Buoyed by a fantastic start to the Premier League season, Liverpoolboss Rafa Benitez currently finds himself with a strong managerial footing, the likes of which he hasn’t had since the 2006 FA Cup Final. That seems to be the good news. The bad news for Benitez is that the current ownership still doesn’t seem to recognise his accomplishments. Why else would they be slow-rolling the goateed-one about a new contract?
Rafael Benítez is still waiting to be approached by Liverpool’s American owners over a new contract, nine months after Tom Hicks revealed his intention to extend the Spaniard’s stay at Anfield.
Despite overseeing an impressive start to the Premier League campaign – the side lie second to Chelsea on goal difference – and progressing to the lucrative group phase of the Champions League for the fifth time in five seasons as Liverpool manager, Benítez has received no word on a contract extension.
The issue did not arise when the Liverpool manager met George Gillett, Hicks’ co-owner, before and after the league victory over Manchester United at Anfield last month and there are no plans in place to open negotiations.
Benítez’s deal expires at the end of next season and while that offers ample time to negotiate a new contract for the 48-year-old, who wishes to extend his Anfield reign, the delay is a further illustration of the impasse which exists among the Liverpool hierarchy and the uncertainty that it brings to long-term planning at the club. Although Hicks wants to offer the manager at least a 12-month extension, he cannot do so without the agreement of Gillett or acquiring majority control of Liverpool. The Texan has neither at present. (The Guardian)
Much like their inept style in managing the day-to-day finances at a top football club, George Gillett and Tom Hicks appear to be dropping the ball once again on locking their fantastic coach up for years to come. Little has been said about a new contract, meaning that a showdown could still be in the cards if Liverpool continue their fantastic play. When a coach of Rafa’s class expresses his desire to stay at a club, you jump at the words and offer him a deal. Why doesn’t the current ownership seem to understand this?