Rafa offered new deal by both owners?

Quotes in Sunday’s press, reportedly from Rafa Benítez, claiming he’s already been offered a new contract were surprising to say the least. According to the reports, Rafa said he expected to sign the new deal over the summer: “The contract will be done before the start of next season. The owners have said that will be the case, so that is good.”

Tom Hicks said recently that Rafa would get a new deal if he took over, and although Dubai have made no indication of any extension for Rafa if they won the battle for control, they’ve made it known that he’d be a part of their plans. But few expected any offers to Rafa from the current, joint, ownership.

Rafa went on to say in the report: “Every manager likes to have his position clarified. I still have two more years on my contract and I am happy here. That is vital when you look to sign players because they want to know the manager is happy and they are joining the right club.”

It seems odd after all the water that has passed under the bridge to hear now of some real co-operation from the owners.

The idea of replacing Alex Miller, and in effect Pako Ayestaran, with former Liverpool player and coach Sammy Lee is one that isn’t too hard to see a way round despite the stand-off between the owners. Few would claim that replacing two coaches with one, assuming it is done within existing budgets, would be something either owner would block.

Even allowing certain transfers to take place is something that the club could still do with owners who won’t sit in the same room. Budgets of between £10m and £20m net have been mentioned, and if that money is already in the club’s funds, either from the January finance package or the various amounts of prize money and other forms of income the club gets, then it seems unlikely that either owner would actually block the funds from being used for transfers, or for players to be sold as part of the overall summer transfer process.

In cases like those, it protects their investment.

But to offer Rafa Benítez an improved contract seems at odds with the way George Gillett has been acting. He’s made it clear for some time that he wants out. He wants to sell his half of the club, just not to Hicks. And his opinions of Rafa aren’t exactly the kind that you would use to fans to show you back him. So for him to be a party to an improved offer to Rafa, who still has two years left with the club, is strange to say the least.

The fact the quotes appeared in the Sunday Mirror in an article by Simon Mullock are perhaps a sign that they should be taken with a pinch of salt, but to carry direct quotes that haven’t actually been said is a little risky.

Gillett has just been in England to take in the league match with Spurs, but also to attend a meeting with Dubai’s representatives. It was some distance to travel just to see the last game of the season – particularly with Gillett having been ill on a number of occasions recently – suggesting the meeting with Amanda Staveley and others was the main reason for his journey, and in addition suggesting the meeting would be worth his while.

Rafa had said last week in his regular press conference that he wasn’t too sure what was happening in the boardroom, but intriguingly suggested a solution could be forthcoming soon: “All I can add about the boardroom situation is that I am in contact with both of them and we are trying to progress with different issues that we have. I do not know exactly everything about shares, but in terms of what is my responsibility, we are progressing and I am doing my job. Everybody knows the club needs to be well organised and everybody knows what they have to do.

“Who will be in charge? Maybe the final solution will be soon.”

Unusually, compared to recent months, very little has been said in recent days by Gillett, DIC or Hicks.

Hicks did make some comments on the stadium, which got planning permission last week: “Site work will start in September and actual construction in late October, early November, with completion in time for the season starting in August 2011.”

Those comments came on the back of claims that work couldn’t start on the new stadium due to funding worries, but the initial £60m required to get that work underway has been in place since January as part of the refinancing package Hicks and Gillett took out at the time. Other restrictions mean the work can’t start before September.

May has been described as a key month in negotiations for some time now, amidst claims of pre-emption agreements having time limits set to expire in this month, banks having given Hicks only until the end of the club’s Champions League run before pulling the plug on his US loans, and of course a desire from fans to see a resolution tied into the end of one season rather than carrying on into a new season.

A compromise certainly needs to be found if the club is to move forward. Hicks is unwilling to allow DIC to take 50%, Gillett is unwilling to sell even one percent of his stake to Hicks, and DIC are believed to want 51% or more.

100 thoughts on “Rafa offered new deal by both owners?”

  1. Edward – So you don’t think that we should buy Berbatov. Sammy Lee will offer a new pair of eyes where Rafa has probably been lacking. I think that Rafa can sometimes not see the wood for the trees, which is why he has made some strange decisions this season. It has been most notable since Paco left. I reckon we should go in for Villa or the young lad who plays for Lyon, he is only about 18 – 19 but he is going to be some player when he gets older.

  2. Anthony,
    like I said before, I think that Rafa is doing a good job. I’m happy to let him get on with it as he sees fit. Transfers is a very tricky business and Rafa has a team working with him on it all season. After a budget has been decided, then for each player there’s questions like.

    Availability
    Price
    Wages
    Balance of squad
    Character of the player etc.

  3. Edward – I know what you mean. Its not just a case of buying a player, you also have to make sure that the players will fit in with the rest of the team.

  4. Does anyone know how much Liverpool got for losing semi-finalists in the Champions League? The Premiership amounts have been released but no info on CL.

    I would have thought £10M would be reasonable.

  5. Martin – You look gorgeous! Gizza kiss sexy!

    ” Ray Proudfoot // May 12, 2008 at 10:05 pm
    Does anyone know how much Liverpool got for losing semi-finalists in the Champions League? The Premiership amounts have been released but no info on CL.

    I would have thought £10M would be reasonable. ”

    Ray – In real terms LFC getting knocked out in the semis only cost LFC a few million, somthing like 3 million. Jim will be able to tell you exactly as he’s been banging on about it for a while.

  6. Ray: According to Henry Winter in the Telegraph last year, Liverpool’s compensation for winning the 2007 CL semi-final was £26m…yet Man United and Chelsea all made more European money but didn’t win their semi-final matches (the payout includes tv moneys as well as performance bonuses). This doesn’t really answer your question for this year, but based on last year’s numbers it looks to be around £25million.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/05/15/sfnwin15.xml&page=3

  7. @Texas_Dawg: Just thought I’d say appreciate your efforts even if certain Stars-goers didn’t. 😉

  8. I wonder if Gillett was meeting with DIC the other day tell them he wasn’t going to be selling to them after all? Funny how DIC have gone quiet after months of sh*tstirring and grandstanding. Maybe George has rediscovered his passion for LFC.

  9. Good point hop. The only thing i would say is that its difficult to determine anything from what we hear anymore. It could equally be another tactic to play into dic’s hands. Who knows tho? U could well be right, the timing of the meeting with recent revelations is pretty creates a pretty strong link.

  10. Julie / Anthony,

    Thank you for your replies. It sounds as though we should get more than £10M as well as the Prem money.

    Hopefully Rafa will see a reasonable percentage of that otherwise we face stagnating. Chelsea have already spent £16M on some kid I’ve never heard of!

  11. I wonder if Gillett was meeting with DIC the other day tell them he wasn’t going to be selling to them after all? Funny how DIC have gone quiet after months of sh*tstirring and grandstanding.

    That is my guess as well, Hop.

    Maybe George has rediscovered his passion for LFC.

    LOL.

  12. @Texas_Dawg: Just thought I’d say appreciate your efforts even if certain Stars-goers didn’t.

    No problem, Martin. I tried to give you as much as possible without saying too much, but I got a little phone call this morning… :-)

  13. I have come to hate the last day of every season. For the last 15 years or so its generally meant avoiding the sports bulletins on the TV or you will most likely get a glimpse of the likes of Roy Keane, Gary Neville or Rio Ferdinand shoving the Premier League trophy in your face.

    On almost an annual basis I have received the same abuse from my united supporting mates, reminding me how long it’s been since we were champions of England.

    Up to now my response has been simple 18-5. Although they would never admit it I knew this was something that really did hurt United fans, deep down they knew they couldn’t argue that we truly were the most successful club in England no matter what decade the league titles were won. For the moment we still are.

    But I say for the moment with a sense of genuine concern that it now might be impossible to stop the unthinkable from happening and United to finally catch and overtake us as the most successful team in the country in relation to the league.

    Off the pitch they are ahead of us by a country mile and on the pitch the success they have had in the league means that they are now way too close for comfort with 17 domestic titles.

    I am sick of hearing the names Hicks, Gilette and all of the negative bullshit associated with. I am sick of the rumors, the truths, the half truths and the down right lies. Intentionally or not Hicks and Gilette have been a cancer on this club for the past year and the reasons behind both owners offering Rafa a new contract despite the ownership issue yet to be resolved is something I couldn’t be bothered even to contemplate.

    I used enjoy coming to this site because you got a very balanced analytical view point of the goings on at Liverpool that really mattered to the fans. Whether it was transfer news or the Champions League draw it didn’t matter because there was always someone with a refreshing viewpoint that forced you to think. But for the last few months this site has become stagnant, the stories regarding ownership are stale and the viewpoints are just constant regurgitations of how good/bad Hicks is for the club along with false timeline after timeline about when this whole ownership saga will come to an end.

    That isn’t a shot aimed at Jim or any fellow posters, we can only write, discuss and post about what news hits the headlines but my point is that worryingly there is no concrete sign of a resolution to this situation. There is no sign that either owner is about to give. In the mean time not only have United eclipsed us off the field they are putting themselves in a very good position to do the very same on it.

    Rafa is rumored to be working with peanuts in comparison to Chelseas / Uniteds budget for players this summer, therefore it looks like if we are to win number 19 Rafa will need to work a miracle. So before this season is forgotten and before we hear all the mid summer optimism and unrealistic predictions from over paid experts save yourself the disappointment because if the farce of a situation that this club finds itself in doesn’t end with a favourable conclusion soon it wont be long before United fans are ramming the numbers 19 or 20 down our throats too. They say money cant buy you the league but as United and Chelsea have proven over the last 5 seasons it sure does help you buy the type of players that can.

    A sole Hicks or Gilette ownership could see United have 5 more league titles before we possibly compete.

    The bullshit must stop here, either Hicks or Gilette have the type of equity necessary to allow the club compete or not. If they do then give Rafa the summer war chest he needs. But if as I suspect and times are tough well then it is time for Tom and George to hit the road and leave Liverpool Football Club into the hands of someone with the money necessary to help fire a real chance of continued league success.

  14. TD said: “No problem, Martin. I tried to give you as much as possible without saying too much, but I got a little phone call this morning… ”

    What, have you been silenced? Because if you’re trying to tell us something else its gone right over my head!

    I’ll read into it that hopefully some good news isn’t too far away.

  15. @Texas_Dawg,

    Hello Dawg,

    I’ve been watching your posts for a while now and I’ve not really bothered to reply to them over the last couple of months. Sorry.

    However, a few things have popped into my head and i was wondering if you could give me some answers, you seem to post quite regularly you see and you always have some sort of answer.

    Okay, here it goes. Just do your best…

    1 – Do you believe it’s critical in an argument/discussion to have a balanced view?

    2 – Do you believe that your radically posts have any balance?

    3 – If you do believe that having balance is important when debating then what would you say the positives are of a DIC takeover for Liverpool Football Club?

    4 – Also, could you please give me some cons that Hicks has? Since you know him so well I’d trust your word on his faults.

    5 – If Hicks lost out and left the club this month, would you ever post on this site again?

    6 – Do you care if Rafa Benitez stays as manager?

    7 – What would you say George Gillett has going for him?

    8 – Do you believe Tom Hicks would be the best owner in the world if he got full control?

    9 – How tall is Tom Hicks?

    I hope you can answer all my questions Mr Dawg, you seem quite eager to reply to most posts so I’d definitely welcome your response.

    Gracias.

    Chris.

  16. Oh dear. Poor old Ronnie must have got a touch of sunstroke wherever he was on his holidays…

    http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/05/08/10211626.html

    ‘Liverpool stalwart Ronnie Whelan believes that Rafa Benitez’s days at Anfield are numbered…’

    ‘The Showtime pundit and Liverpool great is not “100 per cent” convinced the Spaniard is the right man to lead Liverpool to success next year. Instead, he would like to see former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at the helm.’

    So the article goes. And concludes with:

    ‘“I think Mourinho would be very good,” he says. “Look at the players that he brought to Chelsea. He spent the same amount of money that Rafa did and those players are in the Champions League final now.’

    That one nearly choked me on my lunch.

    Its a few days old so apologies to those who’ve already seen it.

  17. Nothing to read into it, Hop. I wouldn’t say I’ve been “silenced”… just asked to keep some things private. No real new news though. Everything is up to George Gillett at this point, but he doesn’t seem to want to make any changes, so on with business until then.

    STChris,

    1. No
    2. No
    3. Don’t know.
    4. He’s a Texas Longhorns fan.
    5. Probably not.
    6. Yes.
    7. He’s rich.
    8. Not sure how to qualify that.
    9. Don’t know.

    You’re welcome.

  18. I wonder if Gillett was meeting with DIC the other day tell them he wasn’t going to be selling to them after all? Funny how DIC have gone quiet after months of sh*tstirring and grandstanding.

    Hop/Texas_Dawg, I don’t agree.

    We’re now in the business end of any deal. The PR has been set aside, apart from Gillett sitting close to Parry at the Spurs game!.

    DIC, Hicks and Gillett are negotiating. It seems they’ve learnt the lessons of the past season – particularly that the fans down like this un-‘Liverpool Way’ – and while we’ll get drips from journos told to find a story, I suspect alot more will be done behind closed doors. Fingers-crossed.

    @Texas_Dawg – you mentioned that ‘Gillett may have found his love for LFC again’ which is why he may hang around (I paraphrase). That’s a new one for you, isn’t it? I thought he didn’t have the money – love or no love?!?

  19. Hey MR if they are negotiating behind closed doors then that’s a massive step forward, whoever ends up in charge.

  20. @midlands-red: If they are negotiating at all then it’s a good sign. If it’s in private then it’s all the better. Let’s hope they all are.

  21. I agree. Time for (public) silence is much needed.

    So long as Rafa can get his hands on some cash to do deals up and until the Euros start, the spotlight will not be on them.

    They’ll then get more time once the Euro Championships begin as the media spotlight focuses on that and the England team.

    But once that’s over……

  22. @Texas_Dawg,

    Thanks for your answers,

    Why do you feel it’s not important to have any balance to an argument?

    @midlands_red
    “They’ll then get more time once the Euro Championships begin as the media spotlight focuses on that and the England team.”

    Are you forgetting something? Haha. I agree though that Rafa just needs some time just to get on with things and not be hounded and slandered by people like Martin O’Neil and Ronnie Whelen.

  23. Once again another story breaks that makes us a laughing stock thanks to our owners. This time its chelsea offering 40m for torres. Yes ok its just a story and we are bound to get offers but this just highlights how the uncertainty over our ownership leaves us looking like piss poor relations compared to the other teams above us in the league. The vultures are circling and with hicks having no funds in place its just a matter of time before we will be forced to accept an offer thats too good to refuse. The decline is gathering pace.

  24. @St Chris – I’m quite enjoying England not being at the Euro’s. No hype! No raising expectations! No vitriol (yet)!

    One day I may enjoy England at a major tournament again but only if the media learn to be a little measured, not that Maclaren helped himself.

    I was alluding to England’s friendly games coming up before WC qualifiers as a way of distraction, btw.

    Ronnie Whelan, Dean Saunders………amongst a few ex liverpool players trying to make a name for themselves. They remind me of Frank Field (UK member of parliament, Labour) slating off the new boss to raise their own profile to say ‘I told you so’ should things go wrong and ‘I’m glad he turned it around’ if he’s a saviour. Not saying they’re not allowed to criticise but it has to be more than ‘the team didn’t win the premiership and that’s what they’re judged on’, forgetting that we’ve closed the gap at the top – albeit still behind. I just hope these experts get a football job soon and show us what great managers they are. The same could be said for those pundits who only a few weeks ago were writing off Hodgson and Fulham. Where are they now!?!

  25. I have just heard on the radio that LFC got 18 million for reaching the semi’s of the Champions League while Everton only got 500,000 for reaching the last 16 of the UEFA cup. You thing that sounds alot, wait until the new deals are renwed for the champions league. The BBC are reportedly going to bid 750 million for the rights. So if the Beeb and Sky both bid 750 million then the pot will be 1.5 billion for the Champions League alone. People have said that the gap between the top 4 and the rest may be big now wait until the new Champions League deal kicks in.

  26. I initially closed this window thinking that I had stumbled upon another site.

    anyway…folks just read Tomkin’s article. I don’t take notice of most journalists/wannabies these days but he always keeps my attention. Take two minutes to read this:

    http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/NG159906080513-1135.htm

    p.s. St. Chris et all, you are all wasting your time with trying to get sense out of TD.

    p.s. (2) Anthony…The Beeb will not bid for CL rights as they would end up having to pay more than the commercial bearing channels. Frankly, I would not want my licence fee to be used in this way, but then I feel the same way about the Beeb using it to sign up the clowns that are Jwanaton Woss etc. etc. etc.

  27. This is an interesting piece that i just read.

    On 12 May 2008, reports emanating in the local media outlets in Liverpool have linked Raul to a £10 million transfer to Liverpool F.C.. According to the reports the transfer is conditional on Real Madrid having a buy back clause after two seasons. Liverpool F.C. are yet to respond to the reports.

  28. @Texas_Dawg – you mentioned that ‘Gillett may have found his love for LFC again’ which is why he may hang around (I paraphrase). That’s a new one for you, isn’t it? I thought he didn’t have the money – love or no love?!?

    Midlands,

    I didn’t say that. Hop did, and I laughed at the comment. And I’ve never claimed Gillett doesn’t have the money to remain as owner.

    Why do you feel it’s not important to have any balance to an argument?

    STChris,

    You asked if it was “critical”. I don’t believe it is. Important? Maybe, but I think it’s more important that each participant in a debate/discussion is honest about his biases. I’ve been pretty honest about mine, imho. You are then left to take the information and points from me as you will. (Just as I can do the same with your points and your biases.)

  29. ” Anthony…The Beeb will not bid for CL rights as they would end up having to pay more than the commercial bearing channels. Frankly, I would not want my licence fee to be used in this way, but then I feel the same way about the Beeb using it to sign up the clowns that are Jwanaton Woss etc. etc. etc. ”

    Raju – Well the Beeb are bidding for the CL, it is a fact they are trying to get the rights of ITV. Where do you think I got the 750 million figure from. It is also because they do not hardly have any football on the channel any more.

  30. In my opinion, the difference between Liverpool and the winning teams of the world (except Man U), is that we (Liv) get sentimental towards coaches (like Rafa), and the other teams towards trophies.

    Mourhino and Capello are just 2 examples of coaches who were more succesfull than rafa. Yet after they left, the their respective teams became even more successfull. Why are we holding onto Rafa? I honestly don’t think that he’ll make it!

  31. @ Anthony: that link refers to an article way back to end of Feb. The deal for CL has already been done. It is ITV,SKy and Setanta to an extent.
    It was speculated that BBC would have to pay an additional £10m above anyone else’s bid to offset the loss of advertising revenue.

    Instead, the Beeb concentrated their resources on bringing back Formula 1 back (about time as well!). They confirmed that no bid was made. ITV were none to pleased when they heard about the rumours of BBC bidding, hence the confirmation that no bid was made.

    You really should not believe what the Daily Mail write as they normally predict either a sudden housing boom/recession and you are likely to die tomorrow because of (fill in the missing bit, preferably a new illness/disease).

    p.s. apologies if I come across as an insufferable know-it-all.

    p.s. (2)

  32. Raju – It was not the Daily Mail that I originally got the story from. I only heard a few of weeks ago and was also told that the Beeb would be prepared to bid 750 million for the rights. As for the F1 the reason that the Beeb got that was because ITV did not find it financialy feasable because alot of the races took place in the middle of the night so they ended their contract 1 year early.

  33. Raju – I have just looked on the internet and seen it confirmed that ITV have retained the right to screen CL. Like I said it was a couple of weeks ago that I heard that the Beeb where bidding so it was old news. It still doesn’t make any difference to what I was saying about the gap between the top 4 and the rest of the premier league getting bigger. Contrary to what I said earlier about LFC only losing about 3 million that was way of. I heard on the radio that the winners will get 30 million for winning the CL. LFC got 18 million for getting to the semi’s. for reaching the last 16 of the UEFA cup Everton got less that 500,000. These new TV deals are going to make the CL prize money even bigger. the top 4 aer going to be way ahead of the rest of the premier league.

  34. Personally I’m glad that ITV have retained the rights!

    I assume that most Liverpool fans can make up their own minds on the team and are therefore less reliant on the anal punditry that other broadcasters indulge in.

    The commentary (with the exception of Jim Beglin who usually is very very depressing) is also top-notch.

  35. Sigh. Somebody please tell me that the Independent got this story wrong:

    “There had been hopes that the expiry of pre-emption rights this month would allow Hicks’ co-owner George Gillett to sell his shares to DIC. But an administrative oversight on Gillett’s part appears to have prevented that, so DIC is now dependent on Hicks – or his bankers – reaching the conclusion that he has no option but to sell to them.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/benitez-left-in-limbo-after-gilletts-oversight-extends-liverpool-turmoil-827576.html

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