Henry reiterates long-term focus

04 September 2012 09:18

Liverpool's principal owner John Henry has defended the club's approach in the transfer window by stressing they are focused on a long-term plan.

Fenway Sports Group were criticised by fans after a much-needed deal to bring in Fulham's Clint Dempsey foundered over cash on transfer deadline day. It left manager Brendan Rodgers light up front as he had already agreed to let Andy Carroll go to West Ham on loan thinking he would have a replacement 24 hours later.

But Henry insisted there was no longer any short-term thinking at the club, and he said: "After almost two years at Anfield, we are close to having the system we need in place. The transfer window may not have been perfect but we are not just looking at the next 16 weeks until we can buy again: we are looking at the next 16 years and beyond."

He added: "These are the first steps in restoring one of the world's great clubs to its proper status.

"No-one should doubt our commitment to the club. In Brendan Rodgers we have a talented young manager and we have valued highly his judgement about the make-up of the squad.

"This is a work in progress. It will take time for Brendan to instil his philosophy into the squad and build exactly what he needs for the long term. There will be short-term setbacks from time to time, but we believe we have the right people in place to bring more glory to Anfield."

The failure to bring in a striker means Rodgers may now have to look at free agents, with former Reds striker Michael Owen the most high-profile of those available, but Press Association Sport understands there has been no move for the former England international and one is not imminent.

Henry's words suggest Owen, 33 in December, would not fit the bill and the same probably applied to Dempsey also.

"The transfer policy was not about cutting costs. It was - and will be in the future - about getting maximum value for what is spent so that we can build quality and depth," he wrote in an open letter to supporters.

"Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years. Our emphasis will be on developing our own players using the skills of an increasingly impressive coaching team."

Source: PA