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Martin Broughton backs Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

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In-depth - New Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton

New Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has pledged his support to boss Rafael Benitez and insists it is not necessary for the club to sell any players.

Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr put the club up for sale on Friday and appointed British Airways boss Broughton to oversee the process.

"Benitez's position is unchanged. He is contracted to the club and we want him to stay," Broughton told BBC Sport.

"There's no need for any sales. There will be no fire sales."

In light of the club's financial situation, there was concern among supporters that Benitez - who is contracted to the club until 2014 but has often voiced frustration at a lack of transfer funds - and star players such as midfielder Steven Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres may leave.

Broughton has moved quickly to dismiss this, saying: "As far as the manager is concerned I don't think it is any different from the players or the fans. This is clarity and a brand new future for Liverpool.

Benitez coy on Liverpool developments

"It is giving everybody involved with the club the comfort of knowing that there is a strong future at Liverpool."

Liverpool are £237m in debt and have been seeking £100m of outside investment to satisfy a request from the club's principal creditor, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Broughton added to the earlier statement from the club, which explained that the move to sell has the "full support of the existing bankers".

"RBS understands it doesn't help the process to have leverage in the hands of buyers because there is a looming deadline," he said. "We have plenty of time to do the deal.

"There has been a lot of interest, there will be a lot of interest, but we will not be making any further comment until an announcement is made about a buyer."

Co-owners Hicks and Gillett have endured a difficult time at Liverpool since taking over at Anfield in March 2007, not least with supporters who grew increasingly disillusioned at the amount of debt taken on by the club.

Two of Liverpool's chief rivals in the Premier League - Chelsea and Manchester United - are also saddled with large debt and Broughton admitted that while clubs are capable of carrying this it was an issue that needed reassessing.

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"Liverpool are capable of carrying a sensible amount of debt but it has got to be within reason," he said.

"I think it's right for the appropriate parties to think about whether there should be restrictions on debt and what they should be."



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see also
Owners put Liverpool up for sale
16 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool step up investor search
11 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Reds owners suspend stadium work
14 Mar 07 |  Liverpool
US group 'to make Liverpool bid'
14 Mar 10 |  Liverpool
Hicks Jr leaves Liverpool board
11 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Reds fans march in owner protest
25 Oct 09 |  Merseyside


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