Henry won't risk Liverpool's future with heavy spending
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
EPA photoLiverpool's principal owner John Henry insists he did everything in his power to back boss Brendan Rodgers in the transfer market without putting the club's future at risk.
Rodgers was annoyed that Liverpool failed to sign American forward Clint Dempsey from Fulham before the transfer window shut on Friday and his frustration increased when the Reds slumped to a lacklustre 2-0 defeat against Arsenal on Sunday.
With Dempsey joining Tottenham after Liverpool's low offer was rejected by Fulham, Rodgers was left without any attacking options on the bench after allowing Andy Carroll to join West Ham on loan.
And the former Swansea manager, who has presided over Liverpool's worst league start for 50 years, he claimed he would never have let the England striker leave if he had known there wouldn't be a replacement coming in.
Liverpool fans have also been quick to vent their anger at owners Fenway Sports Group for failing to give Rodgers sufficient funds and the growing unrest prompted American tycoon Henry to make a strong defence of his leadership.
Henry, who saw previous boss Kenny Dalglish waste millions on poor signings, is adamant Liverpool's owners did all they could do to back Rodgers, given their desire not to plunge the club into heavy debt by paying over the odds for new players.
"I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window," said Henry in an open letter published on Liverpool's website on Monday.
"But that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved.
"They pushed hard in the final days of the transfer window on a number of forward targets and it is unfortunate that on this occasion we were unable to conclude acceptable deals to bring those targets in.
"But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future - Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi - could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future." Ever since Henry and his fellow investors bought the Reds in October 2010 they have insisted it is a long-term investment.
And Henry stressed their approach to spending summer reflects that and will continue to do so in subsequent transfer windows.
"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," he said.
"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.
"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.
"That ethos is to win. We will invest to succeed. But we will not mortgage the future with risky spending." Henry's group, who also own the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise, rescued Liverpool from the brink of administration after the disappointing reign of previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Henry is determined to put Liverpool on a more stable financial footing, but he concedes they have made mistakes as they adapt to the football world.
"It will not happen overnight. It has been compounded by our own mistakes in a difficult first two years of ownership," he said.
"It has been a harsh education, but make no mistake, the club is healthier today than when we took over.
"We will build and grow from within, buy prudently and cleverly and never again waste resources on inflated transfer fees and unrealistic wages.
"This club should never again run up debts that threaten its existence."