Sunday, 7 June 2009

Rafa is given £20m + transfer kitty

Liverpool have refuted claims that they are on the point of financial meltdown by insisting Rafa Bentez will be given a minimum £20m transfer kitty. A senior Liverpool source told The Sunday Times last night: “We have more spare cash to spend than any club except Chelsea.” The source, who has detailed knowledge of the 2007 takeover at Anfield by the American businessmen Tom Hicks and George Gillett and insight into how they have run the club since, also says: The transfer budget will be a minimum of £20m plus sales this summer and that manager Rafael Benitez “is free to exceed it” if he can “make a convincing case”

Presumably addressing United and Arsenal’s greater debt, the article makes the claim that: “Liverpool are not subject to some of the financial constraints on transfer dealings that limit Manchester United and Arsenal, who are more indebted to outsiders including banks and institutions”

The ‘senior’ Liverpool source goes on to say: “Benitez is “an amazing guy who knows he has a healthy transfer budget to augment one of the world’s strongest squads”. The article also suggested “Hicks and Gillett had two regrets over their takeover. First, they reneged on an initial promise not to put some of their buyout debt directly onto Liverpool; and second, they are unable to start work on the new Stanley Park stadium “because the world’s fallen apart financially”.

The article sounds like it could be an 'off the record' interview with Tom Hicks also states: “They both want to remain at Liverpool, ideally in partnership with a new investor — yet to be found — with deep pockets to help fund the stadium. However, more than £58m channelled into Kop Football Ltd (Liverpool’s UK holding company) from an arm of the Hicks-Gillett operations based in the Cayman Islands is “evidence in cash” of the owners’ commitment. That money is part of £421.6m owed by KFL to all creditors combined at the end of July 2008.”

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