TOMMY SMITH: Standard Chartered deal signals new start for Liverpool FC
YOU can't help but be seriously impressed at the new shirt deal Liverpool have just pulled off. £80m over four years is an enormous amount of money and, like every fan, I just hope Rafa Benitez gets to see of much of it as possible. The deal with Standard Chartered Bank is something of a cushion for us over the next few years. The new MD at Anfield, Christian Purslow and Commecial Director Ian Ayre deserve congratulations for bringing some serious cash in to the club. The new guy at the top certainly must have the gift of the gab to land this one. But it does make you wonder why we haven't been able to do a shirt deal of this size in previous years? The previous agreement with Carlsberg is dwarfed by the new one with Standard Chartered. They are paying almost three times as much as Carlsberg did - and don't forget we're supposed to be in a recession! There is clearly a real focus now and lots of drive at Anfield from the men in charge. You just don't pull off deals like this if you're not on top of the job. And clearly, for all the problems and broken promises from the American owners, at least we've now got two men in charge at the top who are not only very big Liverpool fans, who genuinely seem to care about the club, but who are putting big money where their mouths are. The new deal to me signals Liverpool are back on the road and beginning to head in the right direction. That makes me proud. But as I say, we just have to hope as much of this cash as possible ends up invested on top players out there on the pitch at Anfield in red shirts. Christian Purslow has made an impressive start. So good luck to him and his team, I say.
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