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Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 15:21 UK

Rafael Benitez criticises Liverpool's former owners


Benitez pins blame on Hicks and Gillett

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has launched an attack on the club's ousted owners and current managing director Christian Purslow.

Benitez left to become manager of Italian giants Inter Milan last summer after six years in charge at Anfield.

But he hit out at former co-owner Tom Hicks's claim that he was to blame for the Reds' worst ever start to a season.

"I'm very disappointed for the fans who are very sad," he said ahead of Inter's Champions League match against Spurs.

He added cryptically: "We have a saying in Spanish: 'White liquid in a bottle has to be milk."

Hicks criticised Benitez for wasting much of the money he was given to spend during the latter half of his tenure.

But Benitez has insisted the Americans were to blame, citing their appointment of Purslow in the summer of last year as the beginning of a downward spiral that ended in the Spaniard's exit.

Hicks and George Gillett lost Liverpool to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) on Friday after a lengthy takeover saga.


But in a bizarre outburst, Benitez compared events leading up to his departure to a bottle of milk.

"What does this mean? It means that after 86 points and finishing second in the league, what changed?" he said.

"The Americans, they chose a new managing director and everything changed.

"So, what changed?

"The managing director is involved in all the decisions: new lawyer, new chief of press, new manager, nine new players, new medical staff, new fitness coaches - they changed everything.

"At the beginning, they changed the managing director who was talking with some players, and they changed everything that we were doing in the past.

"So, if you want to ask again what was going on, it's simple: they changed something and, at the end, they changed everything.

"So, white liquid in a bottle: milk. You will know who is to blame."

Pressed further on the matter, Benitez would only say: "White liquid in a bottle. If I see John the milkman in the Wirral, where I was living, with this bottle, I'd say, 'It's milk, sure'."

Sunday's defeat to Merseyside rivals Everton leaves Liverpool second from bottom in the table.

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see also
Liverpool owner to spend 'wisely'
18 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Hicks fury at Liverpool 'swindle'
15 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Henry pledges to revive Liverpool
16 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
NESV completes Liverpool takeover
15 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez slams Liverpool hierarchy
21 Sep 10 |  Europe
Benitez appointed Inter manager
10 Jun 10 |  Europe
Benitez reign at Liverpool ends
03 Jun 10 |  Liverpool

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