Rafa rejects Reds’ contract offer

The Liverpool Echo today claim Rafa Benitez has rejected the contract offered by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, due to chief executive Rick Parry’s role at the club.

Benitez has agreed to the terms of the contract with regards salary and the length of the contract, but the sticking point is his control over transfers.

Parry has often been criticised by supporters for his dealings within the transfer market, with many previous targets allegedly lost due to his poor communication skils; namely Daniel Alves, Simao, Florent Malouda and even Steven Gerrard in the wake of Istanbul. At the moment Parry is the man who approves and manages transfers at the club, Benitez isn’t happy with this.

Benitez told the Echo:

‘The talks between my agent and the advisers of the owners have been very positive and friendly and our differences are about my responsibilities.

‘The owners feel that the manager’s decisions need to be subject to the chief executive. But I know that I am subject to results and to our fans and they are the best judges I will ever have.

‘I have a lot of experience in football at different clubs and if you do not have a technical director and you are the manager you have to have control of the football decisions. But always within the confines of a budget which is controlled by the owners and the club.

‘In this scenario the manager knows the amount money he has available to him and can decide how much he should spend on each player according to the needs of the team.

‘The only person who can decide the value of a player to his squad is the manager because he knows what elements are needed to improve the squad.’

Parry was asked to leave the club by Hicks last year, with Hicks citing lack of commercial developments as the reason. And Parry was under pressure from fans in 2007 after the ticketing for Athens was questioned, with him famously claiming not to play “the numbers game”.

Tension between Benitez and Parry has occured previously, with Benitez frustrated at Parry’s lack of speed in the transfer market.

  • Read the interview with The Echo in full and Tom Hicks’ subsequent interview with Sky Sports News, here