Broughton responds to criticism of Rafa’s departure

The following email has been sitting in the Anfield Road inbox for a day-and-a-half now. As the hours have ticked by the sense of bemusement at what it contains has grown.

In the wake of the board’s decision last week to get rid of manager Rafael Benítez whilst retaining the services of the (temporary) managing director Christian Purslow, it was felt necessary to vent some anger at the man whose name was on the announcement. That man being the new Chairman, Martin Broughton.

The email pointed out that if Rafa Benítez had been considered a failure, surely Christian Purslow was one too? Wasn’t his main task, the main point he was hired, to find some new investment for the club? People who’ve spoken to him will recall how Purslow bigged himself up as some kind of saviour from the owners and their own failings.

Yet Purslow is said to have completely ignored a genuine, firm, proposal to finance the new stadium. Maybe there’s a good reason why the kind of person with access to funding for a £300m stadium isn’t even worth meeting up with when urgently looking for £100m investment in the club.

If the email had been sent a day or two later it may not have been written with quite the same tone. The anger was at Christian Purslow still being in his job as much as the departure of Benítez. The email was sent with thoughts about leaks from “senior sources” fresh in the mind. The email was sent because there would have been enough evidence of those leaks and that failure for Broughton to act and to end that temporary appointment.

He had the power, yet the line coming from the club was that he was only there to sell the club. The senior source was very insistent that his new boss wasn’t really his boss, just there to sell the club.

And that begged the question – was the chairman just there to sell the club, or did he have the power to do far more? He certainly seemed to be involved in the removal of Benítez, so why was Purslow still there?

The subject of the note captured the emotions of the moment: “Thank you for killing my club”.

And the note called, in no uncertain terms, for Broughton to resign and to take Purslow with him.

No reply was expected.

There was no obligation for the Chairman to reply, but to give him his due he did reply. It took him a week, but he’s said to only work one day per week for the club so that’s not an unreasonable timeframe.

He completely ignored the criticism of Purslow, perhaps because he couldn’t find a way to defend that criticism. But he wanted to defend his involvement in the removal of the manager, explaining that although his “principle remit” was to find those new owners, he was still Chairman.

So that justified his involvement and closed any doubt as to how much of a part he can play in the running of the club. If it’s important enough, he can get involved. If it’s a board matter, he’s the Chairman; it’s his job to lead the board.

But when it came to justifying the decision to let the manager go his justification was a bigger surprise than actually getting a reply.

The expectation might have been for him to list the number of games lost, the points dropped or league positions moved downwards. Maybe a mention of large parts of the squad being unhappy with the manager (which it now turns out is not as likely to have been the case as some previously claimed) or even a vague mention of how all parties involved had discussed the situation and reluctantly decided it would be better for all concerned to part company.

But no, it was none of those reasons.

He wrote: “I’m sorry you think like that but you are entitled to your opinion. I note your opinion doesn’t seem to be shared by the media.”


So forget results, performances, transfer spend or (in this club’s case) transfer profit. Forget team spirit, supporter feelings and ticket sales. None of that is as important as checking those back pages.

Does that include the stories including the obvious briefings against the manager from “senior figures inside the boardroom”?

Is this how Liverpool Football Club now hires and fires its managers? It checks the media for their view?

It analyses the views of all those ex-players, many of them paid to be outspoken or asked leading questions to get them to answer a certain way?

Does it exclude the articles by writers who support this club and have always known how it works? Not the ones with axes to grind or revenge to be served, the good ones. Does it include the articles by those journalists who had clearly been briefed by “senior sources” against the manager?

There’s not a great deal to add to that really.

Except for this: Listen to those ex-players now. Some of them agree with you that Rafa had to go. Some of them don’t. But they all want you to choose Kenny Dalglish as the next manager. Very few of them can see a reason to put Roy Hodgson or Martin O’Neill above the man who really does know how this club works.

The one man, as it happens, who might just help you to sell this club – assuming you want to sell it.

The only man who can really bring unity back to the supporters. The only candidate to have won the league. The man who has a lot of unfinished business to get on with.

The man who knows how to deal with the media. Ask Kelvin McKenzie about that one. Actually don’t, because nobody from this club should speak to Kelvin McKenzie, and he knows this. Kenny told him.

You’re better with Kenny on your side than against you.

He might even teach you how to make better use of the media.

The email from Martin Broughton, email addresses removed for obvious reasons.

Date: 10 June 2010 12:40
Subject: Re: Thank you for killing my club
To: Jim Boardman <  >


I’m sorry you think like that but you are entitled to your opinion.

I note your opinion doesn’t seem to be shared by the media.

You may also recall that I am Chairman with the principle remit of finding a new and suitable owner for the club. I am nevertheless Chairman and I’m surprised you don’t seem to think that releasing the manager from his contract is a Board matter.

Martin Broughton

111 thoughts on “Broughton responds to criticism of Rafa’s departure”

  1. According to reports in Israel, managerless Liverpool have agreed terms with Chelsea for the sale of Yossi Benayoun. He’ll have a medical in the next few days.

  2. Liverpool fans can see exactly where Jaimie (sorry James), Ryan ( but Ryan has made clear himself he is not Jaimie, sorry James ) are coming from.

    Whats the big deal about the author stating the post is made from Gillett and Hicks land, there are over 300 million people there. Its not as if he has disclosed your contact and address details. You seem to concerned it may lose you credibility on this site Ryan, Jaimie, sorry James ?

    Thje fact someone with very similar views to Jaimie K is posting on this site and trying to discredit the author is a sign of the standing of the author of this site holds with most fans.

  3. Dearie dearie me,

    So we sack our manager who isnt world class and yet he’s immediately signed up by a club that won their domestic double and the champions league.

    Well I never, clearly Rafa’s crap and devious as well..

    Clearly those in charge at Inter either chose not to read the english press or watch hansen, lawrenson, et al warning just how bad Rafa was in all areas of management, particularly losing the dressing room. Either that or Rafa doctored every report that came out of england so that he looked great.

    Fact 1. Rafa has had the best % win of any manager since Dalglish

    Even in a seaon which was poor, even poorer by Rafa’s standards:

    Fact 2. 2nd Best Win ratio achieved by ANY manager in first 200 games (1st is Dalglish)

    Fact 3. Scored 22 goals in first 7 games of the season. The best for over 114 years.

    Fact 4. Achieved a club record of scoring in 18 consecutive league games at Anfield

    Fact 4. Unbeaten at home for 31 home league games, the best in 32 years.

    All of this came of the back of our best performance under any manager in the Premier league, including coming from behind to beat the scum for the first time in 42 years as well as ending chelskis unbeaten home run of 84 games.

    I could go further, however, for those who claim to be steeped in our history I would just wish to make clear my position on Rafa’s tenure.

    The reality is that Rafa was forced to purchase a lot of players with a minimal budget available, yes some were poor (he got rid of them quite quickly), however some of them were excellent value for money.

    The bullshit talked about his transfer spendings show a serious and an indefensible lack of understanding on a clubs finances and how it impacts on the team.

    I find it unbeleivable that anyone could say in the one breath that they admired and supported Rafa, yet it was time for him to move on.

    It was Rafa through the support of the fans whom he loved which has ensured that to a great degree we have been sheltered from being in a position truer to our financial position and the lack of money that was made available to him.

    We have the nucleus of a good squad (and I include Lucas and Aquilani in that statement). However the money that was needed to buy 4 or 5 top world class players (we’re talking up to 200 mill) was never going to be fothcoming.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and Rafa was not going to be given the money needed to do so. Hence the large numbers of frees and smaller transfers. Get a grip folks the fault for our predicament lies fairly and squarely with the Board.

    As for the appointment of a Chelsea season ticket holder as Chairman. Thats like drawing up a contract with the Sun to provide all our matchday media info. Fucking disgraceful.

    Mr Purslow, one hell of a lengthy temporary appointment and clearly hasn’t achieved what he was appointed to do.

    Ian Ayre is the Commercial Director (whilst he has done well and it would have been hard not to improve on Parry) however it is clear any additional reveues raised will only be used to pay our debt.

    The club is rotten to the core, money fucking grabbers all over the place. Rafa was the one true man in the midst of all the shite and even with a poor season, improvements in our development squads would and hopefully still will begin to bear fruit.

    Last but not least, here’s a thought, maybe Shankly should have been sacked for his record in the 1st 5-6 years, or maybe Arsenal should sack Wenger for winning nothing in the last 5 years….sure maybe we could get him and let him try to work his magic with us (the exact same magic that Rafa was inthe process of conjuring up by finally getting control of the youth development system).

    However Im not sure if there’s such a thing as a skinny french waiter.

    In Rafa I Trusted and always will.


  4. Brian super points, its just a pity more fans couldnt see past Rafas final year or his style of football to see the bigger picture at the club. I’m genuinely worried for the clubs future with the board members in control because I truly believe they have alternative agenda’s.

  5. Jim,

    The longer the situation at the club goes on the more worried I have become for the future of LFC.

    Kenny Dalglish’s snub has nothing to do with his managerial capabilities or time from the game and everything to do with hidden agenda’s that are currently threatening the future of LFC.

    This reply is not out of some blind faithed romantic notion that the all time greatest Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish can come back and drag Liverpool back to the glory years.

    The reason I want him appointed manager is because we know he loves the club, if there is something questionable going on at Liverpool as manager it wont take him long to find out what and voice his concerns.

    If Rafa were to whistle blow now he would be accused of being bitter. If Kenny were to voice concern in 3 months time people would immediately sit up and take notice.

    Fans need to realise now that installing Kenny as manager could potentially be as important for the clubs immediate future as a takeover would be one year down the line.

    Fans need to ask themselves why will the board not entertain Kennys return when the positives far outweigh the negatives.

    Just think about it;

    1. Kenny is willing to put his legacy on the line because he believes hes the best man for the job.

    2. Kenny already knows the club inside out so there would be no settling in period.

    3. The board wouldnt have to pay a penny compensation to Kenny, they would need to pay 2.5 million to Fulham for RH.

    4. Gerrard and Torres are far more likely to stay with Kenny as manager, the same cannot be said for Hodgson.

    5. Ex-players want him to get the job, Kenny is desperate for the job, the fans want him to have the job.

    6. The boards motive for not wanting Kenny is meant to be because he is out of the game too long. However they are willing to give it to a man who in all the time Kenny has been away from the game has only managed to win one Danish league and one Danish Cup.

    It is time for the fans to wake up and get behind Kennys appointment for manager before its too late, if not for footballing reasons then for the purpose of having someone who deeply cares about the club in a position to do something if the board and owners do not have genuine intentions for LFC.

    Jim surely the feelings around Liverpool are of despair for Kenny being over looked. Something needs to be done asap, the only thing is after the that petition failure I’m really not sure what

    Liverpools future is on the line and so many fans are just willing to sit by and let the club fall further into obscurity

  6. Martin, if fans were to ask themselves this one question then I think they would have to realise that Kenny is the only man for the job.

    Who do you trust more Kenny Dalglish or Christian Purlsow?

    If fans answer to that question is Kenny Dalglish then I dont understand how anyone cannot think he is the most suitable person to take over from Rafa, especially when he himself believes that to be the case.

    So its back to if you trust Kenny vote for Kenny.

    If you trust Purslow more then Hodgsons your man.

    For me it should be a one horse race

  7. Martin, if fans were to ask themselves this one question then I think they would have to realise that Kenny is the only man for the job.

    Who do you trust more Kenny Dalglish or Christian Purlsow?

    If fans answer to that question is Kenny Dalglish then I don’t understand how anyone cannot think he is the most suitable person to take over from Rafa, especially when he himself believes that to be the case.

    So its back to if you trust Kenny vote for Kenny.

    If you trust Purslow more then Hodgsons your man.

    For me it should be a one horse race

  8. Yeah I agree Juan. At the end of the day appointing Hodgson cannot be claimed to be a ‘footballing’ appointment. Not completely. That’s not us searching for the best candidate for the Liverpool manager job.

    Will be interesting to see what happens with Kenny if Hodgson is appointed. It seems likely he would resign in protest but I wonder whether he thinks, as he put it, “it’s better to be on the inside pissing out than on the outside pissing in”?

  9. Here we go !!
    KOPTALK understands that at least 3 national journalists are currently investigating Christian Purslow’s previous business connections with Liverpool FC co-owner Tom Hicks.
    There is a campaign online to try and discredit the Liverpool Managing Director, some of which is justified, some of which isn’t. But this is different.
    Purslow’s American business links are currently being scrutinised and a new name has also entered the equation. We’re prevented from publishing this name at the moment although we have published the initials on our members site for future reference as it is going to surface.
    We’re informed by sources in the city that the Royal Bank of Scotland are going to extend the loan to Hicks and Gillett. That suggests to us that Hicks has pledged to service the debt and the only way he can do that is by selling players. This will allow Hicks to cling on for as long as possible and bleed the club dry until time runs out. Please don’t be naive and say he won’t do it because of the valuation. The club is highly overvalued as it is.
    For now we’re going to keep mum. We just wanted to make you aware that something is brewing and that if/when Hodgson is unveiled, it’s going to kick off and not just on websites.
    But remember, Roy Hodgson is not the man at fault here. If he is appointed get behind him.

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