RAFA Benitez has rejected Liverpool’s contract offer.
The Reds boss today said it was “with great regret” that he has declined the proposal but feels he has no other option.
Benitez says he has no complaints with the financial terms of the deal on the table, nor the length of the proposed contract with these elements having been agreed by all parties last month.
The Spaniard is adamant he has no quarrel with Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, insisting recent talks have never been anything but amicable. But he feels the conditions of the contract would not allow him to manage football matters at the club to the best of his abilities.
As revealed in the ECHO on December 19, the sticking point throughout the negotiations has been what Benitez terms his “role and responsibilities”, with the Liverpool manager keen to have a bigger say in the running of the club’s academy and an increased influence over transfers. This request has been turned down by Hicks and Gillett, resulting in Benitez rejecting their offer.
“My relationship with the owners is better than people think,” he insisted. “I have regular contact with them and especially with Tom Hicks who has always been very supportive.
“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.” THE ECHO