Anfield illusion masks caution
"Since I've been in the first team, I can't remember us making such a major statement of intent in the transfer market as this."
The Anfield club, armed with wads of cash from new owners George Gillett Jr and Tom Hicks, have splashed a club record £20m on Fernando Torres, who joins fellow new boys Lucas Leiva and Andriy Voronin.
Quite an outlay. But in fact the club's net spending will be significantly lower this summer than last - even after the arrivals of Babel and Benayoun.
A £12m spend this summer compares unfavourably to last summer, when around £21m was spent on Dirk Kuyt, Jermaine Pennant and Bellamy. The only player of any value sold was Djimi Traore, who joined Charlton for £2m.
The result is reduced spending, set against increased TV revenue from the Premier League and the positive knock-on effects of another Champions League final appearance.
Gillett and Hicks have pulled off the double coup of satisfying manager, players and fans with their spending, while at the same time balancing the books.
Although millions have been pumped into bumper five-year contracts for Gerrard and several other leading players, the new owners' caution is an indicator that foreign owners are not the sugar daddies many clubs hope for.
Bizarrely, it is the Glazer family who are bucking the trend at Manchester United. They were the ones who were going to cut the purse strings at Old Trafford and run the club into the ground, remember?
Carlos Tevez should be next in, while Cristiano Ronaldo has been tied to a new five-year contract.