$80 Million Buy Doesn't Pay Off - yet (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

An English soccer team gets the money...and the win.


I'm a big fan of an English Premier League soccer team called Liverpool.  The Reds picked up a nice win today..with an even nicer twist of revenge.  It goes to show that you can't always buy what you want...at least not right away!

On January 31st, as the open period for English Premier League teams to buy and sell players wrapped up, a blockbuster deal went down.  Legendary team Liverpool sold its star striker, and future legend Fernando Torres.  The Spanish star hadn't seemed like himself lately, hadn't produced as he had in the past..but was still the Merseyside team's most fearsome weapon. 

Liverpool as a team hasn't been itself lately, hasn't won the league it once dominated in two decades. There was speculation that the Spaniard wasn't happy being there..and his critics said it showed in his play.  Big time players often want to transfer to teams that seem primed to pick up trophies and titles.  Liverpool does not...but Chelsea does. 

Torres apparently demanded a transfer, and got what he wanted.  Liverpool sold him to league rivals Chelsea for a staggering sum, 50 million pounds..about 80 million dollars!

Here's the twist (there's always a twist). Chelsea and its new big-money match-winner of a player were scheduled to host Liverpool...today! 

Less than a week ago Fernando Torres was training and playing and laughing and joking with the men in Liverpool red..men like Steven Gerrard, Glenn Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and many other big names.  Today, at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's home stadium in London...Torres lined up opposite those very players.  You can't script that!

He was booed with every touch of the ball by the few thousand Liverpool fans who made it to London for the showdown. He had a scoring chanced early but his shot was blocked by flying defender Jamie Carragher.  After that Torres didn't do much.

He was taken off for a substitute after 66 minutes of the 90 minute match. Shortly after he left, Liverpool took the lead and managed to hold on for the win.

In the weeks, months and years ahead, Fernando Torres will do great things for Chelsea. He's too good not to.  It will take some time for him to fit in with Chelsea's already loaded line-up.  He'll find his place and he'll find the back of the net, over and over again.

For today though the win goes to Liverpool, and so does the sense of satisfaction. The player on whom they hung their hopes deserted them for a better chance at a trophy.  For today..they have the last laugh and the $80 million didn't pay off. It will though. Chelsea is considered a possibility for the league title this year...Liverpool is not.

With that $80 million Liverpool bought some hope for next year. They spent a good chunk of it on a rising English star named Andy Carroll and a Uruguayan goal-getter named Luis Suarez. Hopefully THAT investment will pay off.....soon.....please!

Come on you Reds!  Tough luck Torres (for now)

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward


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