Culture matters, in business and in sport. The set of principles which guide the employees, managers and shareholders of a business are what produces results and culture plays a similar role at soccer clubs. Both clubs and corporations are organizations focused on accomplishing a set of goals, it follows that there are parallels in organizational style. Read on for the long lost corporate twins of your favorite clubs.
The rest of the ‘Company’ series: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United
“When you walk through a storm, Keep your chin up high, And don’t be afraid of the dark.” So goes the anthem that rings out at the start of each Liverpool match. The lyrics are especially poignant for Liverpudlians these days as stormy weather has found its way to Anfield these past two seasons. The Merseyside Red have a massive history with numerous domestic and international triumphs won largely during the 1970s and 80s Golden Era; however recent history was more comfortable than glorious. That all changed when Liverpool became the first club knocked out of the Sky4 oligarchy. Management problems and the arrival of Manchester City conspired to knock Liverpool from its Champions League berth in the 2009-2010 season much to the chagrin of both owners (soon to be ex-owners) and supporters. For those awaiting the resurgence of the Red Giant the Golden Age was once again a distant dream. Continue reading “Which Company is Liverpool Most Like…?”
Some Manchester United supporters maybe watching the troubles at Liverpool with a grin, but the mess at Anfield is no smiling matter because the contagion could spread to Old Trafford much more easily than many are ready to admit.
1. Both Liverpool and Manchester United were bought by ownership groups who used a leveraged buy out, a transaction in which the target being acquired is used to fund its own purchase by taking out debt against its value.
2. Each of those ownership groups is the sole owner of the club. Should external conditions render the owners financially unstable it would be disastrous for the club (see Sacha Gaydamak’s exit at Portsmouth). While many other clubs bear the risk of having a single owner, the consequences are magnified in a highly leveraged situation. A debt laden balance sheet hinders the ability to find reasonably priced financing and quickly amplifies the damage an unstable owner can inflict. Continue reading “Liverpool Is No Laughing Matter For ManUtd Supporters”
Just in time for the season opener, a haiku to describe the current situation at Anfield.
Awake to red white blue spring
Glory to be had
El Nino rises
Anfield roars out its desire
Crimson sun wavers
Doomed man paces the touchline
Dusk falls on the Red
European nights no more
Eyes on a new era