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Page last updated at 08:04 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 09:04 UK

Gillett gives backing to Benitez

Rafael Benitez
Benitez signed a new Liverpool deal in March, which goes up to 2014

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett says Rafael Benitez's position as manager of the club is safe, despite the 2-1 home defeat by Lyon in the Champions League.

Benitez was jeered by supporters during Tuesday's loss but Gillett believes the former Valencia boss is "absolutely as good as there is in the business".

Gillett added: "Our family is extraordinarily pleased with him.

"The run of results disappoints the fans and it disappoints Rafa but we are in this together."

Gillett also reminded supporters that Benitez signed an improved deal with the club in March, which ties the Spaniard to Liverpool until 2014.

Benitez faced the wrath of the Anfield crowd when he substituted goalscorer Yossi Benayoun in the 84th minute against Lyon.

Liverpool have lost their last four fixtures in all competitions and defeat at home to Manchester United on Sunday would open up a 10-point gap between the two after only 10 matches.

"We've come back before and we can do it again," Benitez told reporters after the defeat by Lyon.

"We now must be ready for the next game. I have confidence we have the quality to overcome these problems."


Gillett, who owns the club with fellow American businessman Tom Hicks, has recently attempted to court new investment in Liverpool.

Earlier this month, Gillett travelled to Saudi Arabia to meet Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, who may acquire "anything from nought to 100%" of the club, according to his aides.

Gillett and Hicks each own 50% of Liverpool at the moment but neither can sell shares without the other's approval and the relationship between the two has been strained for some time.

Moves to introduce new investment have come in a bid to reduce Liverpool's £245m debt, with £60m having been paid off over the summer.

Newspaper reports in early October suggested Prince Faisal may be willing to pay more than £200m for a stake in the club.

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see also
Johnson eases Reds injury worries
21 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Aquilani gives Reds timely boost
21 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Benitez stays defiant after loss
20 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 1-2 Lyon
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
Saudis consider Liverpool offer
08 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool seeking new investors
29 Sep 09 |  Business
Benitez signs long-term Reds deal
18 Mar 09 |  Liverpool

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