Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Gillett's lies exposed

Sources close to Liverpool football club have attempted to play down any rift between the manager and the owners claims the Telegraph. Co-owner George Gillett had blamed Reds boss Rafael Benitez for the lack of progress the club has made during the Americans tenure. Gillett who had given an interview to a member of the 'Spirit Of Shankly' group who were protesting against the American owners, claimed: "If its not getting better it’s not because of Gillett and Hicks, it’s the manager it the scouting and so forth." However the article says: "sources close to the situation have insisted that the club's hierarchy remains firmly behind Benítez."

Gillett made a series of outlandish claims during the impromptu interview with the Reds fan claiming:

"Arsenal by law can’t spend as much per year as we spend. Man U can’t out spend us."

"Abramavic he didn’t use his own money (to buy Chelsea) he used borrowed money".

"Rafa had the money from Xabi plus another £22-£23m and all the money that came plus the money budgeted was made available to Rafa."

Gillett also stated that he made no promise involving the building of the new stadium on Stanley Park, rejecting he had ever guaranteed shovels would be in the ground within 60 days, saying:

"Any comments on the stadium came from hicks. I think what happened was Hicks was absolutely convinced that we were going to start to move dirt to make for the foundations. In the period of time between Hicks saying that and the sixty day , the entire world credit market fell apart and I believe that he ended up with big egg on his face, making it look like he’d said something and then not living up to what he’d said and that was a mistake on his part."

However the 'Official Liverpool FC web site' tells a different story and makes clear exactly what Gillett had said. Quoting the owner directly during a press conference for the printed and televised press, Gillett says:

"The shovel needs to be in the ground within the next 60 days and you will soon see a great big swimming pool being dug out on Stanley Park."

Gillett's claim that Benitez was given £22-£23m plus the money from Alonso's sale do not add up either. The speculated funds recouped for the sale of Xabi Alonso was in the region of £30m, however Liverpool sold other players: Álvaro Arbeloa: £3.5m, Sebastian Leto signed for Panathinaikos for £3 million and several other fringe players have departed Anfield. It is also thought that the Reds recouped approximately £7m from Portsmouth from the sale of Peter Crouch the previous season. All this boosted Benite'z's summer transfer kitty to: £65-£66.5 million

Although the actual figures remain 'undisclosed', Alberto Aquilani, the Italy midfield player cost approximately £18m-20m. Glen Johnson moved to Anfield for approximately £16-£18 million. Sortis Kyrgiakos also signed for a fee of £1.5 million from AEK Athens. Combined total: £35.5-£39.5 million.

At best Gillett's sums are out by £25.5 million, at worst £31 million. Either way it highlights clearly that no funds were given to Benitez during the transfer window and approximately £30 million, has been recouped in transfer fees. These damning facts and the co-owners persistent reliance on 'spin' will only deepen Kopites burning loathing for the owners.

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