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Sep 3, 2012

John Henry defends team's plan

Liverpool's principal owner John Henry defended the club's summer transfer business Monday, but admitted his disappointment at failing to add to their strike force before the end of August.

Manager Brendan Rodgers offloaded Andy Carroll to West Ham on loan a day before the deadline in the belief he would secure a replacement more suited to his style of play, but the window closed without any new arrival and that has led to criticism from fans -- and Rodgers himself has admitted he would not have allowed Carroll to leave had he not been very confident of bringing in someone else.

"I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window," said Henry in an open letter published on Liverpool's website.

"But that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved. They pushed hard in the final days of the transfer window on a number of forward targets and it is unfortunate that on this occasion we were unable to conclude acceptable deals to bring those targets in.

"But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future -- Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi -- could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future."

A lot of work, and cash, was expended on renewing the contracts of key players to ensure Rodgers retained solid foundations on which to build, and Henry also felt this was a significant move by the club.

"No-one should minimize the importance of keeping our best players during this window," he added.

"We successfully retained Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Luis Suarez. We greatly appreciate their faith and belief in the club and we successfully negotiated new, long-term contracts with Luis and with Martin."

Ever since Fenway Sports Group, of which Henry is the leading figure, bought the Reds in October 2010 they have insisted it is a long-term investment.

And Henry stressed their approach to spending this summer reflects that and will continue to do so in subsequent transfer windows.

"No one should doubt our commitment to the club. In Brendan Rodgers we have a talented young manager and we have valued highly his judgment about the makeup of the squad," he said. "This is a work in progress. ... The transfer policy was not about cutting costs. It was -- and will be in the future -- about getting maximum value for what is spent so that we can build quality and depth."

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