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Mar 8, 2013

Rodgers able to strengthen in summer

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he has the full backing of the owners to strengthen his squad this summer, despite an increase in the club's debt.

• Blog: January signings give hope

The publication of Liverpool's accounts on Monday showed their debt stood at £87.2 million - a rise of £21.8 million - following a loss of £40.5 million between August 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012.

Managing director Ian Ayre said following the publication of the accounts that American owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) were committed to supporting Rodgers.

And the manager has pointed to FSG's efforts in reducing the club's debts since taking over from Tom Hicks and George Gillett in the autumn of 2010.

Under the Hicks and Gillett regime, Liverpool's debts reached a peak of £472.5 million in 2009, with the club having to find £40 million a year just to meet the interest repayments.

Those interest charges are now down to £3 million a year, thanks to FSG investment and frugal management, which has seen Rodgers reduce the wage bill by shipping out high-earning, low-performing fringe players.

But despite his need to reduce costs, the Reds manager is adamant that he is being backed all the way.

"If you look at where the club was at four years ago, and where it is now, it's in a different place," he said. "Of course, there's still debts there and there have been announcements made on that. I think next year's results will show further improvement on that. In terms of me building the squad, I've already got the assurances that it won't affect anything.

"You have to give massive credit to the board here. FSG took on an astronomical amount of debt, over £400 million. Where it's at now, given the short time they've been here, is a huge credit to them, and they're still supporting the investment in the team.

"They've made every promise and every commitment to me that every single penny that they have will go in to regenerate the squad and make it better. We won't be able to do it like some clubs and throw out masses each year. But we're looking to make sure we can grow the club and bring in quality players – and that won't stop."

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