Liverpool legend Alan Hansen says the owners have let down their manager Brendan Rodgers.
Hansen wrote in the Telegraph: "Rodgers has been badly let down by his bosses and, although I am a big fan of Michael Owen, the fact that the former Liverpool forward is now being considered as an option shows that the club are desperate for reinforcements.
"Liverpool are desperate, but they only have themselves to blame because they got rid of a striker - a £35 million England international at that - and failed to replace him.
"If that situation had not arisen, and Liverpool had been able to sign Dempsey from Fulham after loaning Carroll to West Ham, there is no way that Rodgers would now be considering going for a free agent like Owen.
"The only reason it has become an option is because the club has done a bad job of its transfer business.
"Similar suggestions that Didier Drogba might become an option due to uncertainty about his situation with the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua also reflect badly on Liverpool’s owners.
"If they decided against paying a transfer fee for Dempsey because he is 29, where is the sense in paying big money in wages for somebody like Drogba, who is 33?
"If Drogba signs for two years and is paid £150,000 a week, that amounts to £15 million, so while you would take him in two seconds flat, it would not sit well the club’s philosophy under their American owners.
"It is all very well having a philosophy, but one of the golden rules in football is that you don’t let somebody go until you have brought somebody else in."