Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Barnes: Reds have to get strategy right

John Barnes

Former winger John Barnes believes if Liverpool's owners do not put in place the right long-term plan the club could be waiting another 20 years to challenge for the Premier League title.

Principal owner John Henry and Tom Werner head Fenway Sports Group's quest to find a successor to Kenny Dalglish, sacked as manager last week. However, they are also undertaking a re-structuring at Anfield which will see a technical director, among others, put in place to ensure a long-term strategy is developed and adhered to.

Barnes insists if FSG's decision-making is to set up Liverpool for their next chapter in history they have to get it right. He said: "If the club believes in a new philosophy then they need to stick with it, regardless of how well or badly we do in the short-term."

He continued: "If it takes two, three or four years to fulfil the plan then we need to give the club time to realise it and make it happen. But it won't take as long as Liverpool fans have been waiting to see the team win the Premier League.

"Maybe if a system was put in place 20 years ago we wouldn't still be waiting to win our first title since 1990. If we keep changing the manager, the players or the system every one, two, three or four years, we could be waiting another 20 years to win the title too."

One Liverpool fans' group the Spirit of Shankly, who led the protests against the despised former regime of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, have written to Henry and Werner asking for clear direction and communication to dispel a growing perception the club is "in disarray".

Barnes, however, urged fans to give FSG time to put together a coherent strategy.

"It's time to support the owners because they want to return Liverpool to a team that competes for the biggest trophies," he told liverpoolfc.tv. "It's not necessary for fans to know the inner workings of any football club because we don't know the inner workings of any business.

"I'm sure in the next week or two or three, it will become more apparent how we intend to move forward when a new manager is unveiled.

"I understand fans frustrations but if everyone is giving 100% then you need to be patient."