Official: LFC confirm Parry to leave

Liverpool Football Club have now announced officially that CEO Rick Parry is to leave.

Rick Parry to leave AnfieldThe official announcement was made on the club’s website just after 10am, and confirmed he will “leave Anfield at the end of the current season.”

It said that Parry would stay on until the end of the season “in order for a smooth transition to take place”.

There were comments from the two co-owners. Tom Hicks made no secret of his desire to see Parry leave when he spoke out last spring about a list of concerns. Today Hicks was quoted as saying: “Rick’s commitment to Liverpool Football Club is epitomised by his desire to ensure that this transitional period is managed efficiently and we are grateful to him for his help. He will always remain a friend of the football club.”

His main ally at the club in the last 18 months or so has been George Gillett. Gillett refused to vote with Hicks to force Parry to resign last spring, but for reasons unstated he is no longer standing in the way. He said: “I would like to thank Rick for his significant service to the Club and the assistance he has given us since we joined Liverpool. He has been integral to the club’s success over the past decade and leaves with our best wishes for the future.””

The man himself, who left a role as CEO of the Premier League to take up the post at the club he’s always supported, spoke with dignity: “I have had 12 very exciting years at Liverpool and am extremely proud of what has been achieved by the Club over that period,” said Parry. “The victory in Madrid was a wonderful reminder of the many high points we have experienced and adds to the moments that make Liverpool and its magnificent fans so special.”

He went on: “It has been a privilege to serve the Club and as a lifelong supporter I wish the owners, Rafa, the players and the wonderful staff all the very best for the future. I will be leaving at the end of the season knowing that the Club remains strong and with a set of supporters who deserve success in all that Liverpool does.”

Speculation that Ian Ayre would be promoted in place of Parry was also played down in the official announcement, which pointed that “the Board will initiate a search for a new Chief Executive and will update supporters and other stakeholders when appropriate”.

Announcement in full:

Liverpool FC Chief Executive Rick Parry will leave Anfield at the end of the current season, the Club has confirmed today.

Mr Parry, 54, will stay at Liverpool until the end of this campaign in order for a smooth transition to take place.

An accountant by profession, Mr Parry joined the Reds from The FA Premier League in 1997. His tenure reached a high point in 2005 when LFC secured their fifth European Cup trophy.

Liverpool Co-Chairman Tom Hicks said today: “Rick’s commitment to Liverpool Football Club is epitomised by his desire to ensure that this transitional period is managed efficiently and we are grateful to him for his help. He will always remain a friend of the football club.”

Fellow Co-Chairman George Gillett added: “I would like to thank Rick for his significant service to the Club and the assistance he has given us since we joined Liverpool. He has been integral to the club’s success over the past decade and leaves with our best wishes for the future.”

Rick Parry said; “I have had 12 very exciting years at Liverpool and am extremely proud of what has been achieved by the Club over that period. The victory in Madrid was a wonderful reminder of the many high points we have experienced and adds to the moments that make Liverpool and its magnificent fans so special.

“It has been a privilege to serve the Club and as a lifelong supporter I wish the owners, Rafa, the players and the wonderful staff all the very best for the future. I will be leaving at the end of the season knowing that the Club remains strong and with a set of supporters who deserve success in all that Liverpool does.”

The Board will initiate a search for a new Chief Executive and will update supporters and other stakeholders when appropriate.

52 thoughts on “Official: LFC confirm Parry to leave”

  1. Today’s is just another roller-coaster day in the life of a football fan. But unlike the elation of Wednesday, today I’m in a very confused state of mind.

    I remember the time that Rick Parry was appointed to our club. I was excited that we managed to nab the Premier League’s top man who would bring riches – or rather achievement – to our club. He was the man at the top who was/is Liverpool from top to toe. The problem, over time, has been whether he’s the man for these global footall times. I fear he was/is not but he is the man who had some semblance of what ‘The Liverpool Way’ meant. Our owners – or is that custodians – haven’t got a clue. Rafa, for all his communication problems, appears to have an idea.

    So with Parry gone, who next and what next for our club.

    I know not enough about Hicks and Gilletts contacts or recruitment policy to know who might be the next CEO. But I’m hopeful it’s not just a Hicks or Gillett lackie. Remember, they’re looking to sell and move on.

    One name that comes to mind is Brian Barwick, the recently stood down FA Chioef Executive and very much life long Liverpool football fan, who knows the game and people within it at home and abroad – and has become increasingly aware of the need and requirements to be a top-global brand – and must have learnt from the wembley stadium debacle which we’ll need when finally we get new owners. My other reason is that he holds his own. But I suspect it’s because he has this strength of character that he will be sadly over-looked.

    The next issue of course is for Rafa to sign his contract. Although as I stressed before Parry standing down does not reflect positively on him. Rafa’s definitely in a results based business now and must hope that any new owners will accept his strength/power-base within the club.

    In July we have the re-financing issues around the club. What now for that? Will Gillett want to stick around with no allies within the club? Will Hicks get the 100% control he’d prefer or will the Government owned RBS bank pull the plug forcing a sale?

    One thing that’s clear is that the stability we all crave is not here, at least not yet. Let’s hope when Parry leaves at the end of the year, his legacy is much better than it appears to be at the moment.

  2. Jofrad: Really sorry, but I hit the wrong button on the interface for this site and it deleted your comment I think. I’ve managed to get a copy of it from another screen where I’d not hit “refresh” yet, so here it is in full:


    Submitted on 2009/02/27 at 11:09am
    Never mind a new CEO what Liverpool needs is a new owner who will build the new stadium and not exhibit the club’s dirty washing for all the world to see.
    Good luck to Rick Parry, whatever his shortcomings his commitment to Liverpool was never in doubt.

  3. I cannot believe Benitez has got his own way. The owners have obviously backed down and given total control to a man who has purchased and rates the likes of Lucas, Dossena and Ngog.

    What the hell is going on!

    A total and utter farce, we are the laughing stock of the English league.

    I look forward to another 5 years of defensive, one up front football at home and players who would look out of place in the 2nd division.

    In Rafa we trust.

  4. Hi Cantos,
    I think that you’re putting the cart before the horse with respect to the club. Initially success is achieved by results.

    Once we’ve achieved success (and the money that comes with it ) then it becomes possible to add another dimension to team e.g. more technically gifted and creative players.

    It doesn’t happen overnight?

  5. Hicks has got his way.

    I think Rafa’s inadvertently got a result that at least works for him in the short term. We’ll see how it goes beyond that.

    By the way, the owners of the Club have secured a man – if he does sign his contract – who’s won the CL, been in another final and Semi-final; won the FA Cup and more; plus got us closer to winning the league than any other recent season while his resources has only allowed him to but Lucas, Dossena and Ngog who cost less than the individual value of Tevez, Shevchenko and Malouda and in the region of Arshavin and Nasri. Not bad, i say, when you look at the facts as they stand so far!

  6. Although Rick Parry’s commitment to LFC is unquestioned and has been a loyal servant to the club for years, I feel It is a good move for the club in the long run. something had to give and his departure may start things moving again at the top. I’m not sure if Hicks’s gain is to LFC’s loss in the long run or whether Benitez can buy the players he requires now, but either way things will change and the stalemate will hopefully come to an end soon. Everyone knows It has been the stalemate at board level which has been damaging the club. Until one person is in control this will drag on and on. While the team in Mancland continues into the distance increasing the gap on and off the pitch.

  7. Edward its not exactly overnight is it…….hes had 5 years and his signings on the whole have been awful. Im not going to write another list of failures here ive done that before. And for a manager to sign players and then get rid of them almost immediately tells the same story. Im not just talking about Keane, but the likes of Crouch and Bellamy who are ten times better than Ngog and Kuyt put together,

    He has spent a hell of alot of money on alot of players who are nowhere near good enough. Lucas, Dossens, Ngog, Gonzalez, Kronkamp, Pennant, Josemi, nunez, Vornin and Leto to name a few complete disasters and theres more….

    He has signed Torres, Riena, Agger, Skrtel but in all over his five years in charge the man has spent around 200 million pounds on players with only about six of them who add any real talent to the squad. Its outrageous.

  8. Mark Gonzalez – bought for £2m sold for £4m

    Krongkamp – bought and sold for the same money

    Pennant – 6.7 m. tried to off-load but he resisted ‘because he only wanted to play for our club only to leave for portsmouth’ on a short term contract so he can make more money. Don’t blame him but nothing to do with loyalty to club!

    Josemi – sold and bought for same money.

    Nunez – part of owen deal. cost us next to nothing as far as i know

    Voronin – bought on free. Cost us salary but now coming back and more in loan fee and possible transfer

    Leto – on loan. can’t get a work permit. doing well in Greece. Will get out-lay back if Rafa wants it.

    Rafa’s problem – and his critics don’t always get it – is that he’s having to wheel and deal to make money on transfers to invest into buying players – even though he’s making money for the club through the champions league etc

    You might want to add

    Arbeloa – bought for £2m would cost more now
    Aurelio – bought on a free would cost more now
    Alonso – bought for £10+ mill and would go for more
    Carson – bought and sold for more than he cost

    Stevie G – always a tremdous talent but now scoring goals beyond his own expectations. He attributes that to Rafa.
    Torres – similar tribute to Rafa
    Riera – likewise

    As for Robbie Keane – whoever bought him for £20m?! – he will cost us 2, maybe 3m, in the end. Far better suffer that lose all the 20m by benching him for the whole season.

    Rafa’s not bad. Won trophies on a good bugdet but not the same as his competitors.

    Oh, and of course, even our rivals have made mistakes……Veron, Djemba-djemba, Shevchencko, Reyes and they all cost more than any of our ‘failures’ who may yet prove you wrong.

    Hope today’s game goes well.

  9. Nobody is argueing that Benitez isnt a good business man. My god he’s better than Alan Sugar at selling crap as youve just stated above.

    But i want someone in charge who wants to win the title and buys players who are good enough to do that.

    The weakness of our bench today clearly shows you he cant.

    Benitez is a total idiot as far as i am concerned.

    We go away to play Real Madrid and put in a great performance. And what does he do. He completely changes a confident team to play Boro, and we lose.

    He leaves out Wednesdays man of the match (Yossi) and goalscorer, brings in Babel(who im sorry is useless) and plays Skrtel at right back??????

    Yes right back, why?????

    Gerrard isnt fit but plays him anyway and now he’s injured again, completely contradicting himself again and again.

    There was no need to change the team and play decent players out of position. Our squad is weak due to his pathetic childlike dispute with Parry and his inability to sign decent players.

    But most of all his tactics stink and he obviously cannot motivate a side. This is probably down to the fact that the players dont know whether they are coming or going and feel there is no point in putting in a great performance because you will get rotated regardless.

    They did not play with any pride today and again this is down to the way they are treated by the manager.

    Benitez is not slightly bothered about winning the title and is only concerned with Europe.

    We have completely blown any chance of winning the league this year after a great start by us and a faultering start by our rivals. He decided to play safe, defensive football at home and we became the draw kings. Anfield aint no fortress anymore, we all know that. Benitez is obvious in the mind of others but a pure genius in his own.

    Lets get somebody else in before the end of the season so that things can be sorted out during the closed season.

    The arguement that certain players would leave if Rafa went doesnt hold water with me. If they dont want to play for Liverpool, play for the shirt with pride then they dont deserve to stay anyway. We are more than a one man club.

    There was no pride or effort today.

    And Kuyt should be ashamed of that miss from 5 yards. We all make mistakes but not as often as him i feel. Yes he puts in a good shift every week, but if my milkman was given the shirt im sure he would put in a good shift too.

    Time for change. Its a disgrace,.

    And to top it all when asked by sky why Liverpool didnt win Benitez said and i quote, ‘WE DIDNT TAKE OUR CHANCES, WE HAD 5 CHANCES IN FRONT OF GOAL IN THE FIRST HALF AND WE DIDNT TAKE THEM.’

    This from the man who insisted on selling all our strikers and leaving us to battle for the title with an unfit Torres, Ngog who is way out of his depth and Kuyt.

    Well said Rafa, but you didnt really have to say it, we all now what stupid mistakes you have made…..

  10. Cantos,

    All you do is criticise without offering any solutions.

    We had to rest some players who played mid-week. That he did against a struggling side is reasonable. It’s not Rafa’s fault if someone misses a easy chance.

    Skrtel was played RBV to counter Downing. Carra doesn’t have the pace.

    Gerrard was only suffering cramp and will be back Tuesday.

    We haven’t won at Middlesborough since 92. I don’t know why. It’s just a bad ground for us.

    If you’re only given so much money how do you buy players you can’t afford? The credit card is not an option.

    If Chelsea hadn’t scored a last minute winner we’d still be second. If you supported Arsenal I could understand calls for the manager to go but we’re in a far healthier position than them.

    And don’t call for Rafa to be sacked without saying who you’d bring in and why. It’s not Rafa that’s the problem. It’s the lack of money that forces him to buy lesser players than he would otherwise like.

  11. That should read we haven’t won at Middlesborough since 2002. And Skrtel was playing RB, not RBV.

  12. @ ray. Well what a good idea hey! Downing ran absoulute rings around Skrtel today so for a start that was a terrible idea.

    Why rest players? Your best 1 should always start. Its points where after. Get the goals first then take off players you need to rest. Funny how Carra never gets a rest innit?

    Chelsea did score, but even so that result shouldnt matter. We should be chasing three points not gambling on Chelsea to draw.

    And as for money. Its been wasted on crap players. End of story.

    Ray, i will keep critising til Rafa grows up and takes what we the fans want seriously.

    You keep backing him mate, and we’ll keep sliding down that table.

  13. @ oh yeah, lack of money, right. 200 million on players?

    Dont make me laugh.

    Theres no pride, no fight and no desire, thats why were losing games.

    Unless its the European cup, then we seem to be a different side. Culd this have something to do with the priorites of the staff. Yes it can.

  14. I cant leave it.

    I know most people on here are in the ‘Rafa can do no wrong club’ but how can you support or justify that starting line up today.

    Benitez is a power monger. He left Valencia in the shite and thats how he will leave us.

    He victimises players, Keane, Crouch, Bellamy and the way he treated Stephen Warnock was absoulotely disgusting,
    the lad had just got a place in the England line and he was given away. The only decent left back we had. Far better than anything weve had since.

    If you think his transfers are anything but shite then your blind.

    I care about my club and its players and its fans, its a pity he doesnt.

  15. This shows and comfirms that our diffence this year is leaking and if Torres and gerrard are not playing we hardly score, we were better in all the stats below still they scored two

    Two Auto goals in two games that is bad apart that this year we got to many goals which were easly avoidable

    Middlesbrough Team Statistics Liverpool

    2 Goals 0
    3 Shots on Target 4
    2 Shots off Target 12
    0 Blocked Shots 7
    2 Corners 9
    1 Fouls 7
    6 Offsides 2
    2 Yellow Cards 0
    65.6 Passing Success 84.7
    24 Tackles 16
    70.8 Tackles Success 81.2
    28 Possession 72
    46.6 Territorial Advantage 53.4

  16. Come on lads keep going!

    Half-time in Istanbul. It looks impossible. Maybe go out and win the Sunderland game at home.

  17. @ im sorry to say it pal, but the League title has gone, youve got Benitez and his crazy selection policy to blame for that one and his continual unsettledside tactics, the man has lost the plot.

    Aldrige and Barnes have both been on local radio this evening and slated the team selection. Trying to win the league and playing players who have hardly kicked a ball all season and playing others out of position.

    You keep on loving the man guys, i know he can do no wrong in the eyes of most contributers to this site, but the anger and head rubbing is getting more evident on the terraces.

    We may well win the CL but if we dont its now two qualifiers for the team that finishes fourth, and im afraid at this rate it could be us.

    Can nobody else on here see what is happening to LFC.

  18. Just seen the highlights of today’s game and Skirtel looked lost against Downing. Downing has pace (although its hardly electrifying) which may have been Rafa’s thinking but I have no doubt that Carragher would have comfortably negated any threat.

    Playing to our own strengths with players in familiar positions brings confidence and it was a ploy that weakened us today in the first half. With Dossena and Degen both poor acquisitions in the summer, we could have done without having to play Skirtel there.

    Surely Carragher could have slotted in at right back and Skirtel could have continued his excellent form in the centre with Hyppia.

    El Zhar’s miss really was shocking and he has no excuse whatsoever for not hitting the target. We had the chances but missed any cutting edge. That’s the frustration as most Reds fans were so proud on Tuesday yet we are left sctracthing our heads after todays game.

    A bizarre week as we comfortably held off Real Madrid yet made a meal of Middelsborough. Europe is our only hope of any silverware this season and I hope we can make it all the way to Rome……..but it hurts to think we could not last the title race to March at least.

    The big one illudes us once again. I think we have made great strides this season but we really lack depth in our squad. Keane was a political pawn and I felt saddened by how he was treated. Ngogue and El Zhar are not ready yet.

    I have always been a fan if Tuncay and would gladly swap him for Lucas.

    On another note there seems to be a strong clamour for Mourinho to replace Fergusin at Man U.

    What are peoples thoughts on Mourinho at Liverpool? Pros and cons?

    Mourinho at Man U rather than at Liverpool?

  19. PS I should have said I am still fully behind Rafa and think he deserves one more season. It will be a seminal year in terms of the clubs direction.

    Now that Parry is gone, Rafa has no excuses where the transfer policy is concerned. We need to make our new players count and I am not a fan of one season acquisitions: Vorena, Bellamy etc.

    2008/09 players:


    Ngogue X

    Degen …..who?

    Be great to see Insua more as he is a star in the making. Nemeth rather than Ngogue. But if we mean business Rafa should pull out all the stops and get Villa whilst Valencia need the cash.

  20. Cantos

    I agree with you. Rafa’s cautious approach to league games is costing us. This is not a knee jerk reaction after the loss to Boro. I have felt it for some time. Even when we are at the top of the table, I never seriously think we can challenge for the title.

    Forget about the title, concentrate on the CL where Rafa’s disciplined approach does give us an edge.

  21. Cantos,

    You still appear to be in rant mode rather than reasoned discussion mode. I notice you still haven’t suggested an alternative to Rafa. No point sacking him if you don’t have a replacement in mind.

    I won’t always defend Rafa. His decision to play Skrtel at RB was bizarre and it frustrates me that when interviewed on MoTD he wasn’t asked about that decision. And Benny should have started. Warnock’s treatment was also bad. He is a defensively minded manager which doesn’t sit comfortably with me but if you go for a gung-ho one you’d probably moan about all the goals we leak when we lose 2-3!

    You’re never going to be in complete agreement with any manager. If Rafa had got some of the players that were denied him by RP or because RP was rubbish at negotiating then things would be different.

    If you want a bit more insight into the problems Rafa has read this.

    I wonder if you felt the same 72 hours ago after the win in Madrid. Were you calling for his head then?

    When you consider we’re now better than Arsenal and pretty much level with Chelsea there’s only Manure to beat. Given SAF will be going in a year or two the title might be closer than you think.

    Finally, if we’re that bad tell me how many games we’ve lost to the other big 3 this season? NONE! Al the points we’ve dropped have been to lesser sides and that is a far easier problem to solve than how to beat the big 3.

  22. @ Ray. Mate ive been calling for his head since last season . Ive no time for a man who has put LFC in such a laughable position. Yes hes won us trophies but the CL win was through luck and players sheer determination, rather than RAFA tactics…If you remember he started with Kewell for some reason??? and left out Haman. Its only when that change was enfoced that we looked solid. Haman was the man of the match for me that night, and Benitez didnt even start him…….another in a very long line of wrong, unexplainable decisions.

    Ive hated him trying to be clever with his ridiculous selection policiy and the fact he doesnt try and win every game. Leaving the likes of Torres out of league game last year, but then playing him in league cup matches…..absoloutely ridiculous.

    The man has seriously let us down over the past few months,

    To answer your question i thought he got it right on Wed against Madrid, so why then have a breakdown and put Skrtel in at right back, go ultra defensive, play players who have been out for ages and drop Yossi the man of the match. Nobody and i mean nobody can see any sense in that.

    Why will he never stand up and say ‘YES’ i made a mistake.

    He will never change. So its time for a change. As for a replacement. I think any average manager who would put out our best 11 week in week out would have more sucsess than Benitez and would probably be top at the moment.

    I would love to see Dalglish back, but i know that aint gonna happen.

    I do not want to see jose make an apperance and i dont think he will after what has gone on between our teams over the years, although i do concede that he is a much better manager than Benitez.

    His treatment of players is terrible, his transfers are laughable and his tactics outside of europe suck.

    Does yesterdays selection and tactics not some him up completely guys?

  23. Even by Benitez’s standards, his team selection at the Riverside was bizarre. Out went Albert Rieira and Yossi Benayoun, in came Nabil El Zhar for his first league start in a must-win encounter, and over went Martin Skrtel to right-back. ‘Why not Jamie Carragher?’ asked the Match of the Day pundits but why play a centre-half at full-back whoever it may be? Given that Liverpool had to win in order to keep their title hopes alive, deploying a backfoot defender at full-back was inexplicable whether it be Skrtel or Carragher.

    From football365

    Is insua injured or is he also again out of favour despite playing some cracking matches before leaving to play for his country. Surely he would have been much better at right back.

  24. Cantos,

    I can’t help but completely disagree with almost everything you say.

    Why would you say we are in a laughable position? What exactly is a laughable position these days? Joint 2nd in March? I see you must be from the Abramovich school of patience.

    You talk about £200 million, but you’ve neglected how much Rafa has had to sell to buy. His expenditure to income is nearly level. You seem to have no balance to your argument.

    Call for Rafa’s head? You must be having a laugh. Do you forget that before Rafa came we were a UEFA cup team, scrapping with a pre-Abramovich Chelsea for 4th.

    Rafa has had to catch United (who have arguably the finest squad the Premiership has ever seen full of veterans and world class players) by spending less and starting off 30 points behind. In 4/5 years we’ve closed the gap remarkably and on the way become the number 1 ranked team in Europe. And although you dismiss that you also dismiss all the bonuses that come with being Europe’s best. The appeal, the money and the prestige, all which help bring other quality players to our club.

    And congratulations for naming some failures, name me a manager who hasn’t. Rafa’s not perfect, but he’s a whole lot better than anything else we could have.

    “You’ll never walk alone” ? You may as well rip that off our badge straight away because Anfield is full of fickle, short memories.

    I’ve never been so disgusted than at the City game hearing Lucas getting booed when the team-sheet was read out. All game the lad gave away two, yes two passes, but then was castigated afterwards by large sections of ‘fans’ behind me.

    The over-hyped narrow minded expectations of not only the manager, but our players is damaging the club more than any of Rafa’s ‘rants’. Supporter unrest makes us easy targets for the press and it all trickles down.

    Cantos, your not alone in your views, and that for me is the sad situation we find ourselves in.

    By the way, Rafa’s record in Europe is almost identical to his record in the league. As well as sharing the same, if not better win ratio’s than Paisley and Shankly.

  25. @ St Chris.

    Was the team selection against Boro crazy?

    After the start we had, should we now be clear at the top?

    Is 10 home draws against lesser opposition good enough?

    Has Rafa been a complete bully towards certain hard working talented players?

    Has he bought more bad/average players than good ones?

    You will have to concede the answer to all those questions is yes.

    But you keep your membership to the Rafa walks on water club, thats your choice. But he has blown the best start to a campaign weve had in years with his ridiculous ideas. I for one have had enough and so have the majority of supporters who, for four years supported this man, but now enough is enough.

    If he wanted to sign and boost moral, he could have it done by now. Politics and slanging matches are not what we are about.

    Paisley and Shankley! It takes more that a Europeasn cup before you can even think of comparing Rafa to them pal.

  26. Cantos,

    Our best start to a league campaign in 20 years was down to Rafa. Since he came to our club we’ve only improved season on season. How can you criticise him so viciously when we haven’t took a step back at all.

    If you look at our playing squad it’s been a tough time for them. Mascherano, Torres, Alonso, Reina, Arbeloa and Gerrard (through injury) all had short pre-seasons due o the Olympics and Euros.

    Also, would you sign a contract with your employer if you didn’t agree with it? Rafa has every right to sign when he’s happy. He actually only wanted similar controls to Martin O’Neil and David Moyes, which was blown out of proportion in the media.

    You talk about bad/average signings, but can I ask who you would buy for similar budgets? Rafa famously has not had the players he’s wanted, hence the contract troubles.

    We can’t compete with paying £18m for Anderson/Hargreaves and Carrick who all play the same position. Yet we still close the gap.

    I don’t believe Rafa walks on water, I think his major floor is his stubbornness. But every manager has their flaws, every manager.

    If you can’t see that then your deluded my friend.

    May I ask who you would replace Benitez with?

  27. @ St Chris

    That is a tough question my friend.

    My first choice i know would not be possible, but i would love to see Kenny Dalglish back in charge.

    More realisticaly, Josep Guardiola (FC Barcelona) looks like a fine young manager. He favours a 4-3-3 system and his record is a fine one.

    Marcello Lippi also has a fine club and international record.

    These are just 3 i have thought of from thetop of my head but like i said earlier, with the players we had available at the start of the season, an average manager playing his best 11 could have done really well.

    It aint rocket science.

  28. …..FC Barcelona lost 4-3 today, after 1 result and in less than one season as a manager, does that rule him in or out as a possible replacement for Rafa? Or should we go back for Klinnsman?

    PS When suggesting a manager please talk about their past/present record on transfers as they’ll need to be a wheeler-dealer on the funds they’re (un)likely to get from our owners?

    PPS Rafa walks in the real world, not water. It makes you wonder whether some of our fans realise we need a (minor) miracle worker to compete. Check budget spends guys.

    PPS Can we be a little more positive? We only beat Real Madrid the other day!!!

  29. @ Mid I totally agree with you I think Aston villa and Sunderland spent more then us in the last two seasons apart from Manur spend double then us.

  30. all i have to say is, ryan babel is shite in so many ways that i cant believe that he will be with liverpool next season. if you could give his talent to dirk kuyt you would have the best player on the planet. instead we have jermaine pennants twin with less heart.

  31. @ Cantos

    ‘Ive no time for a man who has put LFC in such a laughable position’

    You obviously didnt watch much of us in the 90’s? On the budget he has he’s doing a good job. He’s put us back up there with the greats in European football. When we were year in year out in the UEFA Cup losing to Brondby and others I use to dream of reaching semi’s and finals of the Champions league. We’re now a club that top European footballers would jump at the chance to play for. Just a pity we havent got owners with a bit of money behind them to bring them to the club.

    Unfortunately some fans think we have a divine right to win everything. And a change of manager is going to be a miracle fix. This just isnt going to happen. As much as it pains me to say, Man Utd have arguably the best squad theyve ever had. They spend near enough 20 million and above on every signing. We just cant compete on this level with the owners we have.

  32. @ Jofrad

    That article feels spot on. There’s no denying there’s been missed-opportunities this season but it wouldn’t be football if there wasn’t. The facts is that we are punching in and around our weight – though I actually think we’re punching above it when you consider the money open to Spurs, Man City and Villa (the so-called small squad club), not to mention the other part of the big 4.

    Fans may metaphorically punch Rafa all they like. But anyone with a budget knows you can either buy one nice thing from Harrods, and starve for the rest of the week, or buy a whole bunch of stuff from a local shop and eat heartily. Rafa’s having to do the latter – compared to our closest rivals – and he has to hope the El Zhar’s, Ngogs etc… either punch above their weight or can be sold for a profit so we can afford the next tier of player.

    This morning I read a piece by Stan Collymore which made me question whether he should be let loose on radio. He said we should dump Rafa for Mourinho.

    I much prefer Rafa but good luck to him and others who think Morinho is a better manager for our club. He wants money and loads of it to manage our club and buy players. If he’s the kind of distraction we want then next season would be even more of a soap opera.

  33. @MR

    ‘But anyone with a budget knows you can either buy one nice thing from Harrods, and starve for the rest of the week, or buy a whole bunch of stuff from a local shop and eat heartily’

    Sums up our situation perfectly. Rafa has to sign the Voronins, Ngogs, Kronkamps, and Degens of the world because there’s gaps in the squad that need filling with no money available. If he had an extra 20 mill would he really want to sign Degen or Voronin instead of signing a quality player?

  34. If Rafa signs a new contract (and that’s still an if), then presumably with Parry gone Rafa will be in control of transfer targets for the first time during the summer. This is where the manager will either triumph or fall flat with no possible excuses (apart from the usual lack of a bucketful of cash). As Tony Barrett pointed out today, not one of last summer’s player acquisitions started in Sunday’s match…and some of the ones who did don’t deserve to wear the shirt next season (I’m pointing a finger at you, Ryan Babel). At the very least, Rafa deserves two more full seasons as master of his own destiny to prove whether he can figure out the kinds of players it takes to win a league and motivate his team over 38 games.

  35. Cantos,

    Your arguments are so flawed. Guardiola? He plays 4-3-3 because he has Messi, Henry and Eto’o in his squad. Also, he hasn’t won anything in his career, nor can he speak English and to hammer home the point, why on Earth would he leave Barcelona?

    Kenny Dalglish doesn’t want to be manager, he’s stated that many times. He left for a reason that still stands.

    Marcelo Lippi? Do you think he’ll bring fluid attacking football and a good knowledge of the Premiership?

    Your deluded mate, you read too much tabloid trash and your goals are too short term and impatient to see the big picture. Liverpool as a financial force are struggling to keep up with teams like United. Benitez has still led us this season undefeated against our rivals.
    Our problems lie in our strength in depth. Something Benitez needs money to buy. I’m not demanding that we spend £15million on each player because we can’t afford to. We get one big signing a season, the rest have to be smart thinking and deals.

    What right do we have to challenge for the league? We were awful in the 90’s and flops under Houllier, Benitez has made us strong and closed the gap at the top considerably.

    No, it ain’t rocket science, but it is football.

  36. Julie,

    As in most cases, I agree with you. I think that most people who post hear are pretty reasonable. The lunatic fringe, such as Cantos, seem to go other places. Maybe “Texas Dawg” will even start posting again! I think I did see a few posts from him in the forum, but to be honest, I like the way this works much better than the forum (this puts me in the “rafa critic” territory with regard to you Jim- as in, damned if you do, damned if you don’t- because I thought that the forum might be pretty nice, so I will not criticise it directly).

    I’ve got to say though, it seems in the attack we need another summer clearout. Sigh….

  37. Hey Cory, Good to bump into you again! I suppose fans of all temperaments will have differing opinions on what is best for a club held so near to all our hearts. The thing about trying times like these is that we all tend to get a bit wild from the distress brought on by seeing our beloved LFC being dragged down by the self-interest of those who are meant to be its custodians.

    I’m still not sure whether Parry’s departure will help or further hinder the club in the short term and I guess that’s a lesson to be learned only in hindsight. I do worry that without him on the board, Hicks will be free to load the full weight of the debt onto Liverpool’s books without opposition (assuming that RBS renews the loan). But I also think that the club is crying out for someone to manage it with corporate foresight and not like (in the words of Oliver Kay) a corner shop.

    Assuming again that Rafa stays (I’d put money on it, but then again, I’ve yet to win a football bet), I think the summer will see-off at least a half dozen of the current squad, either through poor performances (oh, Ryan, we had such high hopes for you) or because Rafa needs to raise money to start bringing in more home-grown players to start fulfilling FIFA quotas, while at the same time addressing some obvious gaps in strength. Truth be told, I’m starting to question whether Rafa will ever truly put together a squad that can get to grips with slogging it out over 38 matches, but I absolutely believe he should be given a chance to try without the obstacles of a chief executive’s mistakes and poor judgement.

  38. @ Cantos don’t make me laugh, ha-ha. you don’t have an idea how lippi plays you seem to like the traditional English game 4 4 2, if a team does not play 4 4 2 for you that is not football being from Malta I eat drink and even s Italian footy which I hate and lippi is one of the most defensive couches there is around. so for that is not an OPTION BY THE WAY MANTION A SQUAD WHICH WON ANY SILVERWARE IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WITH A FIXED 4 4 2 FORMATION MAYBE THAT IS WHY ENGLISH MANAGERS ARE NOT GOOD FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SCEN, EVEN FERGIE HAD TO ADAPT

  39. When Rick Parry goes it will end the period most people thought LFC had found a good replacement for Robinson, and he may have been in many ways but, his gaffs in the transfer market and almost letting Gerrard reveal his lacki of speed, at least and maybe negotiating skills, and so I say let us hope we get a better CEO, but good luch to Rick Parry in his next assignment.
    If Benitze get the contract he wants he will have no excuse, other than money, if he doesn’t get his man.
    I think Rafa is a good Manager because, if nothing else he has improved LFC in each season he has served LFC, and so it is only a matter of time before he produces the title team.

  40. This guy, Rory Smith, has lately made a habit of hammering Rafa at every chance. If he is also pointing out the gap in resources, Liverpool fans need to understand that there is a reason:
    he sense of frustration on the Kop, though, is growing. Top of the table at Christmas and with United wobbling, Rafael Benitez’s side have blown their best chance in two decades. A startling run of form since November suggests there is no sign of the Old Trafford empire crumbling just yet.
    But the Spaniard is focusing on the positives. “This year, we have improved,” he said. “Before we were not the best against the top sides but now our record against them is good. That is positive. Now we must improve against the other teams. The players we have are good enough to do that.
    “We can break the cycle. We have made some mistakes this season and we could be in a better position. We had confidence that we could be closer at the top of the table this season. Now we have to finish as high as possible and progress in the Champions League.
    “The weekend was very disappointing because we knew we could not lose or draw any more games if we wanted to fight for the title. But still we are in a better position than in the last years and we can get better.”
    Liverpool are certainly closer to finally ending that wait than they have been at any other time under Benitez’s tenure, but while their first XI are a match for United, the depth of their squad pales in comparison.
    For tonight’s visit of Sunderland, for example, the injured Fernando Torres – a doubt for next week’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid – will be replaced by Dirk Kuyt, now a right winger, or the young Frenchman David N’Gog. If the Spaniard signs his four-year contract extension – a date for a meeting with the club’s owners will be set in the next few days – he can expect a busy summer.
    Rafa the wheeler-dealer will again be forced to bolster his squad on the cheap, whereas United’s revenues guarantee them the cream. When both Benitez and Ferguson went for young Brazilian midfielders, the former spent £6 million on Lucas, while the latter splashed £18 million on Anderson.
    Ferguson was yesterday linked with the Bayern Munich and France winger Franck Ribery. Benitez is thought to be targeting Diogo, Olympiakos’ Brazilian striker, who has just one Greek season under his belt. Measured on balance sheets alone, the gap this time next year should be even larger.
    Benitez said: “I have said before that we must do things sooner rather than later. We have to approach players very quickly and maybe you have a chance to sign them if you have enough money.
    “Or you can go for players who maybe wouldn’t get chances if they went to another side, but who can come to a top side like us and play important games and fight for important trophies.
    “We have been working for years monitoring players. We have a lot of information and we know exactly when we can do it. At the moment, though, it is too soon. We will think about the future at the end of the season. For now, we will think about improving the players we already have.”

  41. @ Dear all,

    Can I simply say what a pleasure it is to have so many of you back on the site. Fantastic.

    @ Cantos

    Keep letting us know your views mate. I might not agree – in fact, I often don’t – but it at least let’s me know more about the other point of view. And shows that football, apart from results, is all about opinions.

    @ everyone

    These next few months are crucial.

    Firstly, we need to solidify our hold on a top 3 finish.

    Secondly, we need to get all contracts that need sorting sorted.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, we, the fans, need to move our ire back to where it belongs: the boardroom. Ok, we were top and hoped to sail on through to win the title. But not many titles are won in Christmas. The real difference we’ve seen between us and our rivals is yes, budget spend but also, the chaos at the top.

    When the Glazers took over United, their supporters thought it would be them. When Abramovich took over Chelsea, many questioned his intentions. When Hicks and Gillet got their hands on our club, we were largely pleased. Now, look who’s laughing!

    We’ve an almighty fight on our hands. The ownership issue – particularly with Parry and perhaps Moores going – is what we need to be turning ourselves to resolving……….once we beat (fingers-crossed!) Sunderland tonight and get ready for a tight-game against Real Madrid next week.

  42. @midlands-red.
    Agreed but how are we going to get rid of Tom Hicks ? I fear he has no intention of selling his holding in our club. All the indications are that he wants to increase his powerbase by whatever means at his diposal, the most obvious being to bring in sympathetic financiers to take over Gillett’s shares and perhaps some of his. If he gets a majority on the board he can do what he wants, god help us. Be afraid be very afraid !

  43. Well boys and girls, im off to the game.

    I think we will batter Sunderland tonight. I have a good feeling about this one. I hope and pray we go at them tonight and score a hatful, though i would take a boring 1-0 and 3 points.

    Some interesting comments made over the last few days as this site bounces back into life.

    Still the best Reds site on the web.

    See you all later, come on you reds.

  44. “Fellow liverpool fans, can we put this debate behind us with a few so called FACTS

    1. Our team is not good enough.

    2. We struggle to break down the smaller teams.

    3. We dont have enough attacking options.

    4. Our players are not played in correct positions.

    5. When a player gets a run in the team and comes into form he is rested because he is “tired”

    6. When we are in search of goals (eg against fulham at home) rafa throws on lucas.

    7. Our coach thinks Ngog, kuyt, babel can do a good job filling in for torres. These players didnt even show form when Keane was there so why did rafa think they would come good all of a sudden after he was sold.

    8. Playing 2 holding midfielders at home is too negative and playing kuyt on the right of midfield to track back leaves really 3 players on the pitch to do the attacking.

    9. Apart from Insua there are no players from academy or youth team getting a look in and rafa bought a good few of these players.

    10. His treatment of robbie keane was disgraceful, no matter if he missed the odd sitter(kuyt does every week and doesn’t get dropped), his spat with parry over the purchase with keane took precedence over the well being of the team, keane would have been a better option for a substitute against fulham at home but he persisted with lucas who if i am right has only scored against havant and waterlooville. Lucas has never delivered us with goals.

    11. His stupid excuses point to a man who’s ego has gone too big and cannot take blame for anything. His explanation to why was skrtel played at right back instead of carra summed him up “he wanted to play there” skrtel had a nightmare and another tactical blunder by Rafa.

    Rafa get out, we will never be a premier league force again under your guidance, he has had time but as rafa well knows 2nd or 3rd place will never be good enough.

    Articale taken from football 365. Some good points well made. So it aint just me i do have a fellow antagonist somewhere in the world. ha ha

  45. This article in the Times is about Newcastle, but sadly, a lot of it seems to be relevant to Liverpool too. It’s so easy from the outside to criticize Rafa, but while I do not think he is perfect, none of us can understand the lunacy that he is working around. I am just thankful that such a talented manager has the pig-headiness (one of his terrible faults for all his critics) to stick it out, when I think a lot of people would have said “f” this a long time ago.

    by George Caulkin

    I was in conversation with a football club director (no prizes for guessing that it wasn’t anybody connected with Newcastle United) this week. He is a knowledgeable man, a man who has endured hardship as well as enjoyed success, who has coped with relegation battles, mid-table security, nervous run-ins and all the cliches that lie in between. He understands the pressure of making unpleasant decisions at frenetic times and has tended to get them right.

    It was a general, informal chat and eventually it turned, as they often do, to the maelstrom that swirls around St James’ Park. What would you do, he was asked? The club’s manager is in hospital recovering from heart surgery, but you want him to return – or at least you claim you do – but your league position is a source of huge concern. Bring someone in or leave it to the coaches? Stick or twist?

    Difficult to say, the director replied. You look at the madness of Newcastle and it’s impossible to think in rational terms like that. But one thing I would say is this: my experience has told me that at no time of the season is a manager less influential than now. Yes, I know this is when everything substantial happens, when clubs stay up or go down, win things or lose things, but even so.

    Think about it, he said. Pre-season training, when a manager and his staff spend weeks honing the fitness of their players, getting used to tactics and systems, integrating new signings, is a distant memory. Footballers should be on auto-pilot in March; if they don’t know it now, they never will. The transfer window has gone, too, so managers can’t buy any more and they can’t threaten to sell either.

    Of course, he said, there are exceptions that prove the rule. There are moments when a manager has become so corrosive to a club, if he has lost the dressing-room, for example, that a fresh voice may be needed. And yes, granted, with an inspiring team-talk or crucial substitution, an individual match can be won (or lost), but in overall terms, this time of year is all about players. They’ve been bombarded with ideas and advice and orders all season, but now is when we find out if they’ve been listening. It’s down to them.

    In the context of recent events – and possibly future ones – on Gallowgate, it was an interesting argument. Is it relevant? That’s the thing about players, the director said. They love excuses. It’s never their fault. You build a nice stadium, they complain about the training ground. You build a great training ground, they blame the manager. They let a goal in, they blame the pitch. You lay a new pitch, they tell you that their family is unsettled. You look after their family and finally they say thank you. And the next day their agent is on the phone asking about a new contract to re-pay his loyalty. But, anyway, that’s what you try to do – build a culture where excuses wither.

    At Newcastle there have been a myriad of distractions, a host of excuses. Most of them are pretty good. A manager they loved and believed in left the club when the season was still fresh. Rumours circulated that many of them had been put up for sale. The club was. And then it wasn’t. For those players whose contracts were due to expire, offers were slow to materialize and when they did, it came with a pay-cut. Morale slumped further. A caretaker manager was replaced by an interim manager. When the interim manager became the permanent manager – albeit one who is not committed to the club beyond the summer – he took ill. Now the caretaker manager is back. Too much confusion, not enough clarity.

    Mike Ashley, Newcastle’s owner, and Derek Llambias, the managing director, are now both regular visitors at the club’s training ground and it is easy to see why. Ashley’s £250m investment is in the hands of his employees. To borrow somebody else’s joke, the £8m profit he made on signings in January can’t play up front. A pile of £50 notes won’t tear up the wing. Ashley may be a billionaire but he is now just as impotent as everybody else; bringing in a firefighter, a short-term manager, is his only substantive option, although he will not need reminding that after a number of rejections, that was precisely where Joe Kinnear stepped in.

    Eventually, it will be reduced to what’s in the dressing-room. Managers can only deal with what they have. If circumstances were different, would Sir Alex Ferguson keep West Bromwich Albion up? As things stand, would the influence of Tony Pulis undermine Manchester United’s chances of becoming champions? Unlikely. In the likes of Steve Harper, Nicky Butt, Ryan Taylor and Steven Taylor, Newcastle have a core of decency, people who know what football means to Newcastle. In Harper, Sebastien Bassong, Jonas Gutierrez, Obafemi Martins and, when fit, Michael Owen, they have players who can win matches. They need to start.

    One more thing, the director said. What gets your victories? Goals? Yup. But energy, too. He talked about a recent game at his club, where the atmosphere in the ground changed the flow of the match, where it visibly made the opposition shrink. You need your supporters, he said, now more than any at other time. This is where one or two percentage points make all the difference.

    Newcastle fans scarcely need the reminder. If it wasn’t so obvious, if the irony was not so scarring, it would be funny. Their loyalty has been stretched far beyond breaking point, they have been ignored, squeezed financially and utterly mistreated by successive regimes, they have been mocked unfairly in the media and they have done nothing to deserve it. And yet, and yet. It comes back to what it always has done. Eleven black and white shirts and singing themselves hoarse. It is what they do. Hopefully it will be enough

  46. cantos,

    id like to follow you around and criticise every damn decision you make every day, and then have dozens of morons write lies and half-truths about you all the time. you really need to read king kenny’s reasons for leaving the club (and think about the cataclysmic effects that that had) to know that it was when the supporters turned that he felt he had to go. if you dont like rafa then fine, but be an adult and have a bit of humility and admit that rafa benitez forgot in the last five minutes everything that you will ever know about football. you are not so smart. you really arent.

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