Rafa tells Roy to quit talking and concentrate on coaching

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has responded to the latest round of attacks on him by current Reds manager Roy Hodgson.

Was Kenny frozen out of Melwood - and who by?Hodgson yesterday described an 1-0 away win at Bolton, courtesy of a very late goal, as a “famous victory”. Despite Roy’s description this match is unlikely to feature in any “hall of fame” featuring Liverpool’s genuinely famous victories down the years. It was Liverpool’s first away league win since April, but Roy’s first away league win in 442 days.

Before that match came some quotes from Roy dismissing Kenny Dalglish’s credentials to become Liverpool boss  a second time and accusing Benitez of freezing Kenny out of Melwood.

Hodgson said Dalglish, who has won the league four times as a manager, was “good at” scouting, working at the academy and playing an ambassadorial role. “You cannot find a better person for that than Kenny,” said Roy, who got the manager’s job at Anfield despite a CV that raises big questions about the criteria used to select him.

As Liverpool’s season slid from bad to worse with embarrassing defeats at home to Blackpool then away to Everton there were calls for Roy to be removed from his post. Many felt it was better for the club if Kenny was to take over in a caretaker capacity until the club could secure a suitable replacement.
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Hodgson ensures Reds depression continues

As details emerged of more player unrest at Liverpool, calls increased from Reds fans for Roy Hodgson to be removed from the position of manager.

Not everyone happy with life under HodgsonLiverpool lie nineteenth – or second-bottom – in the league; very much in the relegation zone and no signs of improvement to that situation can be found in the words or actions of the manager.

Today Anfield Road has learned that two of the club’s most valuable assets – whether looked at from a financial or football perspective – have become sufficiently disillusioned with life under Roy Hodgson to be seriously considering their futures.

It hasn’t yet been described as a refusal to play, but it is understood that Fernando Torres has made it clear that he no longer wishes to play for Roy Hodgson.

It has also emerged that Pepe Reina has become equally frustrated, also finding changes to the goalkeeping coaching methods to be so frustrating that he is now weighing up where his future lies.
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Hicks moves closer to final Anfield exit

Today sees Liverpool entering a week that will almost certainly go down in history as a turning point.

The end may well be nighThis isn’t the classic football turning point, the last minute goal awarded despite it looking offside that brings to an end a run of defeats. Nor is the other type of turning point the world of football often discusses, the bad signing that somehow turned a team making progress into a team going backwards.

This week should see Liverpool’s boardroom change, and with it the ownership of the club. If it doesn’t happen this week, the events that make it happen will have already got well underway.

Tom Hicks tried to change one of the boards last week – it’s not clear if that was the Liverpool board or its holding company boards – in an attempt to block the same of the club to NESV. The existing board, the majority of it at least, insist they are still in place and the sale was valid.

Tomorrow the High Court will hear all about it as it asked to make a decision that will be key to Liverpool’s future. However it is believed that tomorrow’s case is one of two that will decide the club’s fate.
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Fans would risk 9-point loss in return for new Reds owners

Last Friday Anfield Road ran a poll asking Liverpool supporters to answer a question about the future of the club.

We asked: “With the Broughton/BarCap sale process failing and c£300m RBS debt almost due, LFC and its fans are faced with two distinct possibilities. What’s your preference?”

There were two choices for an answer:

“1) Hicks and Gillett retain control via refinance or RBS extension.”


“2) RBS take temporary control of the club on the proviso the club is passed on, as soon as practicable, to a responsible owner (this carries with it the possibility of LFC being placed into administration and a 9pt penalty being imposed by the Premier League).”
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RBS ready to call time on Hicks and Gillett

George Gillett and Tom Hicks were given the clearest sign yet that the Royal Bank of Scotland has run out patience with them after the bank moved their debts to its Global Restructuring Group.

Gillett Hicks RBSWith less than a month to go until the deadline for the massive debt to be refinanced or paid off the decision is seen as evidence that from RBS’s point of view refinance is not an option. The club’s current owners need to find hundreds of millions of pounds in less than four weeks or they face losing the club.

It was also claimed tonight that RBS CEO Stephen Hester was personally overseeing the high-profile account.

The RBS website describes the unit as playing “an important part in managing major corporate clients across the globe who find themselves in financial distress.”

Liverpool fans have been in agreement for some time that their club is in financial distress, now RBS are reported to have made this official. The restructuring group also has responsibility for “the management of any problem lending portfolios” and “returning those accounts to the originating Group Business Unit / Subsidiary in a satisfactory condition.”

With the group also responsible for “maximising debt recoveries” and “obtaining levels of reward proportionate with risks undertaken” (and that means reward for the bank, not the current owners) it seems more unlikely that Hicks and Gillett will still be Liverpool owners by the time next month’s Goodison derby kicks off.
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Purslow: LFC bidders being checked then sale as soon as possible

After a period away from the public eye Christian Purslow put himself right back into focus this morning by speaking to the BBC about the speculation surrounding the club. According to the Liverpool managing director the board are now carrying out checks on those behind written bids for the club after which they intend to see the club sold “as soon as possible”.

There has been a refreshing silence from the boardroom since the appointment of Roy Hodgson as manager. The club have left the football people to do the talking about the football; the senior management scaling back their contact with the media and a noticeable decline in the amount of “off record” briefings filtering their way onto the back pages, at least from the club. Actual interviews had all but dried up.

Quite why Purslow decided to speak out today is a bit of a mystery. The club issued a statement on Friday night saying that as far as the sales process was concerned, “we will not comment on rumour and speculation.” Purslow himself today said: “It wouldn’t be for me to comment on the football side.” So what was left for him to comment on? As it was he spoke at length about both “the football side” and the sales process.

His opinion on the football side should be of no importance right now,  what matters far more is the part of his job he actually has the experience and qualifications to work on. Along with chairman Martin Broughton and commercial director Ian Ayre the Liverpool MD is about to be an important part of what will be one of the most crucial decisions in Liverpool’s history.
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