Sunday, 25 October 2009

Benitez job safe states LFC director Purslow

Liverpool FC's managing director Christian Purslow has stated that Rafael Benitez's job is safe, following days of press speculation claiming otherwise. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek today, Purslow also stated that coveted players Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres where not for sale at any price, following more wild media speculation that the club would have to sell the duo because of its financial instability.

"The most important aspect of the football club I was involved in in my first week in the job was securing Rafa for another five years. You only have to look at the Premiership era and our two major competitors in the last 10 to 12 years to see the benefits of longevity," said Purslow.

"Liverpool Football Club is on a long-term journey and that journey is to be the most successful club, firstly in our country and secondly in the world, and you don't do that by worrying about short-term results. You do that by having long-term plans centring on the people and the strategy. Rafa Benítez is absolutely central to that plan."

"The core of the team which won 86 points last season remains intact with some excellent additions, so I have every reason to believe we can perform at that level this season over the season."

When asked whether he would guarantee Benítez's position, if the club do not win the league in May, he said: "Yes I would."

Purslow also confirmed Fernando Torres had no clauses in his contract that allowed him to leave Anfield if Liverpool do not qualify for the Champions League next season.

He said: "Fernando signed an extension to his contract this summer. He has a five-year contract. He is a crucial leader in our team. He loves Liverpool Football Club. He has been fantastic around the place. Fernando Torres and Liverpool Football Club go together and I believe they will go together for the length of his career."

To the question that he was not for sale at any price, Purslow replied: "Correct." Purslow also stated the same went for Gerrard.

He also insisted Javier Mascherano is happy at the club, saying: "He is the leading central holding player in world football. It is inevitable that big clubs will covet players of that quality.

"We also had another central midfielder [Xabi Alonso] coveted by a world team in the summer who left us. We sat down with Javier at the time and he reasserted his total commitment to Liverpool. He has had a lot going on with the Argentina [World Cup] qualification situation, which is now behind him. He is a hugely important player for us. He is a leader and this week in the aftermath of [the home defeat by] Lyon he has been a powerful figure."

Purslow also revealed the club are four weeks into a process of raising new equity in the club:

"There has been a huge amount of interest in the club from some extremely wealthy and expert investors but it will take three to six months to pull that together.

"It means there will be new investment into the football club. Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett have no plans to sell their shares. We will be issuing new equity to new investors, broadening our ownership."

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