So, it was too much to ask then.

Just under a month ago Anfield Road asked the question: “Is it too much to ask?

The article referred to what Rafa was asking for from the club’s new chairman; a guarantee that he could re-use any income from any sales this summer. With strong hints that some of the big-name and more valuable players were fed-up with life at Anfield – for various reasons – Benítez wanted to ensure any cash from their sales would be in addition to whatever else might find its way into the ‘player account’ this summer.

Surely it wasn’t too much to ask.

Well we now know it was too much to ask.

Rafael Benítez is on his way out, just as soon as this dysfunctional club’s hierarchy can persuade him to let them off the hook when it comes to paying him what they agreed to pay him 15 months ago.

Is it any surprise that they are trying to renege on a deal involving the outlay of money?

As we said last month, Benítez did not want to leave Liverpool for Juventus. He’d not agreed a deal with Juventus, despite constant stories claiming otherwise. And in the time that has passed since then Juventus have got a new coach in place.

And again as we said last month, if Liverpool wanted him to leave they’d certainly not told him so directly.

The implication at the time was that Rafa was not going to deny speculation about his future until he had the perfectly reasonable assurance he’d asked for from the club, the one allowing him to use cash from player sales on new signings.

But as events of the last 24 hours prove, it was too much to ask for this year. Like it was too much to ask for last year, when the club brought far more in from sales than it spent on adding new players.

And although some supporters are celebrating – and it has to be said that doesn’t apply to all of Rafa’s critics, some of whom can see that this is certainly no time to party – most fans with the sense to consider the bigger picture can see the dangers this imminent event will bring with it. And no doubt some of those with smiles on their faces last night, as the story first hit the headlines, will slowly come to realise just what it is likely to mean.

Whoever the manager is, short-term or long-term, he will be little more than a puppet of Martin Broughton and Christian Purslow, who will be fighting with each other and with the US owners for the chance to pull his strings.

One positive might be that it brings to an end the hierarchy’s ability to keep fans attentions off them and their failures by shoving Rafa into the spotlight to take the blame for any and all failures at the club. It’s not as if he had his own failings that needed to be addressed, but what a great way it was to distract fans from that bigger picture.

One senior source in particular spent a whole season with his attention on the manager, making sure that one story was given out in public, before a range of other stories were given out in private as appropriate to the audience. In fact he was so busy in that particular endeavour that he completely failed in the one main task he was appointed for – to find £100m of new investment.

Then again, he wasn’t exactly trying very hard. Having knocked back a genuine offer of finance for the new stadium – without having the courtesy to even pretend to consider it – he later set about putting off any potential investors by reeling off a list of criticism about the existing owners to Spirit of Shankly – the LFC supporters’ union. Bearing in mind that those potential new partners would need to join forces with the existing owners when putting their £100m in, it can only be described as amateurish or devious. It certainly wasn’t designed to do the job he told us he was supposed to be doing.

That £100m was needed to appease the Royal Bank of Scotland, who we now know had been giving extensions as short as six weeks for their crippling debt facility on the club and its parent companies. But even allowing for their exorbitant charges the club should still have had money for transfers last year. They were involved in the Champions League for every one of Rafa’s six seasons and money from TV rights deals has shot up over the course of that reign. The commercial side of the club has been improved dramatically, certainly in monetary terms, so all in all Liverpool should have had money to spend on transfers in 2009 over and above what came in from player sales.

But as we pointed out last month, from the beginning of February 2009 until the end of August 2009 Liverpool made a £16.5m profit on player trading. In those six months alone player sales earned Liverpool somewhere in the region of £52.5m and yet they only committed to paying transfer fees of £36m. And since then they’ve continued to bring more in than they’ve laid out for transfers.

Despite this, Christian Purslow told The Times, last August, that the club had actually spent £20m: “We’ve spent pretty much the same as we’ve spent every year over the past four or five years. We’ve spent about £20 million more than we’ve generated, which is what we expected. We’ve bought players the manager wanted to buy and sold players the manager wanted to sell and it has cost us almost to the penny what we expected it to cost.”

It’s difficult to work out just how on earth Purslow arrived at that figure, a figure representing a difference of £36.5m on what any supporter can see was spent.

So where did that £36.5m go?

(And to add to last month’s article, where did the other agreed targets for last summer go? Rafa had named targets lined up, before the goalposts were moved.)

We also pointed last month to more evidence that something was amiss with the transfer funding of 2009. After signing Glen Johnson at the start of that summer window Rafa dutifully kept quiet about the fact the deal was part-funded by money Portsmouth still owed the club for the transfer of Peter Crouch and the loan of Jermaine Pennant. He was happy to just stick to the script put in front of him by the new temporary MD. But after being pressed on whether there would be any more signings he didn’t see a problem in saying that there might be, in saying that he had funds in place.

Benítez said: “We have a plan. We can sign one more player if necessary, but that’s without any players leaving.” At that point in time the club still hadn’t sold Xabi Alonso, Álvaro Arbeloa or Sebastian Leto; players who would eventually be sold for a total of £36.5m.

The club only bought two more players, £17m Alberto Aquilani and £2m Sotirios Kyrgiakos, at a total of £19m.

So that’s £14.5m left over, plus the money Rafa had already said was available for another signing. Except the £14.5m didn’t get handed over, and the extra funds Rafa had spoken about disappeared. So again, how on earth could the temporary MD make the claim that the club had spent £20m on players?

It’s fairly obvious what his motivation would have been. Back on August 18th a story claimed a ‘source close to Rafa Benítez’ had said: “The figures have changed since Rafa signed his contract. He has sold several players and raised a lot of money, but is not being allowed to spend it.” This quote came after Rafa himself felt he couldn’t talk about the missing funds at a regular press conference, his only response being “I do not want to discuss money.”

And it would soon become standard practice and common knowledge amongst the press that whenever Rafa attended any kind of meeting with the media Purslow would be there to shadow him; it was as if Purslow was frightened that Rafa might not stick to the Purslow version of events, the Purslow version of how things were going behind the scenes.

It stuck out like a sore thumb to many of those who witnessed it.

Purslow had showed ignorance about why the owners even got the original chance to take over our club. The need for the stadium, the one that still isn’t started, was basically to provide transfer funds to allow the club to compete with its rivals. David Moores felt he had no way of bringing that new stadium to fruition, hence the search for investment. But Purslow tried to make out that transfer spending wasn’t all that important anyway: “Spending isn’t the panacea everyone thinks it is, but we’ve spent £20 million and that’s real money.”

Despite that attempt to play down the importance of the transfer budget, Purslow had to keep trying to explain it. In September he tried again, telling the Liverpool Echo: “We reinvest over half of our profits in transfer spending. We always have done and we will continue to do so.”

Half the profits? Didn’t Liverpool make a loss?

And this summer Rafa wasn’t asking for that, he wanted the assurance he could spend whatever came in from sales. The club couldn’t assure him of that, where does that leave the club? What kind of future does the club have if it can’t even use what it gets from sales?

When Rafa leaves, having failed to get that simple assurance from the chairman, the board, the owners or whoever it is that is running this club, there will be far more to worry about than what the mouthy minority have been shouting about for 12 months, much to the hierarchy’s delight.

Those with the ability to look for themselves instead of parroting the soundbites of others will start to see what it all means.

Rafa lost the battle because Purslow has power beyond his abilities. He can slate the owners and get away with it. He can dismiss the chairman as “only being here to sell the club” and get away with it. He can go to any number of reporters and spread rumours about the manager, take steps to undermine him, and get away with it.

Anyone willing to work as manager of this club under those conditions would surely not be of sound mind. Whether that’s because they have a delusion they can work on Purslow and ensure he keeps his nose out of what really shouldn’t concern him, or worst still if they have actually fallen for the LBO-specialist’s charms, it doesn’t bode well for Liverpool FC. Failing that we face having managers with little self-respect, willing to act as little more than Purslow’s puppet, no doubt in return for a job they’d never normally have even a slight hope of getting.

Purslow has worked his charms on many already, but sooner or later people do seem to see through him, or at least they do if they care.

Purslow’s first week at the club saw him involved in Rafa getting that five-year contract the club now says it can’t afford to honour. Why offer the contract if the club can’t afford to honour it? And if the club are forced to offer £3m (nine months’ wages) instead of the £16m he’s legally entitled to, due to a lack of funds, how on earth is the new manager supposed to improve the situation with the team?

People have compared Liverpool to Leeds, but perhaps the most apt comparison right now is with Newcastle. Kenny Dalglish has his own bad memories of that place, and is no doubt aware of how his predecessor in the Red number 7 shirt was treated on his return for a second spell as manager.  Hailed as the returning Messiah, Keegan soon felt what it was like to have been brought in purely in the hope his reputation and good standing would be enough to paper over massive cracks.

Whoever the next manager is, would there be any surprise to find Liverpool FC, like Newcastle before relegation, had directors interfering with the choice of transfer targets, lining players up without even informing the manager? Yet allowing their manager to take the heat for their mistakes? Well that part about blaming the manager for anything and everything already happens, and has done for at least 12 months since the arrival of Christian Purslow.

The owners are impotent in terms of dealing with this mess they’ve created.  They’ve now both admitted they want out and furthermore that they hate the interference it brings to their private lives.

But their blame in this is that they allowed Christian Purslow, and now Martin Broughton, to take over the running of the club. Neither has any experience whatsoever in football, and their man-management skills are from a world very, very, far removed from the football world.

Broughton and Purslow have instigated this fight to force Rafa out without paying up. Broughton the man alleged to let secrets slip to pretty Sky Sports News reporters whilst partying at his beloved Chelsea’s end-of-season awards function. Purslow the man who was part of a previous and failed coup attempt, advising Steve Morgan on his attempt to buy the club for far less than it was actually worth.

As their talks with the holidaying manager’s lawyers went on, they had at least one board member out of the country and both owners back in their US homeland. This was all the work of the upper-crust Chuckle Brothers. The taller Chuckle Brother was leaking the story to certain individuals in the press early yesterday, but implying agreement was already reached. The short one had done his work by convincing the taller one to join him in his fight with Rafa.

There’s a protest planned tonight at 6pm at Anfield. All fans are welcome. This isn’t “just” Spirit of Shankly. This isn’t “just” about Rafa. This is for any and all fans of Liverpool Football Club, whatever your views on the supporters’ union or Rafa. This is for the club. This is for the future.

Some people can’t make it. Short notice, work commitments and travel issues make that the case. But if you can make it, please try to do so.  Whatever you think of Rafa, this was not the way to get rid of a manager of Liverpool Football Club, and even if there were good reasons for him to go they weren’t the reasons he was forced out.

Whoever they bring in as their puppet, we must do all we can to ensure they never pull our strings again.

Anfield. Tonight. 6pm.

39 thoughts on “So, it was too much to ask then.”

  1. ‘most fans with the sense to consider the bigger picture can see the dangers this imminent event will bring’
    So, anyone who disagrees with you is stupid???? What an insult.
    The sooner Rafa is gone, the happier I will be. Rafa was never interested in Liverpool, only Rafaa.. Any wonder that as soon as he signed a 5 year deal the team went south?
    I believe that like many big boys in the corporate world, Rafa underperformed so he could get fired, collect a cool $22M, and walk into another lucrative job. Why wouldn’t he?
    The dumbest thing this LFC Board did was to sign him to a 5 year contract that had no performance guarantees…. don’t give me this garbage about transfer money. We have heard it all before. His signings have been dreadful. He has irritated the existing players and staff.
    He is (was, with any luck) a total mess. maybe now we can win something.
    Good riddance.

  2. ‘most fans with the sense to consider the bigger picture can see the dangers this imminent event will bring’
    So, anyone who disagrees with you is stupid???? What an insult.
    The sooner Rafa is gone, the happier I will be. Rafa was never interested in Liverpool, only Rafa.. Any wonder that as soon as he signed a 5 year deal the team went south?
    I believe that like many big boys in the corporate world, Rafa underperformed so he could get fired, collect a cool $22M, and walk into another lucrative job. Why wouldn’t he?
    The dumbest thing this LFC Board did was to sign him to a 5 year contract that had no performance guarantees…. don’t give me this garbage about transfer money. We have heard it all before. His signings have been dreadful. He has irritated the existing players and staff.
    He is (was, with any luck) a total mess. maybe now we can win something.
    Good riddance.

  3. It’s hilarious reading some of these “we’re-doomed-now-that-Rafa-is-gone” articles from the ‘In-Rafa-we-trust’ brigade. Not so long ago when Purslow was responsible for helping secure Liverpool for most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal in the entire Premiership with Standard Chartered, he was being hailed as a hero and a fresh breath of air from Rick Parry who had already been demonized by said brigade (justifiably in that case).

    Suddenly now that Rafa is on his way out and has fallen out with another MD, as well as Broughton who can’t possibly be accused of having had a bad history with him, given the short time he’s been here as well as the fact that he’s not even affiliated with Liverpool in any real footballing sense, suddenly Pruslow is a wicked evil person.

    Just goes to show that you guys will turn on anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to your world-view of “Rafa is a saint and can’t do no wrong”, even when it means you become complete hypocrites by totally contradicting yourselves from mere months ago.

    Here’s an idea, if you guys love Rafa so much, go join him at Inter or wherever will be dumb enough to take him on. No man is bigger than Liverpool FC, and that includes one Rafael Benitez.

  4. It’s hilarious reading some of these “we’re-doomed-now-that-Rafa-is-gone” articles from the ‘In-Rafa-we-trust’ brigade. Not so long ago when Purslow was responsible for helping secure Liverpool for most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal in the entire Premiership with Standard Chartered, he was being hailed as a hero and a fresh breath of air from Rick Parry who had already been demonized by said brigade (justifiably in that case).

    Suddenly now that Rafa is on his way out and has fallen out with another MD, as well as Broughton who can’t possibly be accused of having had a bad history with him, given the short time he’s been here as well as the fact that he’s not even affiliated with Liverpool in any real footballing sense, suddenly Pruslow is a wicked evil person.

    Just goes to show that you guys will turn on anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to your world-view of “Rafa is a saint and can’t do no wrong”, even when it means you become complete hypocrites by totally contradicting yourselves from mere months ago.

    Here’s an idea, if you guys love Rafa so much, go join him at Inter or wherever will be dumb enough to take him on. No man is bigger than Liverpool FC, and that includes one Rafael Benitez.

  5. @ Tom – “Anyone who disagrees with you is stupid?” No, stupid.

    I was joking about the “stupid” there.

    But you suggest you think Rafa was sacked purely for footballing reasons. The funniest part is that you think he deliberately “underperformed” for a year so he could collect lots of money (you quoted a figure in dollars for some reason). Remind me again how he’d get that lucrative job if his “underperformance” (deliberate or not) was the sole reason for the club’s awful season.

    The team didn’t go south as soon as he signed the 5-year-deal. He signed that two months before the end of the season. The team was fighting for the chance of the title until the last couple of games.

    I’m sure you aren’t stupid, so I’m sure you can see the faults with the way the club is run and the way the manager has been treated in the last 12 months. It doesn’t automatically make him good enough or excuse any mistakes – but his mistakes don’t excuse what the hierarchy have done since he signed that new deal.

  6. I am in the pro-Rafa camp and have had a really bad day.

    @Tom: I think even if you hate Rafa you understand that given the current state of the club the LAST thing we need is having to have a new Manager needing to rebuild the squad to his liking WITHOUT any money, no? Especially true if the club is likely to sell whomever they can to cover their debts.

    Personally I am REALLY worried now…

  7. Fremen- Purslow had nothing to do with the shirt deal, that was Ian Ayre the commercial arm of the club. Purlsow’s only job was to get investment. At Easter he all but made a promise that it would be coming. Yeah some chance. He failed in his only task, now he has been promoted by the Yanks as head hunter and giving strick instructions to do whatever possible to get rid of Rafa. The nonsense he spoutted about transfer cash should tell you all you need to know about him. I can understand the reason why people believe rafa is not for this club, but if you feel this method of making changes is good for Liverpool FC you’re mad.

  8. Tom,
    with the abyssal quality of what you had to say,
    to post it once would have been enough.

    Depending on what Rafa will do with the money he is paid to leave LFC
    your above comment (greatly influenced by Purslow’s media campaign)
    might well sound pretty dumb …
    imagine if “The greedy fat Spanish waiter” decided to hand it to charity … or SOS …

  9. Top article.

    The club is a mess. Purslow hasn’t a clue about how to run a football club but seems to think he can buy players, sell players, sack managers etc.

    We need Purslow, Broughton and the Yanks gone ASAP.

  10. @ Fremen – If you are a Liverpool fan then is it not time to stop falling into the “us and them” trap that you’ve clearly been falling into for some time? “You guys”, “In Rafa we trust brigade”, “your world view”, “complete hypocrites”, “you guys” (again), “go join him”, “dumb” etc etc.

    Anyway.

    Who said he’d fallen out with Broughton?

    Do you think Purslow had much to do with the Standard Chartered deal? That Ian Ayre, who’d been working on a new sponsor probably from the day he arrived and was awaiting the existing deal to end, had left all the work to Purslow?

    He could, and should, have been a breath of fresh air but he’s been anything but.

    Purslow isn’t “suddenly” an evil person. Purslow’s been criticised openly by this site and me personally for some time. Privately I’ve had my doubts about him since last summer, when he turned down that offer of finance – which was nothing to do with Rafa as it happens.

    It’s too late now, but I could happily debate whether or not Rafa should go, I could see arguments for and against it, but it was always a debate, never cut-and-dried.

    With Purslow there can’t be any debate. He’s got to go.

  11. So we sack Rafa Benitez, who is promptly snapped up by the European Champions, and we are left with a choice between Roy Hodgson and Martin O’Neill?

    Wow.

  12. To Tom earlier quote “His signings have been dreadful. He has irritated the existing players and staff.
    He is (was, with any luck) a total mess. maybe now we can win something.
    Good riddance.”
    The dreadful signings he has made include Reina, Torres, Mascherano, Alonso, Johnson etc. He has rebuilt the Academy, brought in the world renowned physio for next season and lots more. I wonder what those players I’ve mentioned would think of Tom’s comments.

  13. Fremen if you had bothered to read any of Jims previous articles you would be in the knowledge that he raised concerns over the motives and trust worthiness of Purslow long before now. For you to suggest that Jim is questioning him now because of events of the last two days is your ignorance. Maybe you should wake up to the fact that LFC is about more than just Rafa.

    As you say Jim the only positive that might come with Rafas removal is that now people like Hicks, Gillett, Purslow and Broughton wont have anywhere to hide.

    This pro / anti Rafa brigade rubbish has managed to avert some fans attentions to the greater issues at the club for too long now.

    And with Benitez no longer there to blame fans might start to understand what is actually going on at the club. I just wouldnt like to be in CP’s MB or the Americans shoes when it does.

  14. @gaz.. good one mate..

    the names that are being mentioned to replace rafa are really depressing me..

  15. Liverpool are bust plain and simple. I said this 3 years ago liverpool would has serious problems not to mention rafa will be out along with some star players. Why? You dont need to be a finance expert to know that if you incurr millions in interest alone, it wont be long before you cant afford to pay things back. Rafa bought too many poor players or below standard of liverpool. Fact, Gerrard would be 30 now and be fed up of lifting/carrying the team (proven this year) Gerrard wants out as do other players. Liverpool once described as rrotton to the core and its true. Useless manaement, Useless manager, Useless owners. Liverpool need a micrale now, they really do. Who do you get to manage liverpool? No one wants the job, conditions are not there. And as for inventment, the yanks asking too much for a ship that needs to be rebuilt practically from the ground up. If i were an investor, i’d look at buying a profitable company than a run down liverpool with a worthless pit of land underneath :)

  16. Rafa will get the funds at Inter. Just watch how he smashes that league. And in the Champions League? Well we know what Rafa can do in that arena even with abysmal funds. The only smile I will have is watching those anti- Rafa fans eat their words when they see Inter be a dominanat force just as Liverpool were about to be before these yanks pulled the rug from under his feet. So we have O’neill who could not even get to the quarter finals of the mickey mouse league after spending heavily. He will replace the man who got us ranked no. 1 in Europe while getting to 2 Champions League finals and winning one. We will get rid of the man now wanted by the champions of Europe. Good luck Rafa. Our loss is Inters gain.

  17. Well said Juan, especially that last sentence.

    This song has been in my head a lot lately, not all the lyrics but a lot of them – “Better Scream”, by Wylie/Wah

  18. Totally and absolutly agree with everything in this article, for me the only good thing to come out f this is that with Rafa out of the spotlight, we can now all focus that spotlight directly on the board. Remember all the board were employed by H&G and probably the banks, We have a chairman who loves another team, this is a person who is in it just for the money. All the board have failed on their initial plans. Fact, none of them have LFC on their top agenda, its all about milking the cow and making the books look good. All book keeping is easily manipulated, Just look at what happened with the banking clapse, when the credit went, some big companies, legendary institutions went out of buisness, coz they had fiddled the books. I think LFC is in a worst state than anyone can imagine. To me all the Rafa bashers, The media repeaters are scum, only on message boards do they sing their crap. Yes and some one like Tom & Freman are the same, I bet the pair of you have never been to Liverpool, never mind Anfield, You can tell..
    I have work committments, so cannot make it to Anfield , but i know some lads who are goin and i am joining SOS, success, be loud, i support you all and you will never walk alone. Yanks out Now…

  19. Inter have already a great team and inter are not poor either. It makes anyones job alot easier and so i wouldnt expect anything less with rafa winning in italy.

  20. I’m sick of hearing about how bad Rafa’s signings have been – no they have not!

    I’m sick of hearing about how much money Rafa has wasted – what a ridiculous comment.

    I bet those same people were slating Rafa for signing Crouch and then slating him for selling him. Muppets.

    Check the goddamn stats people. Other than last season Rafa’s win percentages have been better than most, if not all, of his predecessors. That’s with his hands (financially) tied behind his backs.

    If you don’t believe that this is true then you ARE stupid.

  21. Rafa’s biggest weakness was that he seemed to do best with a countervailing force working against him… But then he had to go get rid of them.

    His best transfers were when he had to work with Parry… not when he had free reign over transfers like this past summer where he spent 34-35 million on the bargains that were Johnson and Aquilani.

    He was at his tactical best when Pako Ayesteran was around… but he was given the heave ho too.

    And Rafa couldn’t quite grasp the idea that if you offer your players bumper new contracts that these raises can cost a lot of money too. Not that I’m against offering players improved contracts to extend them… but it should be understood that it could just maybe affect transfer spending.

    And frankly, his record at p*ssing off so many people he deals with: Benayoun, Alonso, Pennant, Crouch, Parry, Purslow, Riera; and possibly Gerrard and Torres is just mind boggling. I mean wow!

    Are we better off without him? It depends who the new manager is. Rafa did do a lot for the academy, but his time has been called short.

  22. I think Rafa should only be judged on 1 thing – his results. This talk of money being spent isn’t the most important thing, nor is the performance of the owners when reviewing the performance of the manager/team.

    Does any Liverpool fan honestly think that with the squad Rafa has assembled (every player bought by him except Gerrard & Carra) that our squad isn’t good enough to beat Reading? Or Portsmouth? Or Hull? Or Fulham?

    Do Fiorentina & Lyon have better players than us? I don’t think so. I mean 19 defeats in 1 season is woeful for a team like Liverpool.

    Yes it was asking a lot to go one stage further than last year, especially after losing Alonso but to finish 7th and lose so many games against such inferior opposition?

    Some fans get involved in defending Rafa to the hilt because they hate the Americans so much (I hate them too) but to blindly follow him because of that hatred is extremely short-sighted.

    For what it’s worth, I believe that Rafa is a talented manager (he can’t be lucky having won the Uefa Cup, Champs League and 2 La Liga titles) but it just hasn’t worked out for him for a number of reasons and it is very clear he has come to the end.

    I think the fans should accept that we are on a downward spiral (of which the manager has to shoulder a fair portion of the blame) and that change from top to bottom is the only way forward.

    Would fans be happy if he was given £50m to spend this summer? Would you trust he’d spend it wisely? Why did he buy Aquilani and refuse to play him for so long – can anyone say that was money well spent?

    For £13.8m he could’ve signed Sneijder – anyone who would suggest that wouldn’t have been a better buy than Aquilani needs their head looked at!

    Robbie Keane – what another great signing he was. Remember Morientes? Another waste of money.

    He may not have had the big budget we’d all like to have seen him given, but whilst he has made some good signings he has wasted a shedload, and if he’d bought better with the funds available to him, we’d be much better off.

  23. Now that Rafa is gone I would ask all those who called for his departure to switch focus and start taking at look at whats actually going on at your club.

    This needs to be a catalyst for fans to unite.

    The pro and anti rafa jibes should for once and for all end here.

  24. Jaun, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The media, Purslow and Broughton will make sure there is some kind of diversion. Some of our ‘very intelligent’ fans will be more than happy to play along.

  25. Joe –
    I’m not arsed about percentages. Or statistics.
    Houllier used to hide behind stats too. We’d get beat 2-1 and he’d spout about how we had 23% more possession, had 15% more shots on target, were in the opposition half 31% more than they were in ours. It didn’t matter. We lost.
    When I was a kid I didn’t have a poster on my wall that read ‘Liverpool FC, 67-68 best winning percentage champions’, or a badge on my sports bag that said ‘LFC the best team (Statistically) of 1977′.
    Benitez’ win percentages may well be better than most of his predecessors, but you can’t take a percentage on a lap of honour.

  26. Absolutely brilliant article mate, spot on… It’s really quite sad what LFC has become during the past 3 years. Rafa will go knowing quite a lot of people know the truth and who knows what will happen next if he throws his spanner into the works by donating his deal money to the SOS, as someone commented earlier on. That will really make people sit up and take notice of what’s happening at anfield.
    It really is no suprise that sos memberships have shot up during the past week.
    Would have liked to come to the protest, but travelling from Nairobi is hard on such short notice. Spread the word people.

  27. Steve,

    It’s WIN percentages you idiot. That’s how often Liverpool FC WIN football matches.

    Evidently you are ‘not arsed’ about Liverpool FC winning.

    Moron.

  28. Another sad fact would be how many people leave after Rafa goes? He has brought in so many people… and most probably came because of him. One big loss could be the man he brought to revamp the academy. The fellow who did his magic at Barcelona. The fallout of this is going to be huge. I for one hope that if it does Rafa goes to another team and dominates the league and europe like he did with Valencia… the last laugh indeed.
    As for Liverpool, well Newcastle has shown us the way… down.

  29. think we now need to get behind the next manager who ever he maybe and keep the spine of the team together .

  30. Clever clever man was our Rafa, look what he has done to our supporters fighting amoung themselves. Onwards and upwards for real LFC supporters, forget about Rafa, he’s gone now and the best of luck to him, we now have to focus on putting pressure of the two other cancers in club to piss off also. I have no personal grudge against Mr Purlsow and so can see the good he is doing for the club. We all need to stick with him & Kenny and trust that they’ll manage to persuade our top players to stay while getting a top manager in who will play football & consentrate on winning. Champions next year – here we come.

  31. Joe – This one wasn’t as good as the last one – too obvious you’re messing about. Must try harder.

  32. Watching this situation with the club develop over the past years has been like being tied to a train track, unable to move, seeing a distant light get nearer and nearer. The problem is that a significant percentage of people don’t even realise this impending doom is coming.

    Maybe we shouldn’t blame them. If all you do is take a moderate interest and watch Sky and read the Mirror (or worse) then I suppose it’s inevitable that you will have a warped take on reality.

    If all you do is listen to Jamie Redknapp peddling shite and changing his mind to whichever way the wind blows, what hope do you have?

    Rafa Benitez is close to a fucking irrelevance in all this. Manager’s will come and go and people are right that no-one is bigger than the club but please realise this isn’t just about Rafa. Of course it is in part, not because of whether or not he should go based on footballing reasons, but because of the complete and utter disregard of the Liverpool way. We don’t treat our managers like this, irrespective of the merits of their dismissal.

    If you watched the protests today, you may have heard Jay Mckenna being interviewed. Jay is part of Spirit of Shankly for those of you who do not realise, the supporters group or union that wants the best for our club. Jay was quick to point out that the protests are not about Rafael Benitez exclusively, even mainly, but about the perilous state of our football club and the removal of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

    To this end, I implore anyone reading this to get involved with this cause. Do you research if you need to, and get involved. If you love Liverpool Football Club and want to continue supporting the team in the future – get involved. We can all play our bit. We all need to if things are to work out in the best possible way for LFC.

    For anyone who has got this far and still doubts the state we are in, then please, please take time to read the recent articles on this site and the ones on the Times website. Realise the reality of the situation we are in.

    For the rest who do know but are leaving it for someone else, again, get involved. Do your bit. If you support the club, then do just that, support it. Don’t let it die.

    Now is the time to put unbearable pressure of Hicks and Gillett and let them know this is one shit storm they cannot ride out.

    Do your bit or you have no right to complain when things go irreparably wrong.

    Research here:

    http://www.spiritofshankly.com/debtliescowboys.html
    http://www.anfieldroad.com
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/liverpool/

    Get involved here:

    http://www.spiritofshankly.com/join.html
    http://www.facebook.com/helpsaveliverpoolfc
    http://twitter.com/saveliverpoolfc
    http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=258392.0

  33. Jim, I really hope you & all your Rafahead friends will give our next manager the same loyalty that Rafa Benitez got from ye. I truely believe that today is a good day. When Rafa signed I was a big supporter, Alonso as a first singing wow, things looked great. I overlooked the rubbish football and “quirky” decisions the first year because of the CL success. I remember being in a packed pub in Navan Ireland for that game and everyone around me could’nt understand why Harriot was playing & Hamann on the bench. Next 3-0 down, Harriot had enough, she didn’t want to be on the field for a hiding like this & Stevie Finan got injured so Rafa was forced into making the substitutions that helped change that game & we know the rest we were all happy. Where Rafa really lost me was on his atempt to sign Gabrielle Heinz. No Liverpool manager sghould ever buy a Scum utd player (never) not even if it’s Roy Keane at his best, but a crap leftback that couldn’t get his place at old trafford. Mistake no one. Then after committing this mortal sin he then goes & lets rednose get the better of him by telling Rafa NO you won’t f******g sing him. So now he has being defeated by Ferguscum before that season had even started. This is where I started loosing faith in him. All his apologists will tell you he signed this player & that player but if you can’t man manage good players & get the best out of them then what’s the point. Look at rednose, he will probably get his hands on Steven Ireland this summer for a good price, and Rednose & only red nose will turn that nutcase into a superstar because he can do this. Jim I’m surrounded by scum fans at work and they were all truely gutted to see Benitez gone, what does that tell you. Lets all be LFC fans again & focus on the new manager & putting the necessary pressure on RBS if needed to get rid of those other two C***S from the club, and get back to doing everything inhouse away from the media.

  34. Joe – yes Benitez had great win percentages.
    But how many PL Championships did he win?
    I am arsed about Liverpool winning – winning something tangible that Gerrard can wave from the top of an open-deck bus.
    You can have all the the percentages and statistics you want but as the great man once said, “If you are first you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.”

  35. It looks like our club is now supported by the ‘we demand success’ crew. Win at all costs, no matter how you get there and what happens the club when you do. Hell, these poeple give the impression that they’d gladly be £1billion in debt if it meant winning the league. They clearly do not care about how the club conducts itself and how its run, lets sack managers every year until we win something. The scary thing is that a lot of these fans are missing the point over rafa’s sacking (and yes, it was a sacking no matter how broughton or purslow dress it up). If the club start this conduct over their managers it will only get worse, the 6 years rafa had will drop to 4 for the next guy, that’ll drop to 3 for the guy after that, then 2 and then we’ll be attracting has been managers from the championship and fighting for mid table status. Liverpool has great history and tradition but we all should wake up and realise that this is not that important and not that relevant outside of LFC. Hopefully the message will sink in once we appoint Mark Hughes. I pray we can improve next year and i wil support whoever comes in, but until the owernship issue is sorted, the way rafa was treated behind closed doors will be a dark cloud which will forever hang over anfield.

  36. Joe, Kerrdg, Marc
    He DID have some good signings – nobody would argue about Torres, Mascherano, etc but how about:

    Josemi
    Nunez
    Morientes
    Kromkamp
    Gonzalez
    Bellamy
    Babel
    Pennant
    Keane
    Itandje
    Paletta
    Degan
    Dossena
    Pellegrino
    Voronin
    Riera
    Aquilani
    Ngog
    El Hazar
    Lucas

    It is also hard to take credit for Alonso, when you then force him out. A huge loss for Liverpool, and a major error by Rafa.

    And a comment especially you, Marc:
    The posting was there twice due to technical failures. Not my problem. If you look, you will see that the second posting came up twice also. Secondly, ‘if’ he handed it to charity, or SOS…… hee hee, where did THAT come from. If he does, I’ll retract everything I have ever said about the man. In the interim, dream on sunshine :)
    Yes, the future looks tough, but a little brighter now Rafa is gone

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