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Finishing in fifth place is a must....
Posted on by LFC Stats
Failure to secure top-five berth could hit Reds in the pocket when Premier League prize money is handed out
Finishing fifth may not seem much reward for Liverpool after a season that promised much but delivered little other than disappointment.
But victory at Stoke City this weekend would guarantee a decent financial return for the Reds.
And a failure to hold on to their current position could cost the Anfield outfit £2.5million.
The Premier League distribute money from their current television rights deal in three ways.
Half of the money is shared equally between the 20 top-flight clubs, 25% is merit money (depending on where a team finishes) with the remaining 25% dependent on how many times a team appears live on television in the United Kingdom – termed a facility fee.
Liverpool legend John Aldridge has tipped Emre Can to play in midfield next season.
The 21-year-old joined Liverpool as a central midfielder from Bayer Leverkusen on a £9.75 million move in the summer but has played most of the season as a defender in Reds boss Brendan Rodgers back-three.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo Aldridge stated, “Emre Can has been the light out of the new bunch.
“I think he should get a run next season in the midfield area.”
Raheem Sterling's agent has called for fresh talks with Liverpool this week as the rift regarding his Anfield future threatens to widen.
Aidy Ward is planning to meet Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre ahead of the final Premier League game against Stoke City on Sunday.
The latest face-to-face discussion has been initiated by Ward, who halted negotiations in March to enable Sterling to concentrate on trying to help his club qualify for Europe.
It is not clear to Liverpool at this stage if the talks have been requested to finally agree a new contract or reiterate Sterling's unwillingness to sign a new deal. Liverpool will hope a period of reflection will lead to the 20-year-old committing to the pounds 100,000 a week offered several months ago but it was made clear to the club in a previous meeting that Sterling would be seeking Champions League football. Liverpool, of course, will not be able to provide this next season.
Manchester City are among those known to be monitoring Sterling's situation with interest, but the player still has two years remaining on a pounds 35,000-a-week deal, with club owner John W Henry making it clear he is not prepared to sell to a rival this summer.
If Sterling does not sign new terms, he faces at least the next 12 months on the same salary, as Liverpool refuse to budge and stick to what - on the surface at least - appears a prohibitive valuation of the player at around pounds 50?million.
It has been a difficult second half of the season for Sterling, whose form dipped after the contract impasse was made public. A television interview, initiated by the player, during which he said his dispute was not about finances - weeks after his agent had asked for a pounds 150,000-a-week new deal - did not help his relationship with the Kop.
Departing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admitted he is devastated he will not play at Anfield again.
The 34-year-old's final appearance at the ground before his summer move to the Los Angeles Galaxy ended in a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Gerrard was at least given a fitting send off, with a guard of honour, mosaics and songs sung in his honour, and he knows he will never again experience such a feeling.
"It felt very strange," he said.
"I've been dreading this moment, I will miss it so much. I have loved every minute and I am devastated that I will not play in front of these supporters again."
Liverpool wasted the chance to end Gerrard's 17-year Anfield career on a high after Adam Lallana's opener was superseded by goals from Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray's added time penalty rebound.
"He got a wonderful send off and did everything right until the very end," said manager Brendan Rodgers of his captain.