Liverpool owner laughs off Stewart Downing YouTube clip rumours
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner denies the club decided to sign the former Aston Villa star after seeing a doctored Youtube clip
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has laughed off suggestions that Stewart Downing was signed on the basis of a YouTube video.
The 27-year-old moved to Liverpool from Aston Villa for £20m in July 2011 but has thus far struggled to make an impression at Anfield.
And Werner was recently quoted as having said that he first admired Downing after he and owner John Henry saw a video of the England winger kicking ball into bins at Aston Villa’s training ground.
“There was some footage of Stewart where he was, from 30 yards away, kicking a football into five different trash cans and it was brilliant,” Werner was quoted as saying in the Liverpool Echo.
“Liverpool owner John [Henry] and I said: ‘Oh my God, this player is brilliant, we’ve got to figure out a way to make a deal with him’.”
But although Werner admits having seen the video, he has dismissed the suggestion that he and the club owner were duped into splashing out on the former Middlesbrough midfielder on the evidence of the doctored clip.
“Someone told me about this. It’s a great story, but unfortunately for the person who wrote the piece, it isn’t true,” Werner told Liverpool’s website.
“It actually comes from an interview I did five months ago with Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre for our club TV channel in which I said that when we first talked about signing Stewart, we’d found a video of him kicking footballs into some trash cans.
“I explained in that interview back in August we knew the footage had been doctored, but I guess that detail doesn’t really help stand up the story.
“The amount of people involved and the work that goes into a signing a player is huge so the suggestion that we’d buy someone on the back of one doctored video is ridiculous.”