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Why we are truly shooting ourselves in the foot with Rafa’s sacking

With the news of the sacking of manager , there will no doubt be a mixed reaction among Reds fans. Many will react angrily to the board’s decision and will staunchly defend Benitez’s record, others will be glad that the Spanish manager has gone, while they will be some like me who are left bemused and confused by the whole situation.

Some papers are saying that it was player power that drove the board to sack Benitez basing their claims on the uncertainty of the futures of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. A rumour that belies the facts if we go by Guillem Balague’s report that Rafa held a 20 minute conversation with Gerrard on his birthday last Sunday. There is however, a far more straightforward explanation for it all. The transfer budget.

Straight after the last game of the season against Hull, Rafa came out and said he would stay at the club if conditions were right. The conditions were no doubt predicated on the board guaranteeing that funds would be made available to rebuild the squad during the summer, either through player sales or extra funding. Meetings have been held in recent weeks about this issue and it was obvious that progress was not being made when stories were being leaked to the press about Rafa’s future and his conduct as manager at the club.

On many occasions, papers used the words “sources close to the Board” or the “Anfield hierarchy” when reporting stories about Rafa’s future. Obviously tensions were mounting between the two sides over the issue of transfer funding and it seems almost certain that told Benitez he could not guarantee the manager any funding, and that this has led to the great instability behind the scenes which has culminated in Benitez’s sacking.

The fundamental problem is though; any new manager will have the same issues with the Anfield board as Benitez. The team needs some investment and without funding no right minded individual would take the job when there is no real possibility of reshaping a team in their own image. The next few weeks should have been spent looking at new signings but now it will be spent looking for a new manager. John Aldridge was right when he said yesterday it would beggar belief if they haven’t got someone else to come in within the next week.

If they don’t have somebody lined up, then Purslow, Ayre, Nash, Hicks and Gillett have just shot themselves in the foot. We are now a club stuck in limbo in a time of crisis on and off the field. It may take weeks or even months to find a new manager as the situation the new coach will be coming into will be seriously unstable. While the team will be full of Benitez’s players, he will have no money to spend and rebuild the squad as his own. There is also the prospect of new ownership within the next year and they may not even want the new boss as their manager, while if he does come, he may only have a few weeks before a new season starts.

With Benitez gone, maybe the only real candidate willing to take on the role in the short team although the club’s official statement has stated he will be helping in finding a new manager. Even if he himself was offered it, he may turn down the position for fear that he cannot improve the club’s fortunes with the current owners in charge. It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike Benitez, the timing of his sacking is well and truly awful. For me, if it was to be done at all, it should have been done quickly after the last day of the season rather than now. Any new coach will truly have the biggest baptism of fire in ’s history.


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