Owners welcome to leave

Rafa’s first match after that argument with the owners, referred to later by Hicks as “The Rift”, was the trip to Newcastle. At that stage Liverpool were still unbeaten and then-Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce was starting to come under fire for poor results, but with the turmoil going on behind the scenes nobody could be sure how the manager and his players would react. Rafa stood on the touchline in a tracksuit and white trainers, a noticeable contrast to his suit – he was being a coach instead of a manager, he was humorously showing the owners that he was concentrating on that side of things, as ordered.

Liverpool won the game 3-0, although pundits were looking for victims not heroes, so rather than there being praise for Rafa the emphasis was on knocking the former Bolton manager Allardyce. Liverpool could have won even more convincingly, had the referee seen the Newcastle keeper Shay Given handle outside the area for what would have been a red card. This result was a significant one for another reason – Liverpool had won after an international break, something they’d struggled to do more often than not, even earlier this season.

The following day Chris Bascombe, a confidant of Rafa and others at the club, formerly of the Echo but now at the News of the World, reported that the owners had already decided to sack the boss. Their plans had been made well before the outburst at the pre-match press conference for that Newcastle game, and had no relationship to results on the field. Rafa had spoken to them after the Arsenal game, on the 28th of October and had told them of his plans for the next transfer window. It was only in the days before the Newcastle game that he realised his plans were being blocked, and that his future was unlikely to be at Anfield after the summer. It wasn’t just Bascombe reporting this either, the story was coming from various directions, the owners wanted to sack the best manager the club had seen since Kenny Dalglish, pretty much because they didn’t like him.

Next for the Reds was a visit from FC Porto to Anfield. It was the first home match since the owners’ plans to sack the boss had hit the headlines, and thousands of Liverpool fans marched to show their support for the boss. It was an important fixture too – after managing only one point from the first three games, Liverpool had got the Champions League campaign back on track by beating Besiktas 8-0 at Anfield, a win achieved despite Fernando Torres being out injured. They needed to win this match too, and did so with a few goals to spare in the end. It wasn’t always looking that way though – the scores were level at 1-1 until Torres got his second of the night with just 12 minutes left. The game ended 4-1 and Liverpool’s Champions League future was in their own hands. Although a draw might be enough in the final game against Marseille, depending on the result in the other match, a win would guarantee them being in the competition in the New Year.

First of all it was back to the league, and on the 2nd of December the Reds played host to Bolton, who had recently changed manager. Another high-scoring game from the Reds ended 4-0. It was a convincing display, taking Liverpool to third in the league, with more points at that stage in the season than they had achieved in 16 of their 18 league-title winning seasons. The future was looking good, but the doubts about what the situation was off-the-field would not go away.

There had still been no denial from the owners about their alleged plans to sack Rafa. Not a word. Yet denials of any reports that in any way suggested the owners had fallen out with each other or were suffering the pinch financially were issued without delay, either as official statements or as quotes from Rick Parry to the Echo or BBC.

On the 8th of December Liverpool faced Reading. Rafa knew that the owners were waiting for an excuse to sack him. Despite Rafa always talking about only concentrating on one game at a time, the spectre of that final Champions League group game in three days was surely figuring high in his worries. He didn’t want to risk Sami Hyypia for this league game, so Jack Hobbs started in the centre of defence. Probably concerned about the youngster being exposed he also chose to utilise two defensive midfielders, Javier Mascherano and the no-longer “Boss” Momo Sissoko. On paper it looked like a 4-3-3, with Voronin, Crouch and Torres up front, but often became 4-5-1 with Voronin and Crouch finding themselves out wide and out of place. Torres was taken off after 60 minutes; despite his denials Rafa was clearly thinking ahead to the game that he knew he had to win in France.

Rafa got a lot of criticism for that defeat – the first of the season – and one of the reasons for that was his substitution of Torres with 30 minutes to go and with the score only at 2-1. He’d thrown the towel in according to many, especially when with nearly twenty minutes to go and the score now at 3-1 he took the captain off too. He claimed that the players still on the pitch were capable of getting back into the game, but who could blame him for prioritising the Champions League ahead of this league game? One defeat in the league is barely grounds for the owners to sack him and to have any chance of the fans supporting them in the decision. But going out of the Champions League before Christmas might just be enough to cover up the fact their decision was made without consideration of results on the field.

George Gillett was now on his way to Europe. Both owners had said they would be at the Manchester United game, and that they would speak to the manager ahead of that game. Gillett actually wanted to take in the Marseille game too and was there in France to see the Reds qualify in style for the knockout phases. Gerrard got the early goal, knocking the rebound in from his saved penalty, Torres scored yet another goal and even Kuyt got on the scoresheet. Ryan Babel rounded it all off, Liverpool won 4-0. Unfortunately they only finished second in the group, but they were through, and Rafa’s job was a little safer.

Rafa returned to England, hoping to finally get a chance to talk to the owners about what had been happening, why things had changed since that Arsenal game. George Gillett was due to appear live on TalkSport radio, but backed out late in the day. Perhaps Hicks had warned him against speaking live in case he let anything slip. However, despite those talks being considered of utmost importance to Rafa and the club’s supporters, the owners decided there was still no hurry, and they’d speak to him after the match.

Worried about his future, nervous about what he would be told, Rafa was expected to prepare his team for one of the biggest games in the calendar. Manchester United are rivals because of the rivalry between the two cities, and also of course because of the fact that the Reds have to finish higher than them if they want to win the league. The owners were happy to let Rafa deal with that extra pressure, happy to let him suffer. They got Rick Parry to deny a report that the stadium plans had been ditched, but did nothing whatsoever to reassure the manager. The team suffered as a result. It was far from an entertaining match, and like the previous season United seemed happy to sit back and play for a draw, hoping to snatch a goal against the run of play. And like the previous season United got that goal, in this case a lucky deflection. The difference between the two seasons was that there was no time left in the game for the Reds to pull one back last time round, this time the goal had come just before half-time. But Rafa was unable to rally his troops, to help them to raise their games, and the match ended in a defeat. A demoralised Rafa was then finally granted an audience with the owners. Owners who had still not managed to refinance the bridging loan they’d taken out with RBS, a loan they had said at the end of October would be in place within 30 days. Owners who would admit the following day that the plans for the new stadium had been ditched after all. “Downgraded”, said Rick Parry to the Echo, although the official website was forced to change his quotes so that this word was replaced with “different”.

After the meeting Rafa walked out tight-lipped. Rick Parry said the following day – indirectly through one of his friends at BBC Sport – that Rafa had been told not to discuss club policy in public again. Gillett spoke at an ex-players party about liking Rafa, and a statement was released claiming everything was positive. It was also on this day that the first mention of Jurgen Klinsmann was made as a possible replacement for Rafael Benitez, but this link came from a source not renowned for being on the money when it comes to Liverpool matters. As such it was largely ignored by Reds.

And there was still no denial that they’d made plans to sack Rafa. Perhaps the biggest and most-repeated allegation against the owners since the season began, and there was still no denial. Rafa had to pretend everything was now fine, regardless of his true feelings, because the owners had told him so.

A defeat against Chelsea in the Carling Cup soon followed on the 19th of December, although Chelsea put out a much stronger side than the Reds, and it looked like it was going to be a bleak Christmas with the next team to be faced being Portsmouth, something of a bogey team for Liverpool and one that had already taken two points off the Reds earlier in the season. But Liverpool showed some true character and beat the South Coast side 4-1.

The next day came more links with the owners and Klinsmann. DIC were again being touted as potential saviours of the club, if they could buy out owners who had miscalculated what they needed to do to run a football club. One of those miscalculations was the possible hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Rafa from the summer, a name that made many Liverpool fans shudder almost as much as that of the loathed Jose Mourinho. Nobody expected the club to deny the latest claims Rafa was heading for the sack, but it was a surprise that Parry wasn’t wheeled out to deny the possibility of DIC stepping in to buy the club from the struggling owners.

Perhaps the PR machine was on holiday, as everything went quiet until Boxing Day. That’s when the Reds managed another victory – 2-1 over Derby County. Christmas was looking promising for the Reds.

The usual phone-in and forum critics weren’t happy of course. Liverpool had gone ahead against County but were pegged back to 1-1 in the middle of the second half. It was looking like a draw until Gerrard got a winner in the last minute. The critics got their knives out and added more pressure to Rafa’s already full plate.

They got more of their wishes on the 30th – Liverpool travelled to Manchester City to face a team intent on not losing. City defended well, Liverpool made a lot of chances, but none went in. The game ended 0-0, and the critics had now forgotten about the last two wins. They forgot again the day after the New Year when the Reds drew their first game of 2008. This was at home to Wigan Athletic, and finished 1-1, after a defensive blunder let Wigan equalise. Steve Bruce has been a thorn in Liverpool’s side as Birmingham manager for years, except for a 7-0 cup win, and had already managed a draw as Birmingham’s boss at Anfield earlier in the season. After benefitting from a mistake there was no way his side were going to let Liverpool back into the game.

The transfer window was now open of course, but very little was being said about Liverpool’s plans. Javier Mascherano had made a plea before the Wigan game to be allowed to stay at Anfield, but said that if the owners did not act soon it would be difficult for him to stay. It wasn’t just Mascherano being put under pressure by the owners’ inability to sort out their finances.

Still no denial from the owners about Rafa’s future, and on the following Sunday all the papers reported that Rafa was telling friends he was expecting the axe; he was a “dead man walking” according to one paper. This was the morning of the Luton game, the FA Cup match. These games are never easy, especially away on difficult pitches, with one team treating it like a cup final and the other not quite sure how to treat it. Numerous top-flight teams had either gone out or been held in the other games in the 3rd round. And on top of this came the blast of headlines that Rafa himself had been saying he expected to be fired. The following day Rafa strenuously denied the stories had come from him, explaining that the press had spoken to him privately after the last press conference, but that none of what they said had come from him. He was still trying hard to follow orders and not discuss club policy in public.

Liverpool were lacklustre against Luton. Rafa’s preparations not helped, his team not exactly inspired, by headlines again saying he was on his way. And again, no word from Rafa’s bosses that any of this was nonsense. Liverpool struggled throughout the game, went 1-0 up against the run of play, then let Luton equalise with an own-goal. More criticism for Rafa, but no support from above. The claims that Klinsmann had been lined up continued, although some Liverpool-related journalists said this talk had come from outside Anfield, it had come from others in football.

On the following Friday, 11th January, there was a chance to see some positives. Jurgen Klinsmann had accepted the job of coaching Bayern Munich from next season. He was quoted as having said he had received no offers from England, but whether that was in response to offers from the English national side or from clubs in England was never really clear. Surely this was good news; perhaps the links to him weren’t as strong as had been feared. But shortly afterwards, and from various sources, came reports that he’d not just been asked about the Liverpool job, but had been made a “detailed offer”.

And this was the headlines Rafa had to face on the morning of the Middlesbrough game. Reporters contacted Liverpool the night before this game to ask them for a comment on the claims that this offer had been made. The club declined. No denial, and let’s face it, being asked directly about something like this, how difficult would it be to deny if it had not been true? No denial – even when asked – strongly implies that the owners had offered Klinsmann the job. How is Rafa expected to work under these conditions? Or is that the idea? If he walks, they’ll save £6m in compensation. What isn’t clear is how recently Klinsmann turned down this offer, or who might be next on the list. But this offer was known about for some time, and the link wasn’t going away. The only way it would was if Klinsmann refused the offer, and it looks like a life under Laurel and Hardy did not appeal to the German that was hardly well-liked at Anfield anyway.

More reports in the Sunday papers following on from the Middlesbrough defeat suggested Liverpool were again on the verge of being taken over by DIC. The new owners can’t – according to most reports – get the finance on the terms they want. They don’t want to put a penny of their own money into the club or its purchase – they want it all to be financed by loans that are secured on the club. The club will pay the interest on the loan, as well as paying it back. At least one of the two owners refuses to put down what is effectively a deposit on that loan.

It seems that the owners are becoming resigned to having to give the club up, but they are fighting to do this and still come out with a profit. DIC don’t want to take the club over just to make the two Americans richer though, and won’t pay a silly price for the club. They’ll have to pay more than they planned to a year ago, but the feeling is growing that they are willing to do this. Whether their plans would include extra funds for team building, and which of the four different stadium plans they’d most likely go for remains to be seen if their takeover happens. But Liverpool fans in the main would value honesty quite high in the list of requirement s from future owners, something the current duo seem to avoid quite often.

It’s also still possible that they’ll find a way to finance their loans. It may be that the final offers on the table from the banks are better for them than any final offer from DIC. Certainly they aren’t concerned about the future of the club, but if keeping the club is more profitable than selling it then they’ll not sell, assuming they can keep their personal risks to a minimum.

Unfortunately this uncertainty, added to their mistreatment of a manager who is still closer to winning the league than he should be – given the budget he has compared to his rivals – means that this season is fast becoming a write-off. Rafa’s love for club and the city is a genuine one, but faced with the threats he’s had, he must already be starting to come to terms with the idea of working somewhere else. A new manager would mean the start of another four to five years of rebuilding, as Rafa’s players are replaced by the new mans’ players, and with little extra funding in place to improve on his squad. But the owners have already lost the support of the fans, and that’s something they’ll struggle to win back. Fans will expect any new manager to do markedly better than Rafa, and to do it at speed. There’ll be no patience from supporters for five-year plans, not if Rafa leaves under these circumstances.

Just recently Rafa has been getting more criticism from those fans who take pleasure in complaining, and those fans who always expect instant success. But now more of the fair-minded fans have started to join in too, feeling they’ve now seen the light they saw when Gerard Houllier’s reign was coming to an end. But in reality Rafa is still improving, even if not as fast as they’d like. The last four games have been drawn, but the last two of those came under some of the darkest of those black clouds the club has been sitting under of late. Yesterday’s draw wasn’t the end of the world, and wasn’t a bad result at all considering the stories in the press that morning. Liverpool moved up a place to fourth, and are no further from the top than they were that morning. An opportunity was missed to close the gap, but the gap remains 12 points with a game in hand.

The owners wanted Rafa out before a ball had even been kicked this season. They made offers to coaches who had never managed at club level. They promised a stadium they couldn’t afford, and they now want out, taking a profit with them. Their takeover saw shareholders paid around £1000 more per share than they would have under DIC. The owners didn’t pay that. The loan did. They never took a great risk themselves, and are now fighting to make sure there’s no risk whatsoever on their own assets. All of those thousand pounds per share came out of those loans. They’re now trying to sell the club for a profit, and selling it at £500m should ensure that. And all that without putting a penny of their own money in.

What’s important now is that supporters don’t lose sight of how close Rafa has been getting to winning things. He wasn’t supported financially in the summer in the way he expected to be, and has been treated like something Hicks stood in on his Dallas ranch for most of this season. He deserves better, and it’s important he gets the support of the fans, even through these bad times, until the owners finally accept they are the ones we want to see the back of. If their first-choice replacement was Jurgen Klinsmann, failed national coach who played all his competitive fixtures at home, and has never managed a club anywhere, imagine how poor their second or third choice might be.

Support the manager, give him some time, and don’t let the owners hound him out.

119 thoughts on “Owners welcome to leave”

  1. If we needed any further evidence of the Americans lack of knowledge of the game it is clear for all to see in their choice of Klinsman (the best diver in the business) – No Club Managerial experience, All of Germany’s games played at home with no success, No Man Management experience in club football. Just who would their 2nd or 3rd choice be – One shudders to think – Please DIC come to LFC rescue and save us from these American mainiacs who’s first and last priority is money, money, money. Let David Moores give back the extra cash he go to give them the profit they so badly want.

  2. I think this article should be compulsory reading for every Liverpool fan.

    I think Rafa has done a very good job and in no way want him to leave or be pushed.

    If he had been backed properly and not had the continual threats hanging over him, we would be in a better position in the league right now.

    If G&H stay on and Rafa goes, I can see myslef turning my support to one of my local non-league teams.

    I love Liverpool, but cannot stand the way the club is now being dragged through the media every minute of every hour.

    Parry is a waste of space and needs to go now!!!!!!!!

    His previous cock-up’s have meant that we could have lost Gerrard, didn’t sign C.Ronaldo, Vidic, Evra, Malouda and have missed out on signing various other first-choice targets. this means that we are getting 2nd and 3rd choice options. I think the only player we have signed that is world class is Torres and it isn’t good enough.

    how many of our first team squad would walk into the top 3 teams in the best leagues? Gerrard – Yes, Mascherano – Yes, but he’s not our player yet, Alonso – maybe one or two teams (his form has droppped the last 2 seasons). Torres – Yes, Reina – Yes. Agger – good but he wouldn’t walk into a lot of teams.

    Other than that the rest are players that are not world class. Some of them are good, but not good enough for us.

    I know Rafa has signed them, but a lot were 2nd and 3rd choice targets..

  3. Well said. It is not our manager that is the problem, it is our owners, and their lack of knowledge of the game. They, as it has clerly been prooven, only se this as a purely financial investment and nothing more. Their big words about giving financial support has turned out to be total nonsens. They have only giving Rafa exactely the amount he has needed and nothing more. I guesswe all need to donate a bit of spine to Rick Parry, because he has turned from being nothing more than a spineless chicken in Rafas battle in developing LFC to a modern club, that will be able to compete with the rest of the european top clubs.

  4. I salute you for this article, whoever you may be! Wish some LFC fans had borrowed some of your brain cells to think before they speak.

    I knew something was fishy when Parry & Moores sold the club in a hurry, while still in discussion with DIC & going on record stating that no further offers from Gillet or anyone shall be entertained regardless of…. and DIC deal is done in principle. so, who lied to us in the first place eh…?
    Is it Rafa’s fault that he has raised our expectation since his arrival with his performance? Do ppl. not realize what we were before Rafa, in Europe and League?
    Now, all my doubts are realized about the deal, intentions of the Yanks and our own Parry & Moores. Rick OUT, Moores OUT, Yanks OUT. …. DIC IN & Rafa rules!

  5. The Americans came in saying they would not run our club in any way like the Glazers and now we’ve become THE joke of the premiership. Unbelievable!

    They spoke to Klinnsman as an ‘insurance policy’?! Who they kidding. He would have been a poor substitute for Rafa, yet even he said ‘no’. Who’d want to work for these jokers.

    Why are they telling us now? Because they know that Klinnsman will soon speak on the issue. Hicks would never had ssaid anything on Rafa’s future unless forced to – and even now he’s not guranteeing Rafa his job.

    Why are they making out it was an ‘insurance policy’ when they showed a guy – who has no passion for the club or experience in club management – ‘detailed plans’ of how he would fit into their plans.

    And who gave them the name of Klinnsman?? Parry, for sure!

    Unbelievable!

    The players say they’re unaffected. But Sami’s comments that the americans are turning us into the next newcastle is no joke…and the recent results show what the facts are.

    We need to get our club back.

    This could be a campaign to rival our anti-Sun campaign but it will be worth it.

    Time to hear from Moores because Parry has shown himself to be a complete muppet.

    Come on Dave mate your family did not give their heart and soul to the club for you to give the club away to these guys. So let’s be hearing you – and soon!

  6. Great article. I call on all LFC fans to get behind Rafa now. All this bad publicity is affecting the Team. You’ve only got to look at our recent form to see that all the bad press is having a negative impact. Let’s make sure the Americans know just how much we value our Manager. Leave the football to those who know best!

  7. The liverpool fans need top start another demo. This time not just calling for Rafa to stay but for the ousting of theses two moneygrabbers. It is as clear as daylight that they have to go. This is a moment when fans can make a diiference.

  8. The way they are treating Rafa is an absolute disgrace . We should not stand for it .
    We should get these owners out .
    Rafa puts his heart and soul into the club , he is one of the best managers in the world and he is treated like this .
    I am embarresed to be a fan and am very sorry Rafa for the way you are being treated .
    GET THEM OUT NOW

  9. are these americans politicians because its looking like they are making big promises but canrt or wont back them up.Rafa must stay for at least anotherbtwo seasons and if we havent won or got really close to winning the league then start looking elsewhere, but he has to be backed 100% by the owners and financially to acheve the goals needed.The owners need gto come out and back or sack Rafa NOW

  10. I cannot believe what I am starting to read know about LFC. It has gone on too long the criticism of Rafa. People saying his signings aren’t any good, he hasn’t brought us success.

    As most have said here, he has had to make do with poor substitutes, been given half the money he has needed to turn our club back into the dmoinant force it once was.

    The Americans are clearly holding our club to ransom. I just hope that Rafa sees the support he has from us all – think we should show Parry and those yanks who it is we love on Tuesday – and stays long enough for DIC to rescue us.

    I just hope that the DIC rumours are true, as I can’t bear to see LFC get dragged down by these theiving gypsies.

    Rafa – you are the man for our club, we all hope and trust that you feel our support and stay with the club until we are rid of this cancer.

    YNWA – IRWT

  11. Great article!
    No way to go about running this club. Should be some way of letting them know this is not how to handle our club. Burning flags on the Kop is not our way though.
    At the minute Rafa’s future is not looking good. How can anyone be expected to cope under these conditions though? No wonder there’s been some bad performances. Paco leaving hasn’t helped this season also.
    London based media must be sharpening knives for the kill now.

  12. With all this in the background it’s no wonder that our performances on the field have not been the best! Rafa’s preparation for the Luton game has now been undermined by the extraordinary statements from Hicks (who seems to think we’re stupid). I dread to think what the pre-match press conference will be like but I don’t thjink many of the questions will be about the game!

    The club seems to be a shambles at the moment. It’s clear that Parry and Moores made the wrong decision when it came to chosing a buyer – at least as far as football is concerned but that may not have been their primary concern. I’ve no doubt that Rafa is probably difficult to to work with – single-minded people often are – but it’s more important that LFC are succesful than that Rick Parry and the owners have an easy life and so they should be doing all they can to support not undermine him. It’s not Rafa’s fault that the name of LIverpool is being dragged through the mud by a press that is always keen to put the boot into our club. Players and “coaches” can only do their best if they are confident and know that their efforts are appreciated – going behind people’s backs and feeding the press speculation is just not right in any walk of life and is definitely not the LIverpool Way.

  13. Hicks and Gillett have no class at all, all of these matters should have been kept in house and yet they seem to love the press they get no matter how much damage their ill advised words do. Leave the club now, we value Rafa a million time higher than you, leave the club!!

  14. 100% support to the article. How can our players concentrate n play well when there are so much donkey things happen behind the scene, Klinsman as manager, a stab from behind not just at Rafa’s back but the fans also! The manager, the players n the fans are all affected by these donkeys. It affected my works because i am worried for the club n i have to surf to find out more news about our club every now n then. Call for all support we have worldwide, inform all fan websites, let us, the fans show how much distrust we have for the Yanks, we do not need them, we need new passionate owner(s). 30 years support n to see the club ruined by these donkeys really hurt. LFC need to be rescued!!!!!!!! We have been fooled by these donkeys.

  15. Really good article…I’d like to cross-reference this with Oliver Kay in the Times and his analysis of the situation (LINK BELOW) which is also a fantastic piece on the shambles at Anfield

    (Oliver Kay link)
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/liverpool/article3185370.ece

    I think it’s apparent that the hardcore fan-base is permanently behind Rafa.
    (face-painters and Talksporters excepted). Dark days indeed. Lets back Rafa to the hilt and hopefully say goodbye to these Rednecks and Rick Parry.

  16. totally agree i cant believe the bear faced lies these 2 jokers have told us, they are now being exposed 4 what they really are and we should not accept it . This is LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB we need 2 stand up 4 our club and 4 rafa. YNWA.

  17. You said it all well done.The club needs new owners,we never agreed with the americans.Bring on DIC .

  18. This is a fantastic article, thank you. It is so important that us fans stick behind Rafa and support him at every opportunity. His treatment has been shocking and he deserves much better.

    We cannot let these Americans destroy our club, our traditions and our chances of future success with Rafa at the helm.

    Kop fans stay strong & lets show the Americans they are no longer welcome at our club, YNWA.

  19. George and Tom have to go. They may have experience in owning Sports teams, but they have no success in doing so. Let’s not forget that this is the same Tom Hicks who paid 250 million for Alex Rodriguez, then realized he had bitten off more than he could chew, and so traded him to the New York Yankees for 3 spare parts, and also agreed to pay 6million of Rodriguez’ 25 million yearly wage just to get out of the deal. Hicks especially, will drive LFC into the ground, just like he has done with the Texas Rangers “rounders” team. He has no intention of investing in talent. His MO is to put out as mediocre team as he can get away with, and count on fan’s loyalty to still show up, and pay ticket prices that he inflates over time. Giving this maniac a new stadium will only encourage the raising of ticket prices, but don’t expect the level of talent to increase on the pitch.

  20. “What’s important now is that supporters don’t lose sight of how close Rafa has been getting to winning things.”

    Mate you are talking out of your pipe. You’ve made it out like some Frederick Forsyth drama when the plane facts are that Rafa’s purchase of rubbish players, his cretinous rotation policy and half a hundred other balls ups have got him in this predicament. He even had the gall to say in the Champs Final post match interview that he’d go if they didn’t cough up more loot. Nice Rafa, take the spotlight off your contribution to the defeat. He’s thrown his dummy out too many times. I actually want the Yanks out too, Moores did a proper number on us selling to them. Yanks out, Rafa out is what I say.

  21. Rafa, HANG IN THERE!!! The Rest of you LFC fans, LET’S DRIVE THE YANK BASTARDS OUT. Call the Yanks at their business lines, flood their corporate emails at that ski business thing(I can’t remember their damn company’s name). Phone in at LFC.TV at 9pm and air our views about Parry (Their Pet Dog) and the 2 Yanks. OUT! OUT! OUT! The 3 of you!!! In RAFA WE TRUST. Stevie has no balls! I respect Terry for standing by his manager, I respect Roy Keane for speaking out about his club.

  22. Having read this article it truly makes you realise that the new owners have done nothing to help LIverpool progress in the football stakes, after all it is football that this comes down to. Unfortunately football has become a money game and the more money you have the higher up you finish in the table (With the sole exception of Arsenal). If I was Rafa I would walk now and tell the yanks to f**k right off. I justy hope that once he goes (I hope he does not leave but after the quotes todayt saying they tried to appoint another manager he will defop walk) we get new owners who truly care about the club as opposed to what financial benefits they may recieve. I believe tht if DIC come back in it will prove they are not in it fo the money as they are goinng to have to pay mopre that before to buy a clubw who have essentially gone backwards. Fingers crossed thet DIC come back in andf by some kind of miracle Rafa stays and is given the support he needs to put together a squad ofbetter players. Last point, i love Stevie G but his attitude has been appaling. I believe that if he goes the rest of the team will benefit in a similar way that Arsenal have benefited from Tierry leaving. I just think that he casts a shadow over the rest of the team. Granted he is imense on his day but I believe if the attitude is not right from the captain then it will filter through the rest of the team. In Rafa we Trust

  23. Having read this article it truly makes you realise that the new owners have done nothing to help Liverpool progress in the football stakes, after all it is football that this comes down to. Unfortunately football has become a money game and the more money you have the higher up you finish in the table (With the sole exception of Arsenal). If I was Rafa I would walk now and tell the yanks to f**k right off. I just hope that once he goes (I hope he does not leave but after the quotes today saying they tried to appoint another manager he will defo walk) we get new owners who truly care about the club as opposed to what financial benefits they may receive. I believe that if DIC come back in it will prove they are not in it for the money as they are going to have to pay more that before to buy a club who have essentially gone backwards. Fingers crossed that DIC come back in and by some kind of miracle Rafa stays and is given the support he needs to put together a squad of better players. Last point, i love Stevie G but his attitude has been appalling. I believe that if he goes the rest of the team will benefit in a similar way that Arsenal have benefited from Tierry leaving. I just think that he casts a shadow over the rest of the team. Granted he is immense on his day but I believe if the attitude is not right from the captain then it will filter through the rest of the team. In Rafa we Trust

  24. Finally a LFC fan who really can see what is going on behind the scenes! Since when has it been the Liverpool way to air the dirty laundry in public – what has been going on in recent weeks/months!!

    Hicks should be winding his neck in full stop! Gillett appears to be more of a diplomat but in saying that whoever said that keeping stuum is being diplomatic he is probably as guilty as Hicks is of putting the oar in just not as openly!

    Parry should be strung up by his gooleys for the mess he has made both of the club and of Rafa’s reign as LFC coach – it seems to me that if we had got the players Rafa had wanted in the first place our team may look a little like this now had the money been provided!

    Alves – £15 Million (Bargain money now isn’t it)
    Milito – £10 Million (Fixture in the Barcelona 1st eleven)
    Simao – £13 Million (Better than what we have)
    Silva – £20 Million (May come still if Rafa stays)

    just to name a few – didnt work fast enough and in Alves case really really costly considering he would have come and then a season later his value doubles albeit to keep him away from Chelsea.

    For Rafa to have been treated like this by the owners is unforgivable considering how well his 3-4 seasons at the club have gone.

    The owners are looking for a Hollywood story to go with their American persona and now they have it thanks to the “vultures” acting as the responsible media!!!!!

  25. Likewise, I think this article should be compulsory reading for every Liverpool fan.
    I think what Rafa has achieved has without a doubt been impressive. There have been occaions when his selections have left me a little baffle and think he did cock up against Wigan, but I still have faith in Rafa to deliver the league. If David Moores had been given the support that we are currently giving Rafa, Moores would still have control of the club he loves and any true Liverpool fan knows for a fact that Moores would not have tried to rip the club off. All of those dickheads that called for Moores head should be ashamed of themselves. As much as Rick Parry is inept, those fools that called for the removal of Moores are just as responsible for our current situation.
    Hold firm, stand strong, others have before tried to crush us but we have withstood and grown stronger.
    In Rafa we trust.

  26. It is unbelievable that the Greatest Club in the world has been put into such turmoil. The americans should be forced to leave. As fans of the club we should have the right and the power to get these men to sell and leave.
    How have we got into this position? Who is to blame?
    We should start the by staging a march before every game and also put pressure on the yanks to commit to Rafa and the club without jeopardising the future (Leeds Utd comes to mind)
    I would also like for them to provide a reason why we can’t spend like the the Scum and Chelsea.

  27. In Rafa we trust….

    Hicks is the big pussy in this and George just follows him.

    Rafa should just leave for something better cuz i feel this is the begining of the end for us.

    It might mess up our team now,we might lose our players and ofc we are gona lose money with that.

    Down with scrubs from USA.

  28. Beginning to think that this is some massive manc rothschild conspiracy against free thinking rebellious liverpudlians…outright provocation by Hicks and it’s upto us to fight and back RAFA..ok granted i’d like babel and torres upfront every game but i do know one thing , rafa is a better manager than me…the yanks are in it for the money and ALL their promises were LIES…parry, moores and the other shareholders….hold your heads in SHAME. A disgrace.

  29. I never trusted these guys now leave us alone you liers and please please drop Prick Perry in the sea on your way HOME……………….

  30. FANTASTIC article!! Keep up the good work Jim.

    RAFA should be backed to the hilt by us fans. Let these these bloody yanks know we won’t put up with this bullshit & lies.

    RAFA is the only man for the job as far as I’m concerned, just hope he stays…….

  31. Lets not forget Moores has made the most money from flogging his beloved club so i think he and parry deserve scorn and public ridicule. Its funny why are we the only club with billionaire owners a world top 5 manager and we re going to end up with nothing but the rest of the footballing world pointing and laughing. I hate Parry, Moores, Hicks and Gillet. Give me some DIC. Come on RAFA Come on you reds. BOYCOTT GAMES!!!!!!!!

  32. As a Liverpool fan growing up in South Africa and now living in Texas, I’ve never been to Anfield, and never had the honour of hearing the KOP in full voice sing YNWA, but I do know the words…and now more than ever before they could not be more true. Right now we are all walking through the storm, Liverpool are being slowly pulled apart by these clowns Gillett and Hicks. Moores and Parry certainly haven’t helped either, and it’s shocking that Stevie G hasn’t nutted up and stood by his Manager. Rafa hasn’t helped himself with some of his slections and policies, but at least there’s no denying he’s honestly trying to help our club. The same cannot be said by these Pirates from America who are trying to profit of the backs of Liverpool fans worldwide. At the end of the storm however there is a golden sky. Liverpool is not about profit, its about Pride, Tradition, Honest managers and players, Hillsborough Memorials, the list of good things goes on and on. No matter how hard they try, G and H will never insert themselves into Liverpool culture, and eventually will give up and move on. They cannot be successful trying to operate the only way they know how, and so will lose their arses in the process and hopefully go away. Liverpool will survive this, it’s just going to be no fun getting through it.

  33. Its about time all liverpool supporters stopped being sheep and following what the press says, and starts realising what a great manager we have. The bloody yanks should alsop realise that to, and until such time as rafa is given the support to build and develop the club, we are going to struggle! The press are abunch of wankers who only love Man Utd and Chelsea!

  34. Grass roots well grasped!

    I can only blame Rafa for one thing.

    He still cannot understand that to win the premiership you need a steady team with plenty of English bullies at the back and up front.

    Arbeloa is very good but looks flimsy when challenged by toughies.

    We need a Hutton at the back. We need a Kevin Nolan in the middle. SG either is tired or worried – maybe the current situation is getting him down too. A Dean Ashton up front – though Torres is raving up front and terrorising defences.

    The others can relax for CL…

    It is clear the yanks are out to grab the buck and pull out.

    Maybe Moores or Parry are to blame for setting aside DIC, I think they would have done a better job afterall.

  35. Shanks must be turning in his grave ! Who got us into this mess !! The same guy who turned the quality DIC outfit away . The guy whose job it is to prevent these situations from happening .
    Even Slur Alex got the best part of 6 years to turn that lot round and look what Rafa’s done in 3 !

  36. I agree with the criticisms levelled at the current owners of Liverpool FC, who only appear interested in making money at no risk. However, I cannot completely agree with the (albeit cleverly presented) telling of events regarding Liverpool’s performances this season. The article focuses only on events following the spat, suggesting the arguments have caused the problem. I think it misses the point that things weren’t rosy before then.

    In the eight league games leading up to the Newcastle match, Liverpool had 3 wins and five draws. I think that the Fratton and Ewood Park results were fair enough – they aren’t easy places to go. However, failing to beat Chelsea or Arsenal (even if we were robbed against the Blues) meant that draws at Anfield against Birmingham and Tottenham weren’t good enough for a team with title aspirations.

    Moving on, we have the Reading game. At that point, we may have been unbeaten but we were also unremarkable – too many drawn matches meant we were already falling off the pace. Why did we lose that game? We lost it because Marseille – hardly flying in their own league – were able to come to Anfield and beat us. We lost it because we followed up that Euro result with defeat in Turkey. By the time of the sixth Champions League game, the group should have been tied up, but the team had somehow conspired to force Rafa to choose between two competitions. Harsh!

    I apologise for all my naysaying. Don’t think I am foolish enough to say Rafa should go – I think he needs a little more time! I know he has been held back in his efforts to bring real quality to the club. Furthermore, its most likely there were problems behind the scenes long before his arguments with the owners went public. It has probably been the cause of some of the mediocre results this season.

    Nevertheless, I have concerns. When Chelsea won the league, everyone accused them of “buying” the title. Now I see nothing but complaints that Rafa isn’t given enough money. I am realistic enough to realise that money is very important to success, and spending big is one of the only ways to succeed. However, if Rafa is simply given as much cash as he wants, we will simply have followed Chelsea’s lead. That saddens me, and also makes me feel we have no right to criticise their methods. Still, perhaps that is simply a reflection on the modern game. Shame…

    Also, look at the teams we are level with right now (and yes, I know we have a game in hand). Villa, City and Everton… have they spent huge, huge sums more than us? I don’t think so. So why hasn’t our team achieved more with the same cash – surely our squad was better than any of those teams? Shouldn’t adding the likes of Torres and Babel be reaping more rewards? I don’t know what the problem is, but it seems that some teams are getting more bang for their buck than we seem to be managing right now.

    Still, if the league is simply a reflection of spending, then Arsenal are simply defying the odds, thanks to their manager and scouting network. Hopefully, with a bit more time, Rafa will achieve the same. Certainly he seems to be taking the club in the righ direction and has recognised the need to get quality youngsters in (even if we haven’t seen them much yet!). However, we can’t just pretend its all the owners fault. Last season we all wanted a 20 goals a season man. We got him in the form of Torres, and we still aren’t topping the table. Maybe its the owners, but if DIC come in and we still fail, who will be blame then?

    I know I am bucking the trend in going against the grain of most comments. I hope Rafa can make it work, but I fear for the future right now…

  37. I agree that Rafa needs more time and resouces to build a competitive and quality squad. If Hicks and Gillette can’t provide the extra resources then they should sell the club to DIC. However, I don’t think this will happen and they should be given time to prove that they really want success at L4.

    Allowing Rafa to buy Skrtel is a move in the right direction but what L4 really need now is a quality striker to work alongside the only quality striker currently in the squad-Torres.

    Only then would L4 fans be convinced that Hicks and Gillette mean business.

    We’ll wait and see.

  38. Forgive me, Reds, for I have sinned.
    I have taken it in to my heart, albeit briefly (well, okay, until I read this excellent article), to even countenance the thought of the “Special (i.e. Evil) One” filling the boots of Shankley, Paisley & Dalgleish, of whom he is unworthy.
    Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
    My penance shall be to meditate upon the mantra “Gillette Out, Hicks Out, Parry Out, You’ll Never Walk Alone” ad infinitum.
    IRWT

  39. That is easily the best article of the season. Any Liverpool fan who questions Rafa (of which I have when he’s playing Kuyt left wing!) should read. We didn’t like the ideas of the Yanks to start with, and Hicks looks a slimy git…..looks like our instincts were right!

  40. Hicks and Gillette have done everything to appease Rafa and us this summer with huge signings. A record ammount for Torres, yet all Rafa does is complain about transfers. If your boss gave you more money to do your job and yet the results were the same and you still complained about getting even more money, surely you would get the sack! Rafa has spent money and yet we are still no closer to winning the title than last season, even with Torres’ current form. Rafa had little business to go and air our dirty laundry. He showed a complete lack of respect for the owners. They wanted to see what the results would be of their huge summer spending spree before deciding whether to continue opening the check book. I, like many Liverpool supporters are anxious for results but I am realistic about spending the ownership spending money. I believe as owners they have every right to see if their money is being spent wisely. Is our team better than last season? That is the question? I see our results are not improving at all. We haven’t beaten the other so-called big 3 teams. We draw at home to weaker sides. We fail to unlock defences in away matches. All the Yank owners have done is spend money and yet the fans are still not happy with them? If anything Rafa is the one who should be drawing the ire of the club’s supporters, with the poor performances and disrespecting the ownership by talking to the over-aggressive English media, who print absolute non-sense and half-truth stories. Hicks admitted to speaking to Klinsmann but as a precautionary measure if Rafa “walked”. Not that he ever was going to replace him. “We attempted to negotiate an option,” Hicks told the Liverpool Echo. “It was as an insurance policy, to have him become manager if Rafa left for Real Madrid or other rumoured clubs. “Or in case our communication spiralled out of control for some reason.” The owners who have had control of the team less than a year deserve to prove themselves. Much as the Glazer’s had to at UTD. We as a club need to stop listening to the media. They would like nothing more to see the demise of our great club and take pride in building and then tearing down teams and people. YNWA.

  41. In response to the negative comments that the team is capable of a more sustained challenge this year: that is exactly what the article is implying that it is not a failure of rafa’s to deliver, as much as he has been undermined by ineptitude at management level that heaps unnecessary pressure on the man, the team and throwing bait to the media vultures circling ever closer.

    I am in complete agreement that these clowns in charge do not have the best interest of this club at heart, and care nothing for the ‘franchise’ they are ‘custodians’ of.

    Of course, Rafa has made mistakes, but he is the best manager this club has seen in years, and if this season has been a chronic disappointment in terms of results ,this is only because he has raised the level of expectation with his success and has all us fans daring to dream again.

    Give him time, give him the financial backing he needs to compete at the top level and he will deliver.

  42. If Rafa goes who are we going to get to replace him?? klinnsmann – no experience got new job now anyway.
    Aladyce – NO
    Mouriniho – have we all forgotten what an arrogant shit he was towards LFC
    who else??
    Managers need time not interferrence.

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