15 Apr 2013

'They didn't understand' - Benitez blasts H+G's 'incredible' LFC stupidity (again)

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez never misses an opportunity to stick the knife into Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and in an interview over the weekend, he once again ridiculed the Americans' ignorance of British football.

Discussing his working relationship with Roman Abramovich over the weekend, Benitez outlined the difference between discussing football with the Russian, and trying to get things done at Liverpool under the club's reviled former owners. He told the Daily Mail:

"Hicks and Gillett would say: 'We will give you money and we will go to the draft'.

"I would say: 'It’s not a draft! We have to sign players right now!'”

"Another conversation with them was: 'Why can you be relegated?' - They didn’t understand you could be relegated. It was incredible"

H+G's astounding ignorance of the rudimentary aspects of British football just makes David Moores' decision to sell to them look even more self-serving, and casts serious doubt on his claim that he acted with the 'very best interests of the club at heart'.

If Moores had conducted basic due diligence on H+G, he surely would've seen how unsuited they were to running a football club. To coin an Americanism, I may be 'way off base' here, but surely a basic understanding of how a business works is a pre-requisite to achieving success?

It's fashionable to blame Hicks and Gillett for everything that went wrong at Anfield during their tenure, but the intractable Benitez has to take his share of the blame too. He constantly blames others for the ultimate failure of his time at Liverpool, but he has never once taken a shred of personal responsibility.

It's also fashionable amongst my many detractors to spin the myth that I supported H+G during their tenure, which is just not true. I *defended* them against spurious, unfair criticism, but only related to very specific things, i.e.

* The complete misrepresentation of LFC's financial status at the time.
* The contention that they never did anything good for LFC.
* The embellishment and blatant lies spread by fans over some of their statements.

H+G were ultimately bad news for LFC, but that (IMO) doesn't mean fans should make up lies and embellish the negatives of their reign. They made a lot of mistakes, but whether people want to accept it or not, good things also happened during their tenure (improved commercial standing; biggest transfer spend in LFC history etc).

I have acknowledged H+G's bad points *many* times, as the following three articles prove:

* Shut up, Hicks. You're making a mockery of everything LFC stands for

* Liverpool hit by the Texas Hicks-Saw Massacre

* Hicks raps Rafa in unprofessional public outburst

Here is a selection of quotes from the above three articles:

-- “In yet another childish display of one-upmanship, Tom Hicks has dragged his rift with Rafael Benitez back into the public domain”

“Such behaviour is petulant, unprofessional and destabilising in the worst possible way”.

-- “Before Hicks arrived in a blaze of glory, the club had gone 115 years without the ignominy of internal strife being splashed across the media”

-- “In just ten months associated with the club, Hicks has destroyed this long-standing harmony with key involvement in a very public spat”.

-- “Tom Hicks is not fit to run Liverpool FC. He is not deserving of the honour and privilege of owning the club and he is woefully bereft of the personal qualities needed to be an effective leader and ambassador”.

-- “Hicks would do well to take a look at Mr Smith’s conduct during his tenure as Chairman and try and learn something about grace, professionalism and humility - concepts of which he clearly has has no understanding”.

-- “Tom Hicks and George Gillette are turning Liverpool FC into the footballing equivalent a three-ring circus, and Hicks’ latest ill-advised public comments are yet more evidence that this particular Texas Cowboy has no idea what being the owner of Liverpool FC means”

-- “Hicks has taken a Chainsaw to Liverpool’s exemplary media practices and turned the club into a laughing stock”.

-- “Come back, DIC! Buy-out these clowns and give Rick Parry his marching orders whilst you’re at it, so we can all quote John McClane and shout 'Yippee-kai-ay...You know the rest”.

-- “Hicks' response shows a dispiriting lack of class and tact. There is NO EXCUSE for making critical public comments”.

-- “Public attacks of this nature are not the Liverpool way, and choosing to ‘deal’ with the situation this was hugely amateur mistake on Hicks’ part”.

Sorry, but whenever I post about Hicks and Gillett, I feel compelled to include the above to head-of the inevitable accusations of being on their payroll (Which was/is total nonsense!)

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. This would be a good example of the progress that the club has made over the past couple of years under the new owners. While there is still a long way to go, things really are a lot better than they were.

  2. Jaimie, from time to time, I read your input. I sometimes feel that, despite we support the same team (Liverpool), we tend to have different perspectives.
    Rafa Benitez was (and still IS) a true Liverpool legend. His comments concerning Gillett & Hicks were often (if not always) 100% correct. Some people might have thought that Rafa should have concentrated on training the team, I tend to think Rafa's job was always to let us know what was really going on behind the scenes.

    I still miss Rafa. I think he should still be our manager. Unfortunately, some "idiots" (Cecile Purslow, if you read me....) thought otherwise. Since Rafa left, we never had any stability and/or long term transfer strategy. At least until now. (Rodgers will definitively be Liverpool's manager next season.)

  3. I agree. It is obvious that G&H didn't quite help the club but they were not the ones who wanted to sell Alonso to buy Barry, they didn't buy Aquilani and they didn't lose the title when it was ours for the taking by dropping points against Stoke and the Boro by playing one up front. Benitez had his hits and missess just like every other manager and he should be remembered and thanked for the good things he did. The real decline of Liverpool FC started with David Moores in 1991. By the time G&H took over the club had fallen so far behind on and off the pitch that it would never be easily fixed within two years unless we had ridiculous Citeh or Chelski money. Which DIC might have brought but we will never know because of who? David Moores.

  4. Ah… I remember those articles. They expressed what I felt inside. The club was really a circus act, like the current situation with Blackburn Rovers. Both are out of depth and have no clue how to run a football club.

    I think Benitez done well in not saying more than he did. Shows he is a gentleman, although I hope he breaks the silence one day and tell us the full juice.

    Although H&G done a lot of bad they did improve our commercial activities and the value of the club too. They also provided enough funds.

    H&G were an easy scapegoat for out onfield shortcomings. Of course, off the field matters were doing to them and that black sheet Rick Parry.

    In the end, Benitez made many poor transfer dealings and wasted money too. And he was very stubborn when it comes to his tactics. But he did bring us close to the PL and won us a FA Cup and Champions League too so there you go.

    It was a horrible time though during the H&G era…

  5. begs the question why were we sold to the yanks again,when other parties were interested

  6. Probably because in a country of 316 million people, there is bound to be one or two different from the others? :-p

  7. Eric, as you say, Rafa had his hits and misses (just like any other manager in the footballing world). I honestly jsut regret that Rafa didn't have the chance of working under FSG, because we would have been able to restructur the club after being close to bankrupty (thanks to G&H).
    PS: I don't think the club would have had a brighter future under DIC. But we'll never know now, won't we?

  8. they did spend alot but they also recouped it, net spend from feb 2007 to aug 2010 was approximately £0.

  9. Yea because they are all the same???

  10. by using the brackets when you said "again", are you implying that rafa should shut up about the whole saga and finally move on?

  11. yeah, every american is embedded with a greedy and heartles soul -_-

  12. bring back rafa he must
    be respected at anfield i would love to see if he touches the anfield sign bet you he does

  13. same shit . you polish it you
    dress it up you put it in bag still stinks we have to sell players to buy players. FSG are waiting for draft

  14. Nah, I wasn't thinking along those lines.

  15. T + H is the real valiant because they never support R.Benitez with stop the budget to get target of players.The biggest lost when LFC fired R.Benitez. Roy Hodgson and Kenny Daglish want to fix the problem but they are going to destroy LFC with bring in expensive players and making wrong investment. Until now only Luis Suarez is the real high quality that LFC sign in.Others players are wasting times and money at LFC.If Kenny doing a good jobs, why he still get fired???Clubs paying too high bidget but only qualify for european cup and 2 final,succes only Carling cup?The owney if too stingy to sign high calibre players,every season we will get the same result and the same issue or story of ending.We must changing with using diffrent way of solution the get best result.Downing,Borini,Carroll,Lucas,Henderson and Joe Allen cannot helping LFC going so far.Sturridge now is going drop the best performance. He is only deserve to start from the bench as substitudes players.Glen Johnson and Jose Enricque are cannot give consistency form and sometimes making silly mistakes and leaking a goal.LFC must sacrife to sell out the players who cannot give higher contribution to the clubs and if they never doing this action,clubs will suffer and struggle every season.

  16. still does not mean there interested in soccer

  17. i hope we have not had ist pick already judging by the transfers so far we must have been last pick

  18. Obviously they saw it as an investment opportunity. To buy a club like LFC on the cheap, it's a worthwhile venture.

    Additionally, I think it's unfair to hold the American stereotype against them because of the previous American owners. FSG has shown a willingness to invest in the club and they've also shown a certain regard for the club's history.

    In the roughly 30 months since they purchased the team, I think they've made two major mistakes:

    1. The mishandling of the Kenny firing.

    2. Being: Liverpool

    Are they big mistakes? Yes, especially the first one. They mishandled that from the start.

    They've got our wages under control. They've gotten rid of some dead weight players. They have signed players long term.

    I believe that they have the club going in a positive direction. Next season, expectations will be higher, and I do expect them to invest better this summer.

    If they don't provide the funds this summer, and as a result we don't improve upon this year's standings and challenge for a top 4, I will be disappointed not only with the team, but with the owners as well for not backing them.

  19. davewestausregularguest3:57 pm, April 15, 2013

    The dollar has taken a 'BIG DIVE'

  20. davewestausregularguest3:59 pm, April 15, 2013

    Dalglish has never been a manager !

  21. Truth generaly lies in the grey. Its never black and white. However the bottom line is that in the history of the club the most catastrophic decision was to sell to hicks and co instead of DIC. Its common sense - a debt fuelled bid or one financed with petrodollars? So I would seriously doubt the intelligence of any human who buys the theory that Moores sold the club for its best interests. No it was purely his own best interests.

    Secondly, how you can say Rafa's time at the club was failure, that too after having witnessed what transpired after him is confusing.

    Till date the bulk of the team is still made up of Rafa purchases, even the up and coming youngsters were generally bought in by Rafa. We competed as equals with Europe's best. Our best season meant we were second to UTD by only a few points. Rafa's reign was one where our target was actually winning the title - yes we failed but its nice to hear we are going for the title and judge ourselves by that yardstick as opposed to hear we are going for top 4 and end up 8th!

  22. thats the ? imo i do not think we will get major backing

  23. I'm hopeful. But no one knows until it happens.

    We shall see.

  24. Jason talk about pick if your a world class player . you would go to Fergie Jose ancholotti Wenger Rafa AVB before you go to rodgers so in Draft pick rodgers not highly placed,

  25. People will always have their opinions on Rafa's management style, choice of signings ( in which I think he did amazingly well because when he spent big, he got world class players), and his tactics. But there is one thing all sensible, smart fans know about Benitez, and that is his mentality. He always wanted to win, we were defensibly strong and well prepared for teams because of his attention to detail. That kind of mentality rubs on the players. I like Rodgers impact this season, but saying that missing out on Europe could be a blessing is something Rafa wouldn't have said. Not only that, Rodgers contradicts and covers up things in his interviews whereas Benitez stuck to the facts and truth.

  26. theres more managers in the prem alone you could mention

  27. yes you get the point

  28. Jim Mason Paddock Stand10:53 am, April 16, 2013

    And if you look at the players he wanted to buy in Aguero and Silva and at a lot cheaper prices than city got them for. He was told to sell and given no money when we came second to the Mancs. One season out of the Top 4, two CL Finals (Yes he should have played Crouch, but at least we were there) how we wish for that consistency now.

  29. Moores proved himself to be a money grabbing fool. the epitome of harry enfields 'scousers' sketch.

  30. H & G Didn`t do any good at all. Any commercial gains are lost for me by the fact we were hours away from going into administration. I like to look the whole picture and when that is done it doesn`t matter if we made a bit more commerical if we lost loads more from loan repayments. Its like any business, you have to understand the whole. I`m glad Rafa keeps running them down tbh. I strongly feel Rafa lost his job due to putting his neck on the line for us fans and not just sitting by letting us go under just so he could pick up his pay check.

  31. DIC would prob not have brought anyone. They had major cash issues in 2008 and our currently in 2.5bil debt.

  32. off the pitch yes. On it def no and lets be honest it is on the pitch which counts. Sure we cant make too many loses but would anyone really be happy with us never winning anything again as long as the club makes loads for its owners?

  33. Agreed. People seem to have a myth about DIC and that they are rich. They were rich but now they are skint