Former Liverpool chief Ian Ayre has hailed the club’s evolution and especially the appointment of the manager Jurgen Klopp.
Ayre was chief executive when the German was appointed by the Anfield giants, who are reaping the rewards of the former Borussia Dortmund manager’s ability to hone young talent.
“Like everything at Liverpool, then and now, we went through a very structured process,” he said.
“Obviously there was no question of Jurgen’s coaching ability, but we wanted a coach who develops young players for the future.
“As well as making good players great, we wanted somebody who would connect with the fan base and somebody who we could all work with and be collaborative.
“You never know what you will get from analysis and interviews, but he ticked all the boxes – and some boxes that aren’t even on anyone’s list.
“He’s a very special person and I could not imagine anyone better for the club.”
Liverpool made a pre-tax profit of £42million last year despite a record £223million investment on players.
While that top line is well below the record £125m profit for the year ending May 2018, the rewards are being felt on the pitch with the club four victories away from winning their first league title in 30 years.
Figures released on Thursday for the financial year to May 31, 2019 incorporate the purchases of Alisson Becker (£65million), Naby Keita (£52.75m), Fabinho (£43.7m) and Xherdan Shaqiri (£13m).
It also includes the increased costs of new contracts for 11 players, including captain Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold – who have all played a key role in helping Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect establish a 22-point lead at the top of the table.
Some of that cost was offset by sales including Danny Ward (£12.5m), Danny Ings (£20m) and Dominic Solanke (£19m).
Income was also boosted by Champions League success, although as victory in the final in Madrid came in June the prize money from winning a sixth European Cup will be counted in the current financial year.
The proposed rebuild of the Anfield Road stand, will add 5,200 general admission seats and 1,800 for hospitality and take the ground’s overall capacity to around 61,000. Liverpool hope to begin work on their £60million redevelopment by the end of the year, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2022.
Next game – What time is Watford v Liverpool?
Watford v Liverpool will kick off at 5:30pm on Saturday 29th February 2020.
What channel is Watford v Liverpool?
You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5:00pm.