Research Methods for Sports Studies 6 pages

management are strengths within the program?

Liverpool has several different factors that are helping the program to thrive these include: the ability to locate critical talent and increase the club’s profitability. What makes Liverpool such a unique team is their ability to identify and recruit new players. This is accomplished through: the homegrown and transfer talent programs. Homegrown talent is when the club will have up and coming players working with some of their minor league organizations. This gives young players the ability to develop and it is providing the team with individuals (who could have an impact on the squad). The transfer talent program is when the team is actively recruiting individuals, who could have a positive effect for Liverpool (from the moment they arrive). These two programs are strengths that management is using to ensure that the team has the best players possible. This is taking place by having a strategy that will address the short- and long-term needs of the club. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

The ability to increase the club’s profitability is based upon having the best players (who can make the team competitive). This means that officials must be constantly on the lookout for the next person that can have a dramatic impact on Liverpool. When this happens, there are increased amounts of excitement about the program and their possibilities for the season. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

Moreover, the management of the team’s expenses and costs is ensuring that there is additional funding to help the club remain fiscally strong. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the below table (which is comparing total assets with current and long-term liabilities from 1998 to 2003). (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

Liverpool’s Total Assets, Current and Long-Term Liabilities from 1998 to 2003


Total Assets

Current Liabilities

Long-Term Liabilities


£46.44 million

£20.15 million

£4.20 million


£89.89 million

£21.94 million

£17.13 million


£106.08 million

£40.32 million

£15.61 million


£99.03 million

£37.23 million

£11.79 million


£125.86 million

£52.24 million

£17.65 million


£115.05 million

£45.21 million

£12.04 million

(“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

These figures are showing how executives are focused on increasing the firm’s net worth and locating the best players. This means that there will be an improvement in their total assets and current liabilities. These rises are from the club making more money and paying higher costs in attracting key talent. At the same time, they were able to ensure that the long-term trends have remained steady. Over the course of time, these different variables are contributing to the team’s success. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

What are the major factors of profitability and viability?

The biggest factors of profitability / viability include: the ability to attract / retain key players, control costs and the utilization of key resources to address critical challenges that are impacting the club. The combination of these factors helps Liverpool to compete with more the profitable clubs. When this happens, executives are able to improve upon the image of the organization (leading to an increase in profitability). (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

The ability to attract and retain key players is a key factor that helps the Liverpool to generate fan excitement and support. This is because they feel that these players have the ability to contribute to their success over the team in the long-term. When this happens, there will be an increase in ticket sales, memorabilia, TV revenues and concessions. It is at this point that the team will see an increase in profitability (based upon the excitement that is generated every single year). In many ways one could argue that this is what helps to keep the club profitable by consistently energizing fans. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

Controlling costs is when there is a focus on ensuring that the expenses for players and operating costs are manageable. For a sports team, this helps to make certain that the club remains economically viable by producing a consistent return. Over the course of time, this allows executives to engage in strategies that will benefit the organization in the long-term. This is the point that Liverpool can build off of its short-term successes to create a culture of achievement. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

Addressing critical challenges impacting the club is when there is an emphasis on dealing with any kind of problems while they are small. This means finding the right players, executives and coaches who are of a suitable mindset. Once this happens, is when the team can avoid critical challenges inside organization (by effectively working with everyone to deal with these issues). This prevents disputes and other challenges, from becoming a public debate which can divide the team and fan base. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

How would you apply triangulation to gain an accurate value of the club?

Triangulation is used to create different ways of analyzing the value of the club. This is accomplished by studying the data, the techniques of the investigator and the different theoretical perspectives that are utilized. The combination of these approaches can help to compare and contrast the different valuation techniques. Once this takes place, is when actuaries can provide more precise estimates as to the net worth and profitability of the club. (Gratton, 2010, pg. 120)

What changes could you make to improve the value?

The biggest changes that firm could make are in the kind of investments Liverpool is involved in. This is because they have been investing small amounts of revenues in other areas that can help to build the assets of the club. Evidence of this can be seen with the fact that the firm has a total of: £20 thousand to £8 thousand in these areas (from 1997 to 2003). This caused the club’s earnings to see increased amounts of volatility (which resulted in a series of operating losses from 1999 to 2002). (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

What factors occurred from 1997 to 2003, and what principles can you apply to improve the viability of this club in the future?

The biggest factors that occurred during this time were that current liabilities became very volatile. This has an impact on the ability of the club to post a profit by causing these figures to vary from year to year. The best way that the club can address these challenges is to establish a cap that will be spent every year on acquiring key talent. This will control the underlying amounts of volatility and it will improve financial projections. It is at this point that managers can make more accurate projections about the future. When this happens, they can focus their efforts on those individuals who could have the most impact (without the high price tag). (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.) (Kimel, 2009)

Think about if the CFO came and said they were considering selling the club.

How would this affect your strategic direction, if at all?

The way that this would affect the strategic direction is to force executives to increase the profitability of the club. This means that some kind of approach must be utilized the will control short-term costs (while attracting key talent). At the same time, the balance sheet needs to improve by reflecting more free cash flow that is generated. This will increase the value of the team (based upon their ability to generate higher total returns for the owner). (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

What factors would underlie the changes that you suggest?

The biggest factors that would highlight these kinds of changes are: the stability in the short-term costs and improvements in operating profits. This means that there must be a period where Liverpool executives are concentrating on keeping the expenses of acquiring key talent at a certain level. Then, they must ensure that the pool of talented players remains strong. This will make certain that there are tremendous amounts of support and excitement for the team (despite a potential sale in the future). Moreover, the quality of players that are recruited should continue to embrace certain ideals that helped to make the club successful in the past. If this kind of approach is taken, it will reduce the impact of any kind of transformations on Liverpool’s ability to remain competitive. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

The improvement in the teams operating margins will show investors the kinds of returns they can expect in the future. This will improve the ability of executives to sell the club to someone that can build upon these transformations. When this happens, the value will increase and there are greater amounts of transparency in the process. This is the point that executives will become focused on offering stakeholders with something more. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.)

What research would support this that could strengthen your recommendations?

The best approach is to ensure that Liverpool maintains some kind of fiscal discipline. This means that any type of sale must ensure that the new buyers are not using tremendous amounts of debt to purchase the team. If this can happen, it will make certain that the club remains a viable entity which can produce positive results for the owner. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.) (“Manchester United for Sale,” 2012)

Anything less than these conditions, will create a situation where Liverpool could be posting continuing losses (despite having a successful club). A good example of this can be seen with the Glazer family’s purchase of Manchester United in 2005. At the time, they were taking the company private to create added value. During the process, they borrowed tremendous amounts of money from private banks and hedge funds. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.) (“Manchester United for Sale,” 2012)

Recently, the Glazers have taken the company public once again (in an effort to increase the total amounts of working capital). This will be used to help pay down the large debt load from the 2005 purchase. These areas are showing, how executives need to find a buyer that will maintain the economic viability of the club. This is how there will be an increase in value, while ensuring that the team is competitive every single year. (“Liverpool Football Club,” n.d.) (“Manchester United for Sale,” 2012)


Liverpool Football Club. (n.d.).

Manchester United for Sale. (2005). Independent. Retrieved from:

Gratton, G. (2010). Research Methods for Sports Studies. New York, NY: Rutledge.

Kimmel, P. (2009). Accounting Principles. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

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