Alan YSB Hansen

“There’s no doubting the fact we’ll begin 2009-10 with a better chance of winning the league than at any time in recent history,” Hansen said. “During the last few months of 2008-09 we started to hammer home our authority against the lesser sides and the team has proved they are capable of going on great runs and scoring a lot of goals. It’s just getting the knack of knowing how to win the Premier League now because there is certainly a way of winning it. Manchester United have proved they’ve got that knack and now Liverpool have got to prove we’ve got it too. Liverpool have got the big things in place to do that; it’s now just taking care of the small things that you also need to win a championship. What a message it would send out to everybody if, the year after they’ve finally made it 18-18, we respond by going ahead of them again. Get things right this summer and I believe Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool can do exactly that.”

Then the news hits that Liverpool have made a pre-tax loss of £42.6 million, with its net debt rising to £299.5 million, as well as paying £36.5 million in interest last year alone. Liverpool’s owners have until July 24 to refinance their credit deals and are trying to secure at least another six-month extension, which would give them breathing space. There is an acceptance within Anfield that the club are not generating enough money to cover the interest payments of Kop Football Ltd, the club’s holding company, which means their new stadium, which saw pre-construction work halted indefinitely last September, is even less likely to happen.

Mark YSB Lawrenson

“One or two of the top clubs are already doing the business, and buying players,” Lawrenson said. “If Liverpool have to wait they’re already going to be behind the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. If Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City are after the same players as Liverpool it’s going to be extremely difficult,” said Lawrenson. We’re already hearing that Chelsea have a new manager and Abramovich might bankroll Ancelotti with money to spend, Manchester United will be buying players, Arsenal will also be in the market and Man City will be busier than anyone. The great problem is that it looks at the moment as if Liverpool are going to have to sell quite a few players just to get the two or three very high profile match-winners in.”