2 Nov 2010

LFC NET SPEND: Rafa Benitez's comments confirm that my figures are accurate

As part of his latest attack on Roy Hodgson, Rafa Benitez has (inadvertently) confirmed the veracity of my recent transfer spending analyses.

As regular readers know, I calculate Liverpool's transfer spending by using figures taken directly from the club's own accounts. Despite the irrefutable factual nature of these figures, some people still question their validity. In any event, in an interview yesterday, Benitez himself confirmed my calculations are correct:

"With £10m net spending, I left that squad with £300m value".

Rafa is right about the £10m net spend per year, as the following figures from the club's accounts attest:

Benitez v Ferguson - transfer Spend 2004-10

And Benitez does mean £10m a year; that is the only thing he could mean as a total net spend of £10m over 6 years is a provable financial impossibility. Of course, the Pro-Benitez Cult will latch onto that figure and try and tell anyone who listens that Benitez means 10m in total, but the accounts specifically prove otherwise, as does any other method of calculating transfer spending.

On the subject of transfer spending, Damien Comolli is rumoured to be close to joining Liverpool as Director of Football. For me, this would be a mistake, and will inevitably lead to even more of the club's money being wasted.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. "As for Benitez's £300m squad value - that is pure fantasy"
    Pure fantasy and simply an astonishing quote!  Our squad isn't worth half that.  The entire club with its annual revenue stream of £200milllion and non player assets was only sold for £350million with circa £275million of that being debts, of which a % of that was contributed to by Rafa's poor dealings in the transfer market.

  2. Maybe he's been reading your site :)

  3. 10m a season isn't alot really, we earned far more in prize money in that period. This talk of Rafa wasting 300m as you hear so often in the biased press is just shown up as fantasy

  4. if that squad is worth £300m, then no wonder the Yanks were so peeved at the valuation of the club! lol

  5. Playing the devil's advocate for a second, Benitez never said it was £10m net spend per year. He may very well have meant this, but we don't know for definite. Could it have been £10m total net spend since his inception as Liverpool manager? Some people might argue that you've twisted his words :) .

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to you illustrating how Rafa's verdict of £300m is pure fanatasy. I'm not sure how it can argued one way or the other.

  6. Just goes to show how much of a joke this site is that it's a story in itself when you get something right. You're a journalist Jamie, isn't what you write supposed to be accurate?

  7. "As part of his latest attack on Roy Hodgson, Rafa Benitez has confirmed the veracity of my recent transfer spending analyses."
    I think when benitez "said some people cannot  see a priest on a mountain on sugar" he was referring to you Jaimie...<span></span>
    Surely if you were interested in being anyway accurate you would have said "In response to Hodgsons recent attack on Rafa Benitez"
    Don't let the facts get in the way though...

  8. Reina £30m
    Johnson £18m
    Insua £5m
    Carragher £5m
    Skrtel £12m
    Agger £12m
    Masch £17m (Barca should've paid more!)
    Gerrard £20m
    Aquilani £20m
    Lucas £7m
    Riera £3m
    Kuyt £8m
    Ngog £3m
    Torres £70m+

    Bearing in mind masch, riera, insua & aquaman were still at Anfield when Benitez left.  I don't think Rafa's £300m is too far off the mark.

    Unfortunately it can't be proved or disproved.  It is Rafa's educated opinion.  The squad value is hypothetical upon what the players might be worth on the open market.  Although I'm sure you'll try to find a way to disprove it Jamie...

  9. Rafa Benetiz DID NOT confirm your 'facts'. He however, did say he spent 10m, not yearly. You claimed he spent 63.1m.
    Maybe you're not right all the time...however i doubt you'll admit that.  ;)

  10. "Rafa is right about the 10m net spend *per* *year*.<span>"</span>
    Ummm...point me to the "per year" part in his statement you've inferred upon Rafa's statement to justify your comments please. To the rest of the world it appears Rafa is saying he spent £10m more over the lifetime of his tenure, but you've just made an inferrence that he meant each season. Whilst you may have a Gb of spreads to prove your case, I'm just interested in the integrity of your comments. Please explain.

    <span>VinKopite: it was just last Jan that Torres was being spoken of as a £70m transfer target, Gerrard (even at his progressing age) for £30m and Masc for £30m+ too. Aqua should have recouped at £15 of his transfer (though iirc it will only be £13m). Benny, Riera and Insua have also gone out on Roy's watch. It may not be quite the £300m, but when you factor in Pepe, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Kuyt, and the largest reserves/youth/youngsters squad in the PL featuring the likes of Sterling, Pacheco, Amoo, Ince, Ayala, Suso and so on, he's probably not far off in his reckoning.

    PS: I'm not a Rafa-luvver. His time was up, he had to go. Beyond the failure on the pitch, he and his cronies were damaging the club with the press leaks and in-fighting with the board. However, I'd take him back in a heartbeat if that would mean Uncle Woy would pack his bags!

  11. I think that the Liverpool fans need to understand that the City of Liverpool is quite different from the likes of Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Paris, Munich, and even London from many perspectives. Diversity, accessibility, culturally, geographic location, and perhaps above all, the weather, are all important factors for consideration.

    Therefore, in spite of the above inconvenience, the Torres', the Alonso's, the Sissoko's, the Reina's, theMascherano's, etc came to Anfield because of one thing: A top class Manager.  And Benitez was a top class Manager. the best we've had since Bob Paisley. It's as simple as that.

    And more than that. He came to Anfield for the long-run, not to use it as a stepping-stone to further his own career. He fought for LFC, he stood by the players, stood by the supporters, and stood by the City of Liverpool against Tom & Jerry.

    And I think that, on the field, HE CONSTANTLY OVER-ACHIEVED AT ANFIELD with limited funds. When your only option is to sell in order to buy, you need to rotate to keep all the players content.

    Lastly, had Uncle Roy been a foreigner, he would not have been allowed anywhere near the Shankly Gates.

  12. £300 million is overstating it, I'm sure Rafa is maxing all his figures, giving players a value at the very top of their range. It's probably somewhere closer to £200 to £250 million. 

  13. £300 million is overstating it, I'm sure Rafa is maxing all his figures, giving players a value at the very top of their range. It's probably somewhere closer to £200 to £250 million. 

  14. Lattest attack on Roy, surely you mean responce to Roys comments?

    People in glass houses and all that.

    </p><p>REINA<span> </span>20m
    </p><p>JOHNSON<span> </span>20m
    </p><p>CARRAGHER<span> </span>8m
    </p><p>SKRTEL<span> </span>10m
    </p><p>AGGER<span> </span>12m
    </p><p>KUYT<span> </span>15m
    </p><p>GERRARD<span> </span>30m
    </p><p>BENAYOUN<span> </span>7m
    </p><p>MASCHERANO<span> </span>30
    </p><p>AQUILANI<span> </span>20
    </p><p>TORRES<span> </span>60
    </p><p>MAXI<span> </span>7
    </p><p>JOVANOVIC<span> </span>7

    </p><p>I MAKE THIS <span> </span>256 million
    </p><p>Maybe I have over valued some players by a couple of mill, but I'm sure I have also under valued some players by a couple of mill as well...
    </p><p>Benitez was over but not by as bigger percentage as some might think..!!!</p>

  16. What about Babel & Ngog? Don't make up the 50m difference but add a couple of mill to the total!

  17. Jaimie - With all due respect, Rafa didn't confirm YOUR figures, he confirmed the clubs figures - HIS figures.  If you want credit for simply collating a set of readily available data, well done!  I think you'll find that this net spend thing has been doing the rounds for more than a year now, hence the pressure of fans to get the owners out.....

    Rafa always had to gamble on signings - like Aquilani - as unfortunatley being Liverpool FC is no longer enough of a reason for players to sign for us.  The other player we wanted were lured by more money (and better prospects) elsewhere.  We had to pay for Babel before he'd proved himself and take a chance on an injured Aquilani due to not being able to compete for establish proven stars.

    The £300 million thing is subjective.  Had Gerrard gone in the summer, how much would we have got for him? Same for Torres, and Reina.  There's no point looking at thier value today, but when Rafa was still here.  We got how much for Mascherano?  And remember, how much Yaya Toure went for and ask did we get enough for him.  Babel is still worth around the £12m we paid.  Glen Johnson is not 'worth' £18m IMO but if, say Utd, or City came in for him, how much would they bid?  Lucas - derided every week, even now had clubs sniffing at double figures - and rightly so - he's a full international and a young man at that.

    Aquilani was a rising star before he got injured - he's now performing for his loan club and is still our player with a value of aorund the same as what we paid.  Then look at the youngsters Rafa bought - they all have value, so while I personally don't quite agree with Rafa's £300m, from his perspective, it's a reasonable, if flattering guess.

    Rafa is a genius - he had a very bad season last year, but it all went downhill when Alonso and Arbeloa left us - both of which were outside his control. He continues to prove himself at his new club where the FANS have spoken - Inter play better football now than last year.  This may not mean success for Inter this year, but I'd have some of what Inter fans are getting at teh moment, not that I think Roy's a bad manager - I think he'll lead us into a fight for 4th possibly 3rd.  We're lucky to have played so badly but still be just 5 points of 4th spot - 3 points behind Spurs.

    My gripe is that Liverpool fans football knowledge and appreciation is in steady decline - being a Liverpool fan used to have gravitas.  Those who wanted Rafa gone are an embarrasment to the Liverbird.

  18. IMO a lot of those valuations are too high - 
    <span>Reina £22m  
    Johnson £11m  
    Insua £5m  
    Carragher £3m  
    Skrtel £9m  
    Agger £8m  
    Masch £17m (Barca should've paid more!)  
    Gerrard £20m  
    Aquilani £15m  
    Lucas £6m  
    Riera £3m  
    Kuyt £9m  
    Ngog £6m  
    Torres £50m</span>
    <span><span>Kyrgiakos </span></span><span>£2m</span>
    Shelvey <span>£4m</span>
    Pacheco <span>£6m</span>
    Babel <span>£6m</span>
    Maxi <span>£2m</span>

    Total: <span>£199m</span>

  19. <span>As part of his latest attack on Roy Hodgson, Rafa Benitez<span>

    Dont you mean... in response to the latest attack from  Hodgson?   </span></span>

    <span><span>Time to grow up JK ,  If were were riding high in the prem, then fair enough , If we were hadnt been beated by Northampton, Blackpool, Everton, then fair doo's - B UT WE'RE NOT ARE WE.  </span></span>

  20. In Jaimie PURE FANTASY...the squad value will be:

    <span>Reina £2 
    Johnson £3
    Insua 50p  
    Carragher £1  
    Skrtel £1 
    Agger £1  
    Masch £10 (Barca overpaid!)  
    Gerrard £30  
    Aquilani £2
    Lucas 50p  
    Riera £1
    Kuyt £2  
    Ngog £1 
    Torres £1 (Actually 0 value but Man City willing to come out with extra <span>£1 to get him)

    Total </span></span><span>£56.00</span>

  21. <span>"As part of his latest attack on Roy Hodgson, Rafa Benitez<span> ...." 
    Dont you mean... in response to the latest attack from  Hodgson?   </span></span><span><span> </span></span>
    <span><span> </span></span>
    <span><span>That's a cheap shot and it's time to grow up JK ,  If we were riding high in the prem and playing fantastic flowing football, or  had RH bought wisely during summer window, or if we hadn't have been played off the park by Blackpool, Everton, Sunderland, Northampton, then fair enough you may have a point - BUT unfortunately all of these things are have come to pass since Rafa left -  and therefore you don't have any point only a warped and perverted dislike for Benitez.  Its that simple.   </span></span>

    <span><span>Long live Rafa, sorely missed</span></span>

  22. <span><span>Roy cannot handle the team, cannont handle the media and cannot protect LFC from other scum managers like Fergie coz he is to busy trying to suck up to all of these people no involved in LFC.

    Rafa makes total sense in both those interviews yet this stupid and idiotic British Media who are ManU suckers will only try and make what he said as something bad. Roy Hodgson was the one that started the war of words with Rafa and yet people like Houghton says that Roy wont stoop down to Rafa's level and return fire. The reason why Rafa is not at LFC is because of this British media who think that British managers are gods and untouchable and can do no wrong. LFC are where they are in the table not because of Rafa but because of ROY and ROY only.

    My only wish is... John Henry to sit down with Rafa Benitez and have a chat about the club and players and where he sees everything going. If you want to do one thing correct is get everything straight from Rafa's mouth instead of this stupid British media telling you lies about Rafa. Sack Hodgson now because Fergusons ass is missing Roys tongue...

    Sick of this now. Should be concentrating on the team and not on you Roy. You have a team. Man up and deal with the players you have instead of complaining that Rafa left you with nothing and hence you are where you are.

    YNWA </span></span>

  23. The point of these statistics are what exactly?

    These statistics don't indicate that Ferguson sold Ronaldo in 2009-10 which explains the -63.2 net spend for that year otherwise the net spend for each would be comparable. Another fact that these statistics do not convey is that Benitez had to rebuild the team from scratch often trading in players along the way for 'better' replacements (not always the case of couse). Ferguson on the other hand had a team molded to his way of play and were already highly succesfull.

    It could also be argued that Liverpool and Man U's lack of net spend is the reason for their demise. This of course could be too premature in United's case but I don't believe so. United are looking very average and I think carried by Rooney last season.

  24. Spot on mate.  Rafa was frustrating at times with seemingly crazy team selections and, on occasion, the odd misjudged rant in the press.  But he was one of the most tactically astute managers in the PL.  Hodgson is not even in the same sport as Rafa, never mind the same league ... We are worse off without him.

  25. Liverpool Echo survey

    <p>Almost 1,500 Reds fans have filled in our online poll so far - and the vast majority of them agree with Rafael Benitez's comments on Roy Hodgson.
    </p><p>Asked whether the Inter Milan manager's criticisms of Hodgson were correct, 88 per cent of fans - or 1,286 out of 1,461 - believed they were.

  26. I'm suprised we have any "fans" left following the club. Why aren't you all off supportinf Inter seeing that ye'all loved that clown so much. Just give him another year in Italy & he'll have started the same nonsence that he was at over here.

  27. This guy Woy i so anoying. THere is no argument that the team was beginning to fray around the edges last season, but Woy is out of his mind if he thinks he was left with a liability of a squad. With esentially the same squad as last year we did better than his Fulham side. Without taking either manager's side (although I have my own preference) Rafa had a lot of grace from the fans for his willingness to stand up for them. Woy is on thin ice already, rightly or wrongly (and thats up to each persons personal opinion), but to now go and criticise the man that many fans hero-worshiped is pretty damn stupid - you can do this if you are Jose Mourhino or someone who shoots from the hip. But Woy's comments clearly come as a defensive punch from a drowning man.
    I am not convinced by the net-spend / gross-spend thing either way. Rafa sure didn't leave a lot of depth in the squad, and much of that is his own fault. But totting up his gross spend as proof of a poor transfer policy only tells a part of the story. We may never resolve this issue of course. But paying for ten dresses at H and M for a total of £20 each, knowing that you will try them all on at home and return nine of them because you have kept your receipt, is not the same as splashing £200 on dresses. Its actually just spending £20. Now this may be over-simplified, but there is no necessary reason that sifting through many players and casting most of them away is not in fact a legitimate transfer strategy. Its ditsy perhaps, and a bit wasteful at times maybe - but not excessive by any means. Its just not enough to point to gross spend over net spend. You need to look at the entire set-up of the club to say whether the system is wasteful or not. Now we may find that Rafa was wasteful, but there is no way that a high gross spend necessarily equates to wastefulness without a thorough look at the circumstances. 

  28. In a years time at Inter he would have porb won the Championship and guided them to at least the semi's of the Champions league, meanwhile back at the ranch will we mid-table.  Great deal

  29. Reina £18m   
    Johnson £11m   
    Insua £2m   
    Carragher £1m   
    Skrtel £7m   
    Agger £7m   
    Masch £17m (and you could remove this £17m from the total as he was already going)
    Gerrard £15m   
    Aquilani £8m   
    Lucas £5m   
    Riera £3m   
    Kuyt £9m   
    Ngog £4m   
    Torres £35m (anyone who pays more for an injury prone player needs their head tested)
    Kyrgiakos £1m 
    Shelvey £3m 
    Pacheco £5m 
    Babel £5m 
    Maxi £1m
    Total £157mil

  30. and I'll be surprised if we have any players left when Woy has sunk us to the nether regions of the EPL come January.

  31. £300m, how much was the club sold for..just a thought!

  32. Which goes to prove Ironman's point - the value of a player is purely hypothetical until they're actually sold for a tangible accountable amount.

  33. Surely the amount they were willing to pay for the club reflected the fact that the club had £275m of debts? Therefore you could argue the true value of the club is nearer to £600m pounds.

    Rafa was not financially responsible for the running of the club (business) therefore he was not responsible for the debts - although he was responsible for spending the money he was given by those running the club.

  34. 10m net spend total is an impossibility, as I'm sure you can see :)

  35. The reason I hightlight is that so many people dispute the figures!  People even suggest that I created the snippets from the accounts myself.  Also, there are other sites calculating transfer spend in a totally wrong way.  Paul Tomkins' site, for example.  The method he uses is to gather a panel  of 'non-partisan' experts to guestimate the current value of the squad, then he compares it to gross spend, as cobbled together from press reports.  That is a completely inaccurate; the only accurate method is using the club's accounts.

    Now, if you want to remain able to comment on this site the please drop the derogatory comments in your posts.

  36. You are wrong.  It is common sense that he means 10m a year.  It is a financial impossibility for Liverpool's total net spend to be 10m.  I've proven that's not true anyway countless times.

  37. If you are seriously arguing that Benitez's total net spend over 6 years is 10m then there is just no point debating with you.  This is impossible, and any sensible fan will know that.  Plus, I HAVE PROVEN IT WITH FACTS FROM THE CLUB'S ACCOUNTS, or do you just dismiss those too?

    Benitez was referring to his yearly net spend.  He obviously chose that figure because it's the lowest one connected to his transfer spending, thus it sounds better.  Plus, he wants people like you to misunderstand and go around saying 'Yeah, but he means 10m in total'.

    The accounts do not lie.

  38. Who said what first is irrelevant - it is an attack on Hodgson.

  39. Jaimie - With all due respect, Rafa didn't confirm YOUR figures, he confirmed the clubs figures - HIS figures.  If you want credit for simply collating a set of readily available data, well done!  I think you'll find that this net spend thing has been doing the rounds for more than a year now, hence the pressure of fans to get the owners out....
    Utter pedantry.  Of course I'm not suggesting he specifically looked at my figures and confirmed them.  It's a figure of speech.  I don't want credit for anything - it's just important that visitors to this site know that the figures I'm producing are accurate.
    And given the fact I get people every day disputing the club's own figures; arguing that I made them up; arguing that I photoshopped the snippets from the accounts etc, I want to reiterate that the figure ar, in fact, correct. Just yesterday I was on LFC.tv arguing that the figures were correct, and people on their refused to accept it, arguing that Paul Tomkins' method (estimated values etc) was more accurate than the club's own accounts.
    It is denial and ignorance on a grand scale.

  40. No, you've got it wrong.  Lucas would only be 25p, and Johnson would be about 50p, not 3.00.

  41. What does that prove exactly? Nothing.  It just shows that the level of support for a Liverpool manager is at a disgraceful level, and that the Pro-Benitez Cult frequent the Liverpool Echo website.

  42. aw - why do you insist on personally ridiculing the man.  Is that what fans should be doing?  If you're going to criticise him why don't you do it fairly?  Focusing on the way he speaks is tasteless and unncecessary.

  43. Some of these comments have made me laugh... i love the way some people think rafa was a tactical genius. 

    Remember that this was the same man who subbed Torres against Birmingham when we were fighting for 4th place last season to the utter dismay of both Gerrard and Torres.

    How many times did people complain that Rafa would not play the  same Team and would drop players for no apparent reason, how times did people look at his starting line ups and think "what the hell is he doing?"

    Alienating Alsono, Alienating Pako Ayestaran, under estimating the so called lesser teams...

    Yes in Europe Rafa was fantastic, yet he consistently failed in the league and for me the now infamous rant about Fergie proved that he was beaten.

    As for the posts about what players are worth, I love the way people have just randomly picked numbers out of thin air :)

    A player is only worth what a club wants to pay for him, until he is sold he has no real value.

    You can say Gerrard is worth 10, 20, 50, hell even 100 million but unless he is actually sold then he has no real value.

    The only values that matters is what Rafa and the Liverpool board spent with actual money on players.

    Also look at our squad, how can you say that he has spent £300 million wisely?

    Lack of strikers, lack of wide players, lack of left backs...  

    When you actually look at the list of players that Rafa signed during his period at Liverpool it is shocking. How many of the what, 70, 80 players that he signed would get into the Man Utd Team, Arsenal's Team, Spurs, Man City's, Chelsea's team.

    Players like Insua, Josemi, Nunez, Zenden, Pellegrino, Antwi, Hobbs, Roque, Anderson, Barragan, Gonzalez, Paletta, Aurelio, Voronin, Leto, Pennant, Babel, Dossena, Aquilani and those are just teh ones I remember from the top of my head.

    Then you have the raft of young players he signed.. how many of those players have come through, how many young players full stop came thought under Rafa?

    Rafa had a lots of good things about him, but he always made some very bad choices but some people can't seem to see the wood for the tree's.

    Rafa did good but ultimately he left the squad in a bad way and he knew how much work needed doing, hence why he choose to leave.

  44. Unbelievably rose-tinted view, but you're entitled to it.

    And Benitez was a top class Manager. the best we've had since Bob Paisley. It's as simple as that.<span></span>
    utterly incorrect.  So he was better than Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish, both of whom actually won the league?!  Fagan won the European Cup also.  And Dalglish would probably have wona European cup if Liverpool were not banned from Europe during his entire tenure as manager.
    A manager who has NOT won the league cannot be deemed to be more successful than a manager who HAS won the league.  That is common sense.

  45. But Jamie, for what reason should a Liverpool fan support Hodgson? If, as you advocate, a fan should be swayed by facts and not emotion, then what facts support the idea that Roy is worth the role? If I take a critical realist perspective, I will maintain a sceptical view on Hodgson until proved otherwise - as I hope that the owners are too. Two wins against lower-level opposition have helped him, but the jury quite rightly remains out. For all his claims against Rafa, the test of a manager surely is how he performs. He too has had money to spend, and there is no indication that he has done much better than other managers. Sure, it is early days, but his relationship with fans has not inspired much confidence, and slagging the previous manager - even if he were not hero-worshipped - smacks of defensiveness. If we are to be critical realists, then Hodgson can have our support when he proves worthy of it.  

  46. Fair enough point Jamie. I will do so in future.

  47. Net spend is not the critical parameter to look at. Top players win leagues and top players cost the top dollar. A better parameter is the number of players bought for over £20m in a set period of time e.g. 5 years. I have not done the analysis but I suspect that Man U have more £20m+ players in their squad than LFC. That's why they and Chelsea win leagues.

  48. One of the most tactically astute managers in the P<span>remiership
    Yes, so tactically astute that we strugglede to make 5th in 2004-5; plummeted to 7th in 2009-10; Got raped by Kaka in the first half of the CL final as a result of Benitez's 'tactical genius'; Totally threw away the 2007 CL final, again due to Benitez's tactical masterstroke of starting with Zenden and leaving the club's top CL scorer on the bench. And the list goes on.
    Don't overstate the issue or anything.

  49. LIsten Hodgson is an idiot for belittling the players he has in the squad.  I hate all the 'Liverpool way' talk because it is oudated and led to us hiring Graeme Souness. That said, for a top flight manager to blame his tools constantly whilst they are still at the club smacks of a desperate man with a deep rooted fear of Blackburnaphobia that has never been addressed.  I never thought Rafas man management skills were fantastic but Hodgson is now showing his 'class' fingerpointing before he is actually found out to be a mid table manager. 

    To be honest i'm a little pissed Hodgson hasn't tried to get the best out of Babel and Pacheco.  He has also confirmed that Ancellotti is in a class of his own because he knew Joe Cole had lost lost a yard of pace and was therefore inefectual.  IN FACT all of Hodgsons signings including Meireles are dreadful and has taken us backwards.

  50. aw - i will give you an example that proves the hypocrisy of the fans calling for Hodgson's head.

    Last season, the main excuses we hear from Benitez apologists for the club's poor form was boardroom turmoil, was it not?  We hear how it was affecting the players; How Benitez was not given enough money; how the uncertainty over the ownership situation was having a major impact etc.  Benitez was never at fault, it was always something else.

    Well, the same fans then slam Hodgson despite the fact he had to work under even more severe conditions.  In his 4 months at the club, the boardroom turmoil descended into downright civil war; we had court cases; tit for tat publlic infighting, all of which was far worse than anything Benitez had to put up with.

    So Hodgson had to come into a new club that had just had its worst season in over 50 years; the players were demotivated; the mood was doom and gloom; deadwood needed to be gotten rid of, and the money given to Hodgson was certainly not a huge amount.

    Benitez gets a pass for all of this, yet Hodgson - coming into the club at it's greatest level of turmoil in HISTORY - is expected just to be an instant success?!

    Complete and utter hypocrisy.  It was always going to go bad at the beginning - you canot just fix huge problems overnight.

    Hodgson has been finding his feet; and he's made mistakes, no doubt!  But he's had to deal with the most disgraceful barracking from so-called loyal fans I've ever seen, and most of it is unwarranted, childish and completely over the top.

    And even as the club is coming out of the slump, fans are still on his back; hoping that Liverpool lose games so that he'll leave etc.

    It makes me ashamed to be a fan to be honest.

    The Benitez situation is different - he was at the club for 6 years; he'd had enough time; criticism was warranted.

    Hodgson has had 4 months, and the level of criticism (given the circumstances) is a disgrace.

  51. The whole argument about net spend is utterly pointless, the cost of a player both when they are bought and when they are sold is not the best way to gauge their worth, the best parameter is what they bring to the team and what the team achieves during their time there.

    Perfect example of this is Rio Ferdinand, brought to Man U for about £30 million (if memory serves correctly, feel free to correct me if that figure is wrong), there's no way he'd bring that figure or an increased one if he were to be sold, so arguing from the point of net spend would indicate that he was a failed signing, but that view overlooks the success of the team in the players time with them, that is the only true way to measure the success of a player signing.

  52. Great post, Vas.  It's good see that there are still some sane, level-headed, fair-minded fans around.

  53. When will Kanwar respond?5:40 pm, November 02, 2010

    When will you respond about being wrong about NESV & SOS, and getting your Jovanovic quotes from the S*n?

  54. Holy moly look at some of those valuations. I assume they're in flat out pounds because some of them can't be millions!

    Skrtel £10m?! Carragher £8m?! Maxi and Jovanovic £7m?! Kuyt £15m?!

    I'll have what he's having

  55. This article could as easily be named 'kanwar, in an artck on rafa, agrees with his figures'. Wouldn't make you feel as special though.

  56. And so tactically astute we only played one formation in 5 years and if we didn't have the players to play in the right positions he just threw in any players to make up the numbers. He knew how to set out a team to beat other teams, but if it didn't work he couldn't change it because he only has one tactic in his head. If he has more I failed to see any of them in his time at us.

  57. For VIN KOPITE:

    <span>Reina £18m         £20m UTD
    Johnson £11m     £20m in Europe
    Insua £2m            £2m
    Carragher £1m     £1m ??? Teams like Bham, Bburn, WHam etc would pay much more
    Skrtel £7m           £7m
    Agger £7m           £12m Arsenal Spurs
    Masch £17m        £30m Benitez leaving was the final straw and would have got more   
    Gerrard £15m      £30m you telling me Man City wouldn't pay this?
    Aquilani £8m     £20m is what Juventus will pay to keep him
    Lucas £5m          £5m
    Riera £3m           £3m
    Kuyt £9m            £15m Inter offered £12m
    Ngog £4m           £4m
    Torres £35m       £60m+  City and Abramovich would start a war at £50m  
    Kyrgiakos £1m   £1m
    Shelvey £3m      £3m
    Pacheco £5m     £5m
    Babel £5m         £5m
    Maxi £1m         £1m
    Total £243m + whatever you would get for Carragher

  58. Of course it's relevant if you're going to elude to Benitez launching an unprovoked attack on Hodgson, Hodgson launched the initial assault on Benitez and Benitez was ASKED in his press conference for the ECL match yesterday for a response.

    What was Benitez supposed to do? What would anyone do when your integrity and character is called into question? He responded and cited plain facts about the situation - HE ASKED FOR DALGLISH TO COME BACK, according to Hodgson Benitez refused to allow him near Melwood, it's a complete fallacy!

    Hodgson said he has been left with a squad of overpaid also rans, Benitez eluded to the core of that squad finishing 2nd in 2009 and being worth in the region of £300m, basically; Roy needs to shut his mouth and get on with his job instead of blaming everyone but himself for Liverpool's league position.

  59. I think we should all relax and accept that he meant £10m pa. After all, Rafa has also talked of how when you figure in the amounts of money earned from several very successful and very profitable Champions League (CL) campaigns he actually made the club money (I think he said £40m), as that CL income totals well over £100m.

    I may be unusual here, in that I loved Rafa and didn't want him to go, but also support Hodgson. Rafa's gone, he's not coming back - anytime soon - so it's time to move on. ALL OF US. 

    Of the viable options out there I think Roy Hodgson was and is the best for the job in hand - he needs time and we'll see what happens. The prime alternative out there right now, Martin O'Neill, sets up his teams to play pretty much the same way. Ask Villa fans if they feel they had four seasons of champagne football under his management. I think not.

    Also, can we please put the net spend arguments to bed?! As pointed out by Candide above, what really counts is spending power. In the last decade two clubs have dominated in this regard: Chelsea and MU. Unsurprisingly, they have also dominated the league. Of course, Man City now have such power too.

    MU have a 30m CB, FIVE 20m midfield players and two 30m forwards. Most if not all of said players also earn wages only approached (lately) by Torres and Gerrard at Anfield. Unfortunately, that's the kind of cash you need to splash to win the major prizes and play some dazzling football.

    To float the least likely hypothetical: were Lionel Messi to come on the market, could LFC afford him? No. Who in England could even contemplate buying him? City, Chelsea and MU.  

    Could LFC have afforded Rooney in 2003? No. Berbatov in 2008? No. 

    LFC are a big club in European and domestic football, but some fans need to face the fact that in economic terms LFC are a David fighting Goliaths.

    (Arsenal are a strange ringer in all of this, in that they don't spend much money ... have played great football a lot more often than LFC have this past decade ... have a sim. wage bill to LFC's ... and yet haven't won anything since Thierry Henry left town.)

    The major new signings thus far:

    Konchesky and Poulsen don't look very good.

    Meireles is settling down and looks better game by game (y'know, give the guy a break: he's in a new team in a new league in a new country).

    Cole: working hard, but his form isn't there. But had we kept Benayoun - well, he's barely kicked a ball this season. Again: give Cole time. As for losing a yard - he was never lightning quick; that's not what his game is all about.

    Lastly some credit is due to RH for improving the usefulness/games of Kyrgiakos and Ngog. Lucas, too, is playing OK. It's obvious what is needed to improve the squad, but that's gonna take time too.

    Should be *fun* this weekend: we'll see exactly how far behind the best team in the land we really are.

  60. 10 million net spend a season wasn't going to build a squad with quality in depth when Benitez had to sell to buy to achieve the results that we did during his reign. 

    Your net spend only confirms how his hands were tied during his managerial reign. That net spend is the equalivent of signing a Dirk Kuyt a season in terms of value.

    The one thing I would like to know is how you got a hold of LFC's accounts?

  61. Jaimie, you preach to us that you are someone who delas only in facts, how then can you tell us that Rafa meant 10 million a season from his statement?? He does not specify and in the past you have been very keen to take at face value statements given by other figures such as Purslow or Broughton. Why then are you allowing this statement by Rafa to be opened up to interpretation?? I feel this is a double standard on your part? No?




  63. also, why do you feel the need to label anyone who may or may not (this is in your article so prior to anyone having a chnace to disagree with you) disagree with you 'breathtakingly stupid'? Is it necessary to issue pre-emptive insults in this manner to people? Surely this is just an attempt to manipulate the reader to agree with you, can't you just present the facts, as you claim to do and leave the insults out?? Allow people to make up thier own minds instead of trying to force your own opinions upon them?

    You also call the 'pro benitez cult' (pretty childish) 'sheep'. Would you be happier if they were a part of your flock?

  64. Finally, my questions to you are serious and I think I have asked them politely, an answer as opposed to censorship would be appreciated. Cheers

  65. I dont think you are harsh at all... You have your views which you are entitled too, others have theirs and Rafa have his, NO AMOUNT OF Accounting presentation ll make me think less of Rafa, Comparing the amount spent by Rafa and Ferguson as your basis for  fair comparison, tell me a lot about your school of thought. It is pointless arguing with you. Infact IT IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

  66. That is so biased Jaimie OMG! I wish you could hear yourself as a neutral (who doesn't read the press of course)

  67. rely in the interest of BALANCE???! Who said what first is relevant.... after all Jaimie, from what I know of you, you are not one to suffer any form of criticism without exercising your right of reply, and you often point out that you did not strike the first blow....
    Why is it acceptable and right for you to do it, but not Rafa??

  68. imie, so much about supporting LFC seems to leave you feeling ashamed, have you ever considered giving it up?? Would that not be the correct course of action for a pragmatist such as yourself?

  69. Omigosh! How does poor JoKer answer this one?

  70. You like talking about FACTS? How is this for a FACT.

    Rafa Benítez
    League – Played 212, won 56.13% (currently 2nd-highest % for any post-war Liverpool manager)
    Europe – Played 77, won 55.84% (currently 3rd-highest % for any Liverpool manager)

  71. Anyone who agrees with you is "sane' lol... JoKer.

    Im in a Circus. you are the JoKer. You make me laugh

  72. Again you are too event focused.Take a look at his record in totality.

    Rafa Benítez
    League – Played 212, won 56.13% (currently 2nd-highest % for any post-war Liverpool manager)
    Europe – Played 77, won 55.84% (currently 3rd-highest % for any Liverpool manager)

  73. When hell freezes over, thaws out and then freezes over again.

  74. Rafa says 10 Million.. JoKer accepts that.. and adds a bit of spice. 10 Million a year net spend

    Rafa says 300 Million value.. JoKer disagrees. Why... cause he wants an argument.

    Selective haaa?? He just wants arguments. And when they do come across.. and do not match his facts he starts crying like a little cry baby.

    Rafa is Rafa... and Roy is Roy. Roy needs time to get it right. And Rafa has improved LFC. End off! He wasn't given the right money at the right time to do deals. Deals do not wait.

    Some of his transfers were shady.. but then he isnt perfect. Poulsen for e.g is a no brainer too.

    And last but not the least, JoKer won't get a job in LFC. Try as much as you can.

  75. Where did you get those figures from? Wikipedia?!  You can't even get the rudimentary things right, can you?  Benitez was in charge for 228 league games, not 212; and it's 71 european games, not 77.


  76. It proves that 88% of Liverpool supporters think that Hodgson is making up excuses and shifting the blame.  It also proves that your opinion is the minority. Im sure if you did an International survey of every single Liverpool fan in the whole world, the results would be there or there abouts. 

    What is it with you anyway?   You started this post with... <span>As part of his latest attack on Roy Hodgson...</span>

    You know that Rafa was responding to Hodgson, so your opening statement is a blatant misrepresentation of the situation!!  You claim to be fair and rational and encourage open debate, but that statement proves you are so anti Bentitez that you cant see the wood from the tree's.  Its actually quite naff Jamie.  


  77. Where did I say that it was unacceptable for Benitez to reply?  Why do people insist on making stuff up?  Wherch e did I pass judgment on his right to reply? I characterised his reply as an attack, which it is, in the same way That Hodgson's originall comments could be perceived as an attack.

    Germany invaded Poland in WW2; England had a mutual aid treaty with Poland, so they declared war on Germany.  Just because Germany attacked first doesn't change the fact that England attacked Germany in response, does it?

  78. It's not supporting LFC that makes me ashamed, it's some of the pig-ignorant fans that make me ashamed.  Nice try at twisting my words though :)

  79. Worst OVERALL season, in terms of league and performance in cup competitions (it's not just about the league); actual team performance on the field; abject wasting of money; abject misuse of playing resoources, and everything else that happened that season. 

    It is my opinion that no season has been as bad or depressing for that amount of time.  We may have been in the second division in 1962, but we WON THE LEAGUE under Shankly, who had infused the club with a new sense of spirit.  You seriously believe that would've been worse than last season?!

    And Souness' last season - nowhere near as depressing or hopeless as last season.  He wasn't arguing with everyone left right and centre; alienating players allover the shop.  We had McManaman, Redknap and Fowler coming through; John Barnes and Ian Rush were still at the club.  Liverpool were banned from Europe in the 80s there was no real expectation of European Achievement then.  Again, far more preferable to the drudgery of last season.

  80. No - it is the only interpretation, and the accounts prove this.  If you can't accept that then that's your problem.

  81. Some things in life are objectively stupid, and people who believe such things deserve to be labelled as such.  For example, anyone who goes around claiming that the earth is flat is objectively stupid; anyone who truly believes that Somerset is actually a country is objectively stupid.  Similarly, anyone who truly thinks that Benitez meant 10m TOTAL net spend over 6 years AND IGNORES THE FACT THAT THE ACCOUNTS PROVE THAT IT'S 10m a YEAR is....objectively stupid, and deserves to be called stupid.

    People who believe things in ignorance of proven facts are stupid.  It's that simple.

  82. well then if we are allowed a little elbow room on Rafa's comments, applying common sense to decipher them, why can we not do this with other comments made by other people??

  83. So to be truly intelligent, we need to disregard any affection we may have for Rafa Benitez as a man and a manager and focus only on 'facts'. The irony

    Surely the 'Earth is flat' analagy is a poor one, that is a fact that can be quantified, the pro's and con's of Benitez's tenure as manager do not boil down only to numbers as you would have us believe. Rafa was a fan too, I believe he truly believed in what he was doing and loved the club.
    He made mistakes, no doubt and no he should not be 'canonised' but the witch hunt you seem to be intent on conducting on him on this website is unwarranted.

    Also, explain dangerous?? Dangerous how??

  84. therealliverpoolfan11:09 pm, November 02, 2010

    3 points:

    1. How can any of these figures be at all accurate for transfers when deals are never simply straight cash deals. They are paid for installments, based on appearances, goals...etc so much more complex than you are making out? 

    2. Unless you work for liverpool fc on their finances there is no way you could get hold of this "exact" information. I agree they have to announce overall spending but not individual fees - hence the reason why the majority of dealings are for an 'undisclosed fee'. 

    3. Also on rafa's spending it is not fair to analyse simply the basic transfer fee's (assuming you do know them) as player wages, signing on fees and agent fees is often where most of the money goes. eg. lfc may only have spent 10.5m on transfers a year but i their wage bill could have been well over 100m. so called free players like jovanovic and cole look from the outside like good deals - but for all we know they could be on very high wages that are not necessarily representative for their quality and age. you get my point - clubs spend way more on wages than transfers. 

  85. And I thought you are going to show us some accounts taken from some valuation report...

  86. John - win % is not an achievement in and of itself...

  87. was kenny not our best boss since bob ,i think so.

  88. Jaimie???? is he really being level-headed, fair minded . . . Don't you see that this comes across as just as hypocritical . . . It seems to me that he was only labled so becuase he agreed with you.

    Let's please remember that Vas and Jaimie only represent one side of the arguement, and one stroke of the brush.  Vas . . .going the other way . . . do you know all of the purchases that Man United have made in the past 6 years, and how many of them would make it into the Liverpool first team? I venture to say very very very few. By your accounts, Rafa should have saved up all his money and bought one player instead of spending next to nothing on players like . . . .

    Players like Insua, Josemi, Nunez, Zenden, Pellegrino, Antwi, Hobbs, Roque, Anderson, Barragan, Gonzalez, Paletta, Aurelio, Voronin, Leto,  and those are just teh ones I remember from the top of your head . . . . and then selling them on for MORE money when they didn't work out.

    And for every Pennant, Babel, Aquilani and Dossena that you list . . . you neglect to mention the raft of superb buys along side them.  How is that level-headed, fair minded?  Pennant was probably one of very few damaging buys (as Pennant was purchased for something like 7m and  let go on a free) The rest were poor fits (or have not yet panned out - in Aquilani and Babel) and were moved on at a nominal loss, or remains to be seen.  Every manager has fantastic flops.  Especially the aforementioned Chelsea's, Man United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City. 

    See . . . considering BOTH sides of the arguement is level headed and fair-minded

  89. Like someone earlier mentioned, I have to take anything you say about Benitez with caution due to your obvious dislike for the man. I accept that you have many undisputable facts, however your response to Belleami's post shows that even if there is some evidence that makes Benitez look good, you will probably not go out of your way to dissect it and post it even if it only supports a bit of good work Rafa did.<span><span> </span></span>

    Btw, when responding to Belleami's point about 'overacheiving', you only cite his first season where he was a new manager in a new country with a pretty terrible team and completely leave out the fact he won the biggest prize in the world in club football. You also cite his last season which was a fluke when compared to the constant improvement we had seen under him.

    I believe you are entitled to your opinion and I respect you for giving hard evidence but I'm just saying that as a journalist you need to be waaaaaaaaaay more unbiased to be taken seriously by more people.

  90. I can't believe how fabricated some of these figures ended up, I'm glad he's gone now to be honest.

    12ft Trampolines

  91. Jaimie, thank you for your erudition. However U fail to realise that all spending is relative to where UR & where Uneed to go...!? Of course Wenger is one of the greatest managers ever, irrespective of his low net spending - look at his trophy cabinet. I worship that man like a god! However the Others - 'Sralex' included have lived off extremely strong bedrocks and needed very little re-enforcements year on year. The fact that they come anywhere near Rafa's net spending is a sad indictment of THEIR records. They certainly do not deserve praise. If U take out Ronaldo's sale (also hyperinflated by Real) Man Utd have struggled hugely. Rafa came to Anfield after the hyperinflation (pre sub-prime crash) had properly taken off so he was on a hiding to nothing, period. The gap when Houllier was in charge was already substantial so once Abramovich & Shinawatra appeared anyone not Daniel Levy was completely stuffed... Comparing expenditure from 1998-2004 to 2004 onwards is simply too infantile! It's like comparing the early 80s Paisley/Fagan era to the Premier League era circa Euro '96. Most analyses say absolutely nothing about wage bills.....
    I am certainly no Rafa worshipper but have seen the subtlety between just looking at the books + seeing "the meat". How many clubs in history have finished with 80+ points (twice) and not collected the top spot? How many times in a lifetime does a Cristiano Ronaldo come along? How many times have England had 3/4 European Cup semifinalists? How many times have Man Utd lost 1-4 at home?! The Fat bloke tried to wheel & deal and occasionally came a cropper, ho hum. No one will ever really know what Hicks + Gillett were doing to the club - anyway good riddance!

  92. your whole graph is retarded sorry. why is fergusons used as the same time period as a comparison when that was not his time period in charge. That is not a comparison by any logic. Why would a manager who has been in charge of a club for 2 decades need to make many, if any signings to contribute to an already established and stable squad. The fact the odd signing cherry picked for 20+ plus, in comparison to a manager relatively new whealing and dealing is absurd.