Liverpool FC have finally made official the departure from Anfield of assistant manager Pako Ayesteran. Ayesteran, 44, was manager Rafael Benitez’s close friend for many years, and came with him from Valencia to continue their successful partnership.
Unfortunately the pair disagreed on certain points and Pako stopped working at Melwood or sitting alongside Rafa on the bench. The club made no statement on the matter, amidst rumours of interest in Pako from other English clubs. Rather than risk that happening, Pako is being forced to see out his contract, although he’ll be on gardening leave until that happens at the end of June next year.
Liverpool have struggled in their games since Pako stepped aside, and although Rafa Benitez says this isn’t a factor it seems clear that his absence has had an impact. Rafa’s job now is to ensure that impact is minimised.
A statement on the official website read:
Pako Ayestaran is to step down from his position as assistant manager at Liverpool FC, although he will be contracted to the club through to June 30, 2008.
Chief executive Rick Parry commented: “Following discussions between Rafael Benitez and Pako Ayestaran, it has been agreed that it would be in the best interests of all parties if Pako leaves his post as assistant manager. Pako, however, will remain under contract to us until next summer.
“The club want to thank Pako for his hard work and contribution to our success over the past three years.”