Benitez leaves Liverpool

Spaniard departs Anfield after six years at the helm

By Rob Parrish   Last updated: 4th June 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Benitez leaves Liverpool

Benitez: Liverpool exit

I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You'll never walk alone.

Rafa Benitez.
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Liverpool have confirmed that manager Rafa Benitez is to leave the club by mutual consent after six years at the helm.

The Spaniard had found his position under severe scrutiny after a miserable season which saw the Anfield outfit finish seventh in the Premier League, missing out on UEFA Champions League football next term.

Benitez's relationship with American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett had become increasingly strained and rumours began circulating that he was to be shown the door on Wednesday evening.

It emerged negotiations were under way behind the scenes to agree a severance package, which is believed to be £6million, with the former Valencia boss having only recently signed a lucrative new long-term contract.

And Liverpool finally broke their silence over the issue shortly before 4pm on Thursday with confirmation that the man who secured the Champions League trophy in 2005 and the FA Cup the following season was heading for the exit.

Very sad

Benitez told the club's official website: "It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC. I would like to thank all of the staff and players for their efforts.

"I'll always keep in my heart the good times I've had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool.

"I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager.

"Thank you so much once more and always remember: You'll never walk alone."

The club will now begin their search for a new boss, with managing director Christian Purslow and club ambassador Kenny Dalglish charged with selecting potential candidates for the role.

Fresh start

Several names have already been linked with the post, including Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill, Fulham manager Roy Hodgson and Guus Hiddink, who recently signed a deal to manage the Turkey national side.

Benitez's departure leaves the club in an even greater state of flux, with Hicks and Gillett keen to sell their stake to new owners and doubts persisting over the future of star players such as Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

Reds chairman Martin Broughton saluted their outgoing manager but claimed that a change at the top was necessary after a miserable season on the field.

He said: "Rafa will forever be part of Liverpool folklore after bringing home the Champions League following the epic final in Istanbul but after a disappointing season both parties felt a fresh start would be best for all concerned.''

Comments (137)

Jay G says...

I was never a big fan of Rafa and I am very happy to see him leaving the club. True that he has not done anything for Liverpool ¿ CL win is only thanks to Gerrard and Hamman + we were lucky against West Ham. But credit to Rafa for bringing the likes of Torres, Alonso, Reina, Garcia, Aurelio, Mascherano, Kuyt + Arbeloa. Now we need a dynamic, young and bright manager ¿ sorry Roy Hodson no offence. We need these Americans to sell the club to a real Liverpool fan or at least people who are interested with the club and knows its past¿.and not only a ¿franchise¿. Clearly, there is no place for these idiots. Liverpool should be back to its fans and I am convinced that we can follow the model of Barcelona. The American appointees in the likes of Purslow & Boughton should also be sacked as they have nothing to do with Liverpool¿s interest. A Chelsea fan being inside of Liverpool strategic control¿ need to say that this appointment is like putting a fox inside with the hens¿.. Clearly these people mentioned above have nothing to do with Liverpool except making money on the head of players, assets built by the team since its creation, old players and most important us the real & true fans. Liverpool FC should clear all the mess and we will only then be in a position to move forward. Jay from Sussex

Posted 14:29 8th June 2010

Oilar Pato says...

Benitez's fourty days had reached, though he gave Liverpool achampions League trophy. He neded to win more trophies to prove him self after winning that precious cup. What is funny is that Benitez had good players but could not use them correctly and had a poor scauting skills and negociating skills. am happy he has left, Liverpool will resurect and i still believe that he has spoilt his career and wont stay long at intermilan cause of his current coaching abilities and tactics, this depature gives him a challange and i dont think mascherano will join him at sansiro.

Posted 13:21 8th June 2010

Alan Garrett (Liverpool fan) says...

well done rafa,if your had the money you of done it round,so dont want mark hughes,dont want roy hodgson,rather have kenny dalglish good luck at your new job,god help us next season we might loose are best players...............................

Posted 18:34 5th June 2010

Peter Kill (Everton fan) says...

lol good times

Posted 15:20 5th June 2010

Neil Connor (Liverpool fan) says...

i was a Benitez fan but over the last 12 months his tactics,team sheats and transfer policy have been bewildering.I know that the Yanks have not given the funds needed to challange this year but Rafa has had a lot of money to spend over the last 5 years and has a poor enough squad of players to show for it.Having to sell Alonso to Madrid after the way he treated him was disgraceful never mind Keane. The simple fact of fact of the matter was finishing 7th is just not good enough.

Posted 11:45 5th June 2010

Zahir Kaleem says...

So many explanations are being put up to justify Benitez's sacking but there is ONLY ONE HONEST REASON! No funds for new players. You talk about a Voronin for every Torres. There would be another Torres for every Torres if THERE WAS MONEY available. I hope Dalglish will not align himself to this gang of financial crooks who are running the club at the moment because he could destroy his legendary status by siding with the devils. If Rafa had been fired for asking more money for himself, I would have no problem with his departure. He was asking for money for players; at least that which he might get from selling his current players. But the axis of evil wants that to go into debt payment and fat salaries for Purslow & Boughton. When the season starts, Purslow should be as much a figure of hatred as the American clowns. As for the chairman, he is a rival club season ticket holder. Why would he want Liverpool to flourish? So let us cut all the hypocrisy about reasons for Rafa's departure. If we had funds, Rafa's sacking would simply not be a topic for discussion today!!!

Posted 12:59 4th June 2010

Tom Azinga (Liverpool fan) says...

Rafa was rubbish. It was Gerard, and Haman who won the final in Istanbul. Rafa's tactics were responsible for being 3-0 down at halftime. His first season in the english league he finished even worse than Houllier did the previous year, a performance so bad he got the sack!!! They were dreadfully boring to watch, the defeat to Newcastle was particularly depressing that year, I recall everyone at the stadium saying this is even worse than Houllier. His purchases have been largely dismal failures, his tactics poor, his rotation policy was rubbish, and he threw away the English league the previous season despite picking up valuable points from the other 3 main rivals, which sould have been more than enough to secure a comfortable win the in the league. His early success in the CL was with Houlliers squad and the win was more in spite of him than anything. His man management has been rubbish and his handling of Keane/Alonso a disgrace. He should have gone a long time ago, and the contract he got last season was ridiculous, and no way shold he have got compensation for departing, he was hinting at leaving for Juve himself despite being contracted to LFC and now he is in discussion with Inter the greedy swine. He should have been let go for nothing as other clubs wanted him anyway. Blaming the chairmen is also very childish, Rafa had more than enough time and money over the years to do alot better than this. Good riddance.

Posted 12:47 4th June 2010

Troy J kent (Liverpool fan) says...

Good riddance to the man who destroyed Liverpool single handed with his tinkering and wrecking of the teams morale in the process. Istanbul credit belongs only to one man and that being Stevie G. Rafa should have been sacked ages ago as the title was lost because of him last season. The Yanks have to go now. They should be chased out of Liverpool after messing up the club and leveraging the Club to settle their debts in the States. Get lost Yanks!!!

Posted 12:31 4th June 2010

Sean Treagus (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

I must admit that this decision comes as no shock to myself or many others. For me you never replaced Alonso somebody who was critical in Liverpools successful days, you then pay £20 million for Aquilani and leave him on the bench for a huge part of the season. Talking to Liverpool fans it seemed inevitable that Benitez was leaving and possible the spanish contingent based there. I feel sorry for Liverpool fans as teams such as Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester City are all taking huge strides forward to close the gap on the top 3 now and Liverpool seem to have taken 2 steps back. Liverpool you are an amzing club with some of the best supporters in the world but i fear the worst for you.

Posted 12:31 4th June 2010

Maggie Pearce says...

Thank you Rafa for what you did achive at liverpool, but it is time to move both you and the players have gone stale. Gerrard has had his head on the world cup all season, and yes he is one of our best players and the captain of the team but isn't that what he gets paid fantastic sums of money for , as for torrs he is always injured never known a player at his age always on the treatment table. And if any players want to go, then go don't hold liverpool to rensome by I am going or I am stopping. I am 100% backing Charra on that score better players have left liverpool. As for the yanks they should go and take lucas with them he is not fit even to wear an Everton shirt let alone a liverpool one lol Good Rafa, you will never walk alone

Posted 12:08 4th June 2010

Tony Salter says...

It amazes me that he has had the job for that long ok the champions league is a hell of a cup to win and the way they did it was pure class but since then nothing really oh F.A cup but thats still not the prem league what i think all all liverpool fans want and as for new manager i dont think o'neil will do any good cuz at villa he has the money but still buys no one and as for stevie and torres well stevie going madrid and torres its either barcelona or chelsea but defo not city

Posted 12:04 4th June 2010

Pete M says...

Well thankfully hes gone,he should of gone at the start of the season.his decision making was awfull .the players were unhappy and you could see the frustration on the pitch.dont see why he should be paid anything for what hes done to liverpool this season.and he thought the fans wanted him to stay,he was hoping more like.maybe now the players that are on the liverpool squad that are only fit for division 1 will get the boot and we get some real talent in.bring back alonso.get rid of insua and ngog and a few more i could mention.with a bit of luck gerrard and torres will gerrard is mr liverpool himself

Posted 11:16 4th June 2010

Daniel Rowson (Liverpool fan) says...

Can not believe it took this long to get rid of this idiot, i have been after him quitting for 3 years, why can other liverpool supporters can not see how bad he was, the team that won the champions league was the one left by gerrad houllier, the only thing he did for the club was get TORRES, but apart from that, nothing. I am glad he is gone, lets get a british manager, O'neill, Hughes, Hodgson or Dalglish. Someone who understand how much a club like liverpool means to there fans.

Posted 11:13 4th June 2010

John Scouse says...

Good luck Rafa, you did us proud and contributed greatly to making LFC even more successful than any other club in the UK. Thanks and YNWA, good luck for the future. LFC you are the best and will remain the best YNWA!

Posted 10:52 4th June 2010

Leigh Pogmore (Liverpool fan) says...

Rafa wasn't a great manager! Why because he did nothing with his own squad. He won the CL with Houlier's squad. This was mostly made up of players that had already been successful in winning cups. Then when he had fully built his own squad they luckily beat a average West Ham side on penalties thanks to a one man show by Gerrard. After that they looked poor most of the time. His big money buys have mostly flopped. Very few was value for money. Torres is world class. Under Benitez's training he's never fit though and rushed back to early from injury as Liverpool have no cover for him. Alonso was great but Benitez actually tried to get rid of him a year before he did to buy a poorer Barry. Yet another defensive midfielder. Then there is Babel, 11.5 million wasted on a very average player. Lucas the most untalented Brazilian in history at 6 million. We bought a midfielder for 20 million that was injured and then when fit never played him. A right back at 18 million who has no positional sense. As he out of position constantly. Sold Crouch who hasn't done much harm since he left. Sold Robbie Keane for 8 million less back to the same club after only 6 months. Even if he wanted him or not was a mistake. Sold a right back to Real Madrid for 10 million less than a poorer replacement cost. Never bought a decent winger all the time he was at the club. This brings you to the youth system or should that be the lack of one. There hasn't been and doesn't look like a single player coming through it under Benitez. He never gives youngsters a chance in the first team. Even in lesser competitions. Which they need to progress. This is only the tip of the iceberg of a so called great manager.

Posted 10:48 4th June 2010

Peter Richards says...

Are some of these people mad? Rafa never did well for us, god knows the only reason we ever won anything was with sheer luck and gerrard dragging us through it. Hell gerrard hasn't been the same since he ran a kid over 2-3 year's ago. Oh yeah people wanting roy hodgeson in? are you bloody joking?

Posted 10:46 4th June 2010

Ahmad Hazwan (Liverpool fan) says...

That's right John Flanagan.Rafa was a victim.A truly great liverpool servant.Liverpool need to oust those two American idiot from the club.I just don't understand why so many people here slating rafa.i'm sure he will do better in his next'll never walk alone.

Posted 10:09 4th June 2010

Lisa Jones (liverpool fan) says...

Rafa did wellas a manager at Liverpool for six years and it's very sad the way it has all panned out. I think the change will do both Rafa and the club good as if he reminaed manager, he would have been under immense pressure form the word go given the way last season turned out. At least now the witch hunt in the media for him can divert to someone else, possibly the England team, depending on how the WC works out as we know how our media love to victimise and scrutinise people until they can take no more. As for some of the comments from Dave Corbett, when is the last time Arsenal won something please ? It's alright playing your fancy football and winning nothing but seriously, before you start asking the question as to what Liverpool fans are thinking, how many more trophyless years are the Gunners willing to put up with because their team are "moving in the right direction". Pot and kettle I think . People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Thank you Rafa for some glorious nights these past 6 years, I wish you well in your next venture!!

Posted 10:01 4th June 2010

Joseph Vella says...

Last year was one of the worst for Liverpool under Benitez. His decisions are sometimes weird too, likewise his selections. But in order to be fair to Benitez one should also mention his achievements. He got Liverpool to two Champions League finals, winning one. Under his guidance Liverpool won the FA Cup, the European Super Cup, the Community Shield and also reached a Carling Cup Final. The season before last Liverpool just missed winning the Premier League. Benitez also deserves a lot of credit for rebuilding the Accademy. Arsene Wenger, one of the best managers in the Premier League, has not won any major honour in the past six years. Yet Arsenal respect him highly. Harry Redknapp has been praised to high heavens just because he secured a Champions League spot for Tottenham. Benitez has managed that in every season except one. On the other occasion Liverpool qualified as holders. Those who wanted Benitez out claimed he bought crap. Actually, he should have considering the money he was given by the owners yet he bought some of the best players in the world namely: Pepe Reina, Johnson, Maschareno, Torres and Agger. I also believe that Aquilani is a great buy. To end his contract over a poor season is just not fair.

Posted 09:54 4th June 2010

John Dimmock (Liverpool fan) says...

It still amazes me that someone can get a £6M payout for failing to meet their objectives AND will probably walk into the Inter job in a couple of weeks. Can someone please tell me any other occupation where this would happen? I am sure that if I missed my objectives for four years, then there would be a nice 'Process' that meant I was out on my ear without a penny! Yes he had a contract but surely some sort of employment policy meant that Liverpool could have got out of this without a paying a penny, I would have kicked it off just after we failed to get out of the group stages in the CL. Anyone else agree with me that this needs to be looked at in Football?

Posted 07:37 4th June 2010

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