James Corrigan: In debt, nothing to spend, stars may leave and owners hated. Interested?

The Last Word
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The Independent Football

When Kenny Dalglish – or as he will soon be renamed "Kingmaker Kenny" – conducts his first interview for the role of manager of Liverpool Football Club it will be interesting to hear him set out the job description. We can only pray he speaks very slowly and very honestly. For it is only fair the candidates be made completely aware of what is expected of them.

But then, we all know Dalglish won't really be involved in the process and that he's only been called upon to douse the anger of the mutineers. It'll be down to whichever puppet the owners/board choose. Whoever it is – whether it's the chairman, chief executive or a £10,000-an hour headhunter – they will have to be some salesman. A smooth-talker whose next assignment will not be to sell sand to the Arabs but sell a debt- ridden club to the Arabs. Perhaps the spiel to the prospective gaffer should go something like this...

"Right let's get down to it – the last chap was a disaster. Rafa Benitez failed dismally. In six seasons he reached only two Champions' League finals, winning only one of them to go alongside his one FA Cup. How dare he? And don't even get us started about the Premier League. Do you know it took him five seasons to lead the club to its best League season in 19 years. Five seasons? I ask you, how much time did he want?

"Yes, yes, 2008-09 was rather promising on the face of it, losing just two games and collecting more points than any other runner-up in the history of the League. But we found out what he was about in the next campaign. Way down in seventh, a whole seven points off the fourth-place finish with which we would have been satisfied. It couldn't go on, so it didn't. Particularly when the press came on side and started printing the myths dressed up as damning statistics.

"Benitez signed more than 70 players for more than £240m. True, 30 of them were youth players and he did sell quite a few, too. In fact, when you do the actual maths his net spend is more like £80m, less than Spurs and, of course, less than Manchester City in the same period. But £240m sounds better, don't you think? And the wages? Well, yes, ours are about three-quarters of United's and Chelsea's, but what's that got to do with anything? This ungrateful man thought just because the new owners have given him virtually nowt to spend since they took over in 2007 he could whinge about it. Couldn't he see we're all suffering here? That even poor old George and Tom, as hard as they have tried, have been forced to put the club £350m in debt.

"So, you'll understand, we had to get rid of him. He would definitely have caused a fuss when we sold Torres and Gerrard and gave him £15m for squad strengthening. You wouldn't mind managing without those two would you? After all, Rafa effectively had to last season, with the Spaniard always injured and the new England captain in the worst form of his career.

"Still, there was no need for anyone to focus on that when they could blame him for selling Xabi Alonso and bringing in Alberto Aquilani. The most outrageous thing was that we only made £10m because of that piece of dreadful business. No, he had to go and now we have to go for a manager able to mask the cracks as we move ever deeper into the red and try to sell this club for a price it is simply not worth.

"So here's what we expect from the new boss in a nutshell. You must qualify for the Champions' League every year, winning it more often than once every six years and reaching the final every three years; you must do better in the Premier League than simply finishing a better second than any team before; and you must do all this on a smaller budget than your rivals, despite the fact everybody will claim otherwise. Do all that – and more importantly do it without moaning – and you'll be a hero in Liverpool and Texas. And please don't suffer one bad season that may or may not be a blip. Because you'll never be able to prove it was a blip. Because we'll get rid of you straight away and Fleet Street will applaud us for doing so.

"The fans? To hell with them. Thanks to those who we will soon have to call our 'friends in the press', the Anfield faithful can be dismissed as being more deluded than those cultists in Waco. Didn't you know they only stuck by Rafa because they had made him the figurehead for their protests. Well, that's what the columnists said anyway. It soon became accepted as a journalistic truth that the Liverpool support was 'in denial' when it came to Rafa and that in their hatred of the Americans they couldn't spot his inadequacies. Insulting? Perhaps just a little bit, considering we're talking here about fans who have consistently proved to be among the most knowledgeable. But it did the trick. They were talking rubbish – Rafa was rubbish. Had to go.

"So that brings us nicely on to you. How can you say no? Liverpool is a massive club, as you well know. And if we're bought out by some rich Arabs one day we might again have the finances of a massive club. To be honest, I wouldn't expect that to be Dubai now as they're more skint than we are. But someone with bottomless pockets will turn up. You just need to give off the illusion this club are as big as they ever were while we're waiting.

"So if you will just sign here, Mr Hiddink? Mr Hiddink? Mr Hiddink? Please don't slam the door, we've only just mended it from when Souness left...

"Valerie, get me Dalglish on the phone. Ask him if he would be kind enough to stop the fans from rioting, will you?"

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