but Emre Can is leaving, and another central midfield driving force will be needed.
A top-notch playmaker and goalkeeper are also needed, while the club must prioritise a versatile attacker who can ensure the gap between the holy trinity of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and the back-ups is far smaller.
Liverpool’s top brass must seize the opportunity this summer. The club are on the up and their finances are in rude health.