Tuesday, September 11, 2012



Former Liverpool, Rafa Benitez has hit out at former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett for denying him funds to strengthen his squad for a Premier League title challenge.

The Spaniard spent six years at the Anfield club, winning the FA Cup and Champions League, before leaving two years ago.

And the 52-year-old has revealed he was not given the support to mount a title challenge in his final season at the club.

Benitez paid the price for Liverpool’s seventh-place finish in the Premier League when he left the club by mutual consent.

And he lays the blame for the club’s demise squarely at the door of Hicks and Gillett.

‘Decisions were being made to appease the banks, not the fans. That is how serious the situation with the owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, had become.

‘At the end of April, Tom Hicks and George Gillett at long last agreed to put Liverpool up for sale to end their involvement with the club altogether.

‘They had been forced by the banks, as a condition of their latest loan, to appoint Martin Broughton, a Chelsea fan and the chairman of British Airways, to the same position at Anfield.

‘As the season drew to a close, I was informed on three occasions that I would have a meeting with Mr Broughton.

When we did eventually meet, after the final game of our campaign, it was clear that we did not share the same vision for the future of the club.

‘It was at that point that it became evident what was about to happen. It was obvious that they had decided that my time at Anfield was up and wanted to come to an arrangement as quickly as possible.

‘I was not in a hurry to leave Liverpool - quite the opposite, I wanted to stay.
‘It was while I was on holiday in Italy that I next heard from the club.
‘Their lawyers had contacted mine to offer me a settlement.

‘It was confirmation that the directors of the team I had worked so hard to turn into a force at home and abroad no longer wanted my services.

‘I was disappointed, hurt and sad. I would not be given the chance to try to solve the problems that had arisen during the season, to complete the six years of work I had put into the club.’

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