Seventy-five-million British pounds. If you consider the adverse effects of Brexit, that’s worth about a tenner – but the point remains: Liverpool spent a fortune on a good footballer. So f*cking what?
Yes, it’s a slight concern that the bloke’s only major honours to date have come as a Celtic player. That club hasn’t played a competitive domestic fixture in five years. He did, however, win Southampton’s Player of the Season in 2016.
Before the club issued that award, the Southern Daily Echo presented it – and have continued alongside. Some great success stories like Rickie Lambert and Shane Long can claim to have gotten that nod. The latter, sadly, hasn’t scored a goal, five-a-side or otherwise, in about a decade.
Joking aside, money is a funny concept for people when it comes to the Premier League. A previous generation are trying to hold onto the values associated with pre-historic top-tier English football by claiming money is destroying it, yet sat down on Christmas morning surrounded by an assortment of needlessly branded everyday household objects.
Yer Da thinks the owners of his Premier League club are useless, yet buys what’s effectively the same home kit every single year without fail. As well as a pair of crested slippers, a bottle opener, a novelty t-shirt and furry dice.
Yer Ma thinks ‘Arab money’ is destroying your beloved Premier League, yet pays a small fortune for a season ticket at astronomical rates to sit at Old Trafford every year.
This disillusionment with football is what facilitates large sums of money being passed between companies posing as football clubs.
Publicity is created; media get clicks and buys based off it, companies pay a fortune for brand exposure and merchandise flies out of club stores all over the world.
Manchester United didn’t just buy Paul Pogba. They bought a global brand with age on his side. He’s been distinctly average in his role, but he’s made the club a fortune – whether they’ll tell you or not. People should start treating transfers as business transactions – as that’s how the clubs they adore from a distance see their fandom in the first place.
Whether the addition of the Dutchman will aid Liverpool in the long run is anyone’s guess. He’s a good player. Some think he’s the best centre half in the country – very much up for debate. Liverpool switch off at set pieces and are forced to play an open brand of football; exposing their back three/four all the time.
If the 26-year-old comes in and is barely noticed, then he’ll be worth the money.
The problem with Liverpool, however, goes deeper than that. He’ll be forced into the spotlight as that’s just the way their manager sets them up. Defences are units – not just four expensive signings. They’ll need to gel, and that’s where Klopp must earn his salt.
Unless you have Liverpool’s accounts in front of you and can list off the associated costs versus the potential income generated by this move, don’t go off on one about finances you know nothing about.
A moral obligation may be a justified one, but even still – the money generated in the Premier League usually balances itself out. Your Sky subscription helps. Your BT subscription helps. The fact the Premier League is the only topic of conversation that gets you through awkward social interaction in pubs all over the world, helps.
If you’re sat there on Twitter complaining about the transfer fee paid for Virgil van Dijk, you’re probably, in a small way, the cause of it.