Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Liverpool chief backs Benitez

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Oct 2009


Liverpool’s Managing Director Christian Purslow guarantees that Rafael Benitez’s position is safe even if the Reds did not win the league this season.

Liverpool has been on a losing streak of 4 games, their worst since 1987. What’s worse is that their position in both the Premiership and the Champions League does not look buoyant.

They have 4 losses so far against Sunderland, Chelsea, Tottenham and Aston Villa, which has given a major setback to Rafa’s men in their bid for the domestic title. Again, their losses to Lyon and Fiorentina have made it difficult for them to go into the next stage of the Champions League.

The Anfield club are under huge pressure to get some result as they prepare to take on bitter rivals Manchester United later today. The Reds would be looking to get their record straight. The failure of which, would cost them bidding goodbye to the faint hope of winning their first top-flight title for 20 years and it’s also been hypothesized that Rafael Benitez would face the very real chance of losing his job.

However, Purslow backed up for Benitez and confirmed that Liverpool’s loss would not cost the coach his job.

“The most important aspect of the football club I was involved in my first week in the job, was securing Rafa for another five years. You only have to look at the Premiership era and our two major competitors in the last 10 to 12 years, to see the benefits of longevity,” Purslow told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme.

“Liverpool Football Club is on a long-term journey and that journey is to be the most successful club, firstly in our country and secondly in the world and you don’t do that by worrying about short-term results. You do that by having long-term plans centring on the people and the strategy. Rafa Benitez is absolutely central to that plan.”

“The core of the team which won 86 points last season remains intact with some excellent additions so I have every reason to believe we can perform at that level this season over the season.”

“I guarantee that Rafael Benitez position in the club is safe,” he adds, when question directly about sacking the manager in case the club looses yet again.

He also broke the speculation about the sale of Anfield stars Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard and insisted they are not for sale at any price.

“Fernando signed an extension to his contract this summer. He has a five-year contract. He is a crucial leader in our team. Fernando Torres and Liverpool Football Club go together and I believe they will go together for the length of his career.” And so is it for Steven Gerrard, he added.

Purslow also revealed that Liverpool were four weeks into the process of raising new equity in the club which could take about six months to set in. And he stressed on the fact that this move does not imply that the controversial American owner Tom Hicks and George Gillett are prepared to sell their share.

Now with Benitez’s position secure in the club, the pressure on Liverpool has lessened a bit. Nevertheless, a home defeat for Liverpool would leave them 10 points behind United in the Premier League table after only 10 games of the season and a win for Manchester United on Sunday afternoon would surely put the final nail in their coffin, a termination to Liverpool’s title challenge this season.


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