By Tom Finn
These are the words of Sky Sports pundit and former Manchester United defender Gary Neville who questioned the amount of money manager Brendan Rodgers was given for the acquisition of new players following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
He said: “They obviously sold Luis Suarez for £65m and spent (around) £100m on five or six players, so they spent £40m. That’s not even touching the sides of what the big European teams do, and are spending when they’re really going for it.
“When you’re talking about a big club and Liverpool winning European Cups over the last 30 years, building a new 65,000-seater stadium; £40m net is not ‘going for it’.”
Rodgers spent the money he was given over the summer on Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Alberto Moreno, Lazar Markovic and Mario Balotelli yet none of these players started in the draw with Basel that saw Liverpool knocked out of the Champions League.
And while Neville claims Rodgers must take the blame he points out that he was not given a budget to acquire top players unlike Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.
He added: “Man United have done it, City have done it, Chelsea have done it, Real Madrid will do it.
“If you want to go big, go big, and that’s not big! So the idea that he’s spent a lot of money in great club terms, he’s not. He’s spent £40m.
“They took a star off Brendan Rodgers and he’s got five in return and he’s obviously picked them so he has to take responsibility for that. And he’ll accept that I’m sure.
“Big is going to sign a player for £80m. He hasn’t gone big; he’s touched the sides a little bit. The net spend is £40m, and I don’t see that as big net spend for Liverpool Football Club.
“If they measure themselves in terms of a club winning the Champions League, then they need to spend like one. Then they’ve got to enter that level and that level is not £40m net spend.”