Liverpool say Benitez won't be sacked

Liverpool have assured Rafa Benitez that his job is secure despite the club joining the Champions League also-rans.

While the five-times kings of Europe switched their focus to winning the second-string Europa League, managing director Christian Purslow gave the Spaniard a vote of confidence.

"This has absolutely no bearing on Rafa whatsoever," he was quoted as saying after watching Liverpool beat Debrecen 1-0 in Hungary on Tuesday but failing to reach the last 16 after Italy's Fiorentina beat Olympique Lyon.

"He signed a new five-year deal only months ago and in those terms he is four months into a five-year journey.

"You don't deviate from long-term plans for people and the way to take the club to the next level because of two late goals against Lyon, and that's what it boils down to," he added.

Purslow suggested the financial pain would be eased by a successful Europa League run - even if newspaper headlines derided the re-branded Uefa Cup as a "booby prize".

"We are prudent in what we budget," he said. "If we go into the Europa League and have three home games, we are financially equivalent on what we budgeted to achieve in the Champions League.

"I like to think that we'll be taking 40 or 50,000 to Hamburg in May (for the final) and if we get halfway to doing that, we will make more money than we would have from the next round of the Champions League."

Benitez, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and was runner-up two years later, agreed with Purslow's assessment after the club failed to reach the last 16 for the first time since he became manager.

"If we progress two or three games in the Europa League, maybe in terms of money it will not be a big difference," the manager told the BBC.

"But the main thing for us is to finish in the top four (in the Premier League) and then to be sure that we will be again in the Champions League group stage next year."

The financial side is crucial to Liverpool, who have been eclipsed in the wealth stakes by Chelsea, Manchester United and City while having an estimated debt of around 245 million pounds ($405.3 million) to finance.

Liverpool are currently seventh in the Premier League and five points behind high-scoring Tottenham Hotspur in fourth.

They play at Everton, who lost 3-0 to champions Manchester United at the weekend, in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Liverpool won the UEFA Cup in 2001 and captain Steven Gerrard said that offered a new target even if it was a disappointing one.

"You get what you deserve in this competition (the Champions League) and the two late goals we conceded against Lyon have been crucial," he told the club website (www.liverpoolfc.tv). "But it's gone now, it's in the past and we've got to move on.

"We're in the Europa League and we'll go and try and win it.

"Now that we've got the majority of the squad back fit, I'm very confident we can turn things around and go on a long run of winning games," added Gerrard.

"Hopefully (Fernando) Torres is not too far away and then we'll have everyone back fit and go from there."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee