Heard the one about Rafael Benitez, some contracts and a pair of American owners? It’s a continuing saga at Anfield, but one which needs to be resolved in the summer, or it could mean an end to the Spaniard’s reign as Liverpool manager.
The Guardian reports that Rafa is clearly worried about the situation, urging Messrs Gillett and Hicks to offer new contracts to several members of his backroom staff before the summer. The Reds boss also wants a new and improved contract himself, thus ensuring he has more power in his role as Liverpool manager. But will the club’s co-owners budge, or will they simply allow him to leave and look for someone else to take his place?
“Anyone that has just a year left on his contract does not have anything at all and I have only got a year and a half left,” Benítez warned. “When people, either within the club or from outside it, realise that the manager only has that much time left then he is dead. I’ve got 10 or 12 assistants whose contracts are up in June. How can a manager lead a project properly if the continuity of his staff is not secure for two or three years?”
Benítez denied, however, that he sought total control of transfer dealings during his contract negotiations. “I would like to clear one thing up: I never asked for complete control,” he said. “I did, however, ask for the power to be able to make my own decisions and run the team the way I see fit. That is not the same thing.”
Liverpool fans, are you concerned about the Benitez situation, or do you think it will all be resolved before the summer? Rafa is not exactly naive or inexperienced when it comes to handling these situations, although you can understand his frustration at not being able to plan for the long-term with so many issues left unresolved.